> overview

Promoting sustainability, handling conflicts, increasing benefits, conserving biodiversity - the planning and management of Protected Areas (PA) involves many different legal, administrative and technical realities. The demand for highly skilled professionals is growing enormously.

The University of Klagenfurt, Austria, has launched a new international postgraduate master`s programme in 2005 dealing with these inter- and transdisciplinary issues.


The programme focuses on:

  • European and international categories of Protected Areas;
  • nature conservation strategies in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • the integration of socio-cultural, economic and ecological aspects;
  • participative approaches in the management of Protected Areas;
  • new technologies and methods.


Internationally renowned experts from various organisations and institutions have been engaged as lecturers. A tutorial system provides optimal supervision and support for students. By attending the programme, the participants become part of an international network of experts that will enable them to meet the complex challenges arising every day in a Protected Area.

  • 1st semester: theoretical and scientific principles of the management of Protected Areas
  • 2nd and 3rd semester: practical aspects of the management of Protected Areas (toolbox & best practice)
  • 4th semester: supervised implementation of applied and/or scientific research projects


The programme is arranged in eight modules with a total of 62 days of presence. Additionally, there is intensive e-learning support. The courses take place at the University of Klagenfurt and in prominent protected areas in Central and Eastern Europe.