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Sustainable Development Studies (BA)


Our bachelor's programme addresses poverty, inequality and other global challenges. In defining development, however, it goes beyond economic growth and consumption and also includes social, political, ecological and cultural aspects. The focus is on the question of what a life worth living is - and what conditions make it possible. To this end, it brings together interdisciplinary knowledge from a wide range of disciplines such as business and economics, political science, international relations, agricultural science and ethnology. In addition to quantitative methods, you will also learn qualitative methods such as interviews in order to be able to take the perspective of people from the so-called Global South. The global orientation prepares you for work at international institutions, NGOs or organisations. And a semester abroad in a country of the Global South gives you practical experience - and new perspectives.

Sustainable Development Studies
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Standard period of study:
6 semesters
Only the winter semester
Language of the programme:
German and English
Restricted admission (application to the university)
Orientation events:
Orientation events are offered at the beginning of the study programme
Two pre-courses (math pre-course and sustainable development studies pre-course) are offered

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Studienberatung & Infoangebot


  • The bachelor's programme offers a sound and interdisciplinary introduction to sustainable development issues. It imparts broad-based basic knowledge together with specialised knowledge through a subject or regional focus.
  • In the orientation phase, you take courses (modules) in the core subject of economics and also gain insights into other disciplines such as political science, international relations, agricultural sciences and ethnology.
  • You will get to know various statistical methods in order to be able to better examine development processes and challenges.
  • In the second stage of your studies, you choose between several subject-specific or regional specialisations: Development economics, globalisation, sustainability, and regional studies.
  • The degree programme includes a stay abroad in the form of an exchange semester, an internship or field research, so that you learn specialised knowledge from a different perspective and gain practical experience in countries of the Global South.

During the first week of the summer and winter semesters, you will be supervised by older students, the WiWi-O-Phase tutors. In addition to the first lectures, you will get to know important learning management and examination administration systems as well as examination and study regulations of the degree programmes. You will learn how to do your semester schedule and you can even talk to the professors of the faculty at the professors' breakfast. You will get to know each other at city rallies and pub evenings. Even before lectures begin, you can (voluntarily) take part in the maths pre-course (MVK), in which selected content from school mathematics is repeated and preparation is made for the mathematics module in the 1st semester. The student council of the Faculty of Business and Economics organizes the "social events programme" during the maths pre-course with pub nights as well as campus and city tours.

By choosing a subject specialisation as well as working on a topic relevant to your profession as part of your bachelor's thesis, you can acquire knowledge and skills that qualify you for your profession. Into the bargain, the international orientation of our programme prepares you for a global work environment in development cooperation or within international organisations, associations, NGOs as well as internationally oriented companies and research institutions, offering excellent career prospects. English language courses are an integral part of the programme, and you also have the option to study additional foreign languages such as Hindi or Swahili.

In addition, the bachelor's degree offers the opportunity to continue with a master's programme at home or abroad. At the Faculty of Business and Economics you can study the following master's programmes following your bachelor's degree:

All master's programmes at the Faculty usually last four semesters (two years). Application is made directly to the faculty. Certain admission requirements must be met in each case.

Into the bargain, you can study the following master's programmes offered by other faculties:

Related and consecutive/graduate programmes


The Bachelor's programme in Sustainable Development Studies is divided into the orientation phase (1st and 2nd semesters) and the in-depth and specialisation phase (3rd to 6th semester).

In the orientation phase (1st and 2nd semesters), you will gain knowledge of the fundamental problems and approaches to solutions in development studies as well as some important neighbouring disciplines. We also provide you with knowledge of economic and social science methods as well as initial basic knowledge in the fields of ethnology, international relations and the economic fields of microeconomics and macroeconomics.

In the in-depth and specialisation studies (3rd-6th semester), you complete your basic education started in the first two semesters and choose a subject-specific or regional focus that corresponds to your personal interests. This will deepen your subject knowledge and give your studies an individual profile.

In total, the 120 credits to be earned in the second study section are made up as follows:

  • Specialisation area ("Vertiefungsbereich") (36 credits)
  • Focus area ("Schwerpunktbereich") (48 credits)
  • Semester abroad ("Auslandssemester") (at least 18 to 30 credits)
  • Elective area ("Wahlbereich") (24 credits)
  • Bachelor's thesis ("Bachelor-Arbeit") (12 credits)

Detailed information on the structure of the degree programme and the courses (modules) offered can be found on the degree programme website of the Faculty of Business and Economics .

Course of studies (depending on the chosen focus)

Module directory



Language requirement

The languages of instruction are German and English, so a good knowledge of both languages is required. For proof of German language skills for non-German citizens without a German educational qualification, see the Link below.

Applicants whose native language is not English must have sufficient knowledge of the English language. Sufficient knowledge of English must be demonstrated with standardized or accredited certificates at least at level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).


Winter semester only
1st subject semester:
restricted (application to the university)
2st subject semester:
restricted (application to the university)

Citizen from an EU country (including Germany and EEA) or holding a German university entrance qualification

Non-German citizens without a German educational qualification

Citizen from a non-EU country (or stateless person)


Study Economics in Göttingen

Business Administration, Economics, Business and Human Resource Education, Business Information Systems und Economics in combination with a second subject - the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Göttingen offers a wide range of courses with five bachelor's and twelve master's programmes. In the film (in German), students from the faculty report on their everyday studies and tell why it is worth studying in Göttingen.

Websites of the Faculty of Business and Economics for international studentse

Learn more about our offers for international exchange and degree seeking students.


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