Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Carbon Management (Online Learning) MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Part-time

Online learning

Funding opportunities

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

Carbon management is at the heart of tackling climate change. It has rapidly become a central part of the global business environment.

With our MSc Carbon Management (Online Learning), you can develop the skills and knowledge to engage critically with climate change discussions and challenges for an equitable transition toward a resilient, low-carbon future for all.

This interdisciplinary programme is fast-paced and dynamic. Your studies will draw widely on the latest research in several climate change related fields. We'll also focus on case studies from Scotland and further afield.

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. You can learn not only from lecturers, but also from your fellow students as well. Together, we work to create a positive culture 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. This degree may be for you if you're looking to provide climate change skills and knowledge in your organisation or want to move into this field from a completely different one.

We have designed this Online MSc 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. The mix of our students from various backgrounds results in new ideas and approaches that help make the programme engaging and fun.

Our programme also has excellent relationships with relevant employers and a strong alumni network around the globe.

If you are passionate about climate change and its global impact, this programme is for you.

Online learning

This programme is delivered 100% online and part-time, enabling you to study flexibly and at your own pace. Many students continue to work full-time and partake in the programme. You will benefit from interaction and engagement with our expert staff, as well as your peers around the world.

When to apply

Please note: We may close applications to this programme earlier than the published deadline if there is high demand.

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 is a 100% online part-time programme. It enables you to study flexibly and at your own pace, wherever you are in the world.

Our supportive online environment enables you to meet students from all over the world. Each week, you will meet in online tutorials to discuss issues, questions and ideas with the group.

You will learn from academics working at the leading edge of carbon management and climate change. Our tutors will regularly interact in group sessions as well as one-on-one online meetings.

The programme is delivered through a range of unique online teaching and assessment modes, such as:

  • online lectures
  • virtual group meetings with the course organiser and tutor
  • online readings
  • online discussions
  • virtual case studies
  • reading resources and links

Additionally, you may watch short video clips and interviews with climate change experts.

All of these techniques will allow you to investigate the subject in-depth, and to promote extensive discussion of the best ways to tackle this key global challenge.

As a student of one of our online learning programmes, you will:

  • have the flexibility to study when most convenient for you
  • be able to study from anywhere with an internet connection
  • become part of a rich and varied online community of people in your field
  • learn the latest developments from people working at the leading edge in your field
  • be able to balance your studies alongside employment and personal commitments
  • study for an internationally-recognised Masters qualification

Studying online with the University of Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree with us:

This MSc programme comprises of:

  • 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
  • policy
  • business
  • climate justice


Your teaching team will work with you throughout the programme 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.

Changes to teaching and learning

We are committed to offering high-quality education to all our students. However, please be advised that there may be changes to course options and delivery. All decisions are made to ensure we can provide the highest standards for your 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.

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
MScCarbon Management3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2024/25

By successfully completing the MSc Carbon Management (Online Learning), you will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of key issues relating to global, regional and local carbon management, specifically: the science of climate change and the business response to climate change
  • be familiar with carbon auditing methodologies, as well as the tools used for climate change impact assessment and adaptation planning
  • develop and demonstrate an integrated view of mitigation and adaptation by businesses, NGOs and governments
  • possess in-depth knowledge and understanding in more specific climate change management related areas and obtain an understanding of how to undertake research and apply this knowledge in the context of a major study (dissertation)
  • demonstrate skills in interdisciplinary analysis, drawing upon different empirical sources, analytical perspectives and sub-disciplines within carbon management studies
  • conduct research into carbon management issues that require familiarity with a range of data, research sources and appropriate methodologies.

A key strength of our programme is the employability of our graduates. We have a burgeoning and active alumni group on LinkedIn, which is a testament to the success of graduates working professionally in this field.

Our alumni are working throughout the world in national and regional government departments, NGOs, consultancy and other business organisations. Some progress to completing a PhD.

Our graduates have been very successful in securing employment in the carbon and climate change sectors around the world.

Types of roles include:

  • renewable energy project developers
  • commercial carbon management consultants to companies large and small
  • central, regional and local government civil servants delivering a wide range of climate and decarbonisation policies
  • climate policy advisors to parliaments
  • NGO climate policy researchers and executives
  • PhD research and subsequent academic career path

Our graduates

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

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

  • Deutsche Bank
  • Forestry Department Malawi
  • Scottish Government
  • The Carbon Trust, Deloitte
  • Mott MacDonald
  • World Bank
  • 2020 Climate Group
  • Japanese Ministry of Education
  • Climate Bonds Initiative
  • China Beijing Environmental Exchange
  • WindPower Nepal
  • UBS
  • Department of Energy and Climate Change
  • Edinburgh Climate Change Institute


The MSc in Carbon Management (Online Learning) has excellent relationships with relevant employers, as well as an alumni network covering more than 35 nations. This network provides you with unique opportunities to link up on research projects and find new positions in the field of carbon management.

Many of our alumni have come back to give guest lectures or workshops which adds to the real-world relevancy of the programme.

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.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

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.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

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. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • 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 five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

You will need to have access to a computer and the internet in order to participate in this programme.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScCarbon Management3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

Online Learning scholarships

The University offers several scholarships specifically for online, part-time postgraduate programmes.

School of GeoSciences scholarships

See potential funding for students studying a postgraduate degree with the School of GeoSciences:

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.

(Revised 16 March 2024 to remove 'Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships' information) 

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

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

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 then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Please submit a CV/Resume with your application. Find out more about writing a suitable CV:

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.

More details are available on the College website:

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

Further information

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