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Masters Degrees (Climate Change And Sustainable Development)

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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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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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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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MSc International Development. Environment, Climate Change and Development links environmental understanding grounded in the physical sciences with study of the social and economic bases of planning and managing development. Read more

MSc International Development: Environment, Climate Change and Development links environmental understanding grounded in the physical sciences with study of the social and economic bases of planning and managing development.

Over the past two decades, environmental considerations have become central to development policy and management. As a result, there is a growing need for policymakers, planners and managers to be fully conversant with the environmental dimension of development.

The course is therefore perfect if you're looking to benefit from research-led teaching by world-class academics that examines radical alternatives and critical insights into mainstream environmentalism.

Informal enquiries, prior to application, are welcomed. Please contact Dr Nicholas Jepson, Deputy Programme Director (  ).

Aims

  • Provide an interdisciplinary training to equip you with an understanding of the environmental and climate change dimensions of development trends and interventions.
  • Provide you with a thorough conceptual framework and the skills necessary to analyse effectively the relationships between environmental issues, climate change and development processes, and make judgements about policies and their implementation.
  • Provide critical insights into the key strategies, policies and practices currently employed to promote climate change adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development.
  • Develop professionally-oriented skills related to formulating, investigating and implementing different approaches to promoting climate change adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development.
  • Provide a wide range of options for advanced training in areas of specialist expertise relevant to environment, climate change, and development.
  • Develop advanced competencies in transferable areas, including developing reasoned arguments, gathering, organising and using evidence and information from a wide variety of sources, undertaking both team-based and independent work to deadlines, and both written and verbal forms of communication.
  • Assist you in developing your specialist area of expertise within the field of environment, climate change, and development, and applying your understanding and skills through supervised individual research culminating in a dissertation.

Special features

An overseas field visit is an integral part of the programme. The cost of the visit is covered by the course fee. Recent fieldtrip locations have included Uganda, Ghana, Sri Lanka and India.

Countries to be visited may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. We cannot guarantee that where visas are required for the field course, they will be granted. Planning will ensure that, in the unlikely event this occurs, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months. There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

The taught elements of the programme, carrying 120 credits overall is continuously assessed by a variety of methods (project based reports, essays), involving largely individual submissions, but also elements of group work.

Participants must also complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice approved by the Programme Directors. Students are encouraged to base their dissertations on topics of direct professional concern to themselves.

Facilities

The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

This course will prepare you for employment in a range of development-related fields, including research, policy and practice. A wide range of transferable skills will be developed, including analytical and professional skills. Many of our alumni have gone onto careers in public service, the NGO/charitable and private sectors at national and international levels, as policy officers, managers, consultants or development practitioners - while others have pursued further academic study leading to a PhD and academic careers. Since its foundation, the Global Development Institute has trained over 7000 individuals from 170 different countries.



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Influence cities of tomorrow. Now more than ever, more emphasis has been placed on the environmental management and planning of our cities. Read more

Influence cities of tomorrow

Now more than ever, more emphasis has been placed on the environmental management and planning of our cities. Graduates must acquire knowledge to solve problems and reshape the quality and performance of cities around the world.

Gain access to a wide range of career pathways in the natural and built environments with a Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning at Bond. Graduates will receive theoretical and practical skills to undertake environmental management, and urban and regional developments.

Intensive mode delivery

The Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning is delivered in intensive mode. Intensive mode delivery is a compact and time efficient way to complete a postgraduate qualification with minimal impact on professional and personal lifestyles. Each subject is delivered over two weekends during the semester. There are two sets of three-day sessions per subject, generally scheduled Thursday to Saturday (approximately six to eight contact hours per day) with a break of four or five weeks between session one and session two of each subject.

Participants will receive 40 hours of combined lectures, discussion groups, case studies and workshops during contact hours. International students are required to be on campus every week.

The program is also professionally recognised by some of Australia’s leading professional bodies. This allows graduates to differentiate themselves within the industry.

