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Masters Degrees (Climate Change And Development)

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It is now recognised that the level of greenhouse gas emissions that have already accumulated in the atmosphere means some climate change is inevitable, meaning that effectiveness in dealing with climate impacts is critical for the prospects of development. Read more

It is now recognised that the level of greenhouse gas emissions that have already accumulated in the atmosphere means some climate change is inevitable, meaning that effectiveness in dealing with climate impacts is critical for the prospects of development. Climate change is the foremost challenge of the 21st century and is now being prioritised by governments, donor/development agencies and NGOs around the world. As such, the people working in them need a thorough grounding in the conceptual and practical dimensions both of adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, as well as the interlinkages between them.

The Climate Change and Development programme is designed to meet these needs so that organisations can be more effective in their efforts towards change. The modules in this programme draw from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, concepts and methods including economics, environmental science, human geography, social development, political economy and environmental law. The programmes cover key issues within climate change and development such as gender, social justice, energy access, poverty and social protection.

The core aims of this programme are to:

  • Offer critical insight into how current development models produce environmental problems, like (but not limited to) climate change, which themselves threaten the objectives of development
  • Pose the question of what magnitude of change is required to confront the problems of climate change: do we need reform or revolution?
  • Help you develop the analytical skills to solve adaptation problems and identify low carbon development options
  • Contribute to producing the next generation of environment and development professionals working on climate policy and practice
  • Provide the most academically gifted students with a route into PhD studies on climate change and development.

Teaching & Learning

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

This programme is taught 100% online through our VLE. In the VLE you will have access to learning materials and module resources anytime so you can fit your studies around your existing commitments. For each module, students will be provided with access, through the online Library, to all necessary materials from a range of appropriate sources.

Developed by subject experts, the module materials are designed to meet all your study requirements. We encourage you to follow up further interests and explore other information more widely, but the material we provide is comprehensive and sufficient for the required elements of each module.

The details will vary from module to module, but a typical set of materials will include:

  1. A detailed study guide:
  • All of our modules use a core text which is specially written and this will take you through your self-directed study. Exercises, assignments and other activities, such as self-assessment questions, film clips and animations are included to help you with learning.
  1. E-books and key readings
  • Most modules also draw upon textbooks, key extracts and articles, which accompany the core text, to be accessed via the online library. A wide range of sources are provided as required readings. Information is also supplied suggesting sources of further reading as well as links to relevant web pages.
  1. Supplementary study materials
  • These are included where appropriate, and include items such as computer software.

Tutoring

Each module has a dedicated tutor who is a subject specialist . The tutor will guide the students through the units of the module and prepare them for the examination, using the module discussion forum and other learning activities, depending on the module, on the virtual learning environment. Tutors are also in email contact with their students.

When can I study?

You can begin your studies in April or October. Students take one module per study session. Study sessions are 16 weeks in duration.

How many hours a week?

Each module runs over a 16-week study term, and we recommend studying, on average, 15 hours per week during this time. These hours can be broken down into three main tasks:

Reading the unit materials and key readings on each of the 15 topics covered in the unit

Preparing for and submitting the written assignment, worth 40-50% of the module mark

Contributing to online discussion and activities.

Additional time is then required for exam revision, which happens after the 16-week study term is completed.

Assessment

Each module will be assessed on one written assignment (40-50 % of the module mark), a hand-written examination (40-50 % of the module mark), and in some modules, online participation in regular learning and discussion exercises (10-20% of the module mark).

Employment

This programme is designed to assist both existing professionals working within environment and development spheres, and people moving into these fields.

For existing professionals, the programme provides the opportunity to upgrade and update their expertise, and to reflect systematically and in depth on their accumulated experience in the light of up-to-date theory and literature.

Graduates of Climate Change and Development will be prepared for roles in the public sector, international organisations, NGO's, consultancies and development projects involved in:

  • policy analysis and implementation for disaster risk reduction
  • climate and broader environmental issues
  • local and national climate change strategies
  • energy and development
  • poverty reduction.

You will also be prepared for roles within social enterprise and corporate social responsibility organisations and departments whose area of focus encompasses environment and development.



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Home to the Walker Institute – a world-leading authority on climate change. Taught by academics working at the forefront of research and policy development. Read more
  • Home to the Walker Institute – a world-leading authority on climate change
  • Taught by academics working at the forefront of research and policy development
  • Analyse issues at the interface of climate change and development
  • Integrates the natural and social science of climate change
  • Excellent preparation for work in aid and development agencies, NGOs and government departments
  • Climate-KIC affiliated

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Energy, climate change and development
  • The science of climate change
  • Global environmental change and development
  • Theories and practices of development
  • Addressing poverty and inequality

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.

Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae



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The only programme of its kind in the world, GCU's MSc Climate Justice explores one of the most pressing issues of our times. climate justice, where climate change, human rights and policy development intersect. Read more

The only programme of its kind in the world, GCU's MSc Climate Justice explores one of the most pressing issues of our times: climate justice, where climate change, human rights and policy development intersect.

Each year, the effects of climate change become more pronounced. People all over the world are already being displaced due to rising sea levels, crop-destroying droughts and disasters like floods and forest fires. Over the next decade, these climate consequences will only intensify. How we chose to move forward may be one of the most important ethical questions of the 21st century.

Your MSc Climate Justice programme will prepare you to think strategically and contribute to the growing field of climate justice. You might help craft public policy at a local or global level, work with a non-profit or intergovernmental agency, assist a developmental organisation or pursue academic research in the field.

Taking a practical, multi-disciplinary approach, the curriculum offers a solid foundation in the complex issues of climate justice.

  • Explore topics in resources and sustainability
  • Learn about carbon management and renewable energy technologies
  • Study how water access affects public health
  • Investigate gender issues and their implications for human rights
  • Master the basics of project management and environmental management

GCU's Centre for Climate Justice is taking the lead, collaborating to drive research and policy in the field. At GCU, the University for the Common Good, you'll join a community dedicated to achieving meaningful social change. You'll find friends, classmates, colleagues and professors who share your values in the fight for human rights.

As we come to this crossroads, we believe in working together to transform our society and strengthen our communities - for the common good.

What you will study

The MSc Climate Justice explores the principles that underpin climate justice; human rights, development and climate change. The programme is tailored to provide a practical angle to climate justice to allow students to graduate with a Masters which provides them with skills, approaches and methodologies for addressing climate justice in their future work plans. It can be studied full-time for one year or part-time over two years.

