A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a biological, environmental or physical science, geography, social science or other relevant subject. Due to the focus of this programme, business-related degrees are, unfortunately, not suitable for entry. All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.
Months of entry
In this programme, leading academics encourage students to think across different disciplines to blend scientific, socioeconomic and policy perspectives for a stronger understanding of sustainability and how it can be achieved. This wider perspective is attractive to organisations which promote sustainable development or seek to reduce humanity’s effect on the environment.
Ensuring the environmental sustainability of society is one of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. How can the needs of the world’s growing population be met without threatening the ecological processes that support human wellbeing?
How can the economy and energy systems be restructured to combat climate change? What policies foster sustainability? How can the necessary changes in the behaviour of organisations and individuals be promoted? This MSc programme explores these and related, topical questions.
This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.
This programme consists of six taught courses, studied over two semesters. Students will also undertake a research project leading to a dissertation of up to 20,000 words.
Compulsory courses typically include*:
- Principles of Environmental Sustainability
- Case Studies in Sustainable Development
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:
- Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
- Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
- Foundations in Ecological Economics
- Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
- Integrated Resource Management
- Marine Systems and Policies
- Development: Principles and Practices
- Understanding Environment and Development
- Energy Policy and Politics
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Forests and Environment
- Global Environmental Politics
- Participation in Policy and Planning
- Political Ecology
- Sustainability of Food Production
- Waste Reduction and Recycling
- Water Resource Management
- Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.
This programme prepares students for a wide range of roles within environmental consultancy, national and local government, non-profit organisations, education or research. The choice of option courses and dissertation projects can be tailored towards your chosen career path.
Information for international students
To find out about the support offered to International Students at Edinburgh from arrival to graduation visit: http://wwww.ed.ac.uk/studying/international.
Fees and funding
Environmental Sustainability has historically secured several £5,000 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
Course contact details
- MSc Programme Secretary Paula Escobar
- +44 (0)131 650 2543