Student-Led Education for a Better World

The education at CEMUS gives you the opportunity to study a wide range of courses within the environment, development and sustainability field. Our transdisciplinary courses aim to complement other courses at Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. They are built on a close collaboration between students, course coordinators, teachers, researchers, university administrators and societal actors.

Course pages for current and future students

For the latest course information autumn 2018 (schedule, literature and more) see courses further down. For all general study-related questions, contact Study Counselor at

Höstterminen 2018 – Autumn 2018

Hållbar utveckling A, 30 hp
HUAVad innebär hållbar utveckling i både teori och praktik? Vilka strategier och metoder kan användas för att skapa en hållbar samhällsutveckling? Hur skiljer sig den vetenskapliga förståelsen av hållbar utveckling från den allmänna, massmediala bilden av hållbarhetsproblematiken? Hur kan man arbeta med och för hållbar utveckling?
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Global miljöhistoria, 7.5 hp
GMHVad kan samtiden lära av mänsklighetens långa historia och dess relation till den omgivande miljön? Hur kan en miljöhistorisk förståelse bidra i det praktiska arbetet för en hållbar framtid? Med utgångspunkt i samspelet mellan människa och natur ger kursen ett historiskt djup till dagens hållbarhetsproblematik och de senaste decenniernas diskussion om hur problematiken kan hanteras.
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Klimatet, energin och det moderna samhället, 7.5 hp
KEPå vilka sätt kan samhället minska utsläppen av växthusgaser och samtidigt anpassa sig till ett förändrat klimat? Hur kan världens allt mer svårtillgängliga resurser fördelas på ett rättvist sätt? Hur kan olika tekniska och sociala innovationer inom klimat- och energiområdet bidra till en omställning till ett hållbart samhälle?
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Master Programme in Sustainable Development
CEMUS is responsible for three course within the programme: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Science, 5 credits (Autumn), Sustainable Development – Worldviews and Visions – A Seminar Series, 5 credits (Autumn), and Sustainable Development – Worldviews and Discourses – A Seminar Series, 5 credits (Spring).
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Global Challenges and Sustainable Futures, 7.5 credits
GCSFWhat are the challenges facing humanity today and in the future? How can we create and rediscover sustainable ways of living on this planet? With accelerating trends such as climate change, water scarcity, energy depletion, social injustice, economic crisis, resource wars and other challenges, there is a growing need for sustainable alternatives.
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Critical Perspectives on Sustainable Development in Sweden, 7.5 credits
SDSWESweden is often portrayed as a world leader within the sustainability field, but does Sweden live up to that image? Which Swedish examples can serve as inspiration and a model for sustainability on a global level? Sweden has a positive image internationally, particularly when it comes to sustainable development. This course is designed to concretely examine this image of Sweden by taking a closer, critical look at how Sweden has worked with sustainable development historically and how well current initiatives can serve as a model for sustainability on a global level.
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The Global Economy – Environment, Development and Globalisation, 15 credits
GECWhat is the real wealth of nations? How is the global economic system performing under increasing ecological and social pressures? Which institutions and actors have the best opportunities to work towards building desirable and sustainable economies? The course aims to present a variety of theoretical perspectives on issues of political economy in the context of sustainable development.
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Sustainable Development – Project Management and Communication, 15 credits
SDPMCDo you want do a sustainability project, reach others and change the world? Then this is a course for you! The students carry out a local project in international and interdisciplinary groups that in one way or another aims to contribute to sustainable development.
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Climate Change Leadership in Practice, 30 credits
CCLIPWhat would a climate change leadership in practice look in different contexts and places in the world? How can you as a student initiate and lead processes that mitigates emissions and adapts societies to a changing climate? The course starts with an intense first part in Uppsala where specially invited guest teachers and the Zennström visiting professor in Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University, combined with interactive workshops, gives you a background on the complexity of the issues as well as inspiration for what you can work on during the course.
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Vårterminen 2019 – Spring 2019