Resources and Sustainability

This module provides an overview of our resources (water, air, forests, soil, raw materials, energy, etc) and how to critically analyse how and why these resources are exploited on a global scale. This module will focus on both the natural and social and economic sciences to provide a holistic understanding of sustainable resource use and management.

Climate Change and Carbon Management

Develops a student's understanding and knowledge of global climate change issues and the role of built environment in it, and an ability to conduct practical investigation of carbon management in the context of the built environment.

Climate Justice

Provides an overview of key issues that underpin climate justice (injustice) and the history of the climate justice movement and critique thereof Climate injustice and human rights to life are explored via addressing equity and equality including the implications, complexities and trade-offs between climate change and poverty. Controversial issues are examined by exploring challenging current economic models and theories and analysing failures(Kyoto, CDM and MDGs).

Human Rights, Gender and Development

This module critically examines the variety of ways in which a rights based approach seeks to engage with the impact of climate change. It does so by considering climate change within broader debates surrounding human rights and the structured nature of vulnerability in relation to gender and development.

Environmental Ethics and Climate Change

Critically examines the ethics of climate change. Rather than taking the concept of climate justice as its starting point, however, the focus is on locating the phenomena of climate change within the wider debates and schools of thought that are prevalent in the field of environmental ethics.

Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation

Develops a student's understanding and knowledge of global climate change issues and the ways that differing political cultures can impact adaptation and mitigation measures. In addition, sectoral responses to climate change will be explored and country/regional mitigation strategies will be considered, using climate modelling to investigate how decisions regarding adaptation and mitigation emerge.

Water, Justice and Public Health

Develops a student's understanding and knowledge of the important links between water and public health and explores the water/food/energy nexus that prevents developing world countries from making the most of economic development opportunities. It discusses whether developed world solutions are appropriate or even desirable for implementation in the developing world.

Renewable Energy Technologies

The module concentrates on therenewable energy technologies most likely to succeed in the UK and other temperate countries, i.e. solar energy, energy from waste, wind, hydro and biomass. Renewable energy is regarded as an integral part of a sustainable development strategy and is intimately linked to safe water access and agriculture based economic development.

Master's Dissertation/Project

Provides the student with the opportunity to conduct an individual in-depth piece of research, into a topic of their own choosing. This includes elements of time management, achieving deadlines and outputs and different ways of presenting work.

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed via a combination of coursework, oral presentations, on-line discussions, computer based exercises, case study analysis, reports and a final dissertation.

Graduate prospects

Graduates of the MSc Climate Justice will find rewarding careers with development organisations, the UN and related organisations, government agencies and non-profit organisations - as well as within academic and research institutions.



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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course places particular emphasis on recent global and regional environmental and climatic change, the scientific basis and limitations of models and data collection techniques. It combines the international research strengths of staff within the Departments of Geography and Biosciences around environmental and climate dynamics (processes and mechanisms involved in stability and change), marine and ecosystem biology, and environmental management and sustainable development.

Graduates from the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course will have extensive knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climate change and environmental and ecosystem dynamics, and the practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills required for a successful career in the environmental service industry, regulating bodies or academia.

Students of the MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change at Swansea will benefit from exceptional computing facilities that include fifteen dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.

The aims of the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change programme are:

To provide advanced training in understanding the scientific issues associated with environmental dynamics and climatic change,

To provide graduates entering the environmental service industry or a regulating body with the required practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills; as well as a basic knowledge of current climate policy and environmental management,

To provide graduates continuing their academic career with the required subject specific and transferable skills.

Modules

Modules of the MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change ‌programme include:

Climate Change

Core Science Skills

Satellite Remote Sensing

Principles of Environmental Dynamics and Climatic Change

Please visit our website for a full description of modules for the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change MSc.

Fieldwork

The Stackpole residential field course introduces Environmental Dynamics and Climatic Change programme students taking the “Principles of Environmental Dynamics” to some of the major themes of the module: environmental systems, sea-level change and human impact on the environment, in a congenial setting in Pembrokeshire. The environmental issues facing the Stackpole Estate are discussed and placed into a historical perspective through lectures and the analysis of long term environmental records.

Research

The Department of Geography aima to be one of the foremost international centres for research in human and physical geography, and to provide our students with excellent teaching and superb facilities in a friendly atmosphere.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.

Research groups include:

Environmental Dynamics

Glaciology

Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation

Migration, Boundaries and Identity

Social Theory and Urban Space

We host a large community of postgraduate researchers studying for PhD degrees, and run one-year MRes, MSc and MA courses.

Facilities

The Department of Geography is well-resourced to support research: there are two dedicated computer laboratories: One of 24 computers in conjunction with Library and Information Services (LIS) providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing; One of 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications.

We have specialist laboratory suites for: stable-isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation.

In addition, we have recently spent £1.8million on state-of-the-art teaching spaces, including IT facilities, laboratories and flexible teaching spaces.

Student profiles

I originally came to Swansea University to study for a BSc in Geography. Although this course covered a wide range of both human and physical topics that were all very interesting and provided a broad spectrum of skills from GIS and remote sensing to environmental modelling, my main interest was in the physical aspects. I graduated in 2007 with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) in Geography and wanted to continue my studies into the field of climate change. I decided that the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change would be an appropriate route to take in order to pursue this field. The MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change focused on many characteristics of the global environment, like impacts on ecosystems, and how the varying processes associated with climate change can be monitored, measured and modelled. This choice of topics was complimented by the fact that the modules were run by lecturers working at the cutting-edge of global environmental change. The culmination of what I learned over the course of the year was put into practice with the dissertation, which allowed me to focus on an area of particular interest. The group of friends that I had on the course were brilliant and I will take away a lot of fond memories of our time together at Swansea. Now, after finishing the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change I have a job working for the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton".

David Hamersley, MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change



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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change course provides cross-disciplinary training in the scientific basis of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Satellite Remote Sensing and Earth System Modelling alongside aspects of climate change.

The Geographic Information and Climate Change course places particular emphasis on the technical aspects of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Earth Observation as well as the past, present and future global and regional environmental and climatic change.

Graduates from the Geographic Information and Climate Change course will develop hands-on technical knowledge in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing together with a broad knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climate change, and the practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills required for a successful career in either industry or regulating bodies.

It is envisaged that graduates from the MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change course will enter careers in utilities, county councils, the environmental service industry or regulating body, or indeed be well prepared for a future career in academia.

