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MSc Sustainable Digitalisation

Digitalisation is a powerful driver of societal change; it offers the potential to build resilience for a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous future. But digitalisation can also be problematic if it speeds up unsustainable trends. The master's programme in Sustainable Digitalisation will give you the skills to lead complex processes and use digitalisation in service of a regenerative transformation towards a sustainable society.

Master's programme in Sustainable Digitalisation at KTH

Application deadlines for studies starting August 2024

16 October (2023): Application opens
15 January: Last day to apply
1 February: Submit documents and, if required, pay application fee
21 March: Admission results announced

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Sustainable Digitalisation at KTH

The master’s programme in Sustainable Digitalisation provides you with skills and competencies to work with sustainability challenges where digitalisation has the potential to play an essential role in service of the world. You will gain a deep understanding of current challenges and how to use digitalisation strategically to shift to a more sustainable society. These skills are needed as the world faces a multitude of interlinked crises with potential existential risks for human civilisation and life on Earth. In this meta-crisis, we face wicked problems and predicaments that have no simple solutions, technical or otherwise. A critical challenge of the 21st century is effectively addressing climate change and ecological crises while supporting a just and fair transition to a sustainable society. Therefore, the programme goes beyond the role of engineers as problem solvers and prepares students to lead complex change processes. You will develop skills and key competencies relating to critical and systems thinking, communication, self-awareness, visioning, co-creation and integrated problem-solving. Courses will also engage with emerging topics such as permacomputing, regenerative design, more-than-human worlds, post-colonialism and the tension between economic growth and ecological sustainability.

A wide variety of teaching methods are used in the programme, emphasising deliberative, co-creative and collaborative activities. As active participants, students take responsibility for their own and each other's learning, preparing them for a path of life-long learning. Towards the end of the programme, students can expect to tackle real-world issues in their final project course, building partnerships with industry and other relevant organisations and stakeholders.

The programme welcomes students from all four engineering programmes at the KTH School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and students with diverse backgrounds from elsewhere in Sweden and abroad. There is growing interest in Sustainable Digitalisation from industry and society, including computer and design consultancies, the computer gaming industry, public authorities and many more. There are also many connections between the programme and cutting-edge research at KTH and elsewhere.

KTH is a leading European university in engineering education for sustainable development. This is a unique new master's programme; no comparable programme exists in Europe. Teachers in the programme have taught and conducted research in computing and sustainability for more than a decade.

Topics covered

Sustainable digitalisation, sustainable and critical approaches to technology development, ecological and social sustainability, sustainable development, strategic leadership, co-creation methods, life cycle assessment, systems analysis and perspectives, complexity studies and sustainable infrastructure.

Future and career

Digital technologies are an integral and crucial part of the infrastructure of modern societies. It is vital to decrease the materials and energy usage and carbon footprint of digital technologies, but even more important to leverage digital technologies to increase sustainability in other industries and other parts of society. The Swedish government’s vision of a sustainable digitised Sweden in 2030 assumes significantly improved abilities to meet and lead a digital structural transformation for ecological, social and economic sustainability. This master’s programme prepares students for being part of the solution in Sweden and elsewhere. Thus, there are exciting career opportunities in both the private and public sector.

The Swedish IT industry sees itself as an essential partner in this development. The industry organisation Digitalization Consultants and its 24 member organisations (for example, Knowit, Semcon and Softronic) highlight the need for employees who understand climate and sustainability issues. Many large Swedish and international companies explicitly support the shift to a fossil-free society and interest in these issues is bound to grow in the coming years. These companies include Ericsson, Telia, Spotify, IKEA, Scania, Skanska, Alfa Laval, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and British Telecom. The programme also opens up the possibility to go on to doctoral studies at KTH or at other universities worldwide.

After graduation

Computer/management/design/sustainability consultant in ICT industries, project manager, software engineer, sustainability strategist and technical lead.

Sustainable development

Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Sustainable Digitalisation are: 

Sustainable development goal 13. Climate Action
Sustainable development goal 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Sustainable development goal 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

As digitalisation is a force in all parts of societal transformation, it has the potential to contribute to most of the SDGs. Students will, throughout the programme:

  • Learn about developing digital tools to analyse and visualise greenhouse gases and other relevant metrics to raise awareness, plan mitigation actions and give early warnings supporting SDG 13.
  • Learn about the life cycle assessment (LCA) of computer systems and services, thereby contributing to SDG 9 by supporting the development of more resilient and sustainable infrastructure accessible by all.
  • Learn about and work with IT and media technology companies to formulate how they can adopt more sustainable practices in their core business, thereby contributing to SDG 12.

Faculty and research

The master’s programme in Sustainable Digitalisation is given by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, which conducts research and education in electrical engineering, computer science, and information and communication technology. The programme is mainly led and coordinated by faculty belonging to the Division of Media Technology and Interaction Design, where a world leading research group, Sustainable Futures Lab, have given courses and conducted research in the intersection of ICT and sustainability for more than a decade. The department has access to several research and teaching facilities where students and researchers can work on work-related and private projects. For example, the Division of Media Technology and Interaction Design manages four engaging research environments: Multisensory Studio, MIDDLA, Haptic Lab and KTH's R1 Reactor hall .

The school of Architecture and the Built Environment and its Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering (SEED) provides a mandatory course in life cycle assessment. SEED gathers a broad range of interdisciplinary expertise to conduct research that covers a wide field within environmental, engineering and sustainability issues.

Faculty involved in the programme

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