Hållbar utveckling B, 30 hp
Den här kursen vänder sig till studenter som läst Hållbar utveckling A vid CEMUS eller motsvarande kurser vid annan institution. Kursen består av fem obligatoriska delkurser: Förändringsprocesser – ledarskap, kommunikation och organisation 6 hp, Tvärvetenskapliga och historiska perspektiv på värderingar, världsbilder och visioner 6 hp, Ekologiska, ekonomiska, sociala och kulturella perspektiv på teknik 6 hp, Livsfilosofiska perspektiv på individ, samhälle, miljö och utveckling 6 hp, samt B-uppsats 6 hp.
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Hållbar utveckling – värderingar, världsbilder och visioner, 15 hp
Vilken roll kan synliggörandet av dolda värderingar, världsbilder, visioner spela i arbetet för en hållbar utveckling? Vilka ohållbara samhälleliga, kulturella faktorer har genom historien lett fram till dagens hållbarhetsproblematik? Och hur kan en akademisk diskussion och dialog om världens tillstånd leda till samhällsförändring?
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Teknik, makt och mänsklighetens framtid, 7.5 hp
På vilka sätt kan tekniska innovationer bidra i arbetet med och för hållbar utveckling? Vilka teknologiska och mänskliga framtidsscenarier är sannolika och önskvärda?
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Livsfilosofi och det moderna samhället, 7.5 hp
Hur kombinerar man det goda livet med ett ansvar för världen och dess överlevnad? Vad kan olika livsfilosofier och livsstilar i andra kulturer och ur historien lära oss om människan och vår samtid? Vilken roll har individen i dessa tider av kriser, komplexitet och ständiga förändringar?
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Master Programme in Sustainable Development
CEMUS is responsible for three course within the programme: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Science, 5 credits (Autumn), Sustainable Development – Worldviews and Visions – A Seminar Series, 5 credits (Autumn), and Sustainable Development – Worldviews and Discourses – A Seminar Series, 5 credits (Spring).
Read more »

Actors and Strategies for Change – Towards Global Sustainabilities, 7.5 credits
With a growing number of unsustainable environmental, economic and social trends, how can different actors work for sustainable alternatives? How can we develop capacities, strategies and tactics that achieve lasting and real changes in the local and global world?
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Sustainable Design – Ecology, Culture and Human Built Worlds, 7.5 credits
How can an interdisciplinary approach to design unlock new creativity and beauty? How can different design solutions in nature serve as a model for new human made designs? And what are the limits of human ingenuity and creative design?
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Climate Change Leadership – Power, Politics and Culture, 15 credits
Climate change leadership is often mentioned in both news media and by politicians themselves, but what does it really entail? What kind of knowledge and skills define a climate change leader and how can they be learned? What kind of political, cultural and psychological resources are lacking in present initiatives?
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Sustainable Development – Project Management and Communication, 15 credits
Do you want do a sustainability project, reach others and change the world? Then this is a course for you! This course gives you an introduction to project management models for working with sustainable development that combine different practical and creative tools in planning, implementation, communication and evaluation. The course is designed for students that independently want to plan and implement a project idea that contributes to a sustainable development.
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CEMUS Educational Model – Student-Led Education

“If still more education is to save us, it would have to be education of a different kind: an education that takes us into the depth of things”

E.F. SchumacherOur model puts the student at the center of the educational process and has four important components:

Kursamanuenser – Course Coordinators
Students are employed by CEMUS as course coordinators. They plan, run, and evaluate university courses at the undergraduate and graduete level. The syllabus and learning outcomes are developed and solidified through a collaborative process involving students and university staff. Based on this, course coordinators plan the general structure of the course, create a reading list, invite guest lecturers, lead seminars, and handle course administration. Partnered coordinators are often selected from different academic backgrounds and tend to work on a course that they have both previously taken.

Kursarbetsgrupper – Course Work Groups
A reference group is formed for each course. It consists of researchers, teachers, and often practitioners from fields relevant to the course. Working closely with course coordinators, this group suggests literature and possible lecturers and gives feedback on the proposed course structure and schedule. The work group is also responsible for examination.

Gästföreläsare – Guest Lecturers
A lecture series is the backbone of CEMUS courses. Course coordinators invite the most knowledgable and intresting practitioners and academics from different fields, often from other universities and sometimes from other countries, to give guest lectures and facilitate discussions.

