Taught course

Governance and Sustainable Development

Staffordshire University · Computing and Digital Technologies

Entry requirements

Normally, an honours degree in a related subject such as geography, politics, environmental studies/ science, environmental management, law, sociology or development. But candidates with Lower Second degrees (or equivalent) in other subjects will also be considered. In addition we also encourage applications from those individuals who have related employment or substantial voluntary experience, with a demonstrable interest in or a commitment to sustainable development issues. Normal University arrangements for accreditation of prior (experiential) learning also apply. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview at the University in order to establish and/or confirm their eligibility

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

The award examines the nature and role for governance in support of progress towards sustainable development. The latter has become a key goal and principle for policy action at global and local levels. The lack of sustainability characterising much development is mainly a crisis in governance. The study of governance goes beyond the analysis of the formal institutions of nation-states and international regimes to encompass the relationship between the state and other important actors, including civil society and private business. It provides the opportunity to examine the conceptual debates and analysis of the challenges that government, civil society and the private sector will need to face when engaging with the central tenets of sustainable development.

At Certificate level, two 30 credit modules, Globalisation and Sustainable Development: a Governance perspective and Diplomacy and the Global World provide the conceptual and empirical foundation of the programme. They seek to introduce the key concepts of diplomacy, globalisation, sustainability and governance, as theoretical constructs and as factors shaping public policy, from the international to the local level. Key actors in the policy process are identified and evaluated in terms of: power, the state, and bureaucracies. A central focus is on the development of global governance with special attention given to global governance regimes.

At the Diploma level, Urban Sustainability: an Urban Governance Perspective is the core module. This investigates the management of urban environmental issues and their management, and the emergence of new forms of governance to deal with the challenges in this environment. Option modules in International Security and Money, Trade and Development in the Global Political Economy are available to complete the diploma level. These will allow the challenges to governance as posed by global and patterns of development and security in the post-Cold war context.

In the final year of the Masters programme, students undertake the Understanding Sustainability Research module to advance their capability in understanding and applying methodologies and techniques to research. This provides the foundation for the Masters’ Project, an independent piece of advanced research that the student can shape to concur with their academic or professional interests in the theory and practice of sustainable development.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
36 months
part time
36 months


part time
36 months
distance learning
20 months


part time
36 months
distance learning
9 months

Course contact details

Enquiries Team
+44 (0) 1782 294 400