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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is a pressing national and international need to understand the nature and consequences of climatic change and to develop adaptation strategies. The UCL Climate Change MSc provides rigorous scientific and vocational training for the next generation of climate change professionals.
The programme provides you with a knowledge and understanding of the Earth system (incorporating the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere) and the nature and causes of climate variability and change. It combines observationally based climate and environmental science with state-of-the-art modelling, specifically concerned with understanding the impacts of climate change. It seeks to place climate change within the context of broader anthropogenic environmental change and social policy dimensions.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consist of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year) is offered.
* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals
Options may include:
Other MSc modules offered across UCL may be taken at the discretion of the MSc convenor. *Availability of modules is dependent on staff sabbaticals.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is through independent project work, practical-based and written coursework, and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Climate Change MSc
The programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with a wide range of private industries, non-governmental organisations, government agencies and environmental consultancies. Graduates have gone on to careers in the commercial, non-profit and academic sectors. Examples include government policy implementation, sustainability consultancy, science communication and research. A significant proportion of students go onto further study such as a PhD.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Climate change is big issue with many governmental, non-governmental and commercial cosequences. This programme will give graduates an edge when applying for jobs in the private sector relating to adaptation and mitigation - such as the insurance industry and carbon monitoring companies respectively. It also provides a great stepping-stone to a PhD.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
As one of the world's top universities, UCL excels across the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.
The Climate Change MSc brings together the strong expertise of the department, offering a distinctive blend of fundamental climate science, environmental modelling, impacts and adaptations, delivered from both natural and social science perspectives.
By bringing together students and researchers we aim to create a vibrant and informal academic environment of mutual discovery and ongoing debate.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The Global Environmental Change and Policy course focuses on 4 key questions:
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.
The course structure, individual seminars and activities are designed to enable each student to attain the following:
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.
Global socio-ecological problems call for multidisciplinary solutions that transcend the usual boundaries of science and decision-making. The Environmental Change and Global Sustainability (ECGS) Master’s programme trains you in wide-ranging interdisciplinary thinking skills and provides you with the ability to:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
ECGS is a truly multidisciplinary Master’s programme. It covers an introductory Core Module common to all students, followed by two distinct study tracks.
The introductory Core Module focuses on the methodologies of environmental and sustainability science as well as the interactions between science and society. The Core Module also offers a pool of optional methodological studies, providing you with the necessary research tools to tackle socio-ecological challenges.
If your orientation is in natural sciences, the Environmental Change study line can provide you with an understanding of the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and can give guidance toward their sustainable use.
If your interests are more in the social sciences and humanities, on the other hand, the Global Sustainability study line provides an understanding of the socio-cultural underpinnings of global sustainability challenges so that you can help to develop solutions that take social and environmental justice into consideration.
You can apply for one of the two studytracks in the ECGS Master’s programme: the Environmental Change study line or the Global Sustainability study line. You can refine your expertise in your chosen study line by choosing from study modules related to your specialised field of science or from interdisciplinary phenomenon-based modules.
Environmental Change modules are offered in, for example, the following research fields: aquatic sciences, soil and earth sciences, environmental ecology, environmental biotechnology and agroecology. Global Sustainability modules include themes such as environmental and natural resource economics, environmental policy, development studies, public and social policy, consumer research, forest policy and economics, and development geography. ECGS also offers a variety of modules integrating both natural and social scientific perspectives including phenomenon-based modules on the Baltic Sea and the Arctic as well as a variety of interdisciplinary fields such as climate change, food and consumption systems, urban studies and socio-ecological systems studies.
As an international applicant, you will be assessed and accepted for the Master’s program based on the scientific relevance of your bachelor’s degree and your success in previous studies.
Sustainable provision and energy use is a major international challenge of the twenty-first century. Developed in collaboration with industry and public sector energy specialists, the course will give you a broad understanding of sustainable energy and aims to prepare aspiring energy professionals for a rewarding career in this fast-changing sector.
