MSE Master of Science in Engineering

The Swiss engineering master's degree

Each module contains 3 ECTS. You choose a total of 10 modules/30 ECTS in the following module categories: 

  • 12-15 ECTS in technical scientific modules (TSM)
    TSM modules teach profile-specific specialist skills and supplement the decentralised specialisation modules.
  • 9-12 ECTS in fundamental theoretical principles modules (FTP)
    FTP modules deal with theoretical fundamentals such as higher mathematics, physics, information theory, chemistry, etc. They will teach more detailed, abstract scientific knowledge and help you to bridge the gap between abstraction and application that is so important for innovation.
  • 6-9 ECTS in context modules (CM)
    CM modules will impart additional skills in areas such as technology management, business administration, communication, project management, patent law, contract law, etc.

In the module description (download pdf) you find the entire language information per module divided into the following categories:

  • instruction
  • documentation
  • examination 
Sustainable Development (CM_SustDev)

Sustainable development is essential for many parts of modern society. This module provides an overview of the history of sustainable development, of established concepts, as well as of relevant initiatives and organisations globally and in Switzerland. Further, methodologies and tools are introduced for engineers to contribute to sustainable development on a technical level. Students learn the fields of application of the various methods as well as their strengths and weaknesses. They learn to apply the tools to analyze and improve the ecological performance of products and industrial processes.

Learning Objectives

The students ...

  • can define the term sustainable development and related concepts and know their similarities and differences as well as their history.
  • understand the national and international debates, agendas and policy approaches to sustainable development and are able to consider what they mean in the context of their own field of study.
  • are able to identify the roles of important stakeholders in sustainable development decision making.
  • are able to analyze the implications of sustainable development for organizations, their executives and employees. Based on cases from various sectors, students are able to develop suitable strategies for action.
  • understand what they personally can do to become more socially and environmentally responsible in their future professional and personal lives.
  • know and understand different technical concepts to achieve a sustainable economy, sustainable business models and sustainable product design.
  • know the most relevant tools for technical sustainability analysis and ecodesign, their fields of applications, strengths and weaknesses.
  • are able to select the appropriate methods and tools when confronted with a specific technical sustainability problem.
  • are able to interpret results generated with these methods and derive system optimizations.
  • are able to identify, analyze and discuss sustainability-related challenges and issues and to develop problem-oriented solutions.
  • are able to communicate and enact these solutions confidently and effectively.

Contents of Module

  • The global challenge of sustainability. Climate change, the end of the fossil age, planetary boundaries, global footprint.
  • Sustainable development goals and their implications, other concepts. 
  • Organisations, political panels and global structure regarding sustainability and climate change, international negotiations and concepts (e.g. Paris agreement).
  • Business concepts and examples of sustainability (Dyllick, GRI, Global Compact etc.)
  • National aspects for the transformation (decarbonisation) of the existing building stock and related infrastructure
  • Technical concepts to achieve a sustainable economy (industrial ecology, circular economy, etc.)
  • Theory and practice of sustainability analysis and ecodesign methodologies and tools (substance flow analysis, life cycle assessment, a.o.)

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • Lectures
  • Exercises
  • Group discussion
  • Moderated plenary discussion
  • Post-decision case studies
  • Guest speaker
  • Reflective paper


Global challenge

  • Come on, A Report to the Club of Rome; E.U. von Weizs├Ącker 2017
  • Haski-Leventhal, D. (2018): Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Tools and Theories for Responsible Management; Los Angeles: SAGE
  • Sachs, J. D. (2015): The Age of Sustainable Development; New York: Columbia University Press.

Concepts and tools

Download full module description