Cycle of Studies

Ecology and Environment

Pontificia Università Lateranense > Ecology and Environment

The objective of the Cycle of Studies in Ecology and Environment is to train “sustainability managers, where, the meaning of “manager” will not only be limited to the entrepreneurial field, but will also aim at adopting a broader context that clings itself to the true meaning of the word “manager”, which refers to the action of “managing”, “governing” and “planning” sustainability. Subsequent to the serious ecological crises, including the climatic ones that humanity is going through, sustainability must now be interpreted in a “proactive” key; for this reason, the term is now a more complex concept than it was in the past, and therefore requires extensive understanding in different disciplinary sectors, facing the dynamics that characterize contemporaneity both at the macro level (States, supranational institutions, intergovernmental organizations …), and at the micro level (communities, groups, associations, movements, civil society organizations, private, social and public companies …).

The Cycle of Studies takes up and develops the field of Environmental and Ecological Studies, availing itself of a continuous and structured interaction between scientific, environmental/ecological, humanistic and social science training. The scientific activity of the Cycle of Studies has, in fact, an academic structure articulated in the disciplinary sectors of the ecological-environmental, legal, economic-social and ethical-philosophical fields that interact in a way capable of generating that unity of knowledge in the distinction and respecting its multiple, correlated and converging expressions. An approach based on interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity is therefore adopted; the latter in particular is very well suited to the analysis of sustainability.

As indicated by the UNESCO, it is necessary, through interdisciplinarity to integrate awareness and methods of different disciplines using a synthesis of approaches; interdisciplinarity concerns collaborations between academic disciplines or methods of research for new applications, new analysis or the creation of entirely new disciplines. With transdisciplinarity, on the other hand, the intention is to unite interdisciplinarity with a participatory approach; research paradigms involve different actors (stakeholders) as part of the process towards a common goal.

The course of study is also characterized by an accentuated international dimension, hence the expression of a UNESCO Chair on the Future of Sustainability Education, established at the Lateran University on 7 October 2021 by the Director General of UNESCO, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay. The Chair desired by UNESCO, unique in its kind – in fact, that concerns education in sustainability – has the goal of educating and training the younger generations in integral ecological responsibility and sustainability through advanced activities and programs of inter-university and transdisciplinary research and study.

Ecology and Environment

Student’s Secretariat

Tel. +39 06 69895554

Deputy Director: Prof. Paolo Conversi

Deputy Director Secretariat:
in update

Ordo Ecology and Environment A.Y. 2022/2023

UNESCO Chair on the Future of Sustainability Education


In pursuing and promoting awareness (environmental studies), competence (environmental skills) and research (environmental thinking and governance), the Cycle of Studies aims to educate and train professionals capable of “managing”, “governing” and “planning” sustainability. In particular, we intend to work for an education capable of:

  • articulating an epistemology of integral ecology for the care of the environment and the correct management of its components, developing the study and interdisciplinary analysis of any environmental context in which it is called to work to identify the complex problems;
  • have a systemic environmental culture and a good practice of the scientific method for the analysis of components and factors of processes, systems and problems concerning the natural and anthropic environment;
  • promote the understanding and acquisition of fundamental awareness for sustainability in the various fields of ethics, economics, law, natural and physical sciences, as well as in the management of civil society associations, private and public administrations;
  • enhance and promote sustainable business methodologies, thanks to the acquisition of the understanding of methods of analysis and critical interpretation of the structures and dynamics of the company (and of the related functional areas of the latter), having assimilated skills in several disciplinary areas: ethics, economic, business, legal, scientific and quantitative;
  • acquire adequate skills and tools for communication and information management in the field of sustainability;
  • consolidate the capacity to work in a team, to operate with defined degrees of autonomy, to integrate promptly into the workplace and to continually update one’s knowledge;
  • contribute to a transformation of lifestyles, consumption and production models, production processes and social organization so that they can promote a more supportive, responsible, efficient management of resources;
  • acquire mastery of trans-disciplinary approach and the problem-solving methodology, “agile” and also aimed at project management in an integral key, so as to provide skills useful for analyzing the impact of crises (climate, health, energy …), so such as the effects of digital transformation on urban life and/or on fragility of resources (water, food …), and being able to provide answers in terms of “sustainability”;
  • in addition, graduates (degrees and licentiate certificates) will acquire:
  • professional training and advanced qualification, based on integrated knowledge in the ethical, scientific, economic-business and social fields, which allows them to analyze, manage and design decision-making processes of systems, institutions or companies that are strongly interconnected with the natural and cultural environment;
  • knowledge of “change management” techniques also through initiatives aimed at promoting economic and environmental incentives, energy efficiency projects and the use of renewable sources, environmental risk assessment in decision-making processes, sustainable mobility projects, creation of energy communities among others and other is useful for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular the international objectives of combating poverty, climate change and achieving sustainability;
  • knowledge of modern tools for surveying the territory, statistical and IT analyzing techniques and data storage;
  • qualified knowledge to analyze, design and use information systems and government decision-making processes, as well as to address problems for the management, conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural environment, in order to also initiate and consolidate urban regeneration processes and of each ecosystem.

Cycle of Ecology and Environment Studies

Bachelors/three year degree in Social Sciences for Cooperation, Development, Ecology and Peace (L-37)

Licentiate/Master's Degree in Sciences for Development Cooperation and Environmental Protection (LM-81)

Professional prospects

The programme of study intends to give support to those who are committed to cooperation for the development and care of the environment, offering a broader and more complex meaning of ecology which, starting from the custody of the common home, is linked to progress sciences, the relationship between different cultures, the processes of building peace, cooperation and development, through which to rediscover and reread the fundamental principles of social life such as responsibility, mutual respect, solidarity, equity, sharing of common good, subsidiarity, focusing on the education, training and preparation of the younger generations.

The Cycle of Studies intends to focus attention on four professional areas:

  • Pastoral care and communication;
  • International politics/civic engagement/civil society;
  • Business World and public administration;
  • Natural Sciences.

It aims to train the following professional profiles:

Sector Managers in ecology and the environment, with reference to integral human development, justice and peace (also in ecclesiastical and religious territorial structures, as well as movements and groups of Christian inspiration and the promotion of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue), developing capacity in both research and environmental design in the natural environment, and the analysis and monitoring of environmental systems and processes managed by human beings, in the view of sustainability, resilience and prevention, for the purpose of improving the quality of the natural and cultural environment.

Sustainability experts and Project Managers in the private and public sectors, also with managerial or entrepreneurial functions, with particular expertise (with regards to graduates in the Master’s classes) in the field of productive reconversions aimed at environmental rebalancing of ecological business, the design and analysis of environmental investments, the recovery and management of the natural environment, the assessment of the impact – including new technologies – on complex organizations and on the territory and the environment, of activities related to education, naturalistic and environmental communication, the dissemination of environmental issues and naturalistic knowledge.