About the program

The Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning program focuses on Environmental Management as well as Urban Design & Planning. The Environmental Management component provides an in-depth examination of environmental management, including field work. The content is globally focused, providing qualifications that are in demand worldwide. Students may apply for a postgraduate industry internship in the final semester of the program. This includes the option of being involved in a client based environmental management capstone project or research dissertation. The Urban Design and Planning curriculum equips graduates with the theoretical and practical skills required to undertake the design, appraisal and management of urban and regional developments. With this qualification, professionals from a built environment background will be able to undertake urban planning and development at a professional level. 

Structure and subjects

View the Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning - Program Structure and Sequencing

The structure of the Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning comprises both theoretical and practical subjects. This program is designed in close consultation with prominent industry professional boards to ensure the integrity and contemporary relevance of the degree.

This program enables you to exit after four (4) subjects with a graduate certificate, after eight (8) subjects with a graduate diploma or complete 12 subjects for a master’s degree.

Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Environments and Planning (4)

You must complete four (4) of the following subjects:

Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Environments and Planning (8)

If you have obtained a cognate undergraduate degree and seek accreditation by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) you must complete the following eight (8) subjects:

If you are not seeking accreditation from PIA you may complete eight (8) subjects from the following:

Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning (12)

To complete a Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning, you must complete all of the following subjects:

Electives (2)

Students choose any two electives from the FSD list of postgraduate subjects.



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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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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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What is the Master of Science in Sustainable Development all about?.  The Master of Science in Sustainable Development contains two different tracks. Read more

What is the Master of Science in Sustainable Development all about?

 The Master of Science in Sustainable Development contains two different tracks: the Erasmus Mundus joint Master in Sustainable Territorial Development and the ICP Master of Science in Sustainable Development. 

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in Sustainable Territorial Development

STeDe IJM aims to create experts in the area of sustainable territorial development. More concretely it trains professionals to be able to help organizations acting in the territory (enterprises, local communities, civil society organizations) to draft sustainable development policies for economic, social, environmental, international and intercultural management.

The Master concerns the economic competitiveness, social inclusion, environmental protection, international cooperation and intercultural relation challenges of territorial development focusing not only on local communities, but also on enterprises, non-state actors and civil society organizations. It also aims to offer an example of sustainable territory involving all local organizations, which should have human resources available and able to promote sustainable development. 

The ICP Master of Science in Sustainable Development

An active research-driven education model with five main pillars

Pillar 1 : Research based teaching courses taught by academic experts leading research in different sustainability domains and parts of the world.

Pillar 2 : Training in research stimulating critical learners, systemic thinking and creativity in the solution of complex socio-ecological problems and triggering real change.

Pillar 3 : A programme informed by and serving the needs of Global South regions facing economic, social and ecological challenges.

Pillar 4 : The active integration of fieldwork in the South, internship, thesis and portfolio development in the professional preparation of the students.

Pillar 5 : The KU Leuven Sustainability Living Lab as the itinerant platform through which the vision and goals of this Master will be tested and implemented in a real world setting. All contents and activities in the Master are connected to the priorities of the Lab, which will be in tune with international institutions agendas and contemporary sustainability debates.

In simple words, this Master programme embraces sustainable development beyond the walls of universities and classrooms to engage with real world settings and localities in their search for solutions to their most pressing problems.

The Master of Science in Sustainable Development is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Structure

In this interuniversity programme, both European and non-European students study together. The EMLM STeDe-students study each semester at a different university. First at the Università degli Studi di Padova (30 ECTS), then at KU Leuven (30 ECTS) and then at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon - Sorbonne (30 ECTS). The fourth semester is dedicated to an internship and a Master's thesis (30 ECTS) written at the university of the student's choice from among the three aforementioned universities and the Universidade Catolica Don Bosco in Brazil. 

The students of the ICP Master of Sustainable Development study at the KU Leuven. They can choose between two specialisations: ‘Space and Society’ and ‘Ecology’.

