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Area Study Sustainability Netherlands


Admission requirements

This course is part of the Minor Sustainable Development. To take part in the course Area Study Sustainability, students must have followed the previous courses Big Issues New Answers and Sustainability in Practice.


In this course you will explore a real-world and current sustainability challenge in a local city. In groups you will analyse the problem, its solutions and the factors that obstruct these solutions. This course gives ownership to the students in structuring the course and stimulates creative and critical thinking and dealing with complex issues. The Area Study will enable you to put into practice the theories and methods you have learned in class.

In groups, you will continue working on the project which you developed a proposal for in the Sustainability in Practice course. You will investigate a real and current question commissioned by your client by executing the research plan established in the proposal, and therefore provide the client with recommendations on how they can achieve their sustainability goals.


The course runs from 8 January – 2 February 2024. Exact timing of the course, and programme details will be announced via Brightspace. Dates might change.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login).

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

The main component of the course is the interdisciplinary group work, which is crucial to resolving sustainability challenges. There will also be lectures and workshops to provide additional content regarding the themes under study, field trips to provide context and opportunities for discussion.

All scheduled components of the course are compulsory. Students can miss one day without penalty if there is a justified reason. Points will be deducted from the individual final grade for the course if absences are not justified.

Assessment Method

Students will write a comprehensive consultancy report and present their findings in a final presentation on 2 February. Furthermore, each group will present their ongoing progress in 3 progress presentations prior to the final presentations.

The score for this course is comprised in:

  • Consultancy report to the project's commissioners (80%)

  • Group presentation (20%)


For students of Leiden University registration is possible from May 8th until July 15.
From 2023 onwards, registration for minors will be done via eduXchange. In March 2023 you will find an instruction video on this page demonstrating how to use eduXchange.
Should you have any questions regarding the registration, please reach out to


Students are enrolled in Brightspace. All the lecture notes, announcements, the schedule, assignments, etc. can be found there.