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Professional Doctorate in Environmental Sustainability (MSc)

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

Programme description

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.

Programme structure

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


Option courses:

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

Project Appraisal

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 availablity and are subject to change each year.

Learning outcomes

Students will be equipped to:

assess the sustainability of policies, programmes and projects at scales ranging from the local to the global

analyse environmental problems using knowledge from different disciplines, leading to well-founded and effective solutions

advocate sustainable development and engage in informed debate on current environmental controversies

Career opportunities

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.

Student experience

Visit the Environmental Sustainability (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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Entry Requirements

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.

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Recipient: University of Edinburgh

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