Research course

Sustainable Development

University of St Andrews · St Andrews Sustainability Institute - SASI

Entry requirements

PhD candidates usually have a Masters qualification in a related discipline, or considerable industry experience.

Months of entry


Course content

The Department of Geography and Sustainable Development aims to be world-leading in all aspects of our research. Our research specialisms are represented by the Department’sresearch themes consisting of:

We are privileged to host or co-host a number of externally funded research centres (Centre for Housing Research, Centre for Population Change, the Arctic Research Centreand the Census and Administrative data Longitudinal Studies hub); and ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity.

In the most recent evaluation of our research quality (REF 2014) we were delighted to be ranked 5th in the UK of 74 units assessed by the Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology panel. Being ranked 5th overall on the Grade Point Average represents not only the high proportion of our publications that were judged world-leading or internationally excellent, but also the high impact of our work and the excellent quality of our research environment. We were ranked 1st in the UK for the excellence of our impact case studies and our impact strategy. In terms of research environment we were pleased to be judged the 3rd best in the UK, with 87.5 per cent of our environment graded as world-leading, reflecting among other features the strength and diversity of our national and international research collaborations.

We have ambitious research plans for the next five years. The vibrant research culture within the school is also reflected in our extensive programme of external events including colloquia, seminars, and conferences, in addition to the regular informal meetings organised by the research clusters and centres.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) score

Top in Scotland, UK Ranking: 5th

Information for international students

A minimum of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent is required.

Fees and funding

UK students
Fees confirmed early 2017
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months


part time
48 months
full time
24 months

Course contact details

Director of Research
+44 (0) 1334 463917