Programme director Miriam Huitric explains the focus of the centre's master's programme, Social-ecological resilience for sustainable development, and what to keep in mind when applying.

Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development (SERSD)

This 2-year Master's programme aims to enhance students' knowledge of the complex interactions between ecological and social systems

Students are introduced to multiple research approaches and methods for studying coupled social and ecological systems. The programme focuses on using systems-based methods to develop new approaches to the governance and management of social-ecological systems. Students will be trained to conduct problem-driven transdisciplinary environmental research.

During the first year students attend four mandatory courses (see below). These are firmly embedded in the research at the Centre and are designed with an emphasis on resilience - the ability to deal with change and continue to develop. They also define the challenges we face today and reflect on how resilience thinking can be applied to social-ecological systems to solve real-life problems.

Students will also have the opportunity for a traineeship at the end of the first year.

During the second year, students write up their theses. These are mainly incorporated in on-going research projects and are all related to one or more of the research themes at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Our ambition is that our graduates publish their research in peer-reviewed journals.

The programme attracts top international students. In order to ensure a high quality, spaces are limited to 18 students per year.

Programme details

First year activities:
The first year kicks off one week before courses start with week 0. This is a preparatory week for all new students and includes an introduction to the SRC, Stockholm University, essential study skills to begin work at the Master’s level as well as time to settle into Stockholm. 

Course 1: Social-Ecological Systems: Challenges and Approaches, 15 ECTS. This course introduces students to the Anthropocene, the new geological era in which we live, in which humanity has become the dominant force structuring the biosphere. Read more

Course 2: Systems Theory and Resilience Thinking, 15 ECTS. This course introduces qualitative and quantitative approaches to the analysis of systems and shows how they can be applied to social-ecological systems. Read more

Course 3: Governance and Management of Social-Ecological Systems, 15 ECTS. This course will explore alternative approaches for analyzing how people make choices, use rules, and learn to manage and govern social-ecological systems.  Read more

Course 4: Resilience Reflections and Applications, 7.5 ECTS. This course will reflect on how resilience thinking methods can be applied to social-ecological systems. Read more

The courses run full time (9:00-17:00, Monday-Friday) and back-to-back. There are no other breaks other than those listed below under Term dates.

On completion of the above courses, students have 7.5 ECTS for optional courses or a traineeship (see below). Optional courses need to be given at a university and approved by the SERSD programme director.

Traineeship in Social-ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development, 7.5 ECTS (optional)

Second year activities:
Students will execute and write their Master's thesis (60 ECTS). Details about the second year activities and thesis writing are available in the Thesis Guidelines that are distributed to programme admitted students.

Term dates for the Academic year 2015/2016 are as follows:
Week 0: Aug 24 - Aug 28, 2015

Autumn term 2015: Aug 31, 2015 — Jan 17, 2016

Christmas and New Year’s break: Dec 23, 2015 - Jan 6, 2016

Spring term 2016: Jan 18, 2016 — June 5, 2016

Easter break: March 21-28, 2016

The programme starts every autumn term and application deadline is January 15th each year for ALL applicants.

Programme page on SISU


    Second level studies
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Stockholm Resilience Centre

Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B | Phone: +46 8 674 70 70 |
Organisation number: 202100-3062 | VAT No: SE202100306201