Master in Sustainable Leadership - programme specification

Master in Sustainable Leadership

Master of Sustainable Leadership

About the programme specification

The Master of Sustainable Leadership is included in the General Programme Specification which applies to all participants, enrolled on September 1st or later.


The part-time master’s programme is offered in accordance with the rules on part-time study programmes. The study programme is a programme equivalent to 60 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System), corresponding to one year of full-time studies. The work load is typically spread over two years of part-time studies. Enrollment in the program can last up to six years.

General admission requirements

Admission to a master’s programme is subject to the applicant having completed at least:

• A relevant bachelor programme

• A relevant professional bachelor’s programme

• A relevant medium-cycle higher education study programme

• A relevant diploma programme completed as a regulated course of study

• A relevant foreign study programme at the same level

The curriculum for each part-time master’s programme specifies the specific bachelor programmes that give applicants direct admission to the study programme.

In accordance with the admission requirements for the part-time master’s programme, applicants must - in addition to a qualifying degree - have minimum two years of relevant work experience after having taken the qualifying degree. The curriculum for each part-time master’s programme specifies the requirements made for the applicant’s work experience.

Programme specific admission requirements

Admission to the Master of Sustainable Leadership programme requires a bachelor degree from any given academic discipline and at least two years of working experience.

In addition, accepted participants in the programme must have so-called 'scope to lead' sustainability within their organizations: All participants must have the opportunity to conduct an 'Immersive Learning Project' which includes designing and executing some aspect of sustainability within their host organizations. The aim and scope of the Immersive Learning Project is defined at the beginning of the programme.     

Since the programme is taught in English, you must have proficient English skills. 

General Learning Objectives for the part time programs

The part-time master’s programme is a research-based higher education study programme on a level with a master’s programme. The master’s degree is obtained within the continuing education system where the student in question - based on his or her work experience and previous educational level - is offered continuing education in a specialized area or a broader perspective on an academic area or a multidisciplinary area. A part-time master’s programme constitutes an independent complete study programme.

A part-time master’s programme provides students with knowledge, skills, and competences qualifying them to hold highly qualified functions in private and public sectors, and in the consultancy industry. A part-time master’s programme generally ensures that the student is able to apply the academic and scientific methods and concepts of the field of study in question in connection with:

• Assessment and solution of theoretical and practical problems

• Communication of academic problems and proposed solutions to peers and non-specialists

• Management and development of complex work situations

• Independent establishment of academic and interdisciplinary collaboration

• Own academic development

The objectives of the part-time master’s programme are further defined in the curriculum for each individual part-time master’s programme.

Specific Learning Objectives for the part time programme

Please refer to the Programme specific competence profile below.

Programme specific competence profile

The main goal of the programme is to equip future leaders with the leadership skills that enable them to systemically understand and operationalize sustainability and bring about positive societal impact. More specifically, upon completion of the programme, participants should be able to:

  • Create an understanding of the motivation and mindset needed to lead change
  • Analyse and understand complex sustainability challenges and problem interconnectedness
  • Lead the design of sustainable solutions
  • Execute and lead others in the implementation of sustainable solutions


The 60 ECTS credits prescribed for the part-time master’s programme are distributed as follows:

• A number of mandatory modules equivalent to at least 45 ECTS credits which form the constituent elements of the identity and competence profile for the programme

• A concluding master’s project/final project equivalent to 15 ECTS credits which - within a subject approved by the University - document that the level required for the programme has been achieved.