Key Features

Students of the Geographic Information and Climate Change programme will benefit from exceptional computing facilities that include fifteen dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.

Graduates from the MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change course will have broad knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climatic change and environmental and ecosystem dynamics, and the practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills required for a successful career in the environmental service industry, regulating bodies or academia.

Aims:

To provide advanced training in understanding the scientific issues associated with environmental dynamics and climatic change,

To provide graduates entering the environmental service industry or a regulating body with the required practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills; as well as a basic knowledge of current climate policy and environmental management,

To provide graduates continuing their academic career with the required subject specific and transferable skills.

Modules

Please Visit our website for a full description of modules for the Geographic Information and Climate Change MSc.

Fieldwork

The Stackpole residential field course introduces students taking the “Principles of Environmental Dynamics” to some of the major themes of the module: environmental systems, sea-level change and human impact on the environment, in a congenial setting in Pembrokeshire. The environmental issues facing the Stackpole Estate are discussed and placed into a historical perspective through lectures and the analysis of long term environmental records.

Research

We aim to be one of the foremost international centres for research in human and physical geography, and to provide our students with excellent teaching and superb facilities in a friendly atmosphere.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.

Research groups include:

Environmental Dynamics

Glaciology

Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation

Migration, Boundaries and Identity

Social Theory and Urban Space

Facilities

The Department of Geography is well-resourced to support research: there are two dedicated computer laboratories: One of 24 computers in conjunction with Library and Information Services (LIS) providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing; One of 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications.

We have specialist laboratory suites for: stable-isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation.

In addition, we have recently spent £1.8million on state-of-the-art teaching spaces, including IT facilities, laboratories and flexible teaching spaces.

Student profiles

“I chose to study MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea as I had already enjoyed my undergraduate degree here. I really enjoyed that the course is quite full on, with a lot of independent work but a willingness from lecturers to help with any issues you have. Anyone considering this course I would advise to come to the university and speak with the lecturers about the potential interests they have. You get out what you put in. I want to go into a field that requires some expertise, although I feel as though I will need more experience once in or looking for a job, Swansea has provided the stepping stone for my future career. The lecturers helped me because they take a back seat, but I understand that they are there to support me when I need it. They have allowed me to be independent.”

Alice Nolan, MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change

After completing his MSc in Geographic Information and Climate Change, Thomas went on to earn a position at the Associated British Ports Marine Environmental Research. He said of his time at Swansea – “I chose MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea University because of the funding Available (Access to Master's Scheme) and specific course content (Climate Change and GIS modules). I enjoyed studying topics in greater depth than at undergraduate level, and the opportunity to undertake my dissertation in partnership with an external organisation. The lecturers were highly approachable throughout the course, and were always available for advice outside of lectures and seminars. Studying at Master's level in Swansea provided the opportunity to build upon the knowledge and skills I acquired as an undergraduate. For example, completing my Master's dissertation in partnership with an external company enabled development of my communication and organisational skills, as well as my ability to synthesize research. These skills have been vital for development of my career in the marine consulting sector.”

Thomas Perks, MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change



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Sustainable development, or development that balances economic, social, and environmental aspects, is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be powerful tools in helping to achieve this. Read more
Sustainable development, or development that balances economic, social, and environmental aspects, is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be powerful tools in helping to achieve this.

The ICT for Development (ICT4D) specialism is a strand within the established and highly successful MSc Practising Sustainable Development. It is offered jointly by the Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) Group and the UNESCO Chair/Centre in ICT4D at Royal Holloway, University of London.

This ICT4D Masters strand takes a global perspective on sustainable development and the role of ICTs; placed at the interface of research and practice, it is designed for those who want to launch or further their careers as development practitioners or scholars. It combines cutting-edge teaching on ICT4D with rigorous training in the broader field of sustainable development, to provide a well-rounded perspective on current and future development challenges. This degree extends knowledge, develops key skills and optimises career prospects.

The course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Master’s degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/geography/coursefinder/mscpgdippsdict4d.aspx

Why choose this course?

- This is an intellectually exciting and inspiring course, drawing on both physical and social sciences, which attracts a diverse, international group of students.

- Our teaching staff are leading international experts and have wide experience in different developing regions and economies in transition, including Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, East Asia and South-East Asia.

- You will benefit from small group learning and an intense but friendly atmosphere, and will receive individual mentoring and career advice from our staff (both from your personal tutor and a dissertation supervisor).

- You will receive an internationally renowned University of London degree, giving you a solid foundation for a career in the field of development and/or environment.

- The course will provide you with training in the skills needed to research and assess ICT for development. These include research design, project development, geographic information systems, remote sensing, participatory methods, project analysis and evaluation.

Department research and industry highlights

The UNESCO Chair/Centre in ICT4D at Royal Holloway is an interdisciplinary centre involving staff in Geography, Management, Computer Science and Earth Sciences. One of the world leaders in its field, with 17 affiliated staff and 18 PhD students, it is a vibrant research community embedded in both the College and the international ICT4D Collective of ICT4D practitioners. It has excellent links with NGOs, businesses and international organisations. Friendly and diverse, it is an exciting place to study and network with other ICT4D experts.

The Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) group consists of over 20 research-active staff, 35 PhD students and 50 Master’s students on four MSc programmes. We are committed to conducting collaborative research which seeks to understand and contribute to addressing problems of social inequality, environmental destruction and injustice. The breadth of its members’ research places it in an ideal position to contribute to theoretical and policy debates on key challenges facing Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean today.

Course content and structure

The course is divided into three compulsory elements; theory, policy and practice; research training; and a dissertation. Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma do not undertake the dissertation.

Core course units:
Sustainability, Development and Governance
This course will equip students with a detailed understanding of the development of sustainable development as a discourse. Students will explore key sustainability issues such as climate change, globalisation, and human responses with an emphasis on the emergence of environmental governance as a means to pursue sustainability.

Technology and Development
This course provides you with an introduction to the role of technology in development, focusing particularly on mobile phone and computer technologies. The course combines an understanding of key theoretical debates and how technologies have been applied in diverse sectors such as health and education. The course also includes training in the use of GIS (geographical information systems) within a development context.

ICT4D
This course gives you the opportunity to develop deeper understandings of cutting-edge applications of ICT4D research and practice. Topics covered include environmental change and Green ICT, open development and subversive forms of technology use, and logics of inclusion and exclusion in ICT programmes. You will also examine project planning, monitoring and evaluation in the field of ICT4D.

