Postgraduate study

Ecological Economics MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Deciding to study the MSc Ecological Economics was one of the best academic decisions I've ever made. It has been a challenging course which has exposed me to a huge range of topics, whilst allowing me to specialise in particular skills. The teaching has been outstanding, and the work has encouraged critical thought and the development of skills that are useful in academic, policy, consulting and corporate spheres. I could not recommend it more.

Chrissy Corlet MSc in Ecological Economics

From the biodiversity crisis to the climate crisis, to the question of managing economies during a global pandemic - the topic of sustainability has never been more pressing.

The MSc Ecological Economics prepares you to contribute to solving sustainability problems by focusing on the intersection between the environment, the economy and economic decision-making. The programme aims to equip you with a new way of seeing the world, and to empower you to analyse how the economy and economic decisions affect our ability to progress towards a more sustainable future.

What will I learn?

The interdisciplinary nature of the programme links environmental, social and economic systems together, and focuses on the mutual dependences between them.

You will participate in sustainability problem-solving with an emphasis on application, practical experience and ‘hands-on’ learning.

You will experience training in a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies and the associated data analysis, using real-world case studies.

During the annual study tour, you will implement a small research project designed collaboratively with staff members in response to real-world sustainability problems, providing you with first-hand experiences conducting the work of an ecological economist.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)

This programme is delivered in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

You will not only benefit from being a fully matriculated student at the University of Edinburgh, but also access to all of complementary staff, expertise, and resources at SRUC.

Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded your degree by the University of Edinburgh.

Find out more from our students

Visit our student blog, where students in the School of GeoSciences share their experiences of postgraduate study, living in Edinburgh and everything in-between.

This MSc programme comprises:

  • compulsory and option courses
  • dissertation

Throughout the programme, your teaching team will work with you to prepare for the dissertation project. This will be your opportunity to explore a topic of your choice in relation to ecological economics.

Teaching methods

You will experience a range of teaching styles while you are studying, depending on the subject matter and courses you are taking.

Courses can be delivered through a mix of teaching and learning styles including:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • practicals
  • short field trips
  • longer field courses

Please view each relevant course for teaching and assessment methods.

Changes to teaching and learning

We are committed to offering a high-quality education to all our students. Please be advised that there may be changes to course options and delivery, including due to Covid-19.

Changes to how we deliver teaching and learning experiences will be made to safeguard the health and safety of our students, staff and community, and to ensure we can maintain the highest standards for educational experience.

Although we endeavour to provide a wide range of optional courses to choose from, these can be subject to change or cancellation at short notice.

Places on optional courses can be limited, due to course capacity and timetabling constraints. It may not be possible to guarantee every offer holder their top choice of optional courses.

Part-time study

As we are committed to helping people into education while continuing to work or managing family and personal commitments, you may study this programme part-time.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
MSc3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

Graduates of the MSc Ecological Economics have historically been in high demand.

Our graduates are working in a variety of sectors, including:

  • environmental consultancies
  • international and governmental agencies
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • financial institutions
  • multinationals
  • environmental education and research

Additionally, around a quarter of our Masters students eventually go on to doctoral research programmes.

Our graduates

Examples of the organisations our graduates have gained employment with include:

  • New Economics Foundation
  • UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre
  • Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Delta Energy and the Environment
  • Octopus Energy
  • LTS International
  • World Wildlife Federation (WWF)
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Department for Environment
  • Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Carbon360
  • Conservation International
  • EDF Energy
  • Scottish Water
  • Golder Associates Peru
  • Seafish
  • University of Leeds
  • ZALF
  • Price Waterhouse Coopers
  • the Uganda Carbon Bureau

Careers Service

Our Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience at the University, offering a range of tailored careers and personal development guidance and support.

We support you to recognise the wealth of possibilities ahead, while at university and after graduation.

Field trips are an excellent way in which to explore the factors and forces that shape our world and enable you to put valuable skills into practice.

Through our residential field trip, you will have the unique opportunity to design and complete a research project on a sustainability problem that is relevant to ecological economics.

You will complete the research design process in teams, under the mentorship of our expert staff.

We will be guided by the needs in the location the trip is focused on, in any given year. The research process will involve primary data collection, analysis and communication with stakeholders.

You will also gain valuable experience in project design, data collection and analysis before starting your dissertation.

Locations for the study tour vary, with previous trips taking place in Europe and Africa.

You may also experience a short field tour during induction week, to give you and your fellow students a chance to get to know each other.

In recent years, our students have taken part in a two-day trip with accommodation provided at a SRUC research farm in the southern highlands of Scotland.

There are no additional charges for compulsory field trips.

Changes to field trips

Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including due to Covid-19.

Where suitable, fieldwork will be relocated or rescheduled.

We will also look at alternative arrangements that will ensure you achieve the quality learning outcomes of your degree.

Decisions will be made to safeguard the health and safety of our students, staff and community, and to ensure the highest standards for educational experience.

Any changes will be announced as soon as possible.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.

We may also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with appropriate work experience.

Applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds are welcome to apply, but all students will be expected to engage critically with economic and environmental concepts, and will also be asked to engage in both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Students whose undergraduate degrees have not addressed one or more these areas should highlight in their applications their abilities to learn and to engage with these subject areas.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Deposit

You will need to pay this deposit if you receive an offer of admission (either unconditional or conditional).

  • £1,500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Field trips and field courses

We do not charge extra fees for compulsory field trips or field courses.

Costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence on compulsory field trips will be covered by the programme fees. However, you must pay for incidental or personal expenses.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

SRUC bursary and alumni discount

SRUC bursary

You may be eligible for a SRUC bursary. Applicants will be sent information with guidance on eligibility and how to apply.

Contact the Programme Administrator for more information.

SRUC alumni discount

The SRUC alumni discount aims to encourage SRUC graduates to take up opportunities to study on taught masters (MSc) degree programmes run by SRUC in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh by providing a financial contribution towards the programme tuition fees to eligible applicants.

We will inform you if you are eligible to receive the discount on tuition fees during the application and admissions process.

Please tell us on your application if you are a SRUC graduate, as this will help speed up the process.

For further information, please contact the Programme Administrator.

School of GeoSciences scholarships

Browse funding opportunities

You are also encouraged to undertake your own research into the range of potential scholarships and other funding for which you may be eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Scotland's Rural College
  • Peter Wilson Building
  • West Mains Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JG

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline.

We will notify you if you are unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme at a specific selection deadline. If you do not hear from us, it means you are still being considered and we will carry your application forward to the next selection deadline for further consideration.

Selection deadlines

Round Application Deadline
1 31 January 2021
2 31 March 2021
3 30 June 2021

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Scotland's Rural College
  • Peter Wilson Building
  • West Mains Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JG