Postgraduate study

Carbon Management MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time


Funding opportunities

Without a doubt, the interdisciplinary nature of the Carbon Management programme opened the door to my current occupation, as a business analyst for a renewable energy developer.

Kevin Meier MSc Carbon Management

Are you ready to confront the challenges of the global climate crisis?

Join students from across the globe to tackle the challenges of climate change and create a low-carbon economy.

With our MSc Carbon Management, you will have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge to engage critically with climate change debates and challenges for an equitable transition toward a resilient, low-carbon future.

This interdisciplinary programme is fast-paced and dynamic. Your studies will draw widely on the latest research in the climate change field, plus case studies from Scotland and worldwide.

Industry experts, including alumni of the programme, also contribute to the discussions and provide guest lectures.

Throughout this interactive degree, you are encouraged to dive in and join the conversation, participate in group activities, and offer your critical analysis of the topics. Together, we work to create a culture of positivity in how we think about and act towards the global climate crisis challenge.

Is the MSc for me?

If you want a career where you can be part of the solution to one of the world’s greatest and most complex challenges, this programme is for you.

The MSc Carbon Management is designed for a diverse range of graduates from the natural, environmental and social sciences, as well as from business, economics, management studies and other related degrees who are passionate about combatting climate change.

We are also looking for people that want to be entrepreneurs in the climate change field.

Edinburgh Climate Change Institute

The MSc Carbon Management is associated with the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI). ECCI brings together law, business, social science, technology, and policy experts to help develop a low-carbon society.

Through ECCI, you will have the opportunity to work and network alongside professionals and potential employers within this high-demand field.

What’s it really like to study here?

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

MSc Climate Change Finance and Investment

Please note that this programme is not a substitute for the MSc Climate Change Finance and Investment. If you are keen to focus your studies on carbon finance and investment, we encourage you to find out more details and apply to the Business School.

When to apply

Please note: Due to high demand for this programme, we operate on a series of early application deadlines.

We strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

For dates and details, please refer to 'Application Deadlines' on the right panel of this page.

You should also avoid applying to more than one degree. Applicants who can demonstrate their understanding and commitment to a specific programme are preferred.

If you plan to apply to more than one programme, you should discuss your choices with us before you submit your application. Where possible, we may make an alternative programme offer if you have been unsuccessful in your chosen programme.


This programme is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA).

IEMA is the global professional body for individuals and organisations working in environment and sustainability. A programme accredited by the IEMA ensures that graduates leaving environmental programmes have the right knowledge, skills and tools to deliver value in a global economy. Students enrolled on an IEMA approved are equipped with the expertise and understanding they need to secure a job in environment and sustainability and ultimately, lead change.

Students enrolled in our MSc Carbon Management are eligible for free IEMA Student Membership, underpinning their studies with an invaluable toolkit of resources.

(Revised 9 February 2023 to add in accreditation information)

This MSc programme comprises:

  • compulsory and option courses
  • dissertation

You will be taught various topics and themes across the required courses, including climate science, climate change risk, mitigation and adaptation, economics, policy, business, and climate justice.

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 climate change and carbon management. You can even use the dissertation to explore your own business idea for tackling climate change through the business plan dissertation option.

We also work with our wide network to find opportunities for dissertation projects with external organisations, enhancing the real-world relevance of your degree.

How will I learn?

You will experience a range of learning styles while studying, depending on the subject matter and courses you are taking. You can view each relevant course for teaching and assessment methods through the ‘Programme Structure’ link under compulsory and option courses below.

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.

(Revised 19 July 2023 to remove ‘Climate Change Economics’ from the compulsory courses for the 2023/24 academic year.)

On completing the MSc Carbon Management, you will:

  • Gain a critical understanding of the theories, concepts and principles relating to local, regional and global climate change.
  • Be able to demonstrate responses to climate change issues that are reflective, self-critical and based on research and evidence.
  • Be able to demonstrate multidisciplinary skills, techniques and practices that draw upon different empirical sources, analytical perspectives and sub-disciplines within carbon management studies.
  • Be able to demonstrate initiative in tackling and managing problems towards realizing a just and equitable society given global climate change.

A key strength of the MSc Carbon Management is the employability of our graduates.