Participatory Research
This course combines detailed understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of participatory research and methods with practical experience of using different participatory research techniques. These include participatory diagramming, participatory video and participatory environmental monitoring.

Research Training
You will be provided with training in a range of methods to enable you to plan, carry out and complete a piece of research. There are three modules in this element:
- Social Research Methods Training - provides a range of social science methods for field research and analysis.
- Quantitative Methods for Graduates - provides basic statistical concepts and procedures used in empirical research.
- Development and Environment Research Training - provides guidance for planning, developing and undertaking research in a development and environment context.

Dissertation (MSc only)
The dissertation is of between 12,000 and 15,000 words, on a topic of your choice which has been approved by the supervisor. It requires both secondary and primary research, and the demonstration of originality in integrating theoretical and practical research methods in tackling a particular problem. You will be encouraged to carry out your dissertation in collaboration with an organisation in the field of development and environment.

Community Volunteer Project
You will undertake an independent volunteer project which will give you practical experience in gaining sustainability related work experience in a non-for profit organisation. The project will enhance your employability whilst and provide an opportunity to gain practical experience of third sector organisational objectives, cultures and practices.

Elective course units:
Sustainability, Development and Society
You will develop a detailed understanding of key social / environmental relationships incorporating contemporary issues in the geographies of sustainability. These will include 'risk society', sustainable cities, and the impacts of corporate sector activities on the environment. You will also understand the challenges to sustainable development at household and community levels, with a focus on community-based approaches to sustainable development.

Business Ethics and Enterprise
The aim of the course is to equip students with the moral frameworks and critical abilities necessary to understand the role of business in society from an ethical perspective. The course will cover different types of business including large publicly traded multinationals, small and medium sized enterprises, social enterprises and family firms. Students will be expected to understand the different issues in these organizational types and to articulate moral arguments from a range of different perspectives.

International Sustainability Management
This course provides participants with an understanding of how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) informs sustainability management issues in large, transnational organisations. It will focus on issues such as consumption and sustainability as dichotomised between the apparently incompatible tensions of economic and environmental interests.

Other courses Geopolitics and Security / PIR / Management / Computer Science

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- an understanding at an advanced level of the relationships between, and complexities of, social, economic, political and environmental aspects of sustainable development and ICT4D

- an understanding at an advanced level of how the key issues in sustainable development theory and ICT4D influence policy and impact on practice

- the ability to critically analyse complex or contradictory areas of knowledge in aspects of sustainable development.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Past students of the MSc Practising Sustainable Development are now employed by international development and/or environment agencies, national government in their countries, national programmes and implementing agencies, higher education institutions, consultancies, private sector businesses, social enterprises and NGOs; as environmental and development policy-makers, managers, workers, activists, teachers and researchers. Many of our alumni are also currently undertaking doctoral programmes in the UK and abroad.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Climate change is a multifaceted issue, with relevance across a wide range of economic sectors and policy areas. The MSc Climate Change offers you the chance to take a truly interdisciplinary approach to your study in climate change, engaging with academic, professional and popular literature. Read more
Climate change is a multifaceted issue, with relevance across a wide range of economic sectors and policy areas. The MSc Climate Change offers you the chance to take a truly interdisciplinary approach to your study in climate change, engaging with academic, professional and popular literature. The programme will equip you with an understanding of climate change and how this challenge is being tackled by governments, business and other organisations. You will be able to critically evaluate scientific scenarios of future climate and associated impacts, assess the effectiveness of different policy approaches, and determine suitable business responses to the climate change challenge.

You will also explore the key debates and ideas from a range of viewpoints, balancing science, policy and business practice. The course is designed for both climate change practitioners wishing to further develop their understanding of key issues, and those hoping to move into this fast-developing sector. As the programme is offered through part-time, evening, face-to-face study, it provides a distinctive opportunity for practitioners to combine study with their career.

The 5 compulsory modules - Climate Change, Environment and Policy, Sustainable Business Practice, Energy and Climate Change, and Research Methods - give a comprehensive grounding in key topics and an opportunity to reflect on practice at both individual and corporate levels.

These compulsory courses are complemented by a wide range of option modules, which allow you to pursue your own interests. Alternatively, you can elect to take option modules that lead to Institute of Environmental Managers and Assessors (IEMA) Associate Member status.

In addition, you will receive training in research methods and complete a research project, involving in-depth study of real challenges arising from climate change.

Staff teaching on this programme

Dr Becky Briant
Dr Melissa Butcher
Dr Paul Elsner
Dr Aideen Foley (Programme Director)
Dr Diane Horn

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

The MSc Climate Change will give you an advanced understanding of climate science, policy and business practice, meeting the needs of both climate change practitioners and those hoping to move into this fast-developing sector.
Successful completion of the relevant modules allows you to become a Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), a non-profit membership organisation that promotes best practice standards in environmental management, auditing and assessment. IEMA supports the professional development of individuals involved in the environmental and sustainability profession in the public, private and non-governmental sectors.
Find out more about studying at Birkbeck and what our students say about our geography- and environment-related programmes.
Listen to an introductory lecture: 'Climate Change and the River Thames' (delivered by Becky Briant).
The programme allows you to pursue your own interests, undertaking in-depth research in a sector of your own choosing.
Our location in central London offers excellent access to a wide range of research resources, including the Birkbeck Library, the LSE Library of Political and Economic Science (LSE), the Royal Geographical Society and Senate House Library (University of London).
The Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies has contacts with many public and private sector organisations, professional bodies and researchers at other academic institutions, which can lead to important networking opportunities.
We offer an excellent range of student support services.
Our academic staff are experts in their respective fields, publishing and teaching in a wide range of topics including climate modelling, renewable energy, flooding and coastal adaptation.

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The MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy (GECP) is the first Masters programme to jointly address the issues of climate and energy policy in an interdisciplinary fashion. Read more

Who is this programme for?:

The MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy (GECP) is the first Masters programme to jointly address the issues of climate and energy policy in an interdisciplinary fashion. It tackles policy and regulatory change, the historical and technological evolution of energy sources, energy markets and their participants, the global governance of climate change as well as the challenges associated with transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

The programme specifically addresses the requirements of those wishing to deepen their theoretical and practical understanding of how energy and climate policies are designed, shaped, advocated and implemented and by whom across a multitude of cases drawn from the Global North and South and across multiple levels of political organisation from global to local arenas.

