Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy (MSc)

Informations-Stand: 30/11/2017

Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy, SEEP (Master of Science)

The study is based on a variety of approaches: economic, sociological, ecological, political and law-based concepts. It is critical to neoclassical economics, focusing rather on ecological and institutional economics, but it does not majorly deal with the application of economic concepts (like conveying skills about specifying alternative models on wage lead profit regimes) – rather it tackles contemporary policy challenges from a socio-ecological point of view. Inputs and class sessions are mostly based on theoretical concepts and examples of policies, empirical courses are offered as well (statistical coursework or either agent-based modelling), but not explicitly econometrics. Concentration areas (students choose 2 out of 4), lasting from 2nd to 3rd term:

  • Environmental change and policy: non-orthodox approaches to environmental problems, social movements, different approaches to environmental valuation (environmental accounting, decoupling, systems modelling and scenario development)
  • Globalization and Multi Level Policy: Analysis of policy challenges on multi-structured levels (regional, national, supranational), including theories of power, legal concepts, governance issues. Examples are given by extractive industries, glyphosate debate, EU trade policies, public housing service, social innovation.
  • Globalization and Social Policy: 2nd term is an introduction to the field, about economics of social policy, challenges in a globalised condition and case studies selected by students (elaborated in a presentation and a little paper). 3rd term is entirely dedicated to write a scientific paper that should fulfill the requirements of getting published.
  • Population, Human Capital and Policy: overview and calculation of demographic indicators, data and methods, in the 3rd term simple projections of populations and human capital formation are conducted

Regelstudienzeit: 4 semesters (full-time)

Studienbeginn: Every winter term

Studienbeiträge/-gebühren und ggf. Stipendien: About 18€ for national student council, additionally 363,36€ for non-EU citizens, 726,72€ for non EWR citizens per semester


I appreciate SEEP for its critical thoughts that course material, teachers, and student debates have sparked in my mind. It offers room for good readings, methodological progress and insightful discussions while Vienna as educational hub offers lots of opportunities for exploring further interests attending diverse courses, participating in political groups or start-ups (like in the field of social innovation and sustainability). While the study programme tackles challenges rather on a policy than on an economic level the way of combining ecological and social issues is well incorporated. By taking up feedback from every cohort it can be seen as very a progressive studies programme, with a very unique atmosphere regarding the social activities among SEEPers that foster their group spirit and make the time of studying a joyful and intense one.

Andreas Lichtenberger, 5th Cohort

I will be honest to say that I started SEEP with mixed feelings. But as I’m writing I realize how happy and confident I feel about my choice. In short, I value SEEP for its students, contents and location. SEEP students are highly motivated, engaged and purpose driven; people I look forward to working with during SEEP courses and beyond. You will learn from their diverse personal, educational and professional backgrounds whilst sharing a passion to critically evaluate what underlies the multiple crises that we face and how we can address them. Following a general introduction into a large range of topics the program offers a diverse spectrum for specialization. This allows you to approach policy challenges on a more practical as well as deeply theoretical level, depending on your preferences and interests. The program is special in its attempt to bring together in-depth critical thinking with everyday activism and policy action. Finally, Vienna is a breeding ground for (Socio)-Ecological Economics and offers many opportunities to engage in diverse fields of political activism, new forms of business and start-ups and other academic programmes.

Mark de Hoop, 6th Cohort


Studien-Voraussetzungen: Students have very diverse backgrounds, individual profile matters. Formal criteria are about…

  • Relevant Bachelor’s program or other equivalent degree program (worth at least 180 ECTS credits). The Bachelor’s Program in Business, Economics, and Social Sciences at Vienna University of Economics and Business is considered relevant.
  • If you apply with an equivalent degree program, examinations have to be documented in the following subjects (a) Economics, worth a minimum of 16 ECTS credits OR (b) Social sciences, worth a minimum of 16 ECTS credits OR (c) Mathematics / statistics / quantitative methods, worth a minimum of 16 ECTS.

Nötige Bewerbungsunterlagen:

  • Language proficiency (e.g. English as native language, former Bachelor’s programme done in English, language test like TOEFL iBT with score of 100 and above, certificate from a language university department confirming a level of C1)
  • Proof of aptitude: two recommendation letters
  • Communication skills, interpersonal competencies, international orientation (these skills will be tested within the interview)
  • Curriculum vitae in English
  • Statement of motivation in English
  • Two relevant academic essays or other writing samples in English

Bewerbungs-Deadline: 3 priority deadlines…

  • 1st is October 8, 23:59 CET
  • 2nd is January 8, 23:59 CET
  • 3rd (last one) is March 8, 23:59 CET

Informationen zum Standort: University in Vienna (2nd district) with roughly 20,000 students (16,300 BA, 3,000 MA, 900 PhD – most of the students on campus are assigned to the field of business administration and management). Regarding non-mainstream aspects lecturers from the Economics and Socio-Economics department as well as from the research institute economics of inequality (INEQ) offer courses in ecological economics, development theory, institutional economics, Post-Keynesianism, evolutionary economics, etc.

MEHR INFORMATIONEN: Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU) | Vienna University of Economics and Business • Welthandelsplatz 1 • 1020 Wien (Österreich) • programme coordinator: Judith Kohlenberger ( – rather only for very official questions) • Infos zum Studiengang: sowie auf Facebook und in der SEEP Q&A group on Facebook • Tipp: Einfach mal bei der ortsansässigen Gesellschaft für Plurale Ökonomik Wien nach Erfahrungen fragen!

Psst… Veraltete Infos in der Beschreibung entdeckt? Oder Ergänzungen? Schreibt uns an!

01.04. über Zoom


Meme: Ein Mann liegt in einem Krankenhausbett und wird von einer Krankenschwester angesprochen. Text: Nurse: Sir... You've been in a coma Since 2008. Me: Wow, I can't wait to see how much the economics textbooks have changed.

Du bekommst genug Mails, aber unsere lohnen sich.

Jetzt zum pluralen Newsletter anmelden und alle zwei Monate Updates vom besten Netzwerk der Welt erhalten.