Taught course

Sustainability Engineering

Heriot-Watt University · School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree in a suitable subject with a numerate background. Equivalent overseas qualifications will also be considered. Applicants for whom English is not their first language and who do not already hold a degree in which the teaching was in English must satisfy the university minimum requirements for competence in English - IELTS at 6.5 or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

Sustainability Engineering concerns responsible use of the world's finite natural resources in a manner which will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This requires Engineers to make optimum use of energy and materials, to mitigate any associated environmental impacts, and to fully embrace concepts such as life cycle analysis, disassembly and recycling within the design process.

This programme will produce well-balanced fully aware sustainability management and development practitioners who are able to analyse and assess the essence of sustainability issues and to formulate the required strategy to implement practical sustainable development solutions in business and society.

Industry requires a practical framework to meet the challenge of achieving sustainable development. This course aims to provide that framework by:

  • providing an overview of methodology, technology and management tools that could be used to narrow the 'sustainable gap'
  • developing an overall awareness of the real causes of environmental degradation
  • developing the awareness of the relevant scientific and engineering principles fundamental to the understanding of the problem and solution to this environmental degradation.

In the MSc dissertation, students either conduct “in-house” laboratory-based projects or are placed in an industrial or commercial setting where they undertake environmental management system assessments or technical design analyses. Companies that have participated in student placements include McFarlan Smith, Hinicio, William Grant & Sons, The Scotch Whisky Research Institute, Caledonian Alloys, Nextek Ltd, FEAT Enterprises, United Wire Ltd, and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

Information for international students

Heriot Watt can provide summer courses in English as a foreign language and further information is available from the EPS Graduate School office.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please refer to website
International students
Please refer to website
We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarships.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


part time
21 months
full time
9 months


full time
6 months
part time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations37
Written coursework / continuous assessment13

Course contact details

Barbara Kerr
+44 (0)131 451 3023