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Course content

MSc Sustainability and social innovation

The program offers you a perfect balance of theory and practice. Elective courses, Certificates and numerous academic opportunities throughout the program allow you to customize the curriculum to your needs and aspirations.

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


Course portfolio

  • International Standards & Frameworks for Sustainability
  • Globstart Challenge Triple Bottom Line
  • Have a Cause, Make an Impact
  • Sustainable Operations & Supply Chains
  • Strategy & sustainability
  • Complex Problems for Changemakers: The Global Landscape - Moonshot Economics / Geopolitics of Resources
  • Foundations of Finance for Sustainability
  • Corporate Finance Core Concepts
  • Responsible Investing
  • Systemic Shocks & Sustainable Development
  • Unconventional Paradigms of Management
  • Intellectual Capital & Intangible Assets
  • Research Methodologies
  • Changemaker Seminars

Courses can be subject to change from year to year.

  • Design Thinking / Business plan Workshop
  • Learning Lab: Company case with Arval
  • Energy Management in the Company
  • Innovative Business Models
  • Recipes for a New Marketing
  • Climate Change Economics
  • Geopolitics of Resources
  • Dark Side of CSR Strategies

Courses can be subject to change from year to year.

During the second semester, students have to apply to one of these 4 specialization tracks:

1. Intrapreneurship Track

Students interested in working for well-established companies and consultancy firms have the opportunity to undertake a consulting project with the aim of making the client’s approach more sustainable.

In order to apply for this track, students must take mandatory courses during their first semester.

2. Impact Entrepreneurship Track

Budding impact entrepreneurs can work full-time to develop their project through workshops led by experienced professionals.

Students can also apply for the Start-up Launchpad, a partner project between HEC and Ecole 42. In 9 weeks, you will be mentored by experienced entrepreneurs who will help you create and launch your own start-up.

In order to apply for this track, students must take mandatory courses during their first semester.

3. Research Track

Students who win a place onto the research track lead a full time research project which forms a basis for their master thesis. They may also conduct fieldwork in France or abroad. Students are expected to apply rigorous methodologies in order to achieve results with a significant impact. Students will be asked to make suggestions based on their results, which they are expected to share in a clear and transparent way by the end of the program.

4. Exchange – AgroParisTech

Programme Forêt Nature et Société (Exchange program for students who already have a Master’s degree prior to the MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation).

HEC provides students with online and on-campus upgrading courses in the following fields:

  • Strategy
  • Finance / Accounting
  • Marketing.

These course are mandatory for non-business profiles.

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, a Major in Economics or a Major in Finance.

Participants must write a master thesis to graduate from this program. This provides an opportunity to engage with hot topics, long-standing debates and new ideas in the field of sustainability. Through cutting-edge research and acute analysis, they will gain valuable insights and skills and learn how to contribute to sustainable development. 

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

Previous study trips took place in:

  • Ethiopia
  • Philippines
  • Kenya
  • Indonesia
  • Burkina Faso
  • Morocco
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Madagascar
  • Rwanda
  • India.


The professional experience requirement is satisfied when the student 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 students to look for permanent hiring as soon as the academic year starts.

As an international business school, HEC Paris welcomes students 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 students can communicate as much as they wish.

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

Students 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 students and alumni. This is why HEC Paris offers optional French language classes.

Prior to their studies, students 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.