How do we balance economic, social and environmental perspectives to meet our energy needs? As fossil fuel resources are being depleted and carbon emissions regulation approaches reality there is a need to find new and cleaner sources of energy.
Studying the MSc in Energy and Sustainability (Energy, Resources and Climate Change) will enable you to study the impact of using fossil fuels on the environment and develop alternative sustainable energy solutions. Apply for our MSc in Energy and Sustainability and help shape the future of energy usage.
Our distinctive modules in bioenergy, waste and the interaction between energy and climate change will give you a key understanding of current issues. You will learn to use advanced Geographical Information Systems and develop a thorough, global perspective of climate change and energy. You will also study energy resources, technologies and waste resource management.
The last four months of the course will be dedicated to research. You will complete a significant research project and you may have the opportunity to work with one of our many industrial partners; ranging from large utility companies to small energy consultancies, to develop your professional experience.
Address urgent global issues, find just solutions for all communities.
The New School is at the forefront of addressing global environmental issues, thanks to Milano's Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management (EPSM) program. This program is designed to turn students' passion for environmental change and sustainability into careers with impact. Our students benefit from small, customized classes, a rigorous program of critical theory and practice, and close attention from a faculty engaged in research, scholarship, and cutting-edge professional practice. Our practice-based learning places students front and center alongside organizations working on the most pressing environmental issues of our time, from climate change and environmental justice to food systems and sustainable development.
Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management students also have access to the Tishman Environment and Design Center, a university-wide institute committed to bringing an interdisciplinary and environmental justice approach to contemporary environmental challenges. The Tishman Center's Student Scholars program provides a competitive grant that funds student-designed research and projects related to climate change, environmental, or sustainability issues. Students in the program also benefit from an array of courses and programs throughout the university, including the International Field Program, graduate courses across a variety of disciplines like economics and media studies, sustainable design at Parsons, and other Milano courses in management and policy.
While studying in New York City — a global hub for major environmental and sustainability organizations — our students tackle real-world challenges at government institutions, corporations, small, innovative start-ups, companies, and nonprofits throughout the city. The EPSM program culminates in a capstone project in which students bring their knowledge and critical perspectives to a real-world challenge. For a sample of recent capstone projects, visit the Milano School blog.
Students customize their course of study in consultation with a program advisor, focusing broadly on either environmental policy or sustainability management. The program also offers further areas of specialization, including the option for students to create their own specialization by taking elective courses from across the university. The program is flexible and convenient for working professionals as well as recent college graduates. Students can study full-time and complete the program in two years, or study part-time for three to five years. There are numerous external scholarships available to graduate students with an environmental focus.
The EPSM faculty works closely with each student to provide mentorship and guidance as they explore their professional development goals. Faculty with extensive professional experience help students learn about environmental and sustainability careers and provide connections to networks of peers and professional organizations that can lead to future opportunities. The Milano School also has specialized career services staff that advise students and graduates as they search for internships, fellowships, and employment opportunities.
Students will be prepared to work in a variety of sectors, including government, nonprofits, advocacy and social change organizations, policy and research institutes, as well as and corporate and other private sector firms. EPSM graduates hold such positions as Director of Environment and Sustainability at Information Technology Industry Council, Sustainability Project Manager for the City of Orlando, Chief Sustainability Officer for the town of North Hempstead, NY; Green Business Support Specialist at the Center for Eco Technology; and Project Manager at the Sustainable Development Solutions Center. Others have started their own businesses or consulting firms, or have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees. See where some of our alumni are working. These alumni stay connected through a robust online Alumni Network group and the program hosts an annual on-campus Alumni and Student Mixer to strengthen the connections our students have with professionals pursuing their passion in the environmental field.
Internships enable students to acquire firsthand knowledge and skills that complement their degree. Full-time students who enter the program without related work experience and those planning a career change are required to complete a noncredit professional internship (400–900 hours).