The MSc is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy. It prepares for a multitude of careers in public and private contexts, including in public administration and government departments, strategic policy and risk advisory, government relations and public affairs, policy advocacy, think tanks and academia.

Guest speakers on the programme's modules have included Angus Miller (Energy Advisor, UK Foreign Office), Tom Burke (Founding Director, E3G and Environmental Policy Advisor, Rio Tinto), Jonathan Grant (Asst. Director Sustainability and Climate Change, PwC), Kash Burchett (European Energy Analyst, IHS Global Insight), Chris Dodwell (AEA Technology, former Head of International Climate Policy, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change) and Andrew Pendleton (Head of Campaigns, Friends of the Earth).

The programme draws on the teaching and research strengths of CISD and of the SOAS departments of International Politics, Law, Economics and area studies (especially of Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as a wide range of languages. In particular, students will be able to benefit from the expertise located at the Centre for Environment, Development and Policy (CEDEP), the Law School's Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC), the Centre on the Politics of Energy Security (CEPES), the Centre for Water and Development, and the SOAS Food Studies Centre.

In addition to the three core modules of Global Energy and Climate Policy (1 unit), Applied Energy and Climate Studies (0.5 units) and Global Public Policy (0.5 units) students choose a fourth module to meet their specific professional needs and personal interests.

Students on this course will have the opportunity to participate in CISD's Study Tour of Paris and Brussels.

Programme objectives

- Excellent understanding of the nature and development of global energy and climate policy, drawing on a variety of contributing disciplines

- Excellent knowledge of regulatory challenges and their impact on public and private stakeholders in both the Global South and North

- Ability to critically contribute to contemporary policy debates about reforms of international energy and climate governance architectures and their interaction with national and sub-national policy and regulatory frameworks

- Development of practical skills including policy analysis and policy advocacy, risk analysis, strategic communication and media

We welcome applications from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. It is not necessary to have a degree in a discipline directly related to global energy and climate policy.

Each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements may be modified in light of relevant professional experience and where the applicant can demonstrate a sustained practical interest in the international field.

Listen to the MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy and CISD's 1st Annual Energy and Climate Change Conference (May 2011) podcast (http://www.4shared.com/mp3/EdRUc-qq/CISD_Energy_and_Climate_Change.html), organised by students.

Visit the website http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy/

Programme Specification

Programme Specification 2015/2016 (pdf; 172kb) - http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy/file80890.pdf

Teaching & Learning

The programme may be taken in one year (full time) or in two or three years part time with the schedule designed to allow participation by those in full time employment. Participants may choose a combination of courses to meet their professional needs and personal interests. The programme is convened on a multi-disciplinary basis, and teaching is through lectures, tutorials and workshops conducted by SOAS faculty and visiting specialists.

The Centre endeavours to make as many of the courses for Global Energy and Climate Policy (GECP) accessible to part time students. The majority of CISD lectures are at 18.00 where possible however lecture times will be rotated on a yearly basis for some courses (between evening and daytime slots) so that part time students will have access to as many courses as possible over the duration of their degree. Associated tutorials are repeated in hourly slots with the latest taking place at 20.00. Students sign up for tutorial groups at the start of term and stay in the same group throughout the academic year. There is a minimum of two and a half hours formal teaching a week (lecture and tutorial) for each GECP course taken. Practical exercises may take place at weekends.

Teaching includes:

- Theory and practice of global energy and climate change policy as intertwined global issues

- Practical toolkit including policy analysis and planning, risk analysis, strategic communication, policy advocacy and negotiation skills

- Interaction with policymakers and government officials, energy industry and NGO representatives, and other practitioners

- An elective from a wide range: International Relations, International Law, International Economics, International Security, Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World or a course offered by other SOAS departments (e.g. Development Studies, Politics, Economics, Law)

Further activities:

Also included in the degree programme:

- Week-long study trip to energy and climate change related organisations in Brussels and Paris
- Advanced media and communication skills training by current and former BBC staff
- Participation in workshops attended by public and private sector stakeholders
- Opportunity to organize and run the Centre’s annual Energy and Climate Policy conference
- Guest lectures by leading scholars and senior practitioners (visit the CISD website (http://www.cisd.soas.ac.uk/all-audios/1) to listen to the podcasts)

This course is also available online and is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy and who wish to study in a flexible way. Please click here to view more information http://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/programmes/msc-global-energy-and-climate-policy-online/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/howtoapply/

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The Climate Change. History, Culture, Society MA course provides you with the theories, methods and skills required to analyse climate change, and the responses it generates among different national, political and social groupings. Read more

The Climate Change: History, Culture, Society MA course provides you with the theories, methods and skills required to analyse climate change, and the responses it generates among different national, political and social groupings. The course encourages you to examine historical, cultural and social perspectives on climate change, enabling you to gain a better understanding of how people in different settings around the world make sense of climate change. 

Key benefits

  • This course will introduce you to the social status of contemporary climate change science.
  • Innovative modules in a range of disciplines taught by staff who are recognised leaders in their fields.
  • A diverse range of research opportunities to prepare you for a career working in the public and private sector organisations which deal with the human causes and consequences of climate change.
  • The course is highly flexible and can be tailored to reflect your academic interests.

Description

The Climate Change: History, Culture, Society MA course reflects on the theory that climate change has penetrated all aspects of human life; and that a wholly cultural analysis of the notion – one that goes beyond that offered by scientific, political and economic analysis – is necessary to understand climate change fully. You will take a broad range of modules covering human beliefs, attributes and practices, peoples’ worldviews and values, narratives of development and environmental change, and the changing nature of expertise. You will gain valuable insights on all of these topics, as well as an introduction to the social status of contemporary climate change science

This course is made up of required and optional modules. You must take a minimum of 180 credits to complete the course. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will be delivered over two years. You will take the required combination of required and optional modules over this period of time, with the dissertation in your second year.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Per 20-credit module: 

Lectures, seminars and feedback: Typically 20 hours.

Self-study: 180 hours (some modules in the Geography Department may involve lab work or e-learning which would require less selfguided learning).

 Dissertation: 

Lectures, seminars and feedback: Usually four dissertation workshops/tutorials and five contact hours of one-to-one or group consultation with supervisors.

Self-study: 587 hours of self-study and project work.

