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Environmental Sustainability (MSc)


Course Description

Programme description

In this programme, leading academics encourage students to think across different disciplines to blend scientific, socioeconomic and policy perspectives for a stronger understanding of sustainability and how it can be achieved. This wider perspective is attractive to organisations which promote sustainable development or seek to reduce humanity’s effect on the environment.

Ensuring the environmental sustainability of society is one of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. How can the needs of the world’s growing population be met without threatening the ecological processes that support human wellbeing?

How can the economy and energy systems be restructured to combat climate change? What policies foster sustainability? How can the necessary changes in the behaviour of organisations and individuals be promoted? This MSc programme explores these and related, topical questions.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Programme structure

This programme consists of six taught courses, studied over two semesters. Students will also undertake a research project leading to a dissertation of up to 20,000 words.

Compulsory courses:

Principles of Environmental Sustainability
Case Studies in Sustainable Development
Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:

Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
Foundations in Ecological Economics
Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
Integrated Resource Management
Project Appraisal
Marine Systems and Policies
Development: Principles and Practices
Understanding Environment and Development
Energy Policy and Politics
Environmental Impact Assessment
Forests and Environment
Global Environmental Politics
Participation in Policy and Planning
Political Ecology
Sustainability of Food Production
Waste Reduction and Recycling
Water Resource Management
Climate Change and Corporate Strategy

Learning outcomes

Students will be equipped to:

assess the sustainability of policies, programmes and projects at scales ranging from the local to the global
analyse environmental problems using knowledge from different disciplines, leading to well-founded and effective solutions
advocate sustainable development and engage in informed debate on current environmental controversies

Career opportunities

This programme prepares students for a wide range of roles within environmental consultancy, national and local government, non-profit organisations, education or research. The choice of option courses and dissertation projects can be tailored towards your chosen career path.
Student experience

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.

Visit the Environmental Sustainability (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Student Profiles
Scholarships

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent (View Website international/country), in a biological, environmental or physical science, geography, social science or other relevant subject. Due to the focus of this programme, business-related degrees are, unfortunately, not suitable for entry.

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