MA Program



We have created a dynamic program that emphasises critical and analytical thinking, empathy-building from ethnography and design thinking, evidence-based dialogue, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and active public engagement. Students take a wide array of holistic and multi-disciplinary courses, covering behavioural and social change, organisational design, research and design thinking methods, impact measurement, strategic leadership, and technologies for sustainable development.

Learning Modules


Plan A: Research and Plan B: Coursework

Using the UN SDG framework, the course examines the major global and local sustainability challenges and pathways towards achieving the SDGs. Students examine the role of various state and non-state actors in creating a sustainable world. Moreover, students learn to apply theories and frameworks to understand the political-economic dimensions of global and local sustainability challenges and how state and non-state actors can navigate them to achieve the SDGs. Strong consideration is given to the challenges and opportunities that emerge from global interconnection.

This course introduces students to the theories, strategies, and processes of social innovation and social change. Students learn about sociological and anthropological theories of social change while also learning about various strategic approaches to societal change. Importantly, the course also draws on business theories of innovation such as disruptive innovation and platform business models and examines their potential for driving social change through market mechanisms. Through case studies, students study individuals, groups and organisations who have catalysed positive social change through the market, government, and non-profit organisational channels.

This course provides students with the foundational skills of social science research and design thinking to prepare students to conduct academic research as well as research for practical social innovation research projects. Students learn about qualitative and quantitative research methods and tools to design and execute research projects. Students develop skills in ethnographic methods and conceptual tools used to engage in place-based social inquiry. The course will also provide a theoretical and practical explanation about the research, sampling, data collection, field-visit, interviewing, and details about ethical issues, questionnaires, data analysis and other relevant issues.

Students study the structure and dynamics of organizational systems and learn to design organization structures and create impactful cultures aligned with strategic goals. Consideration is given to the external environment, technology, organisational structure (and their interrelationship), organizational culture and change management. The course also covers innovative business models, financing organizations, and innovation culture. Students learn to recognize, manage and overcome bottlenecks hampering organizational growth, achievement of strategic organizational, and delivering social impact. Students also learn about enterprise models and innovative financing mechanisms that support social impact projects.

In this course, students develop practical skills for understanding sustainability challenges and developing social innovations through a variety of workshops and practical experience. To complement the academic and theoretical knowledge and skills acquired in other courses, students engage in practical design and entrepreneurial workshops to produce social innovation and sustainable solutions. They have the opportunity to engage with and learn first-hand from social entrepreneurs and innovators who are active in creating solutions for pressing societal and environmental challenges.


Plan A: Research

The goal of ‘Research Methods for social innovation and sustainability’ is to learn how research is being done, and to put that knowledge into practice. Students will learn how to apply a great number of tools and techniques, draw conclusions from the research. It will describe both qualitative and quantitative research, their design, problems and tools to investigate. As a general course on research methodology, it will provide the theoretical and practical explanation about the research, sampling, data collection, field-visit, interviewing, and details about ethical issues, questionnaires, data analysis and other relevant issues. It is expected that this course will enable the participants to take advanced research with

Research seminar enables students to read and discuss academic publications of their choice related to their thesis topic. Readings are analyzed and critiqued through regular class discussions and presentations. Students learn to move from analysis of literature to the development of research questions and the formulation of a research proposal. 

The introductory course provides an overview of ontological and epistemological traditions and their implications for contemporary social science. It covers paradigmatic traditions – programmatic and methodological standpoints. The course also provides an overview of methodological implications and strategies. The course illustrates the building blocks of social science, descriptive strategies, traditions of interpretation, forms of aggregation and strategies of inference, forms of explanation and explanatory strategies. The course concludes with the controversies within the field of philosophy of science.

Plan B: Coursework

This course equips students with the fundamental’s skills, tools and concepts of project management so students can successfully develop, execute and manage an impactful project. Students learn to skillfully manage their resources, schedules, risks, and scope to produce the desired outcome. In this course, students explore project management with a practical, hands-on approach through case studies and class exercises. Students also learn various methods of monitoring and evaluating projects. Moreover, they develop a critical understanding of environmental and social impact assessment tools so the outcome of social innovation projects can be anticipated and measured.

In this course, students are introduced to Behavior Economics and learn how to apply to shape sustainable practices at an individual, community and organizational level. Through this course, students also develop skills in applied social psychology and cross-cultural communication. Case studies of successful interventions are examined. For the course project and major assessment, students develop a sustainable behaviour change intervention using concepts and tactics studied in the course.

In this course, students develop strategic leadership skills. They learn how to create and articulate a strategic vision for organisational and social change. The course examines the tasks, skills and strategic competencies that enable a strategic leader to guide social transformation while navigating the tensions between stakeholders and short and long term needs and goals.

In this course, students acquire competencies in sustainability defined as “the capability of an organization to transparently manage its responsibilities for environmental stewardship, social well-being, and economic prosperity over the long-term while being held accountable to its stakeholders.” Through this course, students learn how to develop and execute sustainable organisational practices through studying a range of case studies. Students are expected to study local enterprises and learn first-hand from corporate leaders endeavoring to develop sustainable enterprises.

The aim of this course is to examine the role of technology in fostering sustainable development in emerging economies. The course focuses on digital technologies and new enterprise models powered by digital technologies. Students examine digital divides and how to create more inclusive digital economies. Additionally, through various case studies, students learn how to leverage digital technologies such as new media, blockchain and platform technologies to solve various societal and environmental challenges. Students will examine how various Thai and Southeast Asian NGOs, social enterprises and start-ups use technology to achieve their impact goals.


Plan A: Research

The thesis, under Plan A, is an individual student project to demonstrate his/her ability to formulate, investigates, and analyse a problem in a practice setting. Students choose a topic, relevant to the field of sustainability, social innovation, development or business. The research with specific study focus, will be advised and approved by the advisors, who would agree to supervise and evaluate the students’ work. The thesis project includes research design, field level research, desk research, application of various research methodologies and tools, and extensive analysis of acquired data. Participation in seminars and academic conference is an integral part of students thesis work. Students need to defend their thesis proposal prior to conduct the research. The project has to meet the academic criteria of clear knowledge contribution, neutral framing, objective investigation and ethical approach.

Plan B: Coursework

The independent study is a continuation of the capstone experience for students in Plan-B of the MASS program, which uses the knowledge and skills acquired during the course of study leading to the Master’s degree. This study is designed to introduce students to the process of reporting on their independent study projects and practical activities. Students will formulate an appropriate report on their independent study project. Seminars will afford students the opportunity for peer review and instructors’ feedback.

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