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Course Content

Course content

Interest in development, environment and issues of sustainable development has never been so intense. UN climate change summits, Sustainable 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.

Study Practising Sustainable Development at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll address the complex, dynamic network of natural, social, political and economic processes, graduating with a range of transferable research skills to take into your chosen career.

This popular programme continues to evolve and expand in both scope and appeal, attracting student from more than 30 countries and a diverse range of backgrounds. You’ll learn from expert academics with experience in different developing regions and economies in transition, including Latin America, the Caribbean, South, East and South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

You’ll join a department that is consistently highly ranked for the international quality of its research, and contribute to this leading research culture with your own dissertation project. 

The Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) research 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.

Study Practising Sustainable Development at Royal Holloway and you’ll learn to tackle issues that are high on the national and international agenda, graduating with excellent employability prospects in the UK and abroad. This programme is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree.

  • Study in a department ranked 2nd in the UK for research by the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • Learn from expert academics with experience in a range of developing regions and economies in transition.
  • Graduate with excellent employability prospects or progress to doctoral study.
  • Follow a highly regarded programme, preparing you for a career in the environmental and developmental fields.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Sustainability, Development and Governance
  • Sustainability, Development and Society
  • Technologies, Innovation and Development 
  • Community Volunteer Project
  • Participatory Methods
  • Research Training
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

  • Climate Change, Governance and the Seas
  • Project Work for Managers – Sustainability and Societies

Teaching & assessment

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

On completion of the course you 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.

This course is delivered in a single stage, equating to either one-year of full-time study or two years part-time, (or up to five years of part-time study by agreement with the Programme Director)

Your future career

Practising Sustainable Development at Royal Holloway, University of London is a highly-regarded programme that provides graduates with excellent employability prospects in the environmental and developmental sectors. Our alumni have gone on to enjoy rewarding careers as environmental and development workers, activists, teachers and researchers in a variety of international institutions and agencies.

You’ll be equipped with a range of transferable skills, including research design, project development, environmental monitoring and geographic information systems, making you a highly attractive candidate for employers in a variety of sectors. The programme can also be used as part of an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) research training pathway for PhD study.

  • 90% of Royal Holloway graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • Programme can be used towards an ESRC research training pathway for PhD study.
  • Graduate with a Masters degree from one of the UK’s leading geography departments.

Visit the Practising Sustainable Development - MSc/PGDip page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

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