Three young women sit on a bench on the campus of Göttingen University and talk. A young woman and a young man stand in front of them and listen. Pink cherry trees are blossoming on the campus.



Do you have a deep interest in sustainability and social justice? Our Bachelor's programme in Sustainable Development Studies enables you to analyse and understand social inequalities in the world. This will enable you to shape development policy and practice to improve the lives of people in disadvantaged communities.

Bachelor's programme in Sustainable Development Studies


Winter semester


6 semesters


German and English (Proof of English language skills required)


180 Credits


Limited admission (application to the university)


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.

  • Orientation phase: Laying the foundations

    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, you will gain knowledge about 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. A specific preliminary course for the Sustainable Development Studies degree programme is offered even before you start your studies. You will practise reading academic texts and receive an introduction to development issues. Registration is not required for this course.

    60 Credits

  • Focus area: Expanding knowledge

    In the specialisation area, you complete the basic training you started in the first two semesters. In the field of economics, it extends your education in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and development economics. You will learn qualitative methods, i.e. the interpretation of non-numerical data such as opinions and experiences in the form of interviews and case studies. You will also get an introduction to ethnological analysis, which focuses on understanding and explaining the behaviour, culture and social structures of specific communities or cultures.

    36 Credits

  • In-depth specialisation: Creating your own profile

    In this area, you choose a subject or regional focus that matches your personal interests. This will deepen your subject knowledge and give your studies an individual profile. You can choose between development economics, globalisation, sustainability and regional studies. The regional studies focus also includes courses in languages such as Hindi, Swahili or Mongolian. If you decide on this focus, i.e. a specific region (East Asia, South Asia, Africa or Latin America), then you should also spend your semester abroad in this region if possible. However, a combination of several regions is also possible.

    48 Credits

  • Semester abroad

    A stay in the Globe South is a compulsory part of the degree programme. You have several options to get to know another cultural area and to deepen your language skills. On the one hand, you can spend a semester abroad at a University in a country of the Global South. In doing so, you will usually take courses with a content related to sustainable development studies as well as to your chosen focus area and learn about the topics from the perspective of your host country. Before you go abroad, you will record in a binding "Learning Agreement" in Göttingen which courses you would like to take there and what you would like to achieve. If you fail exams abroad, you can make up for them at the University of Göttingen. In addition to a semester abroad, you can alternatively complete the module B.WIWI.SDS.0006 "Field Research in the Global South" with 18 credits or the module B.WIWI.SDS.0005 "Internship in the Global South" with the same number of credits. Countries of the Global South are all countries on the DAC list of developing countries and territories..

    min. 18-30 Credits

  • Electives: Deepening interests

    In the elective area, you can include additional modules from the offerings in economics, business administration, business informatics, and quantitative methods, further refining your individual profile. In addition, you can choose modules from the areas of Agricultural Sciences and, under certain conditions, language courses and modules from the key competencies offered by the University. In addition, you can receive credit for a voluntary internship (B.WIWI-SDS.0005 or B.WIWI-WB.1000).

    24 Credits

  • Bachelor's thesis: Applying acquired skills

    You will write your thesis based on the specialization topic of your choice. Work on a concrete question within a given time and apply all the skills you have learned during your studies: Research methods, critical thinking and independence. You select current, topics on economic challenges and use real data as well as quantitative methods for your analysis.

    12 Credits

  • Study plan and additional links


  • International orientation

  • Career relevance

  • Career planning

  • Study abroad

The international orientation of the degree 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.

Seven students, two men and five women, are sitting on the grass in front of the library, all with their laptops on their laps. The student on the left of the picture is showing something on his laptop to the student next to her.

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. A degree in Sustainable Development Studies thus opens up numerous career opportunities for you in international organisations, NGOs, government agencies or research institutes.

A student wears virtual reality goggles and holds two controllers in his hands.

The interdisciplinary structure of the degree programme allows you to specialise in a wide range of disciplines with a Master's degree - even outside of business and economics. At the WiWi-faculty you can join the Degree programmes Development Economics, History of Global Markets or International Eonomics. Other faculties at the University of Göttingen give you the opportunity to continue your studies with the Master's programmes in Agricultural Sciences, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Modern Indian Studies or Sustainable International Agriculture.

