CAS ETH in Collaborative Decision Making under Uncertainty (CAS ETH CDM)

Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zürich, ETHZ

LocationZürich, Zurich region, Switzerland

Certificates of Advanced Studies

CAS programmes aim to give greater depth or interdisciplinary breadth to an original academic qualification. They are aimed at university graduates who are working and wish to enhance their professional skills or specialise in a particular subject. They correspond to at least 10 ECTS credits and 150 contact hours and may involve written project work or a thesis. They are organised in the form of block courses or courses on fixed days of the week and last one to two years.

Certificate of Advanced Studies

This description is only available in English.


Environment, Infrastructure & Architecture

Participants can use this programme as an experimental, collaborative space for exploring solutions to real-life problems while accessing a broad range of methodologies for complex decision making.

Programme structure

Programme description

The CAS ETH CDM builds the capacity of participants for complex decision making, especially related to sustainability and engaging with climate risks. Systems and design thinking concepts and methods are integrated from environmental science perspective. In small groups, participants engage with a real–world problem of their own choosing. Participants can expect to collaborate with peers, who possess a diverse range of expertise and perspectives, while being coached by ETH faculty.


The CAS programme provides a diverse base of knowledge for problem framing and collaborative problem solving to provide participants with concepts and tools ready to be tested. Participants’ feedback in implementing these approaches will be re–adapted into the programme and the development of academic concepts. This provides a means by which knowledge can be co–created between industry, government and academic sectors.

Professional perspectives

Graduates of the CAS are able to lead complex projects affected by environmental uncertainties. Potential future employers can include:
  • Government departments in charge of developing future alternatives to mitigate climate risks;
  • Strategy units of technology, insurance or other firms affected by climate risks;
  • International organisations and civil society organisations focused on alternatives for sustainable development and climate change.

    Programme structure

    There are 9 modules, each lasting 16 hours, over a 2-day session (Friday and Saturday). 150 hours of contact time in-class; 150 additional hours on assignments outside of class.

    Tuition languages

    English: 100 %


    Certificate of Advanced Studies with the title ’CAS ETH in Collaborative Decision Making under Uncertainty’ (CAS ETH CDM)

    Credit points

    10 ECTS credits

    Target group and requirements

    Target group

    Mid- to senior-level professionals responsible for project-specific or strategic decision making within their organisations.


    Master’s degree acknowledged by ETH or equivalent educational qualifications. Participants are, in their current positions, in charge of project-specific or strategic decision making within their respective organisations.

    Required language skills

    English: C1 (Group work may be conducted in the language most suitable for all members of each particular group.) - Show proficiency scales

    Examination languages


    Time and place


    Spring semester


    1 year; 150 contact hours

    Application period

    01.06.-30.10. (later applications may be accepted upon request if places are still available)


    ETH Zurich

    Tuition fee

    CHF 8,500

    Deregistration fee

    Withdrawal until 30 days after admisson and before the beginning of the programme: free of charge
    Withdrawal more than 30 days after the admission date and before the beginning of the programme: CHF 2,500
    Withdrawal after the start of the programme: CHF 8,500



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    Questions about the application

    ETH Zurich, School for Continuing Education, HG E 17-18.5, Rämistr. 101, 8092 Zurich, Tel. 0041 (0)44 632 56 59 , info [a] sce[.]ethz[.]ch

    Additional application documents

    Please also include a CV along with your online application.


    Programme management

    Professor Michael Stauffacher (Programme Director), Professor David Bresch (Deputy Programme Director) and Dr BinBin Pearce (Programme Coordinator)


    ETH Zurich, Dr BinBin Pearce, Transdisciplinarity Lab - Institute for Environmental Decisions, CHN K 76.2, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Tel. 0041 (0)44 632 79 30 , bin.pearce [a] usys[.]ethz[.]ch

    Responsible body

    ETH Zürich, Department of Environmental Systems Science (D-USYS), Institute of Environmental Decisions (IED)


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    Information material

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    Environmental Sciences
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