Taught course

Environment and Development

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. Language requirements: IELTS 7.0 (with no score lower than 6.0 in each section); TOEFL-iBT: Total 100 (with no score lower than 20 in each section). A degree from an English speaking university may be accepted in some circumstances. More information about other qualifications we accept is online: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international/english

Months of entry


Course content

Understanding the linkages between environmental management, development agendas and socioecological questions

Programme description This interdisciplinary MSc explores the inter-dependencies between pressing environmental concerns and development pressures.

This programme focuses on the nexus of poverty, environmental change and livelihood, especially where quality of life is severely compromised by declines in ecosystem function, such as where pollution and habitat loss compromise water and food security. You will develop analytical and professional skills to promote the contribution of wise management of the environment and natural resources, to fair, sustainable development.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Development Academy.

Programme structure This MSc consists of two semesters of taught courses. Students take two compulsory and four option courses, each a balance of lectures, seminars, workshops and visits, followed by an individual dissertation.

Compulsory courses typically include*:

  • Understanding Environment and Development
  • Development: Principles and Practices
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:

  • Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
  • Foundations in Ecological Economics
  • Frameworks to Assess Food Security
  • Governing Mineral Extraction in Africa
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Principles of Geographical Information Science
  • Research Design in Human Geography
  • Marine Systems and Policies
  • EU and National Climate Change Law
  • International Political Economy
  • South Asia: Roots of Poverty and Development
  • Resource Politics and Development
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Introduction To Spatial Analysis
  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Applications in Ecological Economics
  • Energy Policy and Politics
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
  • Forests and Environment
  • Gender and Development
  • Global Environment and Society
  • International Security
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Political Ecology
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling
  • Water Resource Management
  • Marine Infrastructure and Environmental Change
  • Energy & Society
  • Anthropology of Global Health
  • Case Studies in Sustainable Development
  • Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law
  • Foundations of Science, Technology and Development
  • Integrated Resource Planning
  • Interpreting Development: Institutions and Practices
  • Interrelationships in Food Systems
  • The International Politics of Money

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Career opportunities This programme is suitable for students seeking roles within international and national development agencies, thinktanks, NGOs, environmental consultancies or the private sector, or those going on to PhD research.


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Information for international students


Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Environment and Development has historically secured several Head of School Scholarships. Details of these and other current opportunities may be found on our website. Deadlines apply so early application is encouraged

For information about funding opportunities visit our GeoSciences Scholarships webpage

Or visit the University's Scholarships and Student Finance Office.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24,36 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

MSc Programme Secretary Paula Escobar
+44 (0) 131 651 2572