24 months
6600 EUR/year
980 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Master of Sustainable Development from KU Leuven prepares the sustainability leaders of the future. Students are trained to become agents of change who will imagine, trigger and effectuate a sustainable future. 

Visit the official programme website for more information


The Sustainable Development programme from KU Leuven is research driven and mindful of ethics, gender and diversity. It offers a transversal core programme on sustainable development and two tracks of specialisation: a Space & Society track and an Ecology track. The distinctive strength of this master’s programme is an interdisciplinary character that bridges societal and ecological sustainability challenges while engaging with real-world settings, localities and communities.

The common core involves the building up and integration of fundamental expertise in sustainable development, including theory, methodology and practical applications in both ecology and social science. It comprises academic levelling training, courses covering different sustainability aspects, the formulation of an individual research portfolio, as well as a field trip in the Global South, an internship and a thesis.

The Space & Society track focuses on the societal component of sustainability transition, including social, economic, political and cultural dimensions. The Ecology track focuses on both the conser vation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biodiversity at all organisational levels (species, genes and ecosystems). Integration between both tracks will mainly be done through sustainable development practice at the local community level.

A major methodological innovation intro duced by this programme is the Sustainable Development Living Lab, a mobile platform through which the ICP community applies sustainability knowledge to problems of the Global South. 


Career perspectives for alumni can be found in all sectors where sustainable development actions are being implemented at the local, national and international level. These include NGOs, civil society organisation, private enterprises, government admini strations, multi ¬lateral organisations, universities and research centres.

KU Leuven Online Open Day

We are organising an online open day on Tuesday 1 December 2022 to inform students about our degree programmes. Discover Europe’s most innovative university and learn more about our international programmes, admissions, housing and much more. For more information, google “KU Leuven Online Open Day”.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • The Sustainable Development Challenge
  • Academic Leveling: Space, Society and Ecology
  • Geography of Development
  • Global Change, Ecosystems and Sustainability
  • Current Topics in Conservation Biology
  • Fieldwork in the Global South
  • Sustainable Development Living Lab and Project
  • Individual Portfolio in Sustainable Development

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


IELTS admission requirements IELTS
TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT


120 ECTS


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

IELTS admission requirements IELTS
TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT

Student insurance

Make sure to cover your health, travel, and stay while studying abroad. Even global coverages can miss important items, so make sure your student insurance ticks all the following:

  • Additional medical costs (i.e. dental)
  • Repatriation, if something happens to you or your family
  • Liability
  • Home contents and baggage
  • Accidents
  • Legal aid

We partnered with Aon to provide you with the best affordable student insurance, for a carefree experience away from home.

Get your student insurance now

Start from €0.53/day, free cancellation any time.

Remember, countries and universities may have specific insurance requirements. To learn more about how student insurance work at KU Leuven and/or in Belgium, please visit Student Insurance Portal.

Other requirements

General requirements

You should have a broad interest in a comprehensive approach to sustainable development.

  • For admission in the Space & Society track, you should hold basic knowledge in human and social sciences (social and physical geography, economics, sociology ...).
  • For admission in the Ecology track basic knowledge in ecology, biology and biodiversity is needed. Be sure to mention the track of your choice in your motivation letter.
You should have a good command of both spoken and written English.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    6600 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 6600 EUR per year during 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    980 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 980 EUR per year during 24 months.

Living costs for Leuven

810 - 1280 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Sustainable Development
KU Leuven


Go to your profile page to get personalised recommendations!