MSc Global Challenges

MSc Global Challenges

A part time, online programme. Study while you work — from anywhere in the world with internet access.

MSc Global Challenges

Multiple perspectives

The challenge of how seven billion can live well on one planet can only be understood and tackled effectively by taking multiple perspectives and drawing on a range of disciplines. The MSc Global Challenges is awarded following successful completion of our three Postgraduate Certificates:

Global Development Challenges considers the increasing economic, social and political inequalities in many parts of the world, and the need for new ways of thinking about and addressing international development. The programme is offered by the School of Social and Political Science.

Global Development Challenges

Global Environment Challenges considers how human activity is changing the natural environment at an unprecedented rate and the impact of this on human wellbeing and development. The programme is offered by the School of Geosciences.

Global Environment Challenges

Global Health Challenges considers the connections between local and global health challenges, and our changing understanding of health and wellness, illness and health care. The programme is offered by the School of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences.

Global Health Challenges

Comprehensive insight

Each of these certificates takes a multidisciplinary approach to global challenges from its own distinct perspective. Studying all three gives you a comprehensive insight into the global challenges and develops and broadens your skills and knowledge to tackle them effectively.

As you progress through the programme you will integrate your learning from each certificate you study, adding depth and richness to your experience.

There is no dissertation element: each certificate provides opportunities for you, in discussion with academic staff, to develop innovative projects as part of your assessment.

The MSc in Global Challenges is normally completed over three to five academic years and is awarded by the School of Social and Political Science.


There are two options for applying to the programme:

  1. Apply directly to the MSc Global Challenges programme.  
  2. Apply via one of the three Postgraduate Certificates that make up the programme. After successful completion of your chosen certificate route you can opt to continue with one or both of the remaining certificates, or to exit with your chosen certificiate.

1. Apply directly to MSc Global Challenges

You can apply directly to the MSc Global Challenges. You can opt to complete the three certificates in any order you wish.

2. Apply for one of the Postgraduate Certificates

If you apply via one of the Certificate routes, you will complete that certificate first.


Following successful completion of your chosen certificate, you will be given the opportunity to:

  1. Register for the remaining certificates to build up to the award of either the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc.  
  2. Exit with a Postgraduate Certificate. 

For those who exit with a Postgraduate Certificate at this stage, please note if you decide at a later date you wish to complete the remaining certificates, you will be required to submit a new application.