Links of Degree programmes outside the faculty:

Two students, a man and a woman, sit at the counter of the student advisory service and are advised by a woman.

A one-semester study visit to a foreign university in a Global South country is an integral part of our Bachelor's degree programme. This provides you with the opportunity to examine the topic of development from the perspective of the Global South and gain practical experience with the challenges of developing and emerging countries. You will enhance your language skills and gain experiences that will benefit you throughout your life. Alternatively, you can undertake a field research project or internship in the Global South.

A globe standing on a table in the library.


  • Portrait photo of Philipp Janßen in front of a window. He is wearing a white shirt with a collar.

    "A future-oriented degree programme with a focus on developing countries and sustainability. The degree programme is underpinned by business and economics modules, which give you a broad base. The group size in the courses allows for a close exchange with the professors."

    Philipp Janßen,

    Bachelor's programme in Sustainable Development Studies

  • Portrait photo of Fabian Barsky. He is wearing a black jacket and a white shirt.

    "Today, I am a consultant for financial system development at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and help to improve access to financial services for people in our cooperation countries. My sound professional training and the experience I gained abroad during my studies through semesters abroad and internships helped me to start my career."

    Fabian Barsky,

    Master’s programme in International Economics

How to apply

How to apply

Three simple steps to apply to the faculty

  • 1.

    Register with at the platform for degree programmes with limited admission.

  • 2.

    Your next step will be to register at the application platform of Göttingen University. Enter your personal data and upload the required documents, then submit your application in order to participate in the application procedure.

  • 3.

    After the application deadline has expired, you will be informed about the status of your applications in the portal of Of course, we will also inform you by e-mail about any available admission offers from the University of Göttingen. Once you have decided on an admission offer from the University of Göttingen, you must actively and bindingly accept it in the portal of

Apply now!

Information Events

4-8 March / 4 April 2024

Welcome events for new international students

14:00 / 12:00
24 April and 6 May 2024

Information events on the faculty's master's programmes (in German)

One-hour events in the time slot 16:00 to 19:00 in each case

We accompany you through your studies

Your teaching team (selection)

  • Portrait photo of Andreas Fuchs. He is wearing a blue jacket and a white shirt.
    Development Economics
    Prof. Dr. Andreas Fuchs

    “It is important to me to create an inspiring learning environment in which I discuss the current challenges of our time, such as the rise of Asia, autocratisation trends and climate change, together with my students and link them to current research findings.“

  • Portrait photo of Sebastian Vollmer. He is wearing a blue shirt.
    Development Economics / CeMIS
    Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer

    “For me, research and teaching belong together. I want to introduce students to current research and enable them to conduct their own research.“

  • Portrait photo of Krisztina Kis-Katos. She is wearing a white shirt.
    International Economic Policy
    Prof. Dr. Krisztina Kis-Katos

    „In the lecture hall, learning does not happen by simply listening, but only when students "play along": Think along, ask questions, answer questions and join in the discussion. This interaction of the teaching conversation and the occasional "aha" experience when I have been able to convey something new and perhaps unexpected gives me pleasure.“

  • Portrait photo of Holger Strulik. He is wearing a dark blue polo shirt.
    Macroeconomics and Development
    Prof. Dr. Holger Strulik

    „Macroeconomics education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.“

  • Portrait photo of Marcela Ibañez Diaz. She is wearing a pink shirt.
    Behavioral and Development Economics
    Prof. Dr. Marcela Ibañez-Diaz

    "Behavioural Development Economics studies the living conditions of 80% of the world's population. We aim to understand how people make decisions that can decrease poverty. I aim to motivate students to be the ones who ask "the questions" and are prepared to answer them confidently.“

Do you have any questions?

Are you wondering whether a study programme at the Faculty of Business and Economics is right for you or do you have questions about the course of studies, placement in a higher semester or recognition of academic achievements? During our office hours, we advise you on site at the Oeconomicum, digitally via BBB and by telephone without prior registration.

Student Advisory Office

+49 551 39-28800

Oeconomicum, 1st floor, Room 1.135

Portrait photo of the student advisory service. From left: Dorothee Konings wears a turquoise blouse, Dennie Oertel wears a dark blue checked jacket and a white shirt and Anja Schöfer wears a black blazer and a white blouse.