MSc/PgDip in Education for Sustainability

London South Bank University

Program Description

MSc/PgDip in Education for Sustainability

London South Bank University

Education for Sustainability (EfS) is a distance learning postgraduate course at Masters level delivered by a team of experts. The course provides personal and professional development for those interested, or already engaged, in paving the way for a more sustainable world by way of understanding, educating or promoting sustainability. The unique structure of distance learning enables international students to gain a globally recognised qualification from the UK.

If you're looking to study in London, then we also offer a full-time option for students.

Although many of our students are educators or NGO educational, training or campaigning staff, we also draw students from many other backgrounds, including health, media, business, government, botanical and zoological work.

Did you know that we're the only university mentioned in UNESCO's good practice UK case studies in EFS?

6 reasons to study here

  1. Making a difference:
    Education for Sustainability is concerned with empowering people to bring about change towards a sustainable future.

  2. Global reach:
    a distance-learning course delivered through a Virtual Learning Environment.

  3. Unique:
    The first and only Masters programme in Education for Sustainability. Developed in response to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and introduced in 1994 and continuously updated.

  4. Extensive library:
    access to numerous reading materials, all necessary resources are provided.

  5. Career development:
    The MSc has allowed alumni to secure new roles in NGOs, government departments, and education institutions.

  6. Join a global learning community:
    The online nature of the course brings you into direct contact with participants in other countries; join a growing learning community of Education for Sustainability practitioners.

Our passion for a sustainable future

Developed in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Oxfam and the EU, the course draws on the expertise of environmental and development NGOs as well as the educational community. It deals with the theory and practice of sustainability and enables you to explore and expand the role that EfS can play in educational, social, political and economic change.

Internationally recognized

Since its launch in 1994, this internationally recognized and innovative award has embraced and promoted diversity and inclusion. Our roots lie in the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil, and EfS, the first ever masters programme of this kind, provides a dynamic interface between theory and practice in EfS and promotes the integration of environmental and development concerns in the emerging concept of sustainability while emphasising the importance of education's role in building a sustainable world.
The EfS course at LSBU has been instrumental in the development of LSBU as a United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development. It offers many unique qualities that will enhance your international experience and introduce you to like-minded professionals making a difference around the world.

Why study Education for Sustainability?

  • Develop your knowledge, skills, and expertise in communicating, teaching and advocating for sustainability.
  • Embed your ethics and values in effective practice and leadership for a more sustainable world.
  • Apply your coursework to real-world contexts and start to make the changes needed for sustainability.
  • Benefit from a range of excellent online course materials and expert tutors with over 21 years’ experience in this interdisciplinary field.
  • Join a global community of practice in education for sustainability, with students from a wide range of countries including Uganda, Sweden, China, Australia.
  • Benefit from placement and internship opportunities with our sustainability stakeholders or the London RCE.

Key course information - ordered by mode

Mode Duration Start Date Location
Distance learning 3 years max September
Full-time 16 months September


All modules make use of case studies and readings from a range of global regions and are designed to be applicable to any type of educational or country context.

  • An Introduction to education for sustainability
  • Values and participation in EFS; from local to global
  • Leadership, learning and climate change: the sustainability revolution
  • Theory and perspectives on environment and development
  • Science and culture in education for sustainability
  • Researching education for Sustainability
  • Dissertation (MSc only)


Employers have found that the programme has enabled students to develop and enhance work practices in the light of current theories and debates. This has led to a number of organizations sponsoring their staff to do the programme as a means of capacity building and staff development. Many EFS graduates have gone onto gain promotion, career advancement or have made use of the course to change their career direction.

Sustainability skills are an important career asset in the 21st century and this qualification has been recognized by employers, such as news media, National Environment Management Agencies, government ministries, schools, environmental and development NGOs. EFS graduates have gone onto gain promotion, career advancement or have made use of the course to change their lives or career direction. Examples of graduate jobs include education adviser UNICEF, Director of Communications, Transition Town volunteer organizer, Environmental News editor, education director botanic gardens, curriculum manager, schools’ inspector.

The quality of the course has been endorsed by the UK Commonwealth Scholarship Commission which has awarded over 100 of scholarships. A number of organizations, such as World Wide Fund for Nature and Oxfam have also sponsored their staff to do the programme as a means of capacity building and staff development.

The course provides the following transferable skills, which are valued by employers:

  • Effective communication
  • Ability to apply theory to practice
  • Understanding and managing change
  • Problem-solving and strategic planning
  • Critical thinking
  • Holistic thinking
  • Curriculum leadership skills.

Teaching and learning

We aim to help you become an effective agent for positive change in learning and education relevant to sustainability. We do so by enquiring into the kind of learning for change in personal, social and ecological spheres that is needed to help understand, develop and promote sustainability. When you complete our programme, you will have achieved the personal and professional development required to be an effective agent for change.

Flexible study options

The course may be studied either full-time at LSBU, or part-time by distance/flexible learning. The part-time distance learning mode is particularly suitable if you are living overseas or working or who find it difficult to attend a traditional course. Students studying part-time by distance/flexible learning based in their home country are not required to apply for a visa. It is also possible to start by signing on for a short course (two modules). Many students start with the short course and then decide to continue for a further award.

Course structure

Sessions are delivered through distance learning and web activities with optional - Monthly Saturday day schools Fast Track - Monthly Saturday day schools.

Learning resources

In an emerging field like EfS, the interface between theory and practice is even more important. Theory informs practice and practice, in turn, nourishes theory. That's why our course materials undergo continuous review and updating. Networking is an essential element for us to consolidate our premier position as a theory-practice interface in EfS. The Blackboard e-learning system, used by our programmes, provides a platform for students and tutors to learn, discuss and debate various aspects related to EfS, regardless of their location.

You'll receive all the materials they need for independent study within a set timescale, which includes:

  • a Study Guide to introduce the key themes, debates, and theories
  • a Course Reader with specialist key texts
  • supplementary material (e.g. additional written material or DVD)
  • access to the EFS blackboard website for online learning opportunities


All assessment is through written coursework. For example, essay writing, report writing, programme design or research studies.

Student-run community web page

We have a student-run community web page, which gives further information on the subject of Education For Sustainability and our team.

Entry requirements

For a successful application, you need Honour's degree minimum of 2:2 award from the UK, EU or International University (Bachelor degree equivalent to UK Second Class Honours Lower Division) or equivalent professional qualification/experience.

We welcome equivalent qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.

Although our programme is primarily designed for educators and communicators striving for a sustainable world, we welcome anyone from any other background provided they are committed to becoming an agent for change for sustainability in their professional, social or cultural context. We welcome students from all parts of the world and view this rich diversity as an asset to the emerging field of EfS as well as to our programme.

Part-time distance learners must apply using the Education for Sustainability form (see How to apply section) and not through UKPASS.

All modules are subject to change by the university and may differ from the modules you are offered during your studies.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated September 8, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is
Campus based
Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
16 - 36 months
Part time
Full time
5,000 GBP
Year 1 Full-time UK/EU fee: £5000; International fee: £8750. Year 1 Part-time UK/EU fee: £1666.67; International fee: £2916.67
United Kingdom - London, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - London, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info