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