Taught course

Economics for Transition

Schumacher College · Schumacher College

Entry requirements

Students will normally possess a first degree in the social or natural sciences, or a background that is equivalent, and be able to demonstrate a keen interest in the subject-matter. As places are limited we will select candidates who we consider will make optimal use of the learning experience afforded by the programme, and who will actively co-create the foundations of a “new economy.” In addition to considering individual candidates according to these criteria, the prospective MA and PG Certificate group is considered as a whole, for which Schumacher College strives to create a balance of interest, gender and background.

Months of entry


Course content

MA, PG Cert

Achieving Low-Carbon, High Well-Being, Resilient Economies

Never has there been a more important time for a new approach to economics. There is an urgent need for a radical rethink of our economic system. We need new thinking and new models that recognise the challenges we face now, rather than blindly following the path that has led us into the converging crises we now face. These models will enable us to both mitigate the impacts and adapt to these inter-locking crises – including climate change, biodiversity loss, the peaking in fossil fuel energy supplies, financial instability, food security, poverty and so on. They will be built on an understanding of the complementarity of ecological protection and human flourishing. For 20 years, pioneering thinkers and practitioners have been developing alternative economic ideas, models and experiments that were once considered radical and marginal. As we turn to face a new economic dawn, these theories and practices are now moving centre stage.

Why Schumacher College? Since 1991, Schumacher College has been pioneering radical new thinking in economics, attracting leading teachers, practitioners and activists from across the globe. We have inspired and supported thousands of organisations and individuals from many different countries in their quest to achieve a more sustainable and equitable world. In 2011, in response to the deepening economic and related crises, we launched our first postgraduate programme in Economics for Transition in association with the New Economics Foundation, the Transition Network and the Business School at Plymouth University. Now in its fourth year, this partnership offers you an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the cream of radical economic thinking, activism and entrepreneurship globally. Hosted by highly respected radical economists, completed by an unrivalled visiting faculty of teachers and practitioners from across the world, you have a unique chance to join those at the forefront of new economic thinking.

More detail about our innovative approach to teaching and learning at the College can be found here: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/our-approach-to-teaching-and-learning

Our teachers include:

Jonathan Dawson– Schumacher College: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/about/jonathan-dawson

Tim Crabtree – Schumacher College: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/about/tim-crabtree

Stephan Harding – Schumacher College: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/about/stephan-harding

Julie Richardson – Schumacher College: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/about/julie-richardson

Anna Coote and Tony Greenham - New Economics Foundation: http://www.neweconomics.org/people/all/main

Rob Hopkins, Jay Tompt & Sophy Banks – Transition Network: http://www.transitionnetwork.org/about/people/staff-and-key-contributors

David Bollier – co-founder of the Commons Strategies Group: http://www.bollier.org/

Gustavo Esteva – founder of the Universidad de la Tierra: http://gustavo-esteva.blogspot.co.uk/

Fiona Ward – REconomy Project: https://www.transitionnetwork.org/people/fiona-ward

Pat Conaty – NEF Fellow: http://www.neweconomics.org/people/entry/pat-conaty

Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney – Founder and CEO of Embercombe: http://macmacartney.com/

Robin Murray – Industrial and environmental economist: http://youngfoundation.org/people/robin-murray/

Kate Raworth – Senior Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute: http://www.kateraworth.com/about/

Dr. Martin Shaw – Author, mythologist, storyteller and award winning wilderness Rites-of-Passage guide: http://www.theschoolofmyth.blogspot.com/

Who is this course for?

We are delighted to receive your application whether you are coming directly from an undergraduate degree, taking time-out to study mid-career or wanting an opportunity to retrain in a subject area that is of huge importance to our global economic future and wellbeing. We are looking for enthusiastic agents of change who are ready to co-create a new economy in practice. We are looking for those prepared to take a risk and stand on the cutting-edge of new thinking in this area. Schumacher College welcomes students from all over the world in its diverse mix of cultural experience and age group that allows for rich peer to peer learning.

What you will learn?

The key sustainability issues facing the world today How ecological, economic and social crises are systemically linked to the malfunctioning of today’s globalised economy A critique of the dominant neoclassical, industrial growth model from different perspectives A theoretical and experiential understanding of an ecological world-view How to apply ecology and complexity science to the economy and social systems The co-creation of a new approach to economics drawn from alternative schools of thought The co-creation of future scenarios and pathways towards low-carbon, high wellbeing and resilient economies Participation in current debates on the economics of transition New economics tools, methods and policies and their application to real-world case studies Self-evaluation to improve professional practice You will also carry out an independent research project related to the economics of transition

Where you will go?

Are you ready to join a new generation of business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, researchers, consultants and activists? Graduates from this programme will have the skills and knowledge to work for sustainable change in the public and private sectors as well as in civil society, or to set up their own projects or organisations that will contribute to the transition to a new economy. Hear from some of our past and present students and find out how this programme has changed their lives and careers by reading our the Economics for Transition student profiles.

MA course programme

• Module One: The Ecological Paradigm (20 credits)

• Module Two: The Emergence of the New Economy (20 credits)

• Module Three: The New Economy in Practice (20 credits)

• Elective Short Courses (20 credits each)

• Dissertation (80 credits)

Click here for further details on the full programme and module descriptions, full and part time study: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/postgraduate-courses/economics-for-transition/economics-for-transition-programme

Download the Student University and College Handbook here: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/downloads/student-handbook-2015-2016.pdf

Download the Economics for Transition Programme Quality Handbook here: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/downloads/economics-2015-16-PQ-handbook.pdf

Download the Economics for Transition Teaching, Learning and Assessment Handbook here: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/downloads/economics-2015-16-TLA-handbook.pdf

Click here for details on how to apply, fees and term dates: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/postgraduate-courses

Information for international students

All applicants who do not hold a GCSE (Grade C or above) in English language, must provide evidence of their English language ability in the form of a IELTS Academic Certificate with a score of 6.5 overall with minimum 5.5 for each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Fees and funding

Bursaries are available for this programme. Please see our website for eligibility: https://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/postgraduate-courses/schumacher-college-postgraduate-bursary-fund

Chevening Scholarships Awards A number of Chevening Scholarships are available for our Holistic Science and Economics for Transition postgraduate programmes starting in September each year. The deadline for application is early November Please click here for more details: http://www.chevening.org/welcome-to-chevening

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


full time
4 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment56

Course contact details

+44 (0)1803 847212
+44 (0)1803 866899