Research course

MRes Sustainability and Adaptation

Centre for Alternative Technology

Entry requirements

We ask for a Bachelor’s degree or knowledge and skills equivalent to degree standard. IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required for applicants whose first language is not English.

Months of entry


Course content

Masters in Research Sustainability and Adaptation *NEW FOR 2023*

The course offers a holistic view of sustainability through its taught modules and allows students more time than a traditional Masters course to independently research and use the concepts of sustainability and adaptation transformation to frame an analysis of environmental and climate change policy and its implications for society in research through an extended research dissertation. Focus on researching the causes and urgency of climate change, the solutions we have already, and the actions needed.

Key Areas of study
Taught over two years full-time or three years part time, students will study taught modules over the first 12 months and then move onto a 120 credit extended research Dissertation module where you will learn how to lead and manage your own research project on a sustainability-related, discipline-relevant topic of your particular interest, and write an extended dissertation on the findings. The programme aims to be a foundation for student wishing to move into further research roles or programmes in environmental science, sustainability, and address the issues and solutions to the climate and biodiversity crisis.

Some of the topics you’ll study include:

  • Sustainability thinking and adaptation transformation planning
  • Research philosophy, approaches, and strategy
  • Analysis techniques and research design methods

Depending on your area of research you will be able to focus on one of the following topics through your optional taught module:

  • Acute resilience pathways for cities and communities
  • Environmental politics and social and economic systems
  • Sustainable design of buildings and environmentally responsive materials and resources
  • Transformational change to meet the climate emergency
  • Risk and vulnerability assessment and adaptive capacity
  • Land use and food security
  • Restoration ecology, environmental assessments and ecosystem services, including waste and water
  • Energy provision and energy flows in buildings

What qualification will you receive?
Successful completion of the programme MSc Sustainability and Adaptation at the Centre for Alternative Technology leads to the award of Master of Science (MSc) by UEL. The programme is also available to study as a Postgraduate Certificate and as a Postgraduate Diploma. This course is created and delivered by CAT and validated by UEL.

Why study at CAT?
Nearly 50 years of research and sustainability experience
CAT is a world-leading eco centre and a pioneer in Zero Carbon Britain researching, and teaching practical solutions for sustainability, with 50 years’ experience in low-impact building, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable food production, natural resource management and more.

Immersive or distance learning
Students can decide whether they want to study a module on-site or via distance learning.Our taught modules offer an immersive learning experience through lectures, talks, seminars and workshops delivered by our expert in-house staff, with specialist insights from visiting lecturers from industry and academia. Practical sessions during on-site study visits at CAT, allow you to get hands-on with sustainable building materials, ecological assessments and energy efficiency.

Many modules are shared with our other postgraduate courses, providing you with a rich learning experience. Our teaching resources are available through Microsoft Teams for students taking the module by distance learning and on-site, creating a space for students to interact and share ideas and expertise, adding to the immersive learning environment

Is this the course for you?

Interested in studying this course? Join us for our next open day or contact us.

This course is created and delivered by CAT and validated by the University of East London.

Find out more about the course on the CAT website.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MRes
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Alis Rees