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Climate Change and Sustainability

Course Description

About the Course

Our MSc in Climate Change and Sustainability has been developed around two important principles:

1. the latest academic research from this field, which is used to give you all the necessary knowledge to work on sustainability issues;
2. the skills requirements of employers in the environmental sector, so that you can be sure of your employability.

Whether you want to work in the public, private, charitable or academic sector, our course has the flexibility to give you the focused knowledge and skills that are needed to start, or re-energise, your career.

The programme is based around 5 compulsory modules that provide the essential background to climate change and sustainability. Students then chose 3 optional modules to focus their studies on their particular area of interest e.g. energy, policy and law, environmental management, modelling and data analysis or environmental science. Indeed, our alumni have gone on to work in all these areas.


We aim to provide students with an interdisciplinary knowledge of the science and potential impacts of climate change across a variety of key areas, including energy, health, business, policy and technology. This is underpinned by a critical understanding of the concept of sustainability as applied to resource and energy use. The course will give you the skills and confidence required to develop creative and evidenced solutions to climate change and sustainability.

In so doing, we aim to meet the changing needs of society by generating graduates able to tackle the challenges presented by climate change, thus preparing them for careers that will span the transition to a post-carbon economy. The course content has been developed in consultation with our alumni, employers and using the findings of national surveys of environmental sector employers (i.e. the NERC Most Wanted Skills survey).


The MSc in Climate Change and Sustainability is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). This entitles students to free student membership of the IES and CIWEM. Our teaching team is NUS Green Impact (Bronze) accredited


For our September intake we have 2 specific scholarship schemes available: the Queen's Anniversary Prize Scholarships provide 6 x £3000 fee waiver scholarships to our best applicants (no additional application is required for these); and the £4000 Water Conservators Bursary is awarded to one student who writes the essay on water and the environment (some years we split the scholarship between 2 exceptional applicants). Brunel Univeristy London also has some scholarship schemes available for applicants to any MSc programme.

Designed to suit your needs

The programme can be taken Full- or Part-time (from 2-days or 1-day contact time per week, respectively, depending on the optional modules chosen) and has a start date in September or January.


Our alumni have gone on to work in key public and private sector organisations as well as more entrepreneurial pursuits. Employability is a major focus within the university with support for transferable skills, CV and application writing, interview skills and opportunities for internships and work placements.

Course modules

Compulsory modules
* Climate Change: Science and Impacts (15 credits)
* Sustainable Development in Practice (15 credits)
* Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation (15 credits)
* Environment, Health and Societies (15 credits)
* Research and Critical Skills in Environmental Science (15 credits)
* Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modular blocks

Group A (pick 2)
* Environmental Hazards and Risk (15 credits)
* Environmental Management (15 credits)
* Biosphere (15 credits)
* Environmental Modelling (15 credits)
* Renewable Energy Technologies I - Solar (15 credits) (September start only)
* Renewable Energy Technologies II - Wind, Tidal, Wave, Hydroelectricity (15 credits) (September start only)

Group B (pick 1)
* Clean Technology (15 credits)
* Environmental Law (15 credits)
* GIS and Data Analysis (15 credits)

Students normally choose 2 modules from Group A and 1 module from Group B. (If desired, students are also able to choose “1 module from Group A and 2 modules from Group B” or “3 modules from Group A and no modules from Group B” but must understand that this unbalances the 2 terms: 45:75 or 75:45 credits as opposed to 60:60.)

Visit the Climate Change and Sustainability page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

(Student Profile)


Current employment: Director of his own sustainability consultancy.

Antony said: “After too many years working in wholesale finance in the City of London I felt ready to take up a new challenge and align my working life with my personal interests.

What I liked about the Climate Change Impacts and Sustainability course was its broad multidisciplinary nature and the fact that the syllabus has been designed to fit the specific subject domain.

I was particularly concerned about the challenges of returning to full-time education as a mature student. As it turned out, I was not alone, and academic life, though challenging, has proved to be very rewarding.”

(Student Profile)


Current employment: Schools Coordinator and European Projects Manager for Energy Solutions NW London, a sustainability charity.

Ben said: "I always dreamed of completing a Masters and when I decided that I wanted to change my career in order to work in the environmental field I decided that this was the perfect opportunity and would definitely enhance my career prospects. My previous employment experience plus my Masters from Brunel were an ideal combination when applying for my current job.

I was struck by the variety of tasks we were asked to undertake, emphasis being paid equally to working in a team and individually. The course went beyond purely academic study requiring a range of transferable skills to be developed. In particular I feel my presentation skills and ability to communicate increased dramatically as a result of being required to regularly feedback our research to our peers. This has helped me enormously in my current job where I have to speak to a wide range of stakeholders about a range of subjects.

In general my course was a small and very close-knit group. Studying this great course was a real pleasure, equipping me with skills and memories that will stay with me a very long time."

(Student Profile)


Current work: Recycling Advisor, City of London Corporation

Anthony said: "I was greatly impressed by how my course was comprehensively packaged and delivered, giving students a broad based knowledge of the concepts involved. The modules were thoroughly taught and supported by practical laboratory works, group discussions, seminar presentations, lectures by leading academics and environmental consultants. I particularly developed key presentation skills and team spirit as a result of the various seminar presentations, group task and discussions.

The Institute parades a wonderful team of staff that provided students with the so much needed support and advice with both academic work and life on campus which I particularly benefited from as a foreign student. The institute also prides itself in its good contact with a wide range of public and private environmental organisations and agencies across the UK. This presented me with the opportunity of developing useful experience in the field by working part-time for some of the organisations during my study.

The main highlight of my programme is my participation in a major research project. Besides enjoying the support and encouragement of my supervisor and other members of the research team, I was able to also develop key technical experience and insight into the relevant industry. For me, studying at the institute was not only academically rewarding but enjoyable."


Water Conservation Bursary - 2 Awards

This award is funded by a Livery Company of the City of London. The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators has particular interest in issues related to the River Thames and London, and although it is not a requirement that candidates have a specific interest in this area, candidates with particular experience, or ideas for dissertation topics which are of particular relevance may have an advantage.Successful applicants will show an interest in, and understanding of, issues related to water, which may be demonstrated through previous studies, membership of organisations or voluntary groups. You will be able to show an ability to communicate effectively, both through the written word as evidenced in the application document and through your academic qualifications.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Students applying for this bursary must have completed a full application form and have been offered a place on one of the Institute's Masters courses in Environmental Science.

Application Procedure

Once you have received your offer of a place on one of our MSc courses you must submit a 500 word essay or report which clearly indicates your interest in environmental issues related to water. The document may also contain information on ideas that you have in relation to your dissertation topic, as successful applicants will be required to undertake a dissertation project that is focussed on issues related to water.

Further Information



Queen's Anniversary Prize Scholarships - 6 Awards

This is a fee waiver scholarship.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Students require a minimum 2:1 and to have applied by mid-July.

Application Procedure

Scholarships will be awarded to best 6 applicants each year. There is no specific application process.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

First degree (2:2 or equivalent) in science, social science or law based degree. Lower or other qualifications will be considered if supported by science A-Level (or equivalent) and / or relevant work experience. Applicants with prior experiential learning will be considered for admission. We also have pre-masters available for students who do not meet our entry criteria.

Course Fees

7000 (FT) or 3500 (PT) for Home/EU students; 16500 (FT) for non-EU students

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Recipient: Brunel University London

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