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41829-01 - Lecture with practical courses: Perspectives of Social Sciences on Sustainability 3 CP

Semester fall semester 2023
Course frequency Every fall sem.
Lecturers Basil Bornemann (, Assessor)
Content The course is offered within the scope of the program "Pathways to Sustainability" (formerly known as "Transfaculty Cross Section Program Sustainable Development/Transfakultäres Querschnittsprogramm TQNE":
The program consists of 3 introductory lectures with practical courses (lecture A and B are offered in fall semesters, C is offered in spring semesters) dedicated to conveying the foundations of sustainable development. An additional integration seminar (D, offered in spring semesters) engages with interdisciplinary work. The assignment and completion of D requires the successful completion of two lectures from the above mentioned lectures A, B and C.

This lecture with practical courses (lecture B) deals with the analysis of sustainability problems and problem solving from different social science perspectives. It seeks to clarify the prerequisites and conditions, as well as the possibilities and limits of dealing with sustainability problems and fostering societal transformations toward sustainability.
Food as an integration focus for the entire program is analyzed as a social, cultural and political phenomenon in relation to sustainable development: What can social sciences contribute to a differentiated understanding of food-related sustainability problems and their solutions? (e.g., land use and conflicts, common property resources; food production, food consumption and waste; food distribution and security; food governance and governing a sustainable food system etc.).

The class includes a weekly lecture and topic-specific practical courses: The lecture deals with systematic overview knowledge and a set of specific social science concepts, approaches and theories. The practical courses focus on empirical case studies and involves active student participation.

Learning objectives The lecture aims at the acquisition of the following competences:
- Professional competences: Students are familiar with selected social science perspectives (concepts, approaches and theories) relevant to the analysis of the link between sustainability and food. In addition, they have exemplary empirical knowledge on selected sustainability problems in the subject area of food and sustainability.
- Methodological competences: Students are able to develop and apply strategies and techniques for the research and structuring of information. They are also able to apply specific social science perspectives to the analysis of a sustainability problem and to reflect the knowledge gained thereby.
- Social and self-competences: Students can organize group work and organize and carry out results-oriented activities. They can argue their own positions in a small group and in front of a larger audience, defend against objections and reflect on the basis of critical objections by others.
Bibliography Will be provided through ADAM.
Comments The kick-off event is organized together with lecture A (41828) on Thuesday, 19.09.23 from 14.15 to 17.30h: room according to information in online course directory (see section "dates & rooms).

Practical course:
The groups are organized together with the enrolled students at the beginning of the teaching period.
Venue: Vesalianum, Vesalgasse 1, 2nd floor, room tba (subject to modifications).

Extra certificate
Upon completion of the entire program “Pathways to Sustainability” and the enrolled degree program at the University of Basel students may order an additional certificate. For this purpose students send an email to, attach their official final degree transcript (= graduation transcript = Zeugnis) and provide the postal address.

This lecture is offered by the programs "Pathways to Sustainability" and MSD. PD Dr. B. Bornemann is member of the Sustainability Research Group, Department of Social Sciences/Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.


Admission requirements This course is open to students of the University of Basel and EUCOR sustainability program who are at least in their third bachelor semester, or who are studying at Master or PhD level.

MSD 2017
Students who have already attended a similar class are supposed to contact PD. Dr. Basil Bornemann and determine a substitute.
Students with a first degree in social sciences are not allowed to accredit this lecture for the MSD (no module allocation possible).
Course application Course enrollment on MOnA should be completed by the beginning of the teaching period (withdrawal possible until Monday of teaching week five).
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used


Interval Weekday Time Room
wöchentlich Tuesday 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Comments Kick-off: Tue 19. Sept. 23: 14.15- 17.30h. Lecture hall: AULA, 033, Kollegienhaus. Exam: 09. Jan. 24, during usual lecture time. Room tba.


Date Time Room
Tuesday 19.09.2023 14.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 26.09.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 03.10.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 10.10.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 17.10.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 24.10.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 31.10.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 07.11.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 14.11.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 21.11.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 28.11.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 05.12.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 12.12.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 19.12.2023 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 09.01.2024 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115
Tuesday 23.01.2024 16.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Modules Grundkurse (Transfakultäre Querschnittsprogramme im freien Kreditpunkte-Bereich)
Modul: Vertiefung Landschaft und Umwelt (Bachelor's degree subject: Geography)
Modul: Vertiefung Politikwissenschaft M.A. (Master's degree subject: Political Science)
Module: Complementary Knowledge in Social Sciences (Master's Studies: Sustainable Development)
Module: Electives in Data Science (Master's Studies: Data Science)
Module: Fields: Environment and Development (Master's degree program: African Studies)
Module: Resources and Sustainability (Master's degree program: Changing Societies: Migration – Conflicts – Resources)
Vertiefungsmodul Global Europe: Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit (Master's Studies: European Global Studies)
Assessment format record of achievement
Assessment details Compulsory attendance in presence of lecture and practical course, oral presentation (practical course).

Final written examination (details acccording to information of lecturer): 09. January 24, during usual lecture time. For details regarding room see in the online course directory/section "room and dates". Exam lasts 60 minutes.
Repeat examination: 30. January 24, during usual lecture time (exam lasts 60 minutes); room: seminar room 02.02, Vesalianum, Vesalgasse1/2nd floor.

Practical course:
Each student has to attend 3 sessions of a practical course (each 90 minutes) and 1 lesson with presentation in the course of the lecture taking place on pre-determined dates according to the announcement.

Assessment registration/deregistration Reg.: course registration, dereg: cancel course registration
Repeat examination one repetition, best attempt counts
Scale 1-6 0,1
Repeated registration as often as necessary
Responsible faculty University of Basel
Offered by Departement Umweltwissenschaften