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The MSc Sustainable Cities 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.

We take a ‘systems’ approach to teaching sustainable cities, you will learn about energy systems, transport networks, housing provision, and urban ecosystems. Using applied cases you will discover how these systems can be transformed to produce better economic, environmental, and social outcomes. This course will see students graduate into city government, consultancy, NGO’s and beyond.

Course highlights

  • No other UK programme teaches the key systems that make up sustainable cities; you will graduate with strong academic and practical knowledge.
  • We have revolutionised the MSc experience, we teach modules one at a time, using problem based learning. You will have time to think and work on real world problems.
  • You will be part of a team. We take a free residential field trip in week 2 to the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Wales. Here we work together on practical issues of sustainability and get to know our colleagues for the year.
  • Each student will have a personal leadership plan tailored to their strengths and development needs. This is delivered in parallel to the ‘systems’ content and builds your leadership confidence.
  • The programme is delivered by one of the UK Top 10 and world Top 50 universities for Academic Reputation for Environmental Sciences (QS World Rankings by Subject 2019).
  • This MSc has partnered with The Oasis School of Human Relations, who will deliver skill-based training in collaborative leadership. Our partner will also deliver Whole Person Learninga form of transformative learning that enables people to bring more of themselves to their lives, work and communities.

Programme team

We have an excellent reputation for world-class research, which is highlighted by our top 5 positon for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). This wealth of research informs the content of our Sustainable Cities MSc and gives you the opportunity to interact with academics who are at the forefront of major global issues.

You will be taught by academics whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. This course draws on our expertise in a range of fields such as critical approaches to urban development , energy use and low carbon societiesself-repairing citiestransport issuessocial justice, cities, citizenship and sustainable urban mobility planning.

Course content

This programme blends a grounding in the core concepts of sustainability and urbanism with applied, problem based learning. Your core modules will focus on the very systems that need transforming to create a sustainable city, such as: energy systems, housing, mobility, and urban ecosystems.


Compulsory modules

  • Cities and Sustainability
  • Skills for Urban Sustainability
  • City Systems: Energy
  • City Systems: Housing
  • City Systems: Mobility
  • City Systems: Natural Systems
  • Research Project and Leadership for Sustainability

Learning and teaching

Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you will have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines (through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings). Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.


You will be assessed using a range of techniques including exams, essays, presentations, with assessment of problem based learning sets. The problems set will be drawn directly from real world challenges facing cities and are an excellent preparation for professional practise.

Applying, fees and funding

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

To find out more, read Language for Engineering (6 weeks) and Language for Science: Engineering (10 weeks)

How to apply


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

 If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.


  • UK/EU: Please see our website.
  • International: Please see our website.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Scholarships are available.

Career opportunities

This programme will give you the practical skills needed to pursue a careers in city or urban governance and planning, infrastructure and sustainability consulting, policy analysis and development, environmental and urban consultancy, corporate social responsibility, environmental management and management systems, sustainability NGO’s, or PhD study.

Possible career paths include:

  • infrastructure and sustainability consulting
  • environmental and urban consultancy
  • city or urban governance and planning
  • policy analysis and development
  • corporate social responsibility
  • environmental management and management systems
  • sustainability NGO's
  • PhD Study

Visit the Sustainable Cities MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!






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