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.
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 typically include:
Principles of Environmental Sustainability Case Studies in Sustainable Development Dissertation
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
*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availablity and are subject to change each year.
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
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
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.
Head of School Scholarship - GeoSciences
Three scholarships worth £5,000 towards tuition fees are available to applicants of any nationality. A further two awards covering full tuition fees are available to applicants who are liable for the overseas rate of fee.
Value of Scholarship(s)
The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic excellence. Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, the international equivalent of a UK 2:1 Honours degree at undergraduate level. Applicants who have already commenced their programme of study on the closing date are not eligible for this scholarship.Applicants intending to study part-time or online distance learning courses are not eligible for this scholarship.
Please see our website for instructions on how to apply.
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.
Recipient: University of Edinburgh
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