Zwei Studierende stehen im Stiegenhaus des Teaching Centers


The SEEP Master of Science (MSc) Program provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to critically analyse the combined social, ecological and economic crises facing humanity today. Policy approaches and the diversity of alternatives are explored with respect to issues such as climate change, social-ecological transformation, sustainable work, inequalities, growthmania and consumerism.

Traditional disciplinary approaches to analysis and policy formulation are insufficient. Instead interdisciplinary understanding is needed to comprehend the interactions and interdependencies of biophysical, social and economic systems. The SEEP MSc trains you in how to question and critically think about traditional approaches to economics and public policy that have become encapsulated in ideas such as sustainable development and Green growth.

Staff bring diverse perspectives to enable you to gain insight into heterodox economics, social policy, ecological economics, degrowth, governance, economic geography, political ecology and political science. The SEEP programme is based in the Socio-Economics Department which prospective students should note is a separate and independent department from economics.

The SEEP MSc foundation courses in the first semester provide coverage of research and writing on contemporary policy challenges; the history and philosophy of science; international and European law, institutions and governance; economic growth and development. In the second semester two specialisations are chosen from four options and undertaken along with the methods course and an agent level behavioural socio-economics course. Quantitative and qualitative methods are treated as equally important in the programme and taught in combination, not as separate courses or with the former regarded as superior to the latter. In the second year the concentration areas and methods course continue during the third semester. In addition, across the third and fourth semesters a minor course is run allowing team work and practical community engagement, called service learning. In the fourth semester students turn to their thesis.

SEEP is aimed particularly at students who:
  • Wish to obtain interdisciplinary theoretical and academic skills, qualifying them for specialist positions in diverse areas of policy and management in government and non-governmental organisations, international agencies, research institutes and academia;

  • Wish to obtain the necessary prerequisites for higher scientific qualifications (PhD/doctoral programs)

  • Wish to proceed to teaching and/or research at universities or other institutions

As a SEEP graduate you will have obtained a range of skills and knowledge including:
  • Comprehensive understanding of issues in the field of social-ecological transformation and specialisation in related policy challenges;

  • Critical abilities to analyse policy issues using appropriate theories and both quantitative and qualitative methods;

  • Knowledge of specialist academic literature;

  • Experience of working constructively in interdisciplinary teams;

  • Advanced theoretical and social science skills relating to social ecological and economic transformation

  • Research and writing skills

SEEP Students and the International Classroom

You will be amongst a gender balanced cohort of students who have mixed disciplinary backgrounds and international experience. We aim to provide internationalisation by attracting a diverse set of students from all over the world: an “international classroom”. The cohorts vary but in recent years have consisted by nationality of 40% international, 20% international German and 40% domestic. You will be engaged in an English language masters programme where all teaching and assessment is in English.

Specialize in your areas of interest

The program offers four concentration areas of which you can choose two:

  • Social Ecological Economics

  • Globalisation and Social Policy

  • Globalisation and Multi-Level Policy

  • The Political Economy of Inequalities

Studying abroad

Please note that SEEP is a unique master's programme with several specialization areas, internationalized cohorts, and a diverse teaching staff. Therefore, it does not support studying abroad for its students (e.g. NEURUS, Erasmus+ etc.).

Interview with SEEP Program Director Clive Spash on Social Ecological Economics

Video Our Social Ecological Economic Crises: An Interview with Clive L. Spash

Our Social Ecological Economic…

This interview is part of a series…

Learn more!

Structure & Content