Assessment

Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

Career prospects

This MA is designed to prepare students for careers working in the many public and private sector organisations which have to deal with the human causes and consequences of climate change. The Programme develop students’ understanding of the intersection between climate change and culture, and cultivates transferable skills suitable for policy-facing organisations, cultural institutions, international and national governmental and non-governmental organisations and environmental consultancies. The Master’s programme also develops the necessary knowledge and research skills for students who wish to undertake PhD research on the human dimensions of climate change.



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Interest in development, environment and issues of sustainable development has never been so intense. UN climate change summits , Millennium Development Goals and the World Social Forum have brought environmental and development issues and problems long on local and national agendas, onto the international scene. Read more
Interest in development, environment and issues of sustainable development has never been so intense. UN climate change summits , Millennium Development Goals and the World Social Forum have brought environmental and development issues and problems long on local and national agendas, onto the international scene.

All sustainable development issues are a complex and dynamic web of natural, social, political and economic processes, and it is this unique interdisciplinary approach which drives the MSc in Practising Sustainable Development. This popular course has evolved and expanded in scope and appeal, and has attracted students from about 30 countries and a diverse range of backgrounds who work or are interested in development issues and the environment.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Master’s degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/geography/coursefinder/mscpgdippractisingsustainabledevelopment.aspx

Why choose this course?

- Our teaching staff have wide experience in different developing regions and economies in transition, including Latin America, the Caribbean, South, East and South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Staff have also worked with indigenous and marginalised communities in North America.

- You will benefit from a diverse range of teaching and learning strategies including tutor-led discussions and seminars, oral presentations, role-playing, problem-solving and group work.

- You will be well prepared for a career in the development and environment field as the course is very highly regarded.

- The course can be used as part of an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) research training pathway for PhD study. This indicates that the content and approach of our academic research training is of a very high standard.

- You will be provided with training in skills needed to research and assess sustainable development, such as research design, project development, environmental monitoring, geographic information systems (GIS), participatory

Department research and industry highlights

The Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) group consists of over 20 research-active staff, 35 PhD students and 50 Master’s students on four MSc programmes. We are committed to conducting collaborative research which seeks to understand and contribute to addressing problems of social inequality, environmental destruction and injustice. The breadth of its members’ research places it in an ideal position to contribute to theoretical and policy debates on key challenges facing Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean today.

Course content and structure

The course is divided into three compulsory elements. Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma do not undertake the dissertation.

Core course units:
Sustainability, Development and Governance
This course will equip students with a detailed understanding of the development of sustainable development as a discourse. Students will explore key sustainability issues such as climate change, globalisation, and human responses with an emphasis on the emergence of environmental governance as a means to pursue sustainability.

Technology and Development
This course provides you with an introduction to the role of technology in development, focusing particularly on mobile phone and computer technologies. The course combines an understanding of key theoretical debates and how technologies have been applied in diverse sectors such as health and education. The course also includes training in the use of GIS (geographical information systems) within a development context.

Sustainability, Development and Society
You will develop a detailed understanding of key social / environmental relationships incorporating contemporary issues in the geographies of sustainability. These will include \'risk society\', sustainable cities, and the impacts of corporate sector activities on the environment. You will also understand the challenges to sustainable development at household and community levels, with a focus on community-based approaches to sustainable development.

Participatory research
This course combines detailed understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of participatory research and methods with practical experience of using different participatory research techniques. These include participatory diagramming, participatory video and participatory environmental monitoring.

Research Training
You will be provided with training in a range of methods to enable you to plan, carry out and complete a piece of research. There are three modules in this element:
- Social Research Methods Training - provides a range of social science methods for field research and analysis.
- Quantitative Methods for Graduates - provides basic statistical concepts and procedures used in empirical research.
- Development and Environment Research Training - provides guidance for planning, developing and undertaking research in a development and environment context.

Dissertation (MSc only)
The dissertation is of between 12,000 and 15,000 words, on a topic of your choice which has been approved by the supervisor. It requires both secondary and primary research, and the demonstration of originality in integrating theoretical and practical research methods in tackling a particular problem. You will be encouraged to carry out your dissertation in collaboration with an organisation in the field of development and environment.

Community Volunteer Project
You will undertake an independent volunteer project which will give you practical experience in gaining sustainability related work experience in a non-for profit organisation. The project will enhance your employability whilst and provide an opportunity to gain practical experience of third sector organisational objectives, cultures and practices.

Elective course units:
ICT4D
This course gives you the opportunity to develop deeper understandings of cutting-edge applications of ICT4D research and practice. Topics covered include environmental change and Green ICT, open development and subversive forms of technology use, and logics of inclusion and exclusion in ICT programmes. You will also examine project planning, monitoring and evaluation in the field of ICT4D.

Business Ethics and Enterprise
The aim of the course is to equip students with the moral frameworks and critical abilities necessary to understand the role of business in society from an ethical perspective. The course will cover different types of business including large publicly traded multinationals, small and medium sized enterprises, social enterpises and family firms. Students will be expected to understand the different issues in these organizational types and to articulate moral arguments from a range of different perspectives.

International Sustainability Management
This course provides participants with an understanding of how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) informs sustainability management issues in large, transnational organisations. It will focus on issues such as consumption and sustainability as dichotomised between the apparently incompatible tensions of economic and environmental interests.

Other courses Geopolitics and Security / PIR / Management / Computer science

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- an understanding at an advanced level of the relationships between, and complexities of, social, economic, political and environmental aspects of sustainable development

- an understanding at an advanced level of how the key issues in sustainable development theory influence policy and impact on practice

- the ability to critically analyse complex or contradictory areas of knowledge in aspects of sustainable development.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Past students of the course are now employed by international development and environment agencies, national policy making and implementing agencies, higher education institutions, private sector natural resource companies and NGOs; as environmental and development workers, activists, teachers and researchers. Many of our alumni are also currently undertaking doctoral programmes in the UK and abroad.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Sustainable development, defined as "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"1, is now one of the key policy drivers in many societies. Read more

A growing global concern

Sustainable development, defined as "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"1, is now one of the key policy drivers in many societies. Sustainability pervades decision making at the global, national, regional and local levels and is becoming embedded politically in all layers of government. Both public agencies and private organisations need to appreciate the sustainability agenda and what it means for them and their employees.

The MSc Sustainable Development (Climate Change and Environment) is designed to respond to this emerging agenda, approaching the subject from a holistic and multi-disciplinary perspective. This approach is critical: sustainable development covers inter-related economic, environmental and social issues. Understanding the connections between issues is key to tackling complex sustainability challenges and developing the joined-up thinking required in today’s policy environment.

