iPoint Blog
Four Fit-For-Future Bachelor Programs in Europe

Four Fit-For-Future Bachelor Programs in Europe

Remember the time when you struggled to find the right program of study? Or have you just finished high school recently and are now searching for a university career that suits you? The task before you seems almost beyond your capacities? Calm down. Here are four bachelor degrees that matter.

On the one hand, you are right. Prospective students have never been confronted with such a large variety of study programs as they are today. Scientific and business communities have reached a degree of specialization never seen before. On the other hand, it has never been as easy as it is today to move around the globe. The current degree of mobility is high and the number of exchange programs and grants to study abroad is impressive. And basically, bachelor programs taught in English can be found anywhere. So don’t panic…

In addition to these two developments, I have a third to highlight, a point that should drastically reduce the number of professionally interesting study programs, and hence drastically reduce your difficulties in finding the right one. As I pointed out in my recent article on the carbon tax, the oil era has a limited lifespan. This implies a change in technology, as well as a paradigm shift in education.

I reckon you should think about the future, not only because we all share a responsibility for our planet and for future generations, but also because you will have finished your education in the future. Assuming that fit for the future means beyond the oil age – and thus beyond wasting scarce resources and beyond consuming an unlimited amount of energy – which study programs are left?

To give you an idea of the considerable number of bachelor programs in sustainability now available, try a quick online search for the following terms (adding “bachelor”, of course):

  • resource efficiency
  • environmental management
  • industrial ecology
  • global governance

Taking into consideration the complexity of the challenges mankind faces today, most of the sustainability study programs are interdisciplinary. What does that mean, “interdisciplinary”? It means these programs seek wide-angled analyses from various perspectives. The idea is to combine economic, ecologic, technical and social points of view.

As promised in the title, here are the four programs I guarantee to be future-proof:

Resource Efficiency Management

This promising bachelor program takes 7 semesters (three and a half years). It is offered by the University of Pforzheim, in Germany’s city of the same name located between Frankfurt and Zürich. What does Resource Efficiency Management deal with?

You will learn the efficient management of energetic and material resources in the production sector, which potentials exist and what that means for the environment AND the company. You will learn important analyses and evaluation methods that will become highly relevant in business. In addition to acquiring knowledge in general business administration you will learn to think conceptually, to control processes and to take over leading management functions.

Find the study program, career perspectives and more details at the Institute for Industrial Ecology in Pforzheim.

Business Engineering – Sustainable Energy Systems

Lucerne is a small, beautiful town in Switzerland. The bachelor takes 6 semesters. This is what the University of Lucerne says about it:

Sustainability is central to the future plans of governments, companies and civil authorities alike. This is especially true when it comes to energy, the driver of growth for the past hundred years. When looking to cover our energy needs we are all increasingly faced with the challenge of addressing social solidarity, environmental responsibility and economic capacity; whether it may be on a local or a global level. Faced with these challenges for survival, mankind is standing at a crossroads.

Look at these sites for the curriculum and a general description here.

Energy, Climate and Sustainability

This study field is offered at Amsterdam University College. AUC is a joint venture of two universities in Amsterdam and follows a more academically elite approach:

The AUC programme challenges you from day one to think and debate about the ‘big questions’ in science and society. You will engage on a daily basis in intensive and small-scale seminars with high calibre international staff.

Find all the details on the AUC website.

Environmental Resource Management

You are a sea type of person? Study by the coast! Esbjerg is a small student-town in Denmark, located by the North Sea. Its University of Southern Denmark offers an international bachelor program that puts emphasis on the interdisciplinary aspect:

Environmental Resource Management consists of equal parts social science and technology/natural science, allowing you to get the best from both worlds in one education. You will learn to understand the extent and reasons for environmental problems. And you receive a broad interdisciplinary knowledge of the relations and conflicts between nature, environment, society and economy. This enables you to develop durable, environmentally viable solutions that appeal to different interest groups.

Find more information here and read the student testimonials.

These are four great programs from across Europe. However, if you’d rather search for an environmental management course in the US, the following article may help: Top 10 Environmental Policy and Management Programs.

If you know of an important bachelor degree program that is missing, or of a new one that has been introduced, feel free to add a comment below. We always appreciate feedback!

Master Programs?

Don’t miss the related knowtheflow-article Europe’s 10 Most Verbiage-Free Master Programs in Sustainability

The article image is showing a studying astronaut, and it was edited by Moritz Buehner. The original NASA image shows the Hubble astronaut John Grunsfeld walking in space.

Europe’s 10 Most Verbiage-Free Master Programs in Sustainability



  • Thanks Moritz,
    In terms of inter-disciplinarity and focus on sustainability sciences I would like to mention the Leuphana Bachelor offered by Leuphana University in the small town of Lüneburg in Northern Germany. The Bachelor includes sustainability within all curricula starting with the first semester. Unique for this program is that “students choose one out of nine majors (area of specialization) and combine their major with one of 16 minors (secondary field of study). With more than 70 possible combinations, you can tailor your studies to your individual interests, talents, and goals. Check out http://www.leuphana.de/en/college/bachelor.html

    • That sounds really interesting! Are all of the majors and minors available in English?

      • In principle they want to have all programmes available in English, but I’m not sure if they are already there. So my recommendation would be to ask this question for the specific majors and minor before applying. I heard something like: in the moment a english speaking student registers the subject will be offered in English, but this is without guarantee!

  • If you’re a “sea type”, another possible, and very pleasant, place to study is in Blekinge, Sweden. The one year Master’s programme in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability at Blekinge Institute of Technology is a useful little extension of your qualifications if you’ve already got a bachelor’s under your belt and you’re interested in the suasion side of decision making for sustainability. The url is: http://edu.bth.se/utbildning/utb_program.asp?PtKod=SLASL12h1&lang=en