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Sustainable Development Studies (B.A.)


Sustainable Development Studies are primarily concerned with global poverty, inequality and other challenges in the "Global South", i.e. in the so-called developing and emerging countries. This refers to all countries whose economic development, e.g. measured by their per capita income, degree of industrialisation or average life expectancy, does not yet correspond to that of Germany or other industrialised nations of the "Global North".

However, development is not only understood in an economic way, but also includes social, political and ecological aspects. Development is therefore also taking place in Germany, for example towards a more environmentally friendly way of life and economy or towards more gender equality. Because of this diversity, sustainable development studies combine the theories and methods of different disciplines to deal with the great and complex challenges of our time.

Sustainable Development Studies
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
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 program
Two pre-courses (math pre-course and sustainable development studies pre-course) are offered

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  • 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.

During the Corona pandemic, the students of the WiWi-O-Phase and the student council of the Faculty of Business and Economics organized digital or "hybrid" orientation weeks with a virtual tandem programme, digital games and get-to-know-you evenings, but also with meetings in small groups on campus as well as city and campus tours in small groups on site in Göttingen.

The international orientation of the degree programme prepares our students for an international working environment in development cooperation or in international organisations, associations, non-governmental organisations as well as internationally oriented companies and research institutions, which opens up excellent career opportunities.

As graduates of the Bachelor's programme in Sustainable Development Studies, you are familiar with current academic developments and have the ability to map and analyse complex problems of the Global South in their relevant economic, political and social frameworks.

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 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)

Grafik-Studienverlauf-BachelorSDS-Globalisierung-ENG-Juli 2022

Module directory



Language requirement

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)

Citizen of a member state of the EU or EEA (incl. Germany) or foreign student

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.


City of Göttingen

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For prospective students

Sophie Ochmann

Professur für Entwicklungsökonomie/
Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS)
Waldweg 26
37073 Göttingen


For enrolled students

Service-Center für Studierende
Faculty of Business and Economics

Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3
37073 Göttingen

Oeconomicum, 1st Floor
Room 1.135

Phone: + 49 (0)551 39 28800
Fax: + 49 (0)551 39 9741