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Course content

Master in Sustainability and Social Innovation

This program is aimed at high-level applicants who strive to become changemakers. Whatever the size of the company, the function or the sector they will work in, graduates will acquire the skills to do business in a world that is increasingly hot, crowded, polarized, angry, and unstable and to shape tomorrow’s sustainable businesses and inclusive economies. 

Be part of an empowering academic environment that will motivate you to drive change and redefine sustainable businesses and inclusive economies for a brighter future.

Jeremy Ghez

Academic Director

Program Structure

The curriculum is structured around core courses which provide participants with the toolbox they need to become change-makers, and electives, which allows them to deepen their knowledge on key issues related to sustainability, social innovation and the broader business environment. All classes are designed to help participants hone their analytical skills, develop their ability to mobilize and communicate on meaningful topics and enhance their ability to transform organizations. They are all meant to support the participants’ quest for purposeful change and impact.

Participants also apply the knowledge acquired to work on company cases and define solutions to real life problems. Conferences and seminars also provide participants with the opportunity to discuss and exchange with experts. During the year, students can also customize their learning by following a concentration track either in intrapreneurship, entrepreneurship or research. 

As part of their final academic requirements, all participants must complete a thesis.

In addition to their specialization, participants can also apply to follow one of the certificates offered by HEC and running between end of April and early June.

Course portfolio

  • Bridging Sustainability & Business: The SASI Festival of Ideas
  • Climate, Social & Biodiversity: How the triple crisis shapes the firm's business environment
  • Evidence-based inquiry: Research as detective work
  • Time to Act
  • The Changing Business Environment
  • Design Thinking for Innovation
  • Critical Thinking and Persuasive Communication
  • The Research Track
  • Test your start-up: Turning your idea into a start up
  • Climate, resources and governance
  • Social Innovation
  • Socially Responsible Investing (ESG)
  • Sustainable Operations Management 
  • Strategy for Sustainability: Shaping Innovative Business Models
  • Data Science for Sustainable Business
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Frameworks for a Sustainable Paradigm Shift
  • Sustainable Corporate Finance
  • Impact Investing
  • Climate Economics and Finance
  • Extra-financial Reporting
  • Decarbonization and climate strategies for organizations
  • World Food System: Seminar and Simulation of Negotiation
  • Economic growth and capitalism in the era of climate change
  • Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Making Sustainability the engine of success: Running the transformation journey
  • Energy Management in the Company
  • The Challenging Transformation from Linear to Circular Value
  • Ecological accounting: from the organization to the ecosystem
  • Systemic Shocks & Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Urban Development: Key Strategic and Organizational Challenges
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Social Innovation at Work
  • Innovation, IA, and Impact

Please note that courses can be subject to change from year to year. This list is indicative.

Intrapreneurship Track

Participants have the opportunity to do a consulting project in an organization (company, start-up, NGO), taking their first steps towards sustainability or to work with them to expand their sustainable practices.
A designed two-day seminar to help participants hone their consulting methodology skills.

Research Specialization Track

Participants have the possibility of devoting a large portion of their time to their Master’s thesis if they select the research track. The expectation is that the research methodology is well thought out and that their research has a significant impact, which they are asked to popularize at the end of the program. they are mentored by members of the faculty throughout.

Impact Entrepreneurship Track

Students who have a solid impact entrepreneurial project can take the opportunity to work full-time on the development of their idea, mentored by experienced entrepreneurs and professionals throughout specific workshops.

Students also have the opportunity to apply to the HEC Launchpad, in partnership with other HEC master's programs and Ecole 42. It is a very solid and condensed 9-week program to support the creation of your Start-up, supervised by experienced mentors and teachers under the concept of 'learning by doing'.

AgroParisTech Exchange

Programme Forêt Nature et Société - Management international

(Exchange in French for students who already have a Master#s degree prior to the MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation)

  • SASI Ideas Festival: conferences, guest speakers and workshops on topics including climate change, circular economy, food, biodiversity, social impact assessment, and energy
  • How to Become a Change-maker: an off-site 2-day seminar
  • A simulation game on SDGs in 2030
  • A simulation game on circular economy models

HEC provides students with online courses in the following fields:

Finance / Accounting
These courses are mandatory for non-business profiles and are designed to bring them up to date with what they need to know to successfully complete this business school prog

Optional double-degree programs

Students have the opportunity to apply to the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in order to get an MSc in Economics & Business Administration, with a Major in Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment.

Participants must write a master's thesis to graduate from this program. It represents a real opportunity to have impact on the public debate: through cutting-edge research and careful consideration of how it can be implemented in practice, participants are expected to shed light on a stake that we know little about and/or that we do not fully understand. The thesis is an important component of the program as a result.

Every year, students go on a study trip to witness sustainable development issues and to study the measures already implemented or those to be developed.

The study trip will take place in France or in a neighboring country.

The objective is to understand how local public and private organizations are responding to current societal and environmental challenges. How does the geopolitical climate influence the regional response to issues around sustainability and social inclusion? In order to explore these answers, students visit large organizations, startups, and small businesses who have found innovative solutions.


The professional experience requirement is satisfied when the participant completes a professional experience of at least 4 months in fields related to their coursework at HEC Paris. It is, however, important to stress that this professional experience may not be an internship per se.

Our policy at HEC Paris is that the best type of internship is a full-time job! We strongly encourage our participants to look for permanent hiring as soon as the academic year starts.

As an international business school, HEC Paris welcomes participants from all over the world. Almost one hundred nationalities live on the campus. It's a fantastic opportunity to discover other cultures and to share exceptional moments, and it's important that participants can communicate as much as they wish.

HEC Paris Learning Center of Languages aims at helping participants to learn or strengthen any language they would like, providing a wide range of I.T. and print resources.

Participants do not need to speak French to enroll in the program as all core courses and most electives are offered in English. However, some knowledge of French can be useful to enjoy the full HEC experience, become professionally bicultural and optimize networking with French participants and alumni. This is why HEC Paris offers optional French language classes.

Prior to their studies, participants may also register for a two week French language course (TEF certificate – all levels) in August. This is an exceptional opportunity to learn French before joining the Campus (extra fees are applicable).


Sponsored by a company, Certificates are a set of interdisciplinary courses corresponding to approximately 100 contact hours as well as business projects and other types of field work related to a given sector. Each student selected (in the 1st semester) for a certificate will be awarded an additional HEC certificate if he/she validates all the requirements of the course.

Master's Degree Accreditations

accredited-program-grade-master logo-CEFDG  

This Master has been awarded both the Visa and Grade of Master, and has been accredited by the French Ministry of Education through the CEFDG (Commission d’Evaluation des Formations et Diplômes de Gestion) to be entitled to grant a Master’s degree (Bac + 5)