Program Structure

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Holistic and Impactful Learning

The holistic approach of the Mannheim Master in Sustainability and Impact Management guarantees that impact management will become an integral element of all operational areas of the company.

We have devised a program structure and course contents that will provide impactful learning.

Participants become proficient in essential management skills with a specific focus on challenges of the future like sustainable impact management in an increasingly digitalized environment. Insights into current best practices from various companies and industries as well as personal skills courses round off the program.

An Overview of the Program Structure

The Mannheim Master in Sustainability and Impact Management is organized in modules that build on each other over a period of 24 months. This allows you to retain full-time employment throughout the program and apply your newly acquired knowledge directly at your workplace. (Click to enlarge the chart)

  • Core Courses

    The core courses lay the foundation for the three key areas: Sustainability and Impact Management Knowledge and Methods; Basic Management Knowledge with a Focus on Sustainability Challenges; and Change Management, Personal Skills Development and Collaboration.

  • Elective Courses

    Electives help you deepen your knowledge in your specific areas of interest and focus on your career goals.

  • Sustainability and Impact Management Master Project

    Working in a team with your fellow students, you will apply the knowledge and methodologies acquired throughout your studies in a hands-on project for one of our partner companies.

  • Personal Skills

    Essential program elements such as the Sustainability and Impact Management Master Project require that you work with classmates in heterogeneous teams, just as you would at your workplace. Personal skills courses (e.g. presentation skills, agile methods, etc.) foster the necessary key qualities you need for management positions.

  • Workshops

    The program includes regular workshops where participants can take a deep dive into current topics and practical challenges. These events further provide room for networking and exchange of knowledge. Over and above individual learning, we aim to create a community that fosters peer learning.

The Course Contents in Detail

Make an impact. Please find a detailed description of the individual courses of the Mannheimer Master in Sustainability and Impact Management below.



  • Materiality, Risk Assessment and Reporting

    When building their sustainability strategy, managers need to understand the company-specific materiality of certain sustainability domains and topics from stakeholders‘ as well as their own perspective and the resulting risks and potential rewards.

    Frameworks of materiality analysis and domains of sustainability impacts that are relevant for reporting serve as a basis for the company to develop their individual approach to sustainability.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • gain an overview of the theoretical foundations of materiality analysis, risk assessment, and reporting guidelines;
    • they learn how to apply methods of materiality analysis and risk assessment to develop a sustainability strategy for a specific company;
    • and they critically reflect on existing frameworks and guidelines (e.g., GRI versus CSR-RUG).


  • Sustainable Business Modeling and the Circular Economy

    The sustainability issues that humanity is facing induce and urgent need to rethink and redesign existing business models to manage the transition to a more sustainable economy.

    In this context, the idea of a circular, instead of a linear economy has gained increased attention, i.e., an economy in which is regenerative by design and aims to decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • gain an understanding of business model design and circular economy;
    • they learn how to rethink and redesign business models to reduce the company‘s negative impacts;
    • And they reflect on possible future developments and conditions needed to enable a positive transition to a more sustainable economy.
  • Impact Measurement and Valuation


  • Digitalization, Data and Sustainability

    Digitalization plays a crucial role for sustainability. One the one hand, the mega trend of digitalization incurs new sustainability and responsibility issues, as, e.g., increased energy consumption, electronic waste, data security, or scarcity of resources. Against this background, the term "Corporate Digital Responsibility" has been coined. On the other hand, digital innovations help to create more sustainable products, consumption patterns, business models, and can be applied to increase transparency about sustainability impacts (e.g., through artificial intelligence or blockchain solutions).

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • discuss the potential negative and positive impacts of digitalization on sustainability;
    • they learn about new corporate responsibilities in the digital era and their ethical implications;
    • and they reflect about potential future developments and impacts on firm strategies.
  • Sustainability Communication


  • Corporate Sustainability Management


  • Impact Investing

    The European Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth, or Sustainable Finance Action Plan, focuses on the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) fields of activity in order to achieve sustainability goals together with the financial sector.

