Grades and Disciplines

The program’s discipline grid has six (06) mandatory disciplines and eighteen (18) elective disciplines, whose individual offer will depend on the profile of the classes. Compulsory disciplines add up to 18 credits (3 credits each) and the master’s student must take 12 credits in elective disciplines.

Compulsory Subjects

Sustainability I

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Historic; From Sustainable Development to Sustainability Science; Basic concepts; Systemic Approach; Natural Systems; Human Systems; Interaction of Natural and Human Systems; Gaia Theory and other simplified representations; Complex Adaptive Socioecological Systems and other sophisticated representations; Population growth, consumption patterns, demand for energy, demand for food, demand for land, violent conflict, poverty and inequality, global climate change, loss of biodiversity, Loss of Environmental Services; Degradation of the Oceans; Planetary Carrying Capacity; Sustainability values, attitudes, choices and ethical issues; Analytical Methods; Construction and analysis of scenarios, risk assessment, integrated assessment; Introduction to models: structure, agents, complexity; Interactions at various scales; Limits and critical points; Participatory approaches, Decision Support Systems, Geographic Information Systems; Sustainability Measures and Indicators; Human Development Index and Millennium Goals; Interventions, regulation, economic incentives and information; Stabilizing the population; Managing consumption patterns; Poverty and inequality reduction; Sustainable intensification of agriculture and food security; Sustainable cities; Biodiversity Conservation, Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change.

Sustainability II

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Development history of sustainability indicators; Sustainability indicators versus traditional indicators; Measurement of complex systems (challenges and risks); Measurements and indicators in natural systems; Measures and indicators in human systems; Global development sustainability indicators; Country development indicators; Indicators in development projects (in different countries, different sectors); Private sector and indicators (corporate social responsibility, greenwash); Sustainability matrices and sustainability indexes; In addition to indicators for development – indicators in Sustainability Science; Assessment of Sustainability in practice (practice in class).

Introduction to Socioecological Systems

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Concept of socioecological systems; Biodiversity, climate, water crises; Impacts and vulnerabilities of socioecological systems; Governance options; Ostrom’s model of commons management and polycentric governance; Participatory decision processes; Introduction to the concept of rights-based approach; Concept of adaptation to climate change; Adaptive management.

Introduction to Sociotechnological Systems

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Concept of socio-technological systems; Transition to sustainability; Impacts and vulnerabilities of socio-technological systems; Trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation; Sectoral technological innovations aimed at the transition to low-carbon; Innovations and carbon in energy, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure.

Science-Decision-Making Interface

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Science and politics in postmodernism; Actors and sectors involved in environmental policies: government, corporations, NGOs, academia, social movements, and civil society; Science communication – decision making; Information deficit model vs. power dynamics model; Interface objects: IPCC, IPBES, PBMC, BPBES, Scientific societies; The Policy Cycle; Sectoral policies, integrated policies, policy mix; Instruments, tools and methodologies applied to the policy focused on sustainability; Biodiversity and environmental services combined with poverty reduction; Global environmental agreements and policies: climate, biodiversity, desertification, sustainable development; Regional agreements and policies.

Project management

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Initial concepts and discussion about the importance of project management; Fundamentals of Project Management; Areas of knowledge in project management; Concepts and differences between Project, Program and Portfolio; Identifying problems in projects; Project Management Structure: life cycle, project phases and process groups; Good Practices in Project Management according to the Project Management Institute (PMI); Introduction to the PMBOK–PMI knowledge areas (scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communication, risks, procurement, stakeholders and integration); Presentation of Case Studies of sustainability projects; Sustainability in project management.

Elective courses

Content Subjects

Global Environmental Changes

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Local and global water cycles; Local and global air cycles; Climate changes; National and international interventions for climate change; transboundary pollution; Changes in land cover and use.

Sustainable Development Goals

Workload (30hrs) • Credits (2)
Concept and indicators of sustainable development; Sustainability concept and indicators; Concept and indicators of poverty, hunger, well-being, economic growth, nature conservation, clean energy, sanitation; Studies of trade-offs and synergies between environmental, social and economic actions.

Conservation and Restoration of Biodiversity

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
What is conservation and restoration of biodiversity; Basic concepts on conservation and restoration of biodiversity linked areas of knowledge; Multiple benefits: incorporating social and economic aspects; Economics of conservation and restoration; How to gain scale and how to reconcile conservation and restoration actions with the increased demand for food; Spatial prioritization based on multicriteria approaches; Governance: the role of legal instruments and involvement of key actors; Application in public policies: national and international agreements and initiatives; Difficulties and challenges for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity.

Sustainable Agriculture

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Agroecology and Agroforests; Organic agriculture; Low Carbon Agriculture; Agriculture and Nature Conservation; Ecosystem Services and Agriculture; Function of soil and agricultural land for landscape functionality and sustainability; Practical subsidies for better land use; The rural producer and sustainability (social aspects of large and small scale production).

Sustainable Cities

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Concept of city and urban areas; Concept of infrastructure, including green infrastructure; Concept of natural disasters; Concept of teleconnections; Analysis of urban green coverage; Urban afforestation, landscape and well-being; The C40: Cities at the Climate Convention; Biodiversity in cities; Smart-cities: low-carbon governance.

