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Education for Sustainability (MSc/PgDip)

Course Description

Education for Sustainability (EfS) offers postgraduate courses from Continued Professional Development to Masters level. They provide personal and professional development for anyone involved in communicating sustainability, whatever the context.

This course is designed for anyone interested in paving the way for a more sustainable world by way of understanding, educating or promoting sustainability. Although most of our students, present and past, are educators, teachers and NGO educational, training or campaigning staff we also draw students from many other backgrounds, such as, health, media, business, government, botanic and zoological work.

Our passion for a sustainable future

Developed in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Oxfam and the EU, It draws on the expertise of environmental and development NGOs as well as the academic and educational communities. It deals with the theory and practice of Education for Sustainability and enables you to explore and expand the role that EfS can play in educational, social, political and economic change.

Internationally recognised

As an internationally recognised pioneer in the field of EfS, we welcome and thrive on diversity and inclusion while offering a range of qualifications with flexible study modes, including distance learning. Since our launch in 1994, we have continued to grow steadily as a dynamic interface between theory and practice in EfS, both within and outside the UK. The EfS courses at LSBU offer many unique qualities that will enhance your international experience. The existence of the programme at LSBU has been instrumental in the development of LSBU as a United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development.

Our roots lie in the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil. There, a commitment was made to integrate environmental and development concerns in the emerging concept of sustainability while emphasising the importance of education's role in building a sustainable world. In response to this a group of development and environmental organisations – with the financial contributions from WWF-UK, Oxfam and the EU – got together with LSBU and the eventual result was our EfS programme, the first ever masters programme of this kind.

See the website http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/education-sustainability-msc


All modules make use of case studies and readings from a range of global regions and are designed to be applicable to any type of educational or country context.
- An Introduction to education for sustainability
- Values and participation in EFS; from local to global
- Leadership, learning and climate change: the sustainability revolution
- Theory and perspectives on environment and development
- Science and culture in education for sustainability
- Researching education for Sustainability
- Dissertation (MSc only)


Employers have found that the programme has enabled students to develop and enhance work practices in the light of current theories and debates. This has led to a number of organisations sponsoring their staff to do the programme as a means of capacity building and staff development. Many EFS graduates have gone onto gain promotion, career advancement or have made use of the course to change their career direction.

The course provides the following transferable skills, which are valued by employers:
- Effective communication
- Ability to apply theory to practice
- Understanding and managing change
- Problem solving and strategic planning
- Critical thinking
- Holistic thinking
- Curriculum leadership skills.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

- direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
- Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
- mentoring and work shadowing schemes. The programme retains close links with experts and practitioners in the field, many of whom are EFS tutors, and the programme is greatly enriched by their contribution. The programme also continues to work closely with a range of NGOs on research and development projects.

The programme runs an annual conference with recognised key note speakers in the field of EFS. Recent contributors include:
- Ann Finlayson, education commissioner, UK Sustainable Development Commission;
- Dr Mae-Wan Ho, director, Institute of Science in Society;
- Alan Simpson, MP;
- Professor Stephen Sterling;
- Professor Charles Hopkins, Unesco Chair in ESD York University, Toronto;
- Dr Dorcas Otieno Director Regional centre of expertise in ESD, Nairobi, Kenya.

Teaching and learning

We aim to help you become an effective agent for positive change in learning and education relevant for sustainability. We do so by enquiring into the kind of learning for change in personal, social and ecological spheres that is needed to help understand, develop and promote sustainability. When you complete our programme, you will have achieved the personal and professional development required to be an effective agent for change.

Flexible study options

The course may be studied either full-time at LSBU, or part-time by distance/flexible learning. The part-time distance learning mode is particularly suitable if you are living overseas or working or who find it difficult to attend a traditional course. Students studying part-time by distance/flexible learning based in their home country are not required to apply for a visa. It is also possible to start by signing on for a short course (two modules). Many students start with the short course and then decide to continue for a further award.

Course structure

Sessions are delivered through distance learning and web activities with optional - Monthly Saturday day schools Fast Track - Monthly Saturday day schools.

Learning resources

In an emerging field like EfS the interface between theory and practice is even more important. Theory informs practice and practice in turn nourishes theory. That's why our course materials undergo continuous review and updating. Networking is an essential element for us to consolidate our premier position as a theory-practice interface in EfS. The Blackboard e-learning system used by our programme's provides a platform for students and tutors to learn, discuss and debate various aspects related to EfS, regardless of their location.

You'll receive all the materials they need for independent study within a set timescale, which includes:
- a Study Guide to introduce the key themes, debates and theories
- a Course Reader with specialist key texts
- supplementary material (e.g. additional written material or DVD)
- access to the EFS blackboard website for online learning opportunities


All assessment is through written coursework. For example, essay writing, report writing, programme design or research studies.

Visit the Education for Sustainability (MSc/PgDip) page on the London South Bank University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

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