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MSc Sustainability and Adaptation (Distance Learning)

Course Description

Masters in Environmental Science and Policy

A flexible Master’s degree designed to develop a rigorous understanding of transformational responses to climate change. Taught at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), which pioneered sustainability practice and theory in the UK, this is the first MSc course to properly integrate and the social, political, economic and practical aspects of living with environmental change.

This Master’s degree tackles these themes through a combination of academic study, discussion and hands-on practical work. We give our MSc students the knowledge, skills and experience needed to develop a career in the environmental sector and make an impact. The programme draws on our expert staff and a wide selection of academics and specialist guest lecturers; people who have made exceptional contributions to environmental thinking and action.

The MSc course uses the concepts of sustainability and adaptation transformation to frame an analysis of environmental and climate change policy and its implications for society. Students can then choose modules from a wide range that covers politics and economics, urbanisation, communities, biodiversity and ecosystem services, energy in buildings, sustainable materials, environmental assessment and renewable energy.

Our MSc programme is taught either by distance learning or through residential blocks in one of the most imaginative environmental buildings in the UK, or in a mixture of the two.

Successful completion of the programme MSc Sustainability and Adaptation at the Centre for Alternative Technology leads to the award of Master of Science (MSc) by UEL.

Modules include:
- Sustainability and adaptation concepts and planning
- Ecosystem Services, Land use and Water and Waste Management
- Adaptation Transformation Politics and Economics
- Cities and Communities
- Energy Flows in Buildings – Parts A and B
- Energy Provision (Renewable Energy)
- Building Performance Assessment and Evaluation
- Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment
- Built Environment Applied Project or Built Environment Practice Based Project

Distance Learning with CAT

For the past 40 years CAT has been at the forefront of the environmental movement, pioneering low-carbon living and renewable technology. At the Graduate School of the Environment (GSE), students benefit from our extensive practical and academic knowledge, graduating with the skills needed to become leading players in the sustainability sector.

CAT’s MSc programmes by Distance Learning offer a unique opportunity for students, both in the UK and across the globe, to gain access to the body of knowledge and expertise offered by Europe’s leading eco-centre.

The Distance Learning courses offer a large degree of flexibility, both in the topics that students can pursue and in being able to study on a full-time or part-time basis. We have a superb range of online and print materials, highly accessible tutors and dedicated support officers to ensure that our students benefit from our wealth of experience.

As the effects of climate change continue to be felt worldwide, the MSc Sustainability and Adaptation programmes will provide students with the knowledge, skills and tools they require to be at the forefront of sustainability thinking around the world.

Visit the MSc Sustainability and Adaptation (Distance Learning) page on the Centre for Alternative Technology website for more details!

Student Profiles

CAT Scholarship - Single Award

Blogs must be submitted in a Word document or .pdf format.
Entries must be received by 12.00pm on Friday 24th July 2015.
All entries must be submitted either electronically to [email protected] Late entries will not be considered.
Winners will be contacted by Friday 26th June 2015
To see the full terms and conditions: http://gse.cat.org.uk/scholarship-tandc
If you have not yet applied for the course, please also submit an application alongside your scholarship entry
For further advice or if you have any queries, please contact the Graduate School Marketing Officer, [email protected] or on 01654 704954

Value of Scholarship(s)



For people enrolling in one of the following programmes starting September 2015 at the Centre for Alternative Technology:
MSc Sustainability and Adaptation
MSc Sustainability and Adaptation in the Built Environment
MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning
MSc Renewable Energy and the Built Environment
Professional Diploma in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies

Application Procedure

All entrants must:-submit a 600-800 word scientific blog or article
The blog or article should cite at least three peer-reviewed studies (Google Scholar is a useful tool for finding studies, many of which are freely available).
The topic of the blog or article should be:
For the Sustainability and Adaptation courses (all three): an aspect of sustainability or adaptation to environmental change of particular importance to you.
For the Renewable Energy and the Built Environment course: is it better for a house to be offgrid rather then grid connected? OR an aspect of sustainable energy of particular importance to you.
For the Professional Diploma in Architecture: an inspiring sustainable design project of particular importance to you OR one of your own sustainable design projects.
Entries must be submitted by 12.00pm on Friday 24th July 2015.

Further Information



The Amar-Franses and Foster-Jenkins Scholarship - Single Award

The Amar-Franses and Foster-Jenkins Bursary offers funding for postgraduate students on CAT’s Renewable Energy and the Built Environment MSc or any of our Sustainability and Adaptation MSc programmes.Established in 2002 for the specific purpose of supporting students in the arts and sciences, the Amar-Franses and Foster-Jenkins Trust is generously funding this bursary. They are offering a total of £7,000 to be awarded to one or more CAT students who will commence their studies in September 2016.

Value of Scholarship(s)



The Scholarship is only for students wanting to start a Master's Degree at the Centre for Alternative Technology. Find out more about the programmes offered in Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Architecture, Adaptation and the Built Environment: http://gse.cat.org.uk/Successful applicants will be those able to demonstrate a passion for their area of study combined with a good quality academic record. The Trust is particularly keen to encourage applicants who are finding it difficult to secure funding from elsewhere.

Application Procedure

Grant applications must be made on the bursary application form and sent to Kit Jones at [email protected] The deadline for applications 25th July 2016.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A good undergraduate degree in any dicipline. Students who do not possess formal qualifications but who can demonstrate that they have gained appropriate knowledge and skills equivalent to degree standard and that they will benefit from and contribute to the programme, may be accepted. UEL and CAT are strongly committed to widening participation and equal opportunities for all. For international students: TOEFL at 550 or an IELTS score of 6.0 in English language

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Recipient: Centre for Alternative Technology
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