Applications Invited for MSc in Sustainability

Applications  Invited for MSc in Sustainability

Institute Name: United Nations University

Apply By: 10 Feb 2023

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About the Organization

The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is a research and teaching institute dedicated to realising a sustainable future for people and our planet. Based in Tokyo, Japan, UNU-IAS serves the international community by producing evidence-based knowledge and solutions to inform policymaking and address priority issues for the UN system.

Through policy-oriented research and capacity development the institute drives progress in four thematic areas: governance for sustainable development, biodiversity & society, water & resource management, and innovation & education. UNU-IAS creates new value by integrating expertise across these areas, in both academia and policymaking, to mobilise knowledge for sustainability and advance the global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. It applies innovative approaches and research methods to challenge conventional thinking and develop creative solutions to emerging issues of global concern. The institute’s research, education, and training engage a global network of scholars and partner institutions, driving interconnectedness between policymakers and the science and academic communities to realise sustainable solutions. Through field-based research, including an operating unit in Kanazawa City (Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan), UNU-IAS is developing models for localising the SDGs and other global agendas by building multi-stakeholder partnerships.

About the Program

The Master of Science in Sustainability is a two-year programme, which provides students with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to contribute to solving challenges of sustainability. Drawing on an innovative, interdisciplinary approach, the programme integrates methods and resources from the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities. The programme aims to produce the policymakers and researchers of tomorrow, who will be at the forefront of global efforts towards a more sustainable future. Studying at UNU-IAS brings the unique benefits of:

  • Collaborative research & practical experience,
  • A global university within the UN system, and
  • An international and interactive learning environment in central Tokyo.

The programme is intended for recent graduates, professionals and practitioners who seek to meaningfully contribute to the work of governments, civil society, the private sector, and/or the UN and other international organisations in the area of sustainability.

The programme builds on UNU’s strong record in research and capacity development, as well as the extensive network of scholars and academic institutions participating in UNU research. The programme is practice-oriented, user-focused, and of the highest academic quality. It provides students with unique opportunities to interact with leading scholars and policymakers through lectures, international conferences, and workshops.

The academic year starts in September. By July of the second year students must fulfill the course requirements, obtaining at least 30 credits and completing a thesis. Students can select courses from those offered by UNU-IAS, while also enjoying the opportunity to take courses at other leading universities in Japan such as the University of Tokyo, Sophia University, and International Christian University.

Thematic Areas and Research Opportunities

The UNU-IAS postgraduate programmes are closely interconnected with the institute’s research activities. Students have opportunities to gain practical experience by engaging actively in the research projects in UNU-IAS thematic areas. The courses offered correspond to these thematic areas under the overarching theme of sustainability.

  • Governance for Sustainable Development (GSD)
  • Biodiversity and Society (BDS)
  • Water & Resource Management (WRM)
  • Innovation & Education (IVE)


10 February 2023 (23:59 Japan Standard Time)

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