Sustainable Cities - MSc

University of Leeds    School of Earth & Environment

Full time September MSc 1 year full time

About the course

Cities across the world are facing huge sustainability challenges. Whilst mayors and city governments pledge ‘zero carbon cities’ by 2040, a serious skills shortage means a new generation of sustainability leaders is needed.

Our Sustainable Cities Masters degree tackles this skills shortage by equipping you with the knowledge and tools necessary to become an urban sustainability leader. On this programme you will experience urban sustainability first hand, blending concepts and theories with real world problems and solutions.

Some elements of teaching are delivered in non-traditional routes through short intensive courses.

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a natural, environmental, physical, management or social science subject.

We welcome students from a range of disciplines who want to engage in new thinking around sustainable cities. You are highly likely to benefit from this MSc if you have a background, interest, or qualification in: geography, town planning, earth and environment, architecture, sustainability, engineering, business and management, sociology, politics or public administration.

Applicants with a 2.2 will be considered on a case by case basis where applicants can demonstrate relevant work experience or aptitude in a relevant specialist field.

 Course Content

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Student Profile(s)


Why did you decide to study a Masters at the University of Leeds?

I decided that I wanted to change careers, and so studying a Masters has given me the qualification I need to get into working in the sustainability field. The University of Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment is one of the top departments for sustainability, and the MSc Sustainable Cities course is unique with its problem-based learning, diversity of work-related assessment methods and one module at a time learning, which allows greater immersion in the topic. This made for a much more dynamic and exciting masters programme with real-world application.

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University so far and why?

I have loved the problem-based learning challenges. Being given a real-world city problem to research and have the chance to create a solution which could make a real difference to urban sustainability is really exciting.

Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed.

I have designed solutions to providing clean water during drought in Lilongwe, Malawi, using blue-green infrastructure, providing a sustainable energy supply to Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s largest informal settlement of 400,00 people, a socially and environmentally just transport system for Melbourne, Australia, and a sustainable social housing development in Leeds.

What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

Working in groups on real city problems has given me a lot of skills and experiences which I can talk about in job interviews, such as team work, solving problems and communication delivery. All of these will be really important assets in any future career, and the work-orientated assessment methods have allowed me to demonstrate that I can do a lot more than just write academic essays.

What would you say to students thinking about applying for the course?

Go for it! I haven’t come across another course like it. MSc Sustainable Cities provides you with such a diverse range of knowledge and skills which employers are looking for. It allows you to explore your interests and help develop you as a person as much as a researcher. The staff are all fantastic and very supportive too.

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