    This is also accompanied by binding legal requirements for companies. The EU taxonomy, for example, represents a uniform classification system for sustainable economic activities and investments for six defined environmental objectives.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • acquire basic knowledge about foundations of sustainable finance;
    • they learn to understand how ESG data can be applied to evaluate the sustainability of investments;
    • and they critically discuss the current and prospective developments in financial markets.
  • Emerging Topics in Sustainability


  • Climate Change and Decarbonization

    Climate change means the warming-up of our planet driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as the shifts in weather patterns that results from this development. In the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, 196 Parties have set the goal to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

    To reach this goal, many companies have developed climate targets, including goals for carbon neutrality or climate neutrality, some of them using offsetting techniques to make up for their own impacts.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • gain an understanding of climate change and ist causes and potential remedies;
    • study the climate goals of organizations and the strategies to achieve them;
    • and critically assess the current status quo with regard to decarbonization.
  • Sustainability Frameworks and Regulation

    Frameworks of sustainability and guidelines for business conduct to ensure sustainability have quickly evolved over the last decades. Until today, the debate about the dimensions of sustainability and respective indicators of sustainability performance is not yet resolved and many see corporate responsibility as an essentially contested concept. Consolidation and standardization are necessary steps to ensure effective regulation, reporting, and thus transparency.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • develop an overview of the development and current multitude of sustainability frameworks;
    • study the existing and upcoming regulatory frameworks for sustainable business;
    • and form their own understanding of the concept of sustainable business and its implications for management.


  • Change Management and Organizational Dynamics

    Making an organization more sustainable oftentimes means introducing change to the organization which may lead to resistance. Such change processes have to be carefully designed and managed to be effective and managers need to have a clear understanding of stakeholder attitudes and organizational dynamics.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • TBA
  • Innovation, Market Dynamics and Consumer Demand


  • Socially Responsible Accounting and Taxation


  • Platforms, the Sharing Economy and New Forms of Organization


  • Sustainable Finance


  • Responsible Corporate Governance


  • Socially Responsible People Management


  • Sustainable Operations and Supply Chains

    Sustainability should start within the own four walls and companies need to examine their own operations in the attempt to find potential for sustainability improvements. Over and above, an increasing discussion relates to corporate responsibilities for supply chain impacts, i.e., not just in tier 1 suppliers but even further upstream the supply chain. Managing these impacts necessitates a deep understanding of environmental as well as social impacts in the own and in suppliers‘ business operations.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • study the foundations of sustainable operations and supply chain management;
    • discuss cases and current issues pertaining to the sustainable management of operations and supply chains;
    • and engage in a critical outlook on the development of the supply chain management and regulation.
  • Compliance and Codes of Ethics



  • Partnerships for Sustainable Development


  • Social Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship


  • Entrepreneurial Thinking and the Changemaker Mindset – Elective

    Sustainability is a new topic for many organizations and to transform existing business processes, employees and managers of the future need entrepreneurial thinking and a changemaker mindset.

    Anecdotal evidence from best practice firms shows that having people with such a mindset in the organization can enable firms to not only  be more sustainable, but also innovative, agile, and resilient.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • learn what it means to adopt a changemaker mindset and entrepreneurial thinking to further the sustainability goals of the company;
    • gain insights into examples of companies that successfully leverage the power of their people;
    • and practice their own entrepreneurial thinking and changemaker skills.
  • Purpose and Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility – Elective

    More and more companies define and proclaim their higher purpose beyond making profits. This implies that companies reflect upon their core business activities and competences and how they can leverage them to have a positive impact on people and planet.

    In many companies, this implies that traditional social responsibility activities are redesigned to be an expression of the higher purpose of the specific organization while providing opportunities for participation for the companies‘ stakeholders.

    Learning Goals – In this course, participants...

    • learn about the current purpose trend in business and the resulting implications for impact management;
    • gain insights into companies that have defined a purpose that fits their core competences and bring this purpose to life;
    • and critically discuss the implications of an increasing socio-political involvement of corporations.
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainability Dialogues – Elective


  • Sustainability Analytics and Evidence-Based Management – Elective


  • Sustainability Games and Education – Elective


  • History of Sustainability – Elective


All information is subject to approval by the university committees. Therefore, changes to study design and content as well as admission requirements are still possible.

Elective courses are subject to class size and availability.

Contact Person

Olga Titze
Admissions Mannheim Master in Sustainability and Impact Management


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Located in the heart of the German and European economy, Mannheim Business School (MBS), the umbrella organization for management education at the University of Mannheim, is considered to be one of the leading institutions of its kind in Germany and is continuously ranked as Germany’s #1.