Taught course

Soils and Sustainability

University of Edinburgh · School of Geosciences

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in biological science, environmental science, physical science, geography, engineering, economics or other relevant subject.

We many also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with relevant industry experience.

Months of entry


Course content

Soils underpin the sustainability of all land based ecosystems on our planet.

They impact fluxes of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, can mediate the impact of pollutants, provide biological habitats, and are an important component of water cycling. Humans have a complex relationship with soil, as soils deal with society’s waste, are a source of extractable minerals, and provide the foundations for the housing and roads on which society depends.

Soils also form the basis of all agricultural production. With a rapidly increasing global population, and Earth’s resources under stress, it is more important than ever to find sustainable approaches to land resource use. As the world looks for ways to increase the quantity and quality of food production for a growing population, you will be ideally placed to help balance the increased agricultural output with the protection and preservation of soil, water and ecosystems for a more sustainable future.

The MSc in Soils and Sustainability will provide you with the advanced skills and knowledge to make informed decisions on sustainable land practice. Designed to prepare you for a career in land-based management or environmental protection, you will learn about soil functions and management practices as well as soil classification, assessment and analysis. You will interpret information on soil physics, biology and chemistry for the preservation and maintenance of soil health and gain greater understanding of soil biodiversity and ecology. The programme places a strong emphasis on both theoretical insight and practical skills which are supported by laboratory and field based activities.

This programme is delivered in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). You will not only benefit from being a fully matriculated student at The University of Edinburgh, but also access to all of complementary staff, expertise, and resources at SRUC. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded your degree by The University of Edinburgh.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24-36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Programme Secretary, Elspeth Martin
+44 (0)131 535 4198