GREEN Graduate Program - Master of Applied Social Sciences in Energy and Environmental Transitions (ASSET): Sociology specialization

Humanities and Social Sciences

GREEN Graduate Program - Master of Applied Social Sciences in Energy and Environmental Transitions (ASSET): Sociology specialization

  • ECTS

    120 credits

  • Duration

    2 years

  • Component

    Collège Sciences Sociales et Humanités (SSH)

  • Language(s)

    English, French


In 2022, the University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour opened a 5-year Master’s degree + PhD program of excellence in a variety of disciplines linked to energy and environmental research, the Graduate School for Energy and Environmental Innovation (GREEN).

Every student, whether French or foreign, accepted into the program will be offered a €5,000 stipend per year for the first two years.

Apply here from October to March

N.B. Our Master's programs may not open if enrollment is too low.

The Master of Applied Social Sciences in Energy and Environmental Transitions (ASSET), an interdisciplinary PhD-track program in Social Sciences, will give you a degree in Sustainability Sciences.

It deals with the problems of energy and environmental transitions by crossing the knowledge, skills, and experiences of research professors from different fields and by operating as much as possible in a collaborative configuration (where the knowledge acquired is then shared), and from project-based and problem-oriented learning.

Originality and specificity of the master

This master is different from others on several accounts.

  • Its object; the sciences of sustainability in the field of social sciences;
  • Its multidisciplinary foundations;
  • Its strong collaborative dimension, which allows for extending knowledge in the field by relying on the skills and knowledge acquired by the students and on their mobilities abroad and in the research centers;
  • Its ability to adapt to the student's project via personalized courses over 2 and 5 years that are consistent with the expectations of the student, society, and the research areas of TREE laboratory;
  • Mentoring: each student has a mentor (a TREE Laboratory researcher), and a tutor (a 2nd-year Master student in the even-numbered semester). During the first month of the first semester, the mentor will have to build the student's career path in coherence with his study and research project (pedagogical and research contract) and his professional and research objective.


  • To contribute to the development and valorization of the science of sustainability, which includes understanding how complex economic, geographical, sociological, legal, physical, and biological systems work, and learning about supporting sustainable policies, transitions, positive social transformations, and education.
  • To train more specifically high-level master's students in applied research in sustainability sciences and in the major current and future energy and environmental issues. They will work in research centers, in companies, in local authorities, or in large national and international institutions concerned with developing transdisciplinary research embodied by the science of sustainability.
  • To make the students actors of the understanding, the diffusion, and even the production of knowledge in energy and environment social sciences.
  • To progressively build up a catalog of online courses that are partly "self-supplied" and likely to respond as closely as possible to students' projects.
  • To intensify international links with universities hosting Master's degrees in social sciences related to energy and environment issues and with research institutions and organizations displaying sustainability science in these research and intervention axes (UNESCO MOST Program, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, etc.).

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Your university


At the end of this master, the student will be able to:

  • Conduct initial research in sustainability science in connection with the TREE research laboratory. He/she will master the main principles of interdisciplinary research as well as the methods and techniques of the disciplines in which he/she specializes and will be able to carry out validated research work in the form of a thesis supervised by TREE research professors.
  • Understand and analyze environmental problems at different spatial scales (local, regional, national, and/or international).
    In particular, they will be able to :
    - Analyze the issues that territories, populations, and economic or public actors are facing,
    - Analyze the main solutions that are implemented to meet these challenges,
    - Predict the evolution of the respective place of each of these solutions.
  • Evaluate the social and environmental consequences of transitions.
  • Acquire the necessary quantitative and qualitative technical skills useful to the fields.
  • Manage projects related to energy and the environment by being confronted with concrete situations, whether within the framework of project-based approaches, internships in companies, communities, or laboratories. In interdisciplinary groups, they will analyze concrete problems and propose ways to solve them.
  • Communicate and promote their work, projects, and dissertations, as well as collaborate and transmit knowledge, and help other students in the class.
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Additional information

  • €5,000 per year stipend
  • Classes taught in English and some in French
  • More than one-third of credit hours acquired in research
  • Integrating research laboratories right from the 1st semester
  • Multidisciplinary culture
  • Continuation into a thesis if the criteria of excellence are met
  • Tutorship and tailor-made programs: each student will have a tutor with whom he/she will build his/her curriculum related to his aspirations and research interest. The tutor will also help the student define a series of face-to-face or e-learning courses (up to 20 or 25% for the Science graduate programs) that s/he can easily keep up with.
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The two-year program is divided into semesters and follows a classic and original progression. It is based on :

  • A common base for the GREEN graduate school with:
    - Either the same content for all programs (soft skills, thematic culture, multidisciplinary project),
    - Or the same activity adapted to the program.
  • A common multidisciplinary core of social sciences (core courses)
  • An individualized pathway in economics, geography, law, and sociology, obtained from the teachings of masters linked to the TREE Laboratory and from targeted MOOCs. This individualization of courses is built according to the student's project and in agreement with his/her mentor.

The hourly volume of the training

  • 800 hours (between 50% and 100% in English and 25% distance learning).
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Admission requirements

  • This master's degree will select excellent students who hold a bachelor's degree and who wish to be researchers in the field of sustainability sciences.
  • The bachelor's degrees most likely to provide students sufficient background for this master are bachelor's degrees in Economics-Management, Geography-Planning, Sociology, Economic and Social Administration (AES), Law, and Mathematics and Computer Science applied to Social Sciences (MIASHS).

English language

  • Applicants must be fluent in English, both in writing and speaking.
  • A non-native speaker must pass an internationally recognised English test or an English interview with our lecturers.
  • Minimum required score CECRL B2 level in English (Advanced English).

French language

  • Minimum required score: CECRL B2 level in French (Advanced French)
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How to apply


  • Foreign students will be encouraged to come to this master's program. They will be selected on the basis of their project, their level, and whether their curriculum is in line with the requirements of the master's program. A large proportion of the courses will be in English (with individualized courses entirely in English), which will encourage this internationalization. Their fourth semester (mobility internship) will take place in another French university and not in a foreign one as for the other students of French origin.
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And after

Further studies


  • Sustainable development
  • Land planning & territorial analysis
  • Energy


  • Research
  • R&D structures
  • State and local governments
  • Non-governmental organizations


  • Researcher
  • R&D engineer
  • Project manager
  • Legal expert
  • Legal analyst
  • Economic and sociological analysis and forecasting
  • Environmental management and protection
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Professional insertion

  • High-level research in sustainability sciences and social sciences in the fields of energy and the environment
  • Socio-economic analysis of social, political and organizational transformations and complex situations related to energy and environmental transitions
  • Diagnosis, project engineering, design of solutions for the development and support and/or evaluation of projects, innovations, investments in the field of energy and the environment.
  • Management and coordination of projects and/or organizations related to energy and the environment at the territorial and/or national and/or international level.

Possible employers

The natural outlets for the Master's degree will be higher education and research, public or private research centers, energy sectors, companies developing a responsible social and environmental strategy, major international institutions interested in sustainability sciences, local authorities, consulting firms, associations and NGOs involved in social and environmental actions.

Possible jobs:

  • Researcher,
  • Teacher,
  • Communication/awareness/animation officer (NGOs, associations...),
  • Evaluation and prospective officer,
  • Designer and facilitator of consultation mechanisms,
  • Project coordinator,
  • Project manager / Biodiversity and sustainable development researcher,
  • CSR manager,
  • Project and territorial development manager.
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By Collège Sciences Sociales et Humanités (SSH)


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