Sustainability & Risk Management (M.Sc.)

Starting in fall semester 2020


Study type: Part time online program with face-to-face attendance phases

Faculty: Law (Brunswick European Law School)

Degree: Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Duration: 5 semesters (including master thesis)

Language: English

Start: Winter and summer semester

Deadline for registration: 15th july for fall semester and 15th january for spring semester

Costs: Total costs of 15.000 € (in four rates of 3.750 €)



In the light of recent studies on climate change (e.g. by the WMO or IPCC), we face major challenges in achieving climate targets and halting global warming, especially as the Production Gap Report 2019 also offers little hope. The European Parliament has therefore declared a climate emergency and wants to take courageous measures against climate change in order to be the first continent to achieve the Paris climate targets. These include new legal and regulatory requirements to promote standards for sustainability management and sustainability reporting on climate risks, including ESG risks, for listed companies, banks, insurance companies and investment firms. Currently, more and more countries are introducing a carbon tax to accelerate the transformation of the economy. As a supranational institution, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has established a Task Force on Climate Change Financial Information (TFCD) and launched a Green Fund as a sustainable investment vehicle for the surplus reserves of the national central banks. In its monetary policy and financial supervision opinions, the European Central Bank (ECB) points out that climate risks are a central challenge for the real and financial sector, which is why all companies and financial intermediaries must take climate risks into account in their risk management. The European Union sees the reorientation of the financial industry towards sustainable finance as a central bridge to the implementation of the Paris climate targets, since an investment requirement of €180 billion per year (according to ECB President Lagard) is necessary (EU Commission President von der Leyen - Green Deal) to transform the economy in a climate-neutral way.

In view of these challenges and in order to mitigate ESG risks, the Ostfalia Centre for Scientific, Interdisciplinary Risk Management (ZWIRN) has developed a new international interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary Master's Degree Programme in Sustainability and Risk Management (SRM) for part-time students. We see a great interaction of sustainability and risk issues as well as similar demands on the interdisciplinary treatment of these issues for practical application. Sustainability is the balance between short- and long-term risks and benefits. Both risk and sustainability are based on forecasts with limited accuracy, and both require assessments covering environmental, economic, technological, legal and sociological aspects.


Qualification objectives

The participants of the course are to be enabled to scientifically penetrate the interdisciplinary complexity of the subject areas of sustainability and risk management, to understand and anticipate interrelationships and mutual effects, and to develop appropriate, responsible solutions for their field of activity. Special attention is paid to a fact-based, analytical approach and the critical examination of existing approaches. The teaching modules, which examine and structure the subject areas of sustainability and risk management from various aspects in an interdisciplinary manner, serve this purpose.

Students should be enabled to grasp and assess both subject areas in an interdisciplinary manner and to develop and implement holistic strategies and concepts appropriate to the various disciplines. They should develop the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses of approaches to solutions from fact-based analysis and to synthesise them creatively into improved solutions. The Application Workshops, which build on the teaching modules, are networked with them and develop them further in various practical problem areas, serve this purpose.

The prerequisite for achieving the qualification goals is that the participants already have comprehensive skills in at least one of the underlying disciplines as well as corresponding practical experience. This is ensured by the admission requirements of a completed academic education and at least one year of corresponding professional experience.

The acquired qualifications enable the participants not only to deal with challenges of sustainability and risk management in their professional environment using scientific methodology and thus to further develop their professional qualification, but also to competently address these highly relevant topics in social discourse and to participate responsibly in their development and implementation.

The discourse-oriented teaching modules, the application workshops aimed at cooperation and implementation competence, the comprehensive master's thesis aimed at independence and personal responsibility, and the international study programme, which is conducted entirely in English, thus also explicitly serve the personal development of the participants.

Course of studies



The programme begins with an introductory module "Legal foundations" as a teaching module. This serves to adjust the different entry situations of the different participants, to refresh and supplement essential basic knowledge on the topics of sustainability and risk management, as well as to familiarize students with the course concept.

The three pillars of the course of study build on this:

  • The two pillars on the subject areas of "Sustainability" and "Risk Management", with four teaching modules each, penetrate the respective subject area from four different aspects in an interdisciplinary manner. Wherever possible, analogous aspects (strategy, communication, conflict management) are taken up in the two subject areas, thus creating a network between the two subject areas.
  • The pillar of the Application Workshops with at least three project modules (elective modules; additional project modules can be taken as optional subjects) serves the application. The findings from the teaching modules are applied in a time-concentrated, holistic and result-oriented manner in the form of a project to a specific area (e.g. an industrial sector or a social topic). The target topic of the Application Workshops changes from semester to semester and also depend on the composition of the study group.

The Master's thesis as a degree builds on these three pillars. In it, the participants have to prove that they are able to apply the competences acquired in the modules independently and adaptively to a real topic. It is intended that the participants choose a topic from their own professional environment for this purpose, but not necessarily.

The modules are thematically interlinked in many different ways both within and between the subject areas of "risk management" and "sustainability" and comprehensively reflect the aspects of both subject areas that are essential in application. The entire course of study is held in English in order to serve an international clientele on the one hand and to take into account the international scope of both subject areas on the other.

Access requirements

The admission requirements for the SRM Master's program are

  • a completed Bachelor's or Diploma degree with a total of 210 ECTS credits
  • at least one year's relevant professional experience, based on the course of study, of at least one year's duration
  • English language level of at least B2

The Admission Regulations provide for compensation regulations in order to allow access even for prospective students whose university degree only comprises 180 ECTS points.


Details can be found in the admission regulations (Original document in German).

An unofficial and therefore not legally binding translation can be found here

Information and registration forms


Application has started

Online registration is now possible Course of study "Sustainability and Risk Management (M.Sc.)" Application portal is open for summer term for the ZWIRN English-language master course of studies ""... Download for Application here


The Master's programme "Sustainability and Risk Management" begins in fall and spring semesters. The application must be received by the university by 15th july for the winter semester and by 15th january for the summer semester.


Application Form


Please download the interactive application form and send it signed with the requiered documents to Officially certified copies have to be provided in case of admission via mail.


We also need your online application. Please use the following link for online application:





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