Departments

This programme is offered by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, collaboration with the Department of Biology. The main mission of the Department Earth and Environmental Sciences is to carry out state-of-the-art scientific research with respect to the functioning of geo- and ecosystems at different spatial and temporal scales, including the interaction between humans and the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources. The department aims at providing attractive academic training at an international level in the fields of Bio-engineering, Geology, Geography and Tourism. The department aims at making an important contribution to the scientific understanding of societal issues such as environmental pollution, food production, climate change, nature and landscape management, soil and water management, exploitation of underground resources, rural and urban development, international development collaboration and tourism.

The Department of Biology is committed to excellence in teaching and research and is comprised of four divisions with diverse research activities ranging from molecular and physiological research at the level of cells and organisms to ecological research on populations, communities, and ecosystems. Although many research groups conduct in-depth analyses on specific model organisms, as a whole the department studies an impressive diversity of lifeforms.

Our research is internationally renowned and embedded in well-established worldwide collaborations with other universities, research institutes, and companies. Our primary goal is to obtain insight into patterns and processes at different levels of biological organisation and to understand the basis and evolution of the mechanisms that allow organisms to adapt to their constantly changing environment. This knowledge often leads to applications with important economic or societal benefits. The department attracts many students and hosts approximately 250 staff members.

Career perspectives

Job opportunities for graduates may be found in all sectors where sustainable development actions should be implemented, in particular at organizations responsible for the creation of sustainable territories (communities, enterprises, non-state actors and civil society organizations, local governments), the central government and international organizations.

Potential posts include: environmental adviser; sustainable development manager in local communities, public administrations, civil society organizations & local governments; representative within local public institutions, national and international institutions, enterprises, trade unions & professional bodies.

The extensive experience, international collaboration and multidisciplinary insights gained from the Erasmus Mundus Master in Sustainable Territorial Development, will open up new perspectives on the sustainability of territorial use and organization while introducing you to various policy tools and management strategies in divergent territorial contexts. 



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This programme examines development planning in the context of environmental concerns in urban areas of the Global South. It challenges mainstream approaches to development, focusing instead upon transformative action for environmental justice. Read more

This programme examines development planning in the context of environmental concerns in urban areas of the Global South. It challenges mainstream approaches to development, focusing instead upon transformative action for environmental justice. Many of our graduates go on to help shape future sustainable development agendas in local government, international agencies and civil society organisations.

About this degree

The focus of this degree is the complexity and variety of current environmental problems in urban regions, their causes and impacts, and the possibilities and limitations of environmental planning and management. Students learn how to respond to processes that generate social and environmental change, and how to develop strategies to steer urban environmental planning towards sustainability and environmental justice.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one or two optional modules (30 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, three core modules (90 credits), one or two optional modules (30 modules), full-time nine months, is offered.

Core modules

  • The Political Ecology of Environmental Change
  • Environment and Sustainable Development in Practice
  • Urban Environmental Planning and Management in Development

Optional modules

  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • NGOs and Social Transformation
  • Food and the City
  • Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Knowledge Systems in the Global South
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Policy
  • Socially Sensitive Development in Practice
  • Social Development and Poverty Reduction: From Theory to Practice
  • Managing the City Economy
  • Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
  • The City and Its Relations
  • Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management

Not all modules may be available.

Dissertation/report

All MSc students submit a 10,000-word dissertation on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.

Teaching and learning

The programme comprises reading, essay writing, critical discussion and project work, facilitated through lectures, seminars, workshops, extensive fieldwork and discussions with practitioners covering theoretical and practical tasks and case study analysis. Assessment is through coursework, examinations, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Environment and Sustainable Development MSc

Careers

Most previous graduates of this programme are now engaged in professional activities, ranging from local and national government, consultancy firms and national and international NGOs, to United Nations programmes and international aid agencies all over the world. 

