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Masters in Sustainable Development

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Program Aims

The purpose of the programme is to enable students to acquire the skills needed to analyse and understand current globalisation and sustainability issues and debates. The aims of the programme are:

  • to enhance knowledge for informed decision and policy-making on sustainable development issues
  • to develop critical, analytical, and integrative skills for resolving environmental and sustainable development challenges
  • to provide practical research experience and opportunities for reflection in order to promote sustainable development.

Career Progression

Graduates of this programme will have a wide range of backgrounds and will typically find work in:

  • government ministries and other public sector organisations concerned with policy analysis in the fields of sustainable development and environmental planning
  • international and non-governmental organisations concerned with the sustainable dimensions of economic change
  • public and private sector companies conducting analyses of the interface between environment and poverty
  • consultancies and development projects concerned with issues of sustainability
  • applied research and teaching in institutions of research and higher education.

Structure and Syllabus

MSc: 10 modules (4 core, 4 elective plus 2 research)
Postgraduate Diploma: 8 modules (4 core plus 4 elective)
Postgraduate Certificate: 4 modules (4 core)

Core modules

Understanding sustainable development (C201)
Environmental science and management (C200)
Economics and institutions for development (C116)
Climate change and development (C124)

Elective modules and specialisms

If you are taking an MSc or a Postgraduate Diploma you choose elective modules within a particular specialism: at least 3 electives from one specialism, including the compulsory module, plus 1 free choice from all specialisms. This creates the opportunity for a clear focus in your studies, whereby you can develop understanding and skills relevant to specific professional interests. The name of the specialism will appear on the certificate awarded. The compulsory module in each specialism is shown in bold.

Marketing for small agribusinesses (C138)
Managing social and environmental responsibility (C167)
Rural finance (C128) [scheduled for 2012]

Development management
Managing knowledge and communication for development
Management in rural development (C131)
NGO management (C132)
Project planning and management (C134)

Environmental analysis
Environmental assessment (C207)
Environmental auditing and environmental management systems (C208)
International environmental law (C114)
Managing social and environmental responsibility (C167)

Environmental economics
Economic principles (C02)
Economics of environmental policy (C121)
Environmental valuation: theory, techniques and application (C122)
Natural resource economics (C105)

Environmental management
Introduction to environmental economics and policy (C170)
Environmental assessment (C207)
Ethics and environmental practice (C163)
International environmental law (C114)

Natural resource management
Sustainable land management (C168)
Natural resource economics (C105)
Sustainable forest management (C185)
Water resources management (C126)

Rural development and change
Rural development (C130)
Agricultural trade and policy (C110)
Food security and social protection (C125)
Understanding poverty (C119)
Either Gender and social development (C140) or Socioeconomics of rural livelihoods (C135)

Research modules (MSc only)

Research methods (R106)
Research report (RR01)

Short courses

Many modules can also be taken as short courses for professional development or as a taster of the full degree, diploma or certificate programme. To apply, please fill in the short course application form available on the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (SOAS) website [external link].

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