Relevant, research-informed foundations and practical applications

This Masters provides a practical and problem-based approach to learning focused on both the study of sustainable development and its implementation in a range of professional contexts. Taught by experts in the field, staff who are active researchers in sustainability, you will gain insight into the latest research findings plus training in research methods for sustainability. You will develop a thorough grounding in the principles that underlie sustainability and the means by which to implement these in a range of settings across the globe.

We cover the outcomes of recent policy making, eg, the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development; specific policy areas such as biodiversity, climate change and forests; and social enterprise and sustainability. In addition, a range of option modules allow you to specialise in key aspects of sustainable development, climate change and environment.

A perfect environment in which to study sustainable development

This Masters is based on the Cornwall Campus, home to the University's Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI, http://www.exeter.ac.uk/esi/) – a £30 million centre leading cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research into solutions to problems of environmental change and enhancing people’s lives by improving their relationship with the environment. As a student you will benefit from the programme’s close relationship with the Institute and exposure to its cutting-edge research.

Cornwall is an exceptional place in which to study issues related to the environment and sustainability. The county is a perfect living laboratory which offers a diverse range of marine and terrestrial habitats, a wealth of natural resources and creative and resilient communities.

We also offer MSc Sustainable Development(http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/geography/sustdev/).

Programme structure

The programme is made up of compulsory and optional modules, which may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules could include the following; Dissertation; Understanding Environmental Change; Themes in Climate Change and Key Skills

Optional modules

Some examples of optional modules are as follows; Statistical Modelling; Environmental Sustainability in Practice; Independent Study; Independent Work-based Learning; Introduction to Energy Policy and Sustainability; Climate, Hazards and Risk Assessment; Governing Sustainability; Nature, Health and Wellbeing and Research Methods for Practice.

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Programme description. Based upon our highly successful on-campus MSc Carbon Management, this online programme utilises a blend of interactive content, videos, virtual case studies and online discussions to explore the science and business responses to climate change. Read more

Programme description

Based upon our highly successful on-campus MSc Carbon Management, this online programme utilises a blend of interactive content, videos, virtual case studies and online discussions to explore the science and business responses to climate change.

We examine the leading ways in which the global climate change challenge can be addressed, covering adaptation and mitigation solutions across a wide range of sectors and regions. The programme is designed for those with a passion for tackling climate change and who require the flexibility that online learning provides.

Online learning

This programme is delivered as flexible part-time study using our online virtual learning environment. You will learn from academics working at the leading edge of carbon management and climate change.

The lectures are all delivered online through our virtual learning environment. The lectures are delivered as a series of short video segments, animated slides and accompanying reading resources and links.

Each week students and staff also meet online to discuss issues, questions and ideas with the group.

As a student of one of our online learning programmes, you will:

  • have the flexibility to study when most convenient for you
  • be able to study from anywhere with an internet connection
  • have access to all University services and relevant academics
  • become part of a rich and varied online community of people in your field
  • learn the latest developments from people working at the leading edge in your field
  • study for an internationally-recognised Postgraduate Certificate

Programme structure

This programme takes one year to complete (September to July), with one course per semester.

The programme comprises three compulsory courses that move from the science of climate change and its impacts, through the key adaptation and mitigation solutions, to examination of the business response to climate change, and the risks and opportunities it represents.

The compulsory core courses typically are:

  • Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility

All courses are subject to change.

With this Postgraduate Certificate you can choose to:

  • study it as a standalone qualification
  • combine it with our Postgraduate Certificate in Carbon Innovation to form a Postgraduate Diploma in Carbon Management
  • study it as one third of our MSc Carbon Management

Read more about our related online qualifications:

Career opportunities

Our existing MSc Carbon Management boasts excellent relationships with relevant employers, as well as a great alumni network covering more than 25 nations and providing unrivalled opportunities to link up on research projects and find new positions in the field of carbon management.

The main employment sectors for our graduates are those of climate change consultancy, renewable energy and carbon management project development, and government and NGO climate change advisors. Several of our graduates are also now studying for climate change-focused PhDs.



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Programme description. The MSc in Environment and Development (E&D) is an interdisciplinary programme exploring the inter-dependencies between pressing environmental concerns and development pressures. Read more

Programme description

The MSc in Environment and Development (E&D) is an interdisciplinary programme exploring the inter-dependencies between pressing environmental concerns and development pressures. It explores these themes, the disputes around it and practical issues from an informed theoretical perspective, with an abiding concern for social justice claims. Conventional academic approaches focus on development or the environment as separate categories, while this programme looks at socioeconomic development as a socio-ecological and politicoecological process.

In particular this E&D programme focuses on:

  • grounding students in an awareness of the contested development paradigm;
  • inculcating an awareness of economic, political and cultural links between environmental change and social inclusion.

Those issues will be studied at the local and national level, but also taking into account the global scale of environmental and development agendas. In many cases the root causes of inequality and poverty, both in the Global South and in the Global North, are driven by regional or global economics far beyond the borders of a particular country, village or region.

The programme will teach you to critically evaluate the multiple dimensions of the relationship between development and the environment. Teaching, fieldwork, group and practical exercises will use examples of relevance to Northern and Southern countries.

The breadth and depth of the School of GeoSciences enables students to explore a variety of environment and development issues relevant to the programme: e.g. biophysical dynamics, food insecurity, environmental governance, river basin management, cultural studies, climate change, multiple scarcities and inequalities, gender and development,etc. Students are challenged to cultivate research thinking that is cross-cutting and globally relevant, but also grounded in cases that focus on particular issues, places or systems, providing insights to effective solutions.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Development Academy.

Programme structure

This MSc consists of two semesters of taught courses. Students take two compulsory and four option courses, each a balance of lectures, seminars, workshops and visits, followed by an individual dissertation.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • Understanding Environment and Development
  • Development: Principles and Practices
  • Research and Practice: Fieldwork
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:

Semester 1 Optional Courses

  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Development, Science and Technology
  • Displacement and Development
  • Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
  • Economic Issues in Public Policy
  • The Ecology of Ecosystem Services
  • Energy and Society I; Key Themes and Issues
  • Environmental Valuation
  • Frameworks to assess Food Security
  • Frameworks to assess Food Security
  • Marine Systems and Policies
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Research Design in Human Geography
  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Swahili 1A

Semester 2 Optional Courses

  • Anthropology and Environment
  • Anthropology of Global Health
  • Case Studies in Sustainable Development
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law
  • Critical perspectives on mental health and well-being in the global south
  • Energy Policy and Politics
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • EU and National Climate Change Law
  • Forests and Environment
  • Gender and Development
  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Human dimensions of environmental change and sustainability
  • International Political Economy
  • International Security
  • Interpreting Development: Institutions and Practices
  • Interrelationships in Food Systems
  • Marine Infrastructure and Environmental Change
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Political Ecology
  • South Asia: Roots of Poverty and Development
  • Sustainability of Food Production
  • Swahili 1B
  • The International Politics of Money
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling
  • Water Resource Management

Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Career opportunities

This programme is suitable for students seeking roles within international and national development agencies, thinktanks, NGOs, environmental consultancies or the private sector, or those going on to PhD research.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.