Examples of organisations where graduates are employed include:

  • Public Sector: DEFRA and DfID (UK), Ministerio das Cidades (Brazil) and many other local government organisations
  • International Agencies and NGOs: UNEP, UNDP, UN-Habitat, JICA, GIZ (former GTZ), InsightShare, Save the Children, and WWF
  • Think tanks, academic and research organisations: IIEED, Stockholm Environment Institute, Resources for Development Center, WaterWise and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport
  • Private companies: HappoldConsulting, EcoSecurities, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Dialogue by Design, and BioRegionalQuintain.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Campaign Manager, Urban Design Research Institute
  • Research Consultant, IIED (International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Researcher, Physical Activity Research Centre
  • Research Assistant, UCL Institute for Global Prosperity
  • Sustainable City Metabolism Officer, Peterborough City Council

Employability

Our programme equips students with several interdisciplinary and transferable skills including report writing, data collection and analysis, communication, research and project management skills and teamwork.

Our students network with diverse organisations in the UK and internationally, and in the field they may work directly with local public and private partners. Academic staff are involved in research, consultancy and development practice, influencing global debates on development such as UNFCCC negotiations, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Habitat III agenda. Students can meet alumni and other individuals and groups forming part of this network, which is concerned with issues of socially just and sustainable development in the Global South.

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme offers an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of socio-environmental change, equipping graduates with the skills required to face global challenges in urban regions while being sensitive to local contexts.

For the last 60 years the Development Planning Unit at UCL has championed forms of development planning that promote social justice in the context of rapid urbanisation in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The programme provides opportunities to interact with leading thinkers in development planning and students will join an international network of researchers and practitioners.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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: Development Planning Unit

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.



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The rationale for this innovative programme of study lies in the global environmental and development challenges that have been articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more
The rationale for this innovative programme of study lies in the global environmental and development challenges that have been articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals. It is clear that solutions to the challenge of sustainable development require holistic, integrated and co-ordinated actions across a very wide range of sectors, and will increasingly require a multidisciplinary approach. This programme aims to provide students with a broad grounding in the main concepts associated with sustainable development, but also provides the opportunity to specialise in one area in greater depth.

Visit the website https://www.soas.ac.uk/cedep/programmes/sustainable/msc/

Structure

For the MSc in Sustainable Development students will take:

- 3 core modules
- 4 elective modules*
- 2 research modules

* including one free choice from across all programmes (subject to approval on the Programme Convenor)

- Specialisms
If you are taking an MSc or a Postgraduate Diploma you choose elective modules within a particular specialism. This creates the opportunity for a clear focus in your studies, whereby you can develop understanding and skills relevant to specific professional interests. The name of the specialism will appear on the certificate awarded.

Core Modules:

- Understanding Sustainable Development [compulsory]
- Climate Change and Development
- Environmental Science and Management
- Ethics for Environment and Development

Elective modules:
Specialisms

Development Management:
- Economics and Institutions for Development
- Managing Knowledge and Communication for Development
- NGO Management
- Project Planning & Management
- Management in Rural Development

Environmental Economics:
- Economic Principles [advised]
- Economics of Environmental Policy
- Environmental Valuation: Theory, Techniques and Application
- Natural Resource Economics

Environmental Management:
- Introduction to Environmental Economics & Policy
- Environmental Assessment
- Environmental Auditing and Environmental Management Systems
- International Environmental Law

Natural Resource Management:
- Water Resources Management
- Sustainable Land Management
- Biodiversity, Conservation and Development
- Natural Resource Economics

Rural Development and Change:
- Agricultural Trade and Policy
- Understanding Poverty
- Food Security and Social Protection
- Rural Development
- Gender & Social Inequality

Research component :
- Research Methods
- Dissertation

Teaching & Learning

1. Academic level

All CeDEP programmes are taught to Master’s (Second Cycle) level, which involves building upon existing knowledge and understanding typically associated with the Bachelor’s (First Cycle) level or its equivalent. Study at Master’s level requires:

- originality in developing and/or applying ideas, and extending or enhancing previous learning

- application of knowledge and understanding, including problem solving in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts

- integration of knowledge and handling of complexity

- formulating judgements with incomplete or limited information, including reflection on social and ethical responsibilities

- clear and unambiguous communication of conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences

- learning skills to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous

Prospective students should note that distance education of this kind demands a high degree of commitment, determination and self-discipline. Whilst CeDEP provides significant support through the tutorial system and by other means, students taking on programmes of this nature should possess a strong measure of self-reliance.

