Centre for Ethics and Responsibility (ZEV)

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Study programme Responsibility

Studium Verantwortung

Sustainable action needs science and ethics

What is a fair society? How can we react to climate change? How can we achieve sustainable development? And what role does digitalisation play in this? Society, the economy and politics are facing a multitude of social and ecological challenges. Through offerings in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), universities support students in understanding these complex challenges and in helping to shape change processes - socio-ecological and digital transformations.

The way to study responsibility in 1 minute:


Ethics, responsibility, sustainability

With the study programme Responsibility the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility (ZEV) in cooperation with the International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE) offers all students of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg the opportunity to deal with current social, ecological and digital change processes in a practical and application-oriented way.

The study programme Responsibility adds the key topics of ethics, responsibility and sustainability to one's own subject studies and provides students with a wide range of competences with which they can reflect on and advance discourses and developments. The constant interdisciplinary exchange with students from other subject areas plays a central role in this.

Accompanying studies with certificate

The study programme Responsibility is an accompanying study programme lasting several semesters and is completed with a sustainability certificate. Its content can be individually designed and adapted to the time schedule of the respective regular study programme. Interested students can register for the study programme Responsibility by e-mail or make a personal consultation appointment in advance via LEA - Learning and Working.

What students say about the study programme Responsibility

Three students give insight into their motivation for studying responsibility:

„Ich habe mich wegen des Studium Verantwortung für die Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg entschieden. Es bietet einem die Möglichkeit, ein solides naturwissenschaftliches Studium zu absolvieren und sich parallel mit einer der größten Herausforderungen unserer Gesellschaft zu beschäftigen: wie wir in Zukunft leben wollen und können.”

Jana Dingels - Studiengang Chemie mit Materialwissenschaften

Jana Dingels StuVa

„Das Studium Verantwortung gibt dir die Möglichkeit, persönlich und wissenschaftlich über dich hinauszuwachsen und deine Rolle in der Gesellschaft zu hinterfragen und zu definieren. Durch den Austausch mit Studierenden aus anderen Fachrichtungen, bekommst du die Gelegenheit, andere Sichtweisen einzunehmen, die du vorher vielleicht nicht beachtet oder sogar gar nicht gekannt hast.”

Marco Ettelt und Sarah Havelt - Studiengang Nachhaltige Sozialpolitik, Studiengang Analytische Chemie und Qualitätssicherung

Marco Ettelt
Marco Ettelt

Frequently asked questions about studying Responsibility

Questions and answers about the accompanying studies:

What is the Study Responsibility?

The study programme Responsibility is an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary, multi-semester accompanying study programme that is completed parallel to the Bachelor's or Master's programme with a certificate.

Who offers the Study Responsibility?

The Study Responsibility is offered by the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility (ZEV) and the International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE) at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg.

What is the purpose of Study Responsibility?

The Study Responsibility is an offer for students who would like to expand their own studies with interdisciplinary perspectives. It is designed to enable students - in the spirit of Bildung für eine Nachhaltige Entwicklung (BNE) - to "make informed choices and act responsibly to protect the environment, sustain the economy and create a fair society for current and future generations, while respecting cultural diversity". (UNESCO, Roadmap BNE, 2014)

Who can participate in the Study Responsibility?

All students of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg – whether in the Bachelor's or Master's programme – can participate in the Study Responsibility programme. The number of places is not limited.

How do I participate in the Study Responsibility?

Students can register for the study programme Responsibility at the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility (ZEV). Registration for the accompanying study programme can be made with the contact person by e-mail or during an individual consultation. Interested students will receive detailed information on a possible course of study as well as an overview of the current courses and events offered.

How long does the study Responsibility take?

The Study Responsibility programme has no minimum or maximum duration. As a rule, it is studied for two to four semesters, alongside one's own Bachelor's or Master's degree.

How is the study programme Responsibility structured?

The study programme Responsibility consists of 5 credit points and the final participation in a one-time three-hour evaluation seminar. In addition, an accompanying seminar takes place regularly (about once a month). It offers a good opportunity to meet regularly and to exchange ideas about the individual path of study Responsibility. Here, students can clarify open questions about the study programme Responsibility, present their own topics or jointly discuss current topics related to ethics, responsibility and sustainability. Participation in the accompanying seminar is voluntary.

Structure of Study Responsibility - a model example:
(5 credit points and 1 evaluation seminar)

  1. Interdepartmental block seminar: CO2 - Small molecule, big responsibility (multi-perspective view of a gas) 
  2. University of Potsdam (Online): Lecture series on the climate crisis 
  3. Interdisciplinary elective subject on sustainability strategies
  4. Voluntary work, e.g. in the "Green Office
  5. Sustainability or ethics-related term paper (independent choice of topic): In vitro meat - Meat (of) the future
  6. Evaluation seminar: three-hour exchange between graduates on their individual study-responsibility paths

Ongoing voluntary offers for students in Study Responsibility

  • Study Responsibility Tuesday Seminar
  • Excursions, museum visits, trips and other extracurricular activities

What counts as a credit point?

Credit points can be earned by attending selected courses at the university in one's own or another department. It is also possible to attend lecture series at the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg or other universities, participate in excursions (such as Tour de CSR) or conferences.

In addition, students can earn credit points in the form of homework, final papers or project work on sustainability-related topics of their own choice. Relevant internships or voluntary work can also be credited. Further possibilities for acquiring credit points can be arranged by individual agreement.

Please note: A maximum of 2 credit points from your own subject studies can be credited. Credit points are not graded, at least one written paper must be submitted.

Where can I find an overview of Study Responsibility events?

On this overview page, students will find a list of events. The range of courses and events for the Study Responsibility programme changes every semester. Despite continuous maintenance of the overview list, it can happen that suitable courses are not listed or are cancelled at short notice. If you have any questions, please contact the respective lecturer directly or get in touch with the contact person at the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility (ZEV).

Can I write my Bachelor's or Master's thesis while studying Responsibility?

Students can have their final thesis recognised as a credit point in the Responsibility Studies programme by individual arrangement. In addition, final theses can also be written at the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility. Students can obtain further information at a personal counselling appointment.

What does the sustainability certificate offer me?

The topic of sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in society, education, business and politics. The sustainability certificate proves one's own competence expansion in this area. Those who have successfully completed the study programme Responsibility show that they can reflect on complex challenges of sustainability-related developments in science, research and society from many perspectives and weigh them up responsibly. It also shows that they have taken the initiative to expand their own studies to include interdisciplinary perspectives and methods. In this respect, the sustainability certificate enhances one's own curriculum vitae and can set an important accent when applying for a job.

What is the " Blaue Schiene "?

The Blaue Schiene (Blue Track) in Faculty 05 is a Forerunner of the Study Responsibility. While the Blaue Schiene could initially only be chosen as an accompanying study programme in Faculty 05, the Study Responsibility is offered centrally for all study programmes and all students at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. The Responsibility Programme thus replaces the Blaue Schiene (Blue Track).

I still have questions: Who can advise me further on study Responsibility?

Students are welcome to book counselling appointments at the Centre for Ethics and Responsibility (ZEV) via the office hours booking or contact ZEV staff via email.

Is there a flyer for the Study Responsibility?

There is a flyer at this LINK. It is not accessible, but all the information on the flyer can also be found on this website.


Contact ZEV


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Grantham-Allee 20

53757, Sankt Augustin



Contact International Centre for Sustainable Development (IZNE)