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.
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.
Not all modules may be available.
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
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:
Recent career destinations for this degree
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:
Semester 1 Optional Courses
Semester 2 Optional Courses
Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Students choose any two electives from the FSD list of postgraduate subjects.
This programme is run by the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) – a leading centre for environmental and sustainability-related research and postgraduate teaching.
CES accommodates a wide range of disciplines dedicated to resolving environmental problems, and this Masters programme prepares a new generation of environment and sustainability professionals for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
This programme equips you with the tools essential for analysis of the relationship between environmental issues and human society, in order to make informed decisions. As part of this approach, you will evaluate political, socio-economic, ethical, cultural and regulatory frameworks.
You will acquire a sensitive appreciation of issues surrounding sustainable development and an understanding of the theory and application of sustainable development.
This programme provides a route to graduate membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Several high-profile guest lecturers have assisted with the delivery of some of the modules. CES modules make maximum use of guest lecturers, drawing on the practical skills and experience of key experts from government and industry to complement the theoretical components of the modules offered.
For example, Jonathon Porritt, former chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, gives a guest lecture on the Sustainable Development Applications module, analysing the standing of sustainable development in business and policy making.
The extensive expertise of CES academics and researchers is also drawn upon in modules. Professor Tim Jackson, advisor to the government and international bodies and author of the seminal book, Prosperity without Growth – economics for a finite planet– also lectures on some CES modules.
Full-time students are able to undertake an industrial placement module which enables them to spend six to twelve weeks working for a company or NGO, doing the type of work they will aim to find on graduation.
Examples of organisations at which recent industrial placements have taken place include:
Graduates go on to a diverse range of careers implementing sustainable development and dealing with the real environmental challenges facing humanity.
Recent examples include working as an energy efficiency officer for a local government, an environmental officer in multi-national chemical company, a sustainability advisor for a national television / radio station, an environmental consultant for an engineering consultancy, and a programme officer with a sustainability charity.
Other graduates use the research skills they developed to go on and do PhDs.
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
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 ( [email protected] ).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
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.