2. Study Expectations

- How long will it take?
For students in full time employment, the MSc and Postgraduate Diploma, usually take three or four years to complete and the Certificate 2 years.

- When can I study?
You can begin your studies in either February or June. The examinations for all students are in October. The study periods are 30 weeks for students starting in February and 15 weeks for those starting in June.

- How many hours a week?
For the 30 week study period starting in February, you will need to allocate 5–6 hours of study time per module, per week. For students starting their studies in June with the shorter 15 week session, 10–12 hours per module, per week is recommended.

- How many modules can I take per study year?
We strongly recommend that students should take only one or two modules in their first year, so that they can adjust to studying at a distance, whilst combining this with work and family life.

Students wishing to complete an MSc in two years they will need to enrol/pay for three core modules and both Research Methods and the Dissertation in the first year although the Dissertation is written and submitted in the second year. Please contact your programme convenor by email.

3. Assessment

- How you will be assessed
For each module you will sit a two-hour unseen examination held on a specific date in October, worth 80% of your total module mark. There is also an Examined Assignment (worth 20% of the total module mark) which is submitted during the study year and marked by your tutor.

- Examination arrangements
Examinations are held in students’ countries of residence, using the University of London’s network of approved Overseas Examination Authorities. Fees for taking examinations at all examination centres other than London are the responsibility of the student.

Assignments are submitted to CeDEP electronically via the online learning environment.

- Assessment of the Research Component
The Research Methods module (P506) and the Dissertation (P541) are not assessed through final written examinations. These two modules constitute the Research Component of an MSc and are assessed entirely by submitted coursework.

4. Research Component

In order to qualify for an MSc, it is mandatory for CeDEP students to pass the Research Component.

The Research Component comprises two of the nine modules necessary for completion of an MSc. These are a Research Methods module (P506) and the Dissertation (P541). The modules are assessed as follows:

- RP506 through two examined assignments submitted during the study year
- P541through a 10,000 word dissertation

The Research Component is studied over two consecutive years. The Research Methods module (P506) must be studied and successfully passed before the Dissertation module (P541). This is because it provides skills and techniques which will assist with the subsequent development and conduct of your research and preparation of your dissertation. Students are required to enrol and pay for P506 and P541 at the same time.

The dissertation is usually carried out during the final year of registration with CeDEP. Students conduct desk- or field-based research in a relevant topic of their choice. All research topics are subject to approval and each student is assigned a personal supervisor. Background reading and preparation of the proposal take place between the October exams and commencement of the final study year in February.

Scholarships

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section (http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/scholarships/)

Career prospects for graduates

Graduates of this programme will have a wide range of backgrounds and will typically find work in:

- government ministries and other public sector organisations concerned with policy analysis in the fields of sustainable development and environmental planning

- international and non-governmental organisations concerned with the sustainable dimensions of economic change

- consultancies and development projects concerned with issues of sustainability and analyses of the interface between environment and poverty

- applied research and teaching in institutions of research and higher education

Find out how to apply here - http://www.soas.ac.uk/cedep/applying/

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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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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.

Our MSc Sustainable Development 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 cover wider debates in fields of climate change, energy policy and human geography.

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 (Climate Change and Risk Management), which has a different emphasis of compulsory modules focusing more on the science of climate change and its influence on climate, environment and energy policy (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/geography/sustdevccrm/).

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; Governing Sustainability 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; Themes in Climate Change; Nature, Health and Wellbeing and Research Methods for Practice.

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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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The world’s climate is rapidly changing due to global warming, and will continue to do so for the decades and centuries ahead. This poses major challenges for future agricultural systems to provide food and other bioresources for the 9 billion people that will occupy the planet by 2050. Read more
The world’s climate is rapidly changing due to global warming, and will continue to do so for the decades and centuries ahead. This poses major challenges for future agricultural systems to provide food and other bioresources for the 9 billion people that will occupy the planet by 2050.