The MSc aims to provide businesses, industry, academia and governments with an annual cohort of graduates with the high-level knowledge necessary to help move the world towards a low-carbon future.

The programme combines the teaching of theory, academic knowledge and understanding with the development of applied and practical skills.

Our graduates have been successful in securing employment in the carbon and climate change sector around the world. Although there is not a 'typical' job our graduates go on to do, types of roles include:

  • Carbon management consultants to companies large and small
  • Renewable energy project developers
  • Central, regional and local government civil servants delivering a wide range of climate and decarbonisation policies
  • Climate policy advisors
  • NGO climate policy researchers and executives
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation specialists
  • PhD researcher and subsequent academic career path

In addition, many alumni have gone on to create their own successful businesses and consultancies.

We have fantastic resources through the University department 'Edinburgh Innovations' to help you successfully nurture your entrepreneurial ideas and launch your own enterprise.

The MSc in Carbon Management has excellent relationships with relevant employers and an exclusive alumni network on LinkedIn with over 450 members covering more than 30 nations.

This network provides you with unique opportunities to seek advice from alumni, some of whom have decades of experience in the job market.

Our graduates

Our graduates work in hundreds of organisations around the world within the climate change field.

Examples include:

  • Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Carbon Sense
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Costain Group
  • PwC
  • John Wood Group
  • The World Bank
  • Forestry Department Malawi
  • The Carbon Trust
  • Arup
  • Deloitte
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Japanese Ministry of Education
  • China Beijing Environmental Exchange
  • University California Berkeley
  • WindPower Nepal
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Department of Business
  • UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • London Assembly
  • Asian Development Bank
  • SEPA
  • Scottish Parliament
  • Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
  • Delta Energy & Environment
  • DSS+ DuPont Sustainable Solutions

Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience at the University, providing:

  • tailored advice
  • individual guidance and personal assistance
  • internships and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
  • access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network

We invest in your future beyond the end of your degree. Studying at the University of Edinburgh will lay the foundations for your future success, whatever shape that takes.

Please note that day trips and field trips are now under review for this programme, and will not be on offer for the academic year 2023/24.

Despite this change, we maintain the highest standards for your educational experience and will ensure you achieve the quality learning outcomes of your degree.

(Revised 8 March 2023 to clarify that field trips will not be on offer for academic year 2023/24.)

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject such as environmental sciences, management, social sciences, energy, sustainability, earth sciences, physical sciences, geology, geography, economics, biology, health sciences, engineering, business administration, or finance.

We may also consider degrees in other disciplines if you can demonstrate how it is relevant to the programme, or if you have relevant work experience in a related field.

We may also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, if you have substantial, related professional experience.

Please provide information on any relevant experience in your personal statement when you apply.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:


If you receive an offer of admission you will need to pay a deposit to secure your place.

  • £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. The programme fees will cover costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence on compulsory field trips. 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

Featured funding

School of GeoSciences scholarships

Scholarships and student funding

You can find funding opportunities, tuition fees and costs of living for prospective UK and international postgraduate students on the University website.

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

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Institute of Geography
  • Drummond Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9XP

Due to high demand for this programme, we operate on a series of selection deadlines.

We strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications may close earlier than the published deadlines if there is exceptionally high demand.

We may make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis. However, the majority of applications will be held until the advertised deadline.

We aim to make the majority of decisions within eight weeks of the selection deadline. Sometimes it may take longer than eight weeks to complete our decision-making and when this is the case we will contact applicants directly to provide an updated timeline for decision-making.

If we have not made you an offer by a specific selection deadline this means one of two things:

  • your application has been unsuccessful, in which case we will contact you to let you know
  • your application is still being considered, it will be carried forward for consideration in the next selection deadline, and we’ll be in touch once a decision is made

The final deadline may be extended if any places remain on the programme.

Selection Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Decisions made or applications rolled to next deadline
1 31 January 31 March
2 31 March 31 May
3 31 May 31 July

*(Revised 11 November to update selection deadline dates and clarify when decisions on applications will be made.)

Failure to submit all required documents will prevent the Admissions team from considering you for a place on the programme. It may also delay the decision on your application beyond the stated deadline.

We advise you do not apply to more than one programme. Where possible, we may make an alternative programme offer if you have been unsuccessful in your chosen programme.

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

Further information

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Institute of Geography
  • Drummond Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9XP