Humanities and Social Sciences

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

  • Component

    Collège Sciences Sociales et Humanités (SSH)

  • Language(s)

    English, French


The UPPA is opening a 5-year integrated Master’s/PhD program of excellence linked to the research fields of energy and the environment with research-intensive training in multiple fields.

The "Master of Applied Social Sciences in Energy and Environmental Transitions ( ASSET )" is a course of the mention science of sustainability. It is an interdisciplinary graduate training of excellence in 2 years training in sustainability sciences from the perspective of social sciences.

It deals with the problems of energy and environmental transitions by crossing the knowledge, skills and experiences of research professors from different disciplinary families 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 teaching.


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The objectives are:

  • to contribute to the development and valorization of the science of sustainability, which includes on the one hand the sciences on sustainability (understanding how complex economic, geographical, sociological, legal, physical and biological systems work) and the sciences in the service of sustainability (supporting sustainable policies, transitions, positive social transformations and education).
  • to train more specifically high-level master 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 these fields by building an ecosystem of knowledge in social sciences on the fields of energy and environment;
  • 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 masters in social sciences related to energy and environment issues and with research institutions and organizations displaying sustainability science in these privileged research and intervention axes (UNESCO MOST Program, IRD, etc.)
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At the end of this master, the student will be able to:

  • Conduct initial research in sustainability science in connection with the UMR CNRS TREE. 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 UMR CNRS 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, 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, to 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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Originality and specificity of the master

This master is different from others at several levels.

  • Its object; the sciences of sustainability in the field of social sciences;
  • Its multidisciplinary foundations.
  • Its strong collaborative dimension; it allows to extend the 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. These paths are consistent with the expectations of the student, society and the research areas of UMR CNRS TREE;
  • Mentoring: each student has a mentor (UMR CNRS TREE researcher) and a tutor (Master 2 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.



The training offer

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)
  • and on an individualized pathway in economics, geographic, law and sociology, obtained from the teachings of masters linked to the UMR TREE and from targeted MOOCs. This individualization of courses is built according to the student's project and in agreement with his/her mentor.

Hourly volume of the training

  • 800 hours (between 50% and 100% in English and 25% distance learning).
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This master will select students of very good level, with a minimum of a licence and wishing to be actors in the field of sustainability sciences.

  • At the level of the UPPA and French universities, the bachelor's degrees likely to provide students for this master are the bachelor's degrees in Economics-Management, Geography-Planning, Sociology, AES, Law and MIASHS.
  • 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 if 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

Professional insertion

The activities targeted after this master are :

  •   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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