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Designed to meet the career needs of people working in international development and climate change policy and practice, the course will address multiple dimensions. Read more
Designed to meet the career needs of people working in international development and climate change policy and practice, the course will address multiple dimensions: International policy frameworks on climate change; urban climate change governance; adaptation and mitigation choices and pathways; linking climate change mitigation and development; carbon trade, markets and development; climate change and poverty reduction, trade-offs and synergies; local responses to extreme events and disasters; sectoral responses (eg water, energy, food and forests).

Taught by a team of internationally-renowned natural scientists, policy analysts and economists, course material will draw upon existing and ongoing research and applied work through the School of International Development and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Its interdisciplinary approach ensures students opportunity to collaborate with the School of Environmental Sciences through science-based modules on climate change.

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The Global Environmental Change and Policy course focuses on 4 key questions. What are the nature and causes of global environmental change (GEC)?. Read more

The Global Environmental Change and Policy course focuses on 4 key questions:

  • What are the nature and causes of global environmental change (GEC)?
  • What do we know and not know about GEC - and why?
  • What are the biological, physico-chemical and human implications of GEC?
  • What can and should be done about mitigating and adapting to GEC?

Structure and Objectives

By addressing those four questions the overall aim of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive and broad understanding of the scientific, legal and policy concerns informing the GEC field, and to guide students towards applying, independently, the necessary tools to address GEC questions, analytically and critically. This is done through small group seminars, lectures and case studies arranged into four main strands:

Strand I - Climate Change Science, Environmental and Health Impacts and Adaptation 

This strand explores the analysis and prediction of change in the earth's physical and chemical systems and their impact based on scientific evidence. Sessions include analysis, prediction and impact of changes such as climate change and acidification in the atmosphere, oceans, the water cycle and global land cover and use. In light of the projections of scientific bodies such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), students become acquainted with different global warming scenarios and their likely impact on water management, vegetation, soil, health and other relevant sectors, and the correlated adaptation policies required in different parts of the globe in order to manage environmental change. It also addresses specific adaptation policies necessary in areas that are most likely to be affected by climate change, such as in Africa.

Strand II – Climate Change Mitigation, Business Strategies and Innovation

This strand focuses on climate change mitigation (non-LULUCF) and related business strategies and the development of technologies in the transition towards a low-carbon economy. A number of greenhouse gas mitigation and alternative energy policies – including renewable energy deployment and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) - are selected for analysis. It examines the social and economic causes of the environmental changes with respect to population, urbanisation, energy policy, and pollution and addresses the policy options to mitigate climate change. It includes a study of international and regional schemes, carbon markets and alternative policies such as carbon or fuel taxes. In addition, this strand assesses the broader question of quantifying the costs and benefits of mitigation and adaptation in light of the developmental priorities of different regions of the globe, as well as possible business solutions towards low carbon economic growth.

Strand III – Biodiversity, Land Use Change and Forestry, and Conservation Strategies

This strand explores biodiversity loss, conservation strategies, the monitoring and prediction of change in the earth's ecosystems and their response to a range of environmental changes including climate change, and the impact of these changes on humans, ecosystems and the management of natural resources. The different mechanisms proposed or already applied to protect biodiversity broadly and in relation to climate change are covered in this part of the course. Among other things, we may critique mitigation policies applicable to the agricultural sector and look at the sustainability of biofuels as cleaner sources of energy.

Strand IV – Law and Governance 

The strand draws together some of the issues outlined above. The role of international law and policy in developing innovative solutions for global environmental problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, is emphasised. It addresses the law and politics behind the negotiation of, inter alia, global climate change agreements, the international framework for climate change, environmental governance, examines the role of compliance and monitoring, asks bigger philosophical questions related to rights, equity and justice in an environmental context and looks at the fundamental principles and norms of the international environmental law regime and their utility in going forwards. 

Learning and Teaching

The course structure, individual seminars and activities are designed to enable each student to attain the following:

Understanding of:

  • the current state of knowledge about GEC and the uncertainties surrounding it;
  • the similarities and differences between the problems raised by GEC and other environmental problems;
  • the key processes, drivers and interrelationships involved;
  • the principal impacts of GEC on natural and human systems; and the principal ethical, legal and socio-economic issues raised;
  • particular problems faced by developing countries;
  • interregional and regional institutional mechanisms and scientific organisations;
  • the social, economic and environmental objectives for the global environment.

Skills in:

  • the analysis of the global dimension of environmental problems, and the extent to which GEC raises distinctive challenges;
  • the location, handling, critical evaluation, interpretation and analysis of GECP information;
  • the application and appraisal of selected analytical techniques;
  • the design and execution of a GEC-related project; communicating clear, unambiguous information, evidence or advice.

Capabilities in:

  • applying global perspectives to complex environmental problems; 
  • analysing the key drivers of GEC and their interrelationships;
  • developing independent judgement in relation to GEC-related issues and evidence;
  • participating in the formulation, implementation or evaluation of GEC-related policies;
  • participating effectively in competent consultancy or advisory work.

Coursework

Understanding, skills and capabilities are developed and assessed through active participation in coursework which comprises research and presentation, negotiation and conflict management and a panel group exercise. Panel Meetings run throughout the option term. The aims of these sessions are to establish and coordinate research, discussion, presentation and negotiation in respect of selected global environmental change issues, leading ultimately to the formal conclusion or agreed policy and scientific statement on one or more aspects of GECP.

Examples of GECP Student Destinations

  • UK Department for Business, Energy and Innovation
  • Greenstone
  • Royal Borough of Greenwich
  •  Natural Capital Partners
  • ERM
  • ShareAction
  • Ricardo Energy & Environment
  • UK Department for Transport
  • PwC


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