Sustainable Technologies

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
The course offers an introduction to the most relevant concepts of Industrial Ecology with an emphasis on understanding technical, economic, social and ecological interactions. Course content will cover industrial ecology, life cycle analysis and cleaner production. Based on this theoretical concept, the main challenges to the sustainability of innovative technologies aimed at energy production and basic sanitation are presented, as well as the use of intelligent monitoring systems in the search for better efficiency in food and consumer goods production processes.
Specific contents covered by the discipline:
-Industrial Ecology: history and models; Industrial ecology in developing countries;
-Technology and Ecosystems: main global environmental threats (substances, sources and impacts). Global climate change, acidification, eutrophication, priority pollutants, biodiversity, water supply and deforestation;
-Cleaner production: history, models and applications;
-Energy production: biofuels, solar, wind and tidal;
-Basic sanitation: innovative systems for treating water, domestic and industrial effluents; nutrient recycling and energy production;
-Intelligent Monitoring Systems: history and applications in reducing energy consumption, detecting leaks and maximizing resources.

Economics of Sustainability

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Introduction: basic concepts; what is ecological economics; Comparison between ecological economics and neoclassical economics; Economic growth and the environment – current issues; Indicators; Ecosystem services and environmental services; Valuation of ecosystem services; Economic Tools for conservation and restoration (certification, PES, REDD+, taxes and ecological incentives, etc.); Ecological Economics as Public Policy; The Ecological Economy in Brazil and in the World; The green economy and sustainability – long-term expectations.

Sustainability Policy

Workload (30hrs) • Credits (2)
Introduction to political science; History of the environmentalist, developmentalist movements, and the meeting of these movements in sustainability; Global agreements focused on sustainability; The Policy Cycle; Sectoral policies, integrated policies, policy mix; Case studies of global, national, sub-national, community and domestic policies.

Social and Environmental Metabolism

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
The emergence of the concept of socio-environmental metabolism; Historical applications; The processes of energy and matter exchange between humans and nature; Socio-environmental metabolism and its application in the study of societies; The processes of transformation, circulation, storage, consumption, excretion of matter and energy; Territorial cost, socioeconomic systems and sustainable societies; Research scales: local, regional, national, global. Models and practical applications.

Environmental Law

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Emergence and transformations of Environmental Law: environmental crisis and legal reaction; anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric paradigms; transindividuality of the right to an ecologically balanced environment; concept and aspects of the environment; historicalnormative context of the dimensions (generations) of fundamental (human) rights; Environment in the Constitution of the Republic of 1988: constitutional protection of the environment; greening of the Constitution; fundamental right-duty to the environment; state duty to protect the environment
environment; The socio-environmental rule of law: characteristics, fundamentals and criticisms; Principles and foundations of Environmental Law: importance and role of the guiding principles of Environmental Law; terminological differences and in the identification of principles; Jurisprudence on environmental matters: study of reference cases.

Indigenous and Traditional Peoples

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Conceptualization of indigenous peoples and traditional peoples; Indigenous peoples, quilombolas, caiçaras, immigrants; History and cultures of indigenous and traditional Brazilian peoples; Demography, territories, rights and conflicts; The relationship between biodiversity and the diversity of languages; IPBES: combining scientific knowledge with indigenous and traditional knowledge.

Corporate Sustainability

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Sustainable development and implications for the business environment; Shareholder Theory; Stakeholder Theory; Triple Bottom Line; Corporate responsibility, sustainability and competitiveness; Creating Shared Value; Sustainability and implications for the value of companies; ESG aspects; Sustainability in business strategies and practices; Dialogue and engagement with stakeholders; Sustainability in value chains; Governance for Sustainability; Entrepreneurship and innovation for sustainability; Diagnosis and strategic recommendations for sustainability (practical case).

Fundamentals and Practices of the Dialogue for Sustainability

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Conceptual aspects, perception of oneself and the other, dialogue as a relational attitude: Dialogue, Social Construction of Reality and the role of Language, Non-Violent Communication (online module). Practical aspects, multistakeholder dialogue experiences: Dialogical Organizational Development (diagnostic X dialogical mindset), Dialogical Methodologies, Dialogue and Sustainability, Stakeholder Engagement (face-to-face module with the possibility of field trips and/or presence of guests to experience dialogic methodologies).

Tools Subjects

Topics in Remote Sensing and Geoprocessing Applied to Sustainability

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Concepts of geoprocessing and remote sensing (types of data in geoinformation, types of representation). Acquisition of data by remote sensing, spatial, temporal and spectral resolution, digital elevation models, vegetation indices. Main sources of remote sensing data (national and global databases); Concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS): general structure of a GIS, examples of most used GIS and applications. How to integrate different information and from different sources in GIS; Cartography for geoprocessing: cartographic projections, land models, scale, thematic cartography (map layout and better representation); Main spatial analysis techniques (map algebra, multicriteria analysis, continuous maps); Geoprocessing and territorial management: thematic mapping, environmental diagnosis, environmental zoning, environmental impact assessment; Environmental legislation: geoprocessing techniques for identifying areas of permanent preservation and analyzes of the Rural Environmental Registry; Online remote sensing tools: google engine, use of drones in agricultural productivity and applied to monitoring phenology; Construction of sustainability indicators (spatial indices).

Rights Based Approach (RBA)

Workload (45hrs) • Credits (3)
Conceptualization of the Rights-Based Approach and its historical evolution; Convergences and divergences between (sustainable) development and rights; Empowerment mechanisms vs. command-and-control mechanisms; The principle of inclusion and standards of equality and non-discrimination; Tools for inserting the principle of inclusion in actions aimed at sustainability; The principle of participation and its relation to political and civil rights; Tools for inserting the principle of participation in actions aimed at sustainability; The principle of accountability and mechanisms for guaranteeing rights; Tools for inserting the principle of accountability in actions aimed at sustainability; The adoption of RBA in multilaterals, bilaterals and NGOs.

Important Information

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.