The 1 year MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) provides students with the skills and tools for developing agricultural practices, policies and measures addressing the challenge that global warming poses for agriculture and food security worldwide.

The MSc CCAFS programme is a partnership with the international CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which is led by the CGIAR and Future Earth, and currently involves over 700 partners worldwide http://www.ccafs.cgiar.org.

Graduates of the MSc CCAFS programme will be equipped to pursue roles associated with local, national and international efforts to promote sustainable agricultural production, global food security and climate change adaptation.

There is now a growing recognition of how different agriculture systems can contribute to climate change, past and present. Hence, the dual challenge of adapting future agricultural systems to climate change, must also include mitigation of the effects of agriculture on climate change.

The MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is aimed at students who want to combine scientific, engineering, technical, social or policy skills so that they are better equipped to understand and make significant contributions regarding adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts on global agriculture and food security.

As the climate change challenge for sustainable development and sustainable business on the planet intensifies, there will be a need in all organisations for personnel skilled in both climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies/approaches for the development of greener economies, agrifood systems and low-environmental footprint supply chains.

Graduates of the MSc CCAFS will be well positioned and competitive for positions in research, policy, enterprise, business, administration and other activities across a wide range of public and private sector institutions internationally. Career mentoring, advice, strategy and facilitation will be provided to all students on the MSc CCAFS to ensure that MSc CCAFS graduates rapidly enter employment in relevant institutions and activities where they can build from their interests, experience and training.

Weblinks:

http://www.plantagbiosciences.org/msc-ccafs
http://www.nuigalway.ie/ccafs/
https://twitter.com/MScCCAFS_NUIG

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This course is aimed at built environment professionals and others with a relevant background who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of planning and sustainable development, whether to improve career prospects in their country or enter international practice. Read more
This course is aimed at built environment professionals and others with a relevant background who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of planning and sustainable development, whether to improve career prospects in their country or enter international practice. Through the course you will examine the growing problems of sustainable development facing cities, regions and communities in a rapidly urbanising world, subject to growing climate change and other environmental, economic and social pressures and risks.

Based in London, you will have access to internationally recognised experience of spatial planning for sustainable development, and explore contemporary theories, public policy thinking and good practice in planning in both the developed and developing worlds. The University of Westminster is the UK's first Habitat Partner University. We work with UN-HABITAT and like-minded institutions to promote the socially and environmentally sustainable development of towns, cities and regions, in accordance with the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The course is primarily for full-time international, UK and EU students, but it is also open to part-time UK-based students who want to explore an international pathway for their career development. The MA course is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a "combined planning programme". Those offered a place are eligible for postgraduate scholarships offered by the University.

Course content

This course addresses the growing problems of sustainable development facing cities and communities in a rapidly urbanising world. It explores contemporary theories, public policy thinking and good practice in planning that spans both developed and developing world contexts, and offers you the opportunity to explore one area of specialism in a related field in some depth.

Course pathways

There are two RTPI-accredited pathways through the course. The Spatial Planning Pathway has a strong urban design component and an emphasis on the development planning process. The Urban Resilience Pathway provides a sustainable development-focused route with a core emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. Both pathways cover all these aspects to some degree.

Professional accreditation

The MA course is fully accredited by the royal town planning institute (RTPI) as a 'combined planning programme'.

Associated careers

Students on the course are most likely to be working in a relevant built environment or sustainable development-related profession. Overseas students may be receiving a government bursary. Graduates from the course may secure promotion within their existing or a new related area of work, or move onto more responsible positions within 18 months of completing their studies. This may include management posts or the responsibility for project or policy development. It is expected that graduates will enhance their potential to be considered for development positions outside their home country.

Graduates from this course can expect to find employment as planners or urban designers, urban regeneration or environmental management specialists in private consultancy, local and national government, and non-governmental sectors in their own country or internationally, including international development agencies.

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