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Nachhaltigkeitszertifikat // Sustainability CertificateElectives - Technology/Nature and Individuals/Society

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Two Elective Areas - Technology/Nature and Individual/Society

The sustainability certificate comprises two elective areas: 1) Nature/technology and 2) Individual/society. In each of the two elective areas, 6 credit points must be completed. The aim of this segment of the certificate is to enable participants to acquire competencies in another discipline and to be able to apply them in future inter-/multidisciplinary work.

The selection of the modules lies with the participants who are thus given the task of dealing with the concept of sustainability in relation to their own studies and their private and professional life. They must therefore justify to themselves and to others how the chosen modules contribute to a sustainable development. The modules can come from the regular teaching at the TU Berlin as well as from other universities. This procedure makes it possible for new modules to quickly find their way into the certificate program, or for modules that do not have sufficient sustainability relevance to be excluded. An initial decision on the recognition of the selected modules is made by the responsible sub-commission of the Sustainability Council at TU Berlin.



What criteria does a module have to meet to be credited?

Participants in the certificate program choose independently which modules they wish to include in the two elective areas. Overall, the chosen modules should impart skills in sustainable development. One of the two modules should come from another course of study, if possible from another faculty.

This applies in particular to modules that meet one or more of the following criteria: Modules that...

  • combine aspects of a specialist discipline with the topic of sustainability
  • contribute explicitly to at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • take up complex social problems
  • have an inter- and/or transdisciplinary orientation
  • offer participatory design options
  • promote the reflection of values

In justified individual cases, modules can also be chosen that have no direct reference to sustainability, but which show a clear orientation due to the individual design of the exam performances. This is the case, for example, if a comprehensive project work within a module explicitly focuses on sustainability issues.

Example: A student of electrical engineering selects the module "Power Electronics for Renewable Energies" in the field of nature/technology and the module "Participatory Environmental Planning and Nature Conservation Economics" in the area of individual/society. Another student chooses the "Project Laboratory Chemistry" for independent research in the field of sustainability to cover the area of nature/technology and takes the module "Anti-Semitism in History and Present" in the elective area Individual/society.



How are modules assigned to the area of technology/nature or individual/society?

Modules of natural and engineering sciences are usually assigned to the elective area nature/technology. Modules in the humanities, social sciences, planning and economics are usually assigned to the elective area Individual/society.



Can I submit compulsory, compulsory elective, free optional or additional modules?

The modules of the two elective areas are intended to show an individual focus. Therefore, they should be taken in the compulsory elective area, in the free elective area or as additional modules. Ideally, there should be at least one compulsory elective module in each study program, so that the sustainability certificate does not have to be acquired exclusively in the free elective area. Some study programs have a very high proportion of compulsory modules and almost no elective modules. In these cases, compulsory modules can also be chosen.



Do I have a right to participate in a particular module?

Participation in the certificate program does not give you the right to take part in specific other module at the TU Berlin. The admission regulations for courses are bindingly regulated in § 36 of the General Study and Examination Regulations.



Can I include modules from other universities and the like?

Courses from other universities, colleges, summer universities and purely electronic courses, can also be considered for the acquisition of the sustainability certificate. The study and examination regulations of the respective institution apply accordingly.



I don't know anything about the other discipline and I don't get along in the chosen module at all. What should I do?

The certificate program is designed to promote the exchange across disciplinary boundaries. Ideally, you will find fellow students who also want to acquire the sustainability certificate and who take the module as part of their degree program. If necessary, they can recommend a module that has fewer disciplinary requirements. In addition, you can search directly for a discussion with the lecturers.



What do I have to do to get a module recognized?

In the application for the certificate you give written reasons, why you have chosen the particular modules, how they relate to sustainability and why they can be considered in the respective elective area. The following questions must be answered - in addition, the module descriptions and proof of successful examinations must be submitted.

  • What is the contribution of the selected modules to sustainability/ sustainable development?
  • What can your own discipline learn from the other discipline? And vice versa.
  • What social problems and possible solutions arise from the combination of the two selected modules?



Who decides on the recognition of the modules in the elective areas?

On the basis of the module description and the written justification of the module choice, the responsible sub-commission decides whether to recommend to the Sustainability Council that the chosen modules can be recognized. The Sustainability Council then decides on a recommendation to the President of the TU Berlin for the award of the Sustainability Certificate. The President thus makes the final decision.



Why is there no fixed list of modules that can be used in the two elective areas?

Existing courses are regularly revised in terms of content and methodology, or completely new courses are offered. In addition, sustainability as a normative concept is understood differently from individual to individual and is subject to constant conceptual change. The individual scientific disciplines also have different references to sustainability and thus contribute in different ways to the sustainable development of society. Therefore, it was seen best, that the students justify their choice which are subject to an independent review.



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