Taught course

Energy, Society and Sustainability

University of Edinburgh · School of Geosciences

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.

We may also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with relevant work experience, a strong personal statement and supportive reference.

Months of entry


Course content

The world is facing an ‘energy trilemma’. How do we achieve energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability?

Often invisible and intangible, energy drives the availability and affordability of all material resources. It is thus key to human development and the heart of any sustainable debate. With the challenges of global climate change, the world is seeking a fast but fair transition to a low carbon society.

The MSC in Energy, Society and Sustainability equips you with an understanding of low carbon technologies, policies and markets with a focus on the analysis of the social, societal, and environmental dimensions of energy transitions.

Through the programme, you can explore the scope and risks, costs and benefits of energy transitions in the face of wider societal processes such as demographics, economic trends and shifting political landscapes.

You will examine how citizens are involved in, and are affected by changes in energy systems. You will be able to relate supply-side issues to geo-politics and political economy. Energy demand will be studied in relation to the broader challenges of sustainable consumption, inequalities in access to basic energy services and the spatio-temporal distribution of social and environmental impacts of the energy supply chain. You will also gain the practical skills to explore the potential of ‘smart’ information and communications technology (ICT) to affect consumption and inform sustainable living.

This MSc attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds, creating unique opportunities for interdisciplinary peer-to-peer learning. Students with a natural science background can seek to understand more about the social factors associated with a transition to a lower carbon economy, whilst social science students can expand their skills and knowledge for a career in low carbon energy.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Programme Contact, Kathryn Will
+44 (0)131 650 2624