The MSc in Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics offers additional training and research opportunities in the field of environmental economics for students interested in making a change to society, environment and economy.
The MSc in Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics is a one-year, full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
Sharing teaching elements from the MSc in Sustainable Development, this programme takes an interdisciplinary approach and draws on economic analysis and thinking to understand the links between people and their environment, resulting in a programme of study which is both intellectually stimulating and highly relevant to today’s job market.
- Interdisciplinary teaching provides multiple perspectives.
- Field trips (at no additional cost) explore practical applications of sustainable development.
- Practical experience supplements leading theory.
- The lecturers and visiting speakers all have practical experience of advising government, businesses and communities as well as being leaders in their academic fields.
During the taught portion of the programme, students typically take seven 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 a project area and produce an academic literature review, a professional policy brief and a reflective essay.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment.
- Development and Environment: introduces key concepts in economic development and natural resource management.
- Economics for the Environment: introduces the contributions that environmental economics can make to helping us understand and manage a wide range of environmental problems.
- Interrogating Sustainable Development: provides an introduction to sustainable development.
- Master Class in Sustainable Development: trains students to critically reflect on the potential and limitations of sustainable development.
- Public Policy and the Environment: introduces advanced debates in development and environmental economics.
Students choose one to two optional modules. Alternative MSc-level modules may be taken from Schools across the University, with the approval of the Head of School, in accordance with staff availability.
Recommended modules include:
- Being a Social Scientist: explores the fundamental skills required by all social scientists and prepares you for the research dissertation and professional development.
- Introduction to Geographic Information Science: introduces students to the basic principles of Geographic Information Science including the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
- 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: provides a user-friendly introduction to the fundamental concepts of quantitative analysis.
Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered.
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 summer project requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably 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.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.
Sustainability impacts upon almost all aspects of life and graduates from the Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics MSc pursue many different professional careers including:
- international development,
- environmental economists working in agencies, ministries, energy and water companies, and consulting,
- 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.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.
- A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. No previous training in sustainable development is required, and the course is open to those from a range of academic backgrounds including geography, politics, sociology, environmental sciences, biology, mathematics or economics.
- If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency.
The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
The MSc in Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics will not be running in 2019/2020.
- CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date.
- personal statement explaining why you are a suitable candidate and how the degree will help your personal development.
- a sample of academic written work (1,000 words).
- two original signed academic references.
- academic transcripts and degree certificates.
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.
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