Qualification N

The Sustainability Certificate at the University of Konstanz

Climate change, resource scarcity, social injustice and a crisis-ridden economic system are just a few of the central and complex challenges of our times. Students are the multipliers and decision-makers of tomorrow, who through the sustainability certificate are empowered to reflect critically on and deal with complex concepts of sustainable development in order to make conscious, responsible and viable decisions.

The University of Konstanz has set itself the objective of systematically integrating the broader topic of sustainability into university study using a training programme on sustainable development. The Sustainability Certificate creates a framework that allows students of all subjects to engage in a process of interdisciplinary exchange. On the basis of current research, students discuss sustainability topics and develop social and individual problem-solving approaches. At the end of the curriculum, students are awarded a certificate as a valuable addition to their CV.

Qualification N is based on the idea of “learning - doing - networking”. In the area of teaching, the curriculum includes one-time thematic seminars and foundation courses each semester. The courses eligible for ECTS credits can also be recognized as transferable skills. Apart from teaching academic know-how, the focus lies on applying the knowledge learned and transferring it to concrete projects. Students apply their know-how in a practical project that fosters their creative skills. Accompanying network meetings give them an opportunity to initiate and further develop sustainable development processes together with others. The curriculum ends with the publicly accessible documentation of the project and its presentation before an audience.

Requirements for earning the certificate:

  • Participation in the basic seminar “Introduction to Qualification N” (previously: Fundamentals of Sustainability)
  • Participation in at least three courses and achievement of 9 ECTS credits
  • Planning, implementation and documentation of a project
  • Participation in the supporting programme: Get together – Sustainability


In nine different areas of activity, students discuss sustainability topics and develop social and individual problem-solving approaches on the basis of current research.

The Sustainability Certificate, which was launched in the 2017/18 winter semester, is an initial starting point from which the sustainability curriculum will be further developed in the future in cooperation with the departments.


Would you like to launch a practical project?

In your practical project, you can really dig into the topic of sustainability. You can implement the project on your own, but also in a group. Think up a short and catchy name that people will associate with your project, then off you go!

The project should solve an existing problem. You can also explore who is affected and the causes of the problem. Think too about the extent to which the project relates to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and whether the project is compatible with the 3-nested dependencies model of sustainability. Do problem-solving approaches already exist and are there any links to current projects? Do they overlap or could they even function as a starting point?

We also ask you to formulate various project goals: What do you want to achieve over the course of the project? What structures do you want to set up for this?
In this respect, make sure that you always keep track of your activities and your time schedule. A financial plan will also help you to organize your project.
For additional support, it is worthwhile to look for an external project partner who can supervise your project and give you practical tips or a playing field to implement your project.

We naturally also want you to tell us where you see the greatest challenges and obstacles for your project’s successful implementation. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time!


Get together – Qualification N!

The objective of Qualification N is to stimulate joint projects.
January 2018 saw the start of networking activities in the framework of Qualification N. The setting up of a peer-to-peer network is financed from funds provided by the state of Baden-Württemberg via the campusWELTbewerb competition. finep (forum für internationale entwicklung + planung) is responsible for supervising the competition. The Green Office and the Centre for Transferable Skills thank them for their support.

The network meetings are a place to develop project ideas and find fellow protagonists, whereby each network meeting has a different thematic focus and takes place at a special location in or around Konstanz. For more inspiration on topics in the area of sustainable development, we can put you in touch with experts and non-university institutions.

You can find the times and dates of the network meetings in our calendar!