Mode of Attendance: Online learning
The MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy is the online version of the successful campus degree of the same name; housed within the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) this programme’s focus is on policy and policymaking in the energy and climate space. The MSc introduces students to the key energy sources, their economic and technical bases and how they are regulated. It further analyses energy and climate governance at the international level and discusses the geopolitics of energy. This programme places policy and policymaking as the key to enabling change and creating the requisite legal and regulatory environment within which the low-carbon energy system of the future can develop and grow.
The MSc provides students with a detailed understanding of the transformative change in energy systems now underway around the world and equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to play a part in it. It treats energy and climate change policy as inextricably linked, taking an integrated approach to the study of the two fields. Case studies are drawn from around the world, accounting for different conditions in developed, newly-industrialised and developing country contexts.
The ways in which energy is produced, managed and consumed in the 21st century in both the Global North and South are fundamentally changing. While oil, coal and gas have continued to dominate the global energy mix, new players have emerged challenging the status-quo. From large offshore wind parks in the UK to innovative, mobile phone-enabled off-grid solar PV solutions in Kenya; from a booming electric car market in China to high-voltage energy superhighways crisscrossing Germany; from energy storage projects in California to concentrated solar power plants in South Africa – the global energy transition means more renewably-produced energy, more distributed generation, technology leapfrogging, greater energy efficiency of both existing and new installations, and greater investment in new energy infrastructure.
Much of this transformative change has been driven by the urgent need to decarbonize energy systems and the global economy more widely, in order to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with a 2°C (1.5°C) stabilisation pathway. The consequences of increasing global average surface temperatures pose serious risks to ecosystems and physical infrastructure and challenge various actors to cope with extreme weather events, the destruction of habitats, water scarcity, migration, public health and conflict. The global task is therefore not only one of international diplomacy, but one that requires policymakers at all levels of political authority, corporations, businesses, NGOs and others to take the necessary steps to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The programme is delivered by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) in association with the FCO's Diplomatic Academy, using a combination of multi-disciplinary teaching, cutting-edge research and public discussion of diplomacy and international politics in a globalised world.
Who is this programme for?
The MSc is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy and who wish to study in a flexible way. By studying online, students will also have the flexibility to integrate studies into working life without having to take a career break.
The degree prepares for a multitude of careers in public, private and non-profit contexts, including in public administration and government departments, the diplomatic service and international organisations, strategic policy and risk advisory, government relations and public affairs, policy advocacy, think tanks and academia.
Graduates of the MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy are now working for Abundance Investment, Platts, Intasave, Greenmax Capital, DFID, Grue & Hornstrup, Carbon Smart, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Sustainable Home Survey, S-RM, Fuel Poverty Action, UK Government Investments (UKGI), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN ESCAP and the World Bank.
We welcome applications from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. It is not necessary to have a degree in a discipline directly related to global energy and climate policy.
Each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements may be modified in light of relevant professional experience and where the applicant can demonstrate a sustained practical interest in the international field.
Students will study two core modules and a range of elective modules on offer each session. There are also four research mini-modules.
- 1 x core module1 (30 credits)
- 3 x elective modules (30 credits)
- 4 x research mini-modules
- 1 x dissertation (60 credits)
- Global Energy and Climate Policy
- Finance Sustainability and Climate Change
- America and the World: US Foreign Policy
- Cultural Diplomacy
- Diplomatic Systems
- Foundations of International Law
- Global Citizenship and Advocacy
- Global Economic Policy Debates and Analysis
- Global International Organisation: United Nations in the World
- Global Media
- Human and Critical Security Studies
- International Economics
- International Security
- Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World
- Political Economy of Violence, Conflict and Development
- Strategic Studies
- Trade Diplomacy
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.
Admissions and Applications
You can apply for this course via the online application form.
We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.
Consideration of Application
The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.
Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.
Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.
A minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). We welcome applications from academically strong individuals from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. Candidates with a lower class degree but with degree-relevant work experience may be considered.
English Language Entry Requirements
You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.
For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.
If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.