Sustainable Development MSc

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  • The cafeteria in the school doesn't serve spaghetti and is, therefore, a big NO for all spaghetti lovers.

In St Andrews

£ 9,000 VAT inc.


  • Typology


  • Location

    St andrews (Scotland)

  • Duration

    1 Year


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




St Andrews (Fife)
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University Of St Andrews, KY16 9AJ


On request

To take into account

The MSc in Sustainable Development is a one-year, full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School 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 threats 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.

Sustainability impacts upon almost all aspects of life, and graduates from the Sustainable Development MSc pursue many different professional careers including: international development sustainability advisers to supra-national bodies such as the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, and the OECD sustainability in business management, engineering, planning, transport, waste, energy or environmental management sustainability research and policy consultancy

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. No previous training in sustainable development is required.

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  • The cafeteria in the school doesn't serve spaghetti and is, therefore, a big NO for all spaghetti lovers.

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  • Sustainable Development
  • Social Justice
  • Human well-being
  • Inter-generational
  • Environmental
  • Frameworks
  • Environmental management
  • Economies
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Project

Course programme


The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018-2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2019 entry.


  • Interrogating Sustainable Development: provides an introduction to sustainable development.
  • Introduction to Global Environmental Change: provides an introduction to the science of climate change.
  • Master Class in Sustainable Development: trains students to critically reflect on the potential and limitations of sustainable development.

Students typically choose four optional modules. With permissions from the relevant Head of School, up to 60 credits may be taken at MSc level from Schools across the University. Other modules at Masters Level from different Schools can be selected in accordance with staff availability.

  • Being a Social Scientist: explores the fundamental skills required by all social scientists and prepares you for research and professional development.
  • Development and the Environment: introduces students to key topics in development and environmental economics, including poverty, inequality and land reform.
  • Economics for the Environment: introduces the contributions that environmental economics can make to helping us understand and manage a wide range of environmental problems.
  • Introduction to Geographical Information Science: introduces students to the basic principles of Geographic Information Science including the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), mapping and spatial analysis using ArcGIS and the use of remotely sensed data.
  • Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences: introduces the basic theoretical approaches in the social sciences, encouraging you to make connections between the methodological and epistemological issues involved in conducting social scientific research.
  • Qualitative Methods in Social Research: offers both a theoretical and practical introduction to the collection, analysis and writing of qualitative social science research.
  • Quantitative Research in Social Science: covers underlying principles, terminology, research design, sampling strategies, uncertainty and missing data, computerised data management and univariate and multivariate approaches to data analysis.
Summer Project

The summer project, unlike traditional research projects, offers a format that better suits students’ interests and career aspirations.

As the culmination of your degree, the Advanced Study in Sustainable Development module gives you the opportunity to explore an area of sustainable development that interests you. You will then produce an academic literature review, a professional policy brief and a reflective essay based on your research. Advised by a member of academic staff, you will work across the summer months on your individual project.

If students choose not to complete the advanced study project required for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitability qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.

Additional information

Overseas Fee : £21,990

Sustainable Development MSc

£ 9,000 VAT inc.