Taught course

Sustainable Development

University of St Andrews · St Andrews Sustainability Institute - SASI

Entry requirements

A 2.1 or equivalent (GPA 3.6 or better) in your first degree or overseas equivalent. We also recognise the value of practical experience, so please talk to us if you do not meet the academic criteria above as each application is judged on its merits.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc in Sustainable Development is aimed at students with a background in politics, sociology, environmental sciences, biology, mathematics or economics who are interested in making a change to society, environment and economy.

Course highlights

  • Interdisciplinary teaching provides multiple perspectives. Students are taught by experts from disciplines across the University and beyond.
  • Field trips, such as to a Scottish highland estate, bring the subject alive by exploring practical applications of sustainable development. (Field trips are at no additional costs.)
  • Practical experience supplements leading theory. The lecturers and visiting speakers all have practical experience of advising government, business and communities on aspects of sustainable development as well as being leaders in their academic fields.

Teaching format

The MSc in Sustainable Development is a one-year, full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development.

Sustainable development is now widely regarded as the most promising framework within which the challenges of clean water and adequate sanitation, energy generation and supply, human health, food production and distribution, and the threat to biodiversity can be addressed. The MSc programme will enable you to develop the knowledge you need to understand and address sustainability issues from multiple perspectives.

During the taught portion of the programme, students take six modules which are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, student-led workshops, as well as field trips and away days. Modules are assessed through written examinations and coursework including class tests, presentations and review essays.

Over the course of the programme, but with particular focus during the summer months, students will research and write a 12,000-word dissertation.

Information for international students

A minimum of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


full time
9 months
part time
21 months


5 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary
+44 (0) 1334 463904