42s01 Philosophical foundations of Sustainable Leadership 5 point Autumn
42s02 Leadership in Sustainability Strategy 5 point Autumn
42s03 Complex Problem Framing across Value Chains 5 point Spring
42s04 Sustainability Oriented Organizations 5 point Spring
42s05 Business Models for Sustainability 5 point Autumn
42s06 Sustainability-Driven Innovation 5 point Autumn
42s07 Data-Based Decision Making 5 point Autumn
42s08 Communicating Sustainability 5 point Spring
42s09 Leading Change for Sustainability 5 point Spring
42s10 Immersive Learning Project 15 point Spring

Curriculum, previous admission years

Master thesis

The master’s project/final project is the concluding project on a part-time master’s programme/a flexible master. The objective is to give the student an opportunity to apply the knowledge and competences acquired in an independent manner in a large-scale work. The project must have a coherent and well-structured presentation in a good language in which a clearly formulated problem is answered through the application of theory and an explicit method. The contents may reflect the student’s practically acquired knowledge.

The master’s project must be approved by the head of studies to ensure that it falls within the programme focus area. In connection with a flexible master, the project subject is approved by the chairman of the department board of studies as part of the approval of the individual education plan.

The project must include a summary. The summary must be in English - unless another foreign language has been agreed with the supervisor - and the summary is included in the overall assessment.


Project agreement and scope

The student must agree the subject for the project with his or her supervisor (flexible master’s programme) or head of studies (regulated master’s programme). The supervisor (flexible master’s programme) or head of studies (regulated master’s programme) must regularly monitor the development of the work and ensure that the project falls within the academic field of the study programme.

The project must be equivalent to 15 ECTS credits. The project period is agreed with the supervisor (flexible master’s programme) or head of studies (regulated master’s programme), taking into account any holiday. For the project in the flexible master’s programme, the project supervisor may differ from the ordinary supervisor.

See also the curriculums under the individual part-time master’s programmes.


Assessment etc.

Learning objectives for the project form part of the supervision. The project is assessed according to the 7-point grading scale by an external examiner on the basis of a report and an oral defence. The project and the oral exam will be assessed as a whole If two students have prepared projects on a joint subject, they must be given an individual oral exam.

Head of study

Salla Marjukka Laasonen
Building:358 Room:137

Rules for teaching

The Master in Sustainable Leadership courses are structured into modules with a variety of learning activities such as plenary lectures, case workshops, off-site company visits, and group presentations. In addition to diverse teaching activities, the programme icludes two study tours. Each course is divided in to teaching blocks, consisting of 4 consecutive days of in-class teaching approximately once per month. Specific teaching dates will be informed separately. Participation in all sessions is mandatory, unless agreed otherwise.

In between teaching blocks, participants will work on tasks related to their "Personal Leadership Development Programme" and "Immersive Learning Project". These tasks do not entail in-class presence on campus, but are conducted in the participants host organizations in connection with their daily work tasks. 

Read more about the nine courses on the program website Master in Sustainable Leadership - DTU – Learn for life 

Exam rules

Each course/study element is concluded with an assessment. General rules on forms of assessment, pass requirements, part exams, etc. are laid down in the - Rules and regulations, chapter 3 ‘Exam rules’. The course description contains:

• Exam form, including any part exams during the course

• Forms of assessment, including exams with internal examiner or external examiner, 7-point grading scale, or ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’

The assessment ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ can only be used for exams accounting for up to one third of the ECTS credits for the study programme. 

Credit transfers and exemptions

Credit transfers

It is not possible to transfer ECTS points obtained at other educations to the Master of Sustainable Leadership.



If, for example, a student fails to meet the deadlines specified in the programme specification or fail in the third exam attempt on a mandatory course, the student in question may only continue his or her studies if an exemption is granted. DTU’s credit transfer and exemption committee may grant an exemption from the programme specification rules, including curriculum, course descriptions, and DTU’s rules and regulations, provided that the exemption is not contrary to the ministerial orders of the Danish Ministry of Education.

An application for exemption must be submitted electronically via the exemption database: The Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs will obtain a recommendation from the Head of Studies for the study programme for each application.

Head of studies

Salla Marjukka Laasonen
Academic Director, PhD
DTU Learn for Life
+45 93 51 09 30
21 JULY 2024