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.

The MSc Carbon Management will equip you with high-level knowledge and understanding of climate change and how it relates to economics, business, policy, and climate science.

This interdisciplinary programme is fast-paced and dynamic.

Your studies will draw widely on the latest research in the climate change field as well as case studies from Scotland and around the world.

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 climate crisis challenge.

Is the MSc for me?

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.

This programme is ideal for those who are passionate about combatting climate change and want a career in which they become part of the solution to one of the world’s most complex and greatest challenges.

Edinburgh Climate Change Institute

The MSc Carbon Management is associated with the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI).

ECCI brings together experts in law, business, social science, technology, and policy to help develop a low-carbon society.

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

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.

MSc Climate Change Finance and Investment

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

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 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.

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

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.

Online Carbon Management

If you are unable to commit to undertaking the MSc in Edinburgh, it is possible to study a postgraduate certificate by online learning:

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.

On completing the MSc Carbon Management, you will be able to:

  • evaluate the implications of climate change impacts and adaptation at scales ranging from global to local
  • understand the major policies, options, measures and technologies for limiting greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere
  • understand the key theories and concepts of business leadership and strategy that can foster a low carbon transition across an organisation and within the business sector
  • recognise and assess the economic dimensions of a wide range of climate change and carbon management policy challenges
  • have a sound understanding of climate change science

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

The primary aim of the MSc is to provide businesses, industry, academia and governments with an annual cohort of graduates who have 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. 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 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, as well as an exclusive alumni network on LinkedIn with over 300 members covering more than 30 nations.

This network provides you with unique opportunities to seek out advice from alumni, some of whom have over 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
  • UC Berkeley
  • WindPower Nepal
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Department of Business
  • Asian Development Bank
  • Energy and Industrial Strategy (UK)
  • SEPA
  • Zero Waste Scotland
  • the Scottish Parliament

The MSc Carbon Management includes a three-day field trip to the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

You will have the opportunity to engage with course material such as climate change impacts on biodiversity, land-use changes as well as adaptation for rural and urban settings.

The field trip is directly linked to the programme syllabus and aims to develop you with leadership, teamwork and research skills.

We strive to deliver a low carbon experience that also supports the local economy.

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, in economics, management, social sciences, humanities, physical sciences, geology, geography, environmental sciences, astronomy, biology, health sciences, chemistry, earth sciences, physics, engineering, business administration, or accounting and finance.

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

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:


If you receive an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, you will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit:

  • £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

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:

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

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 aim to make the majority of decisions within six weeks of the selection deadline.

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, or
  • your application is still being considered, will be carried forward for consideration in the next selection deadline and we’ll be in touch once a decision is made

Selection Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Decisions made or applications rolled to next deadline
1 31 January 2021 15 March 2021
2 31 March 2021 15 May 2021
3 30 June 2021 15 August 2021

(*Revised 9 March 2021 to add information on decision timescales.)

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