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Area Study Sustainability Netherlands


Admission requirements

To take part in Area Study Sustainability Netherlands, students should be registered in the minor Sustainable Development and must have followed the previous course Sustainable Development: Big Issues New Answers and must have succesfully completed 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.

Course objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Convert your research proposal (from the Sustainability in Practice course) into an actionable research project.

  • Identify how the knowledge and skills of your major program can contribute to managing and solving sustainability challenges.

  • Use multiple communication approaches to present research outcomes for different target audiences.

  • Implement innovative solutions to sustainability issues by applying a system perspective and sustainability theory in your interdisciplinary projects.


The course runs from 6 January – 7 February 2025. 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.

Mode of instruction

The main component of the course is the interdisciplinary group work, supplemented by content lectures, workshops, and group sessions (e.g., mid-term presentation, and peer-review sessions) to provide you with the necessary skills for developing your research proposal.

All scheduled components of the course (i.e., lectures, workshops, etc.) are to be considered compulsory. Students can miss one day without penalty if there is a justified reason. Points will be deducted from your final grade for the course if you miss more than one day as follows: for each day missed without justification, it will be deducted 0.5 points per day from your final grade. Since this is a full-time course, you are expected to work on the group report and/or (preparatory) assignments on non-contact days.

Assessment Method

Students will write a comprehensive consultancy report and present their findings in a final symposium on 31 January. Furthermore, each group will present their ongoing progress in a progress presentation prior to the final presentations.

The score for this course is comprised in:

  • Consultancy report to the project's commissioners (70%)

  • Group presentation (30%)


Registration for the minor Sustainable Development opens on May 15 (13:00 hrs) via EduXchange.


Should you have any questions regarding the registration or the minor Sustainable Development in general, please reach out to


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