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Environmental Sustainability MSc, PgDip

Online information sessions: 28 January 2015

Join us for a series of online question-and-answer sessions about applications, admissions, fees and student support.

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Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.
Application deadlines apply.

MSc Environmental Sustainability - 1 Year (Full-time)
Fees
MSc Environmental Sustainability - 2 Years (Part-time)
Fees
MSc Environmental Sustainability - 3 Years (Part-time)
Fees
PgDip Environmental Sustainability - 9 Months (Full-time)
Fees

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Contact information
Dr Simon Allen (Deputy Programme Director & Admissions Contact)
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 7215
Email: simon.allen@ed.ac.uk
Dr Marc Metzger (Programme Director)
Phone: +44 (0)131 651 4446
Email: marc.metzger@ed.ac.uk
Address: School of GeoSciences
Geography Building
Drummond Street
Central Campus
Edinburgh
EH8 9XP

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.

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent (www.ed.ac.uk/ 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.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.

IELTS minimum score
  • IELTS: 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each section)
Other accepted tests and scores
  • TOEFL-iBT: 100 (at least 20 in each section)
  • PTE: 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections - "Enabling Skills" section scores are not considered)
  • CPE: Grade B; CAE: Grade A

Find out more about our language requirements:

How to apply

You must submit a reference with your application.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Programme description

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

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

Further information

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