Utbildningens Ledningsgrupp – Educational Management Team
The educational management team provides administrative, pedagogical, and practical support to the course coordinators in their daily work while overseeing the long-term development of CEMUS. The group includes the CEMUS and CSD Uppsala Director of Studies and CEMUS Educational Coordinators, which all have a background and experience of student led education at CEMUS.

CEMUS Educational ModelNorway2006-big
Study trip to Bø, Norway with Per Ingvar Haukeland 2006

Spring semester start-up lecture by professor Bengt Gustafsson 2014


Pedagogical Development Projects

Sustainability Case Library
How can we create a space for active learning, where students apply their knowledge to real world problems and develop critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills? A case is a real or constructed scenario that involves issues and conflicts that need to be resolved, though they usually do not have one clear or obvious solution. They may contain a description of the scenario as well as relevant background information such as graphs, stories or historical documents. Real or constructed cases are already used for teaching and learning within in the fields of law, economics and social sciences, but are not widely used within education for sustainable development. Cases can be used to shift focus from sustainability problems to solutions and strategies for a sustainable development.Read more at: Sustainability Case Library

Participatory Learning and Active Teaching Methods
Is a pedagogical project by Malin Östman at CEMUS, with funding from the Pedagogical Renewal Fund at the Faculty of Science and Technology. The project aims to increase and develop new participatory methods of learning and teaching within the Master Programme in Sustainable Development at Uppsala University and SLU. Learn more by clicking the poster below.


Active Student Participation at Uppsala University
The Project “Development of Active Student Participation at Uppsala University” started at the beginning of 2014. The project aims to develop already existing initiatives with student participation should have been further developed and spread experiences from these initiatives across the university, try out new initiatives in environments that has not before had student participation, and suggest forms for support to students and teachers that wants to develop student participation.Read more about the project and resources on Active Student Participation:


Read more about CEMUS Education

OG2010Över gränserna – Om CEMUS utbildning för förändring
Centrum för miljö- och utvecklingsstudier, CEMUS, är något så ovanligt som ett studentinitierat och studentdrivet universitetscentrum med den uttalade målsättningen att bidra till en bättre värld. I över 15 år har CEMUS erbjudit tvärvetenskaplig utbildning och en kreativ mötesplats för studenter, doktorander, forskare och lärare vid Uppsalas båda universitet. I denna antologi reflekterar tolv CEMUS-anknutna studenter, lärare och forskare över verksamhetens framväxt, grundtankar, utmaningar och framtidsutsikter. Boken ger både möjlighet till kritisk reflektion och inspiration för nuvarande anställda och studenter, liksom andra med intresse för utbildning för hållbar utveckling och Cemus modell. Ladda ner boken här: Över gränserna – Om CEMUS utbildning för förändring

TB2011Transcending Boundaries – How CEMUS is Changing How we Teach, Meet and Learn
Can the experiences gained at CEMUS somehow be converted to expand ongoing debates? Can these experiences be shared and spread to universities in other parts of the world? How should the university be changed? What is education for? How will CEMUS continue to contribute to a sustainable and just society? An anthology written by students, researchers, and teachers aims to answer, in some ways, the questions raised above. It also serves as a source of inspiration and motivation for teachers, university management, administrators, the public, and other actors with an interest in education for sustainable development. The book can be downloaded here: Transcending Boundaries – How CEMUS is Changing How we Teach, Meet and Learn

The CEMUS Project – Lessons for Oberlin?
Blog post and comment by Steven Volk from Oberling College on CEMUS and the relevance for liberal arts education.Read more here: The CEMUS Project – Lessons for Oberlin?

Igniting a Learning Revolution: Student-Run Higher Education for Sustainable Development

“Making a switch to sustainable development requires deep, structural transformation in our economic, cultural, and technological systems. We need new ways of interpreting, analyzing, and understanding the world, and we need new tools to help us deal with tumultuous changes and an uncertain future. If higher education is to play a meaningful role in this undertaking, then we will need to reshape its institutions, pedagogy, and organization.”

Stoddard, Rieser, Andersson & Friman

Read more in the Solutions Magazine article here: Igniting a Learning Revolution: Student-Run Higher Education for Sustainable Development