MSc Sustainable Development (CeDEP)
SOAS University of London
London, United Kingdom
1 - 3 year
Full time, Part time
GBP 10,270 *
Earliest start date
* PGDip: £8,200. PGCert: £4,100
Mode of Attendance: Online Learning
The global community faces problems of poverty and profound environmental change that are interconnected in complex and dynamic ways. As the Sustainable Development Goals acknowledge, in an increasingly integrated world, any development agenda must be a global one with shared responsibilities for all countries. However, the idea of sustainable development, that underpins the post-2015 development agenda, is also a controversial concept that requires critical examination.
The rationale for this innovative programme of the study lies in the global environmental and development challenges that have been articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals. It is clear that solutions to the challenge of sustainable development require holistic, integrated and coordinated actions across a very wide range of sectors, and will increasingly require a multidisciplinary approach. This programme aims to provide students with a broad grounding in the main concepts associated with sustainable development, but also provides the opportunity to specialise in one area in greater depth.
Who is this programme for?
This programme is designed to assist both existing professionals working within environment and development spheres, and people moving into international and national-level organisations and agencies promoting sustainable development.
For existing professionals, the programme provides the opportunity to upgrade and update their expertise, and to reflect systematically and in-depth on their accumulated experience in the light of up-to-date theory and literature.
Sustainable Development is available as a Master of Science, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.
Modules will be completed one at a time, over a 16-week study session. Study sessions occur twice a year, beginning in April and October.
These two study sessions include one module and for MSc students an additional dissertation stage. The core and elective modules run over a 16 week period, during which you will need to allocate at least 10-15 hours of study per module, per week.
For MSc students, dissertation stages are taken immediately after each module. MSc students are required to enrol for their dissertation at the same time as their modules.
Three programme structures
Please note that all programmes must be completed with the registration period.
- Four modules, comprising one core (30 credits), at three elective modules (30 credits each) from the list below (only one elective is permitted from outside CeDEP).
- You will also be required to complete a dissertation (60 credits).
- In a two-year MSc programme cycle, the dissertation is completed in four eight-week stages. These stages take place between the normal study sessions, but a study in term time is also permitted.
- Four modules, as per the requirements for MSc students, but will not be required to complete a dissertation (thereby gaining 120 credits in total).
- One core module and one elective module from within CeDEP.
- Modules from other departments - only students on MSc and PGDip programmes may take one module from other departments as listed below.
- Understanding Sustainable Development
- Dissertation Sustainable Development (Stage 1)
- Dissertation Sustainable Development (Stage 2)
- Dissertation Sustainable Development (Stage 3)
- Dissertation Sustainable Development (Stage 4)
- Climate Change Adaptation
- Energy and Development
- Food Security and Social Protection
- Global Environmental Change and Sustainability
- Low Carbon Development
- Understanding Poverty
- Urban Sustainability
- Water and Land Management for Sustainable Development
- The Politics of Gender and Feminisms in Development (offered through Development Studies)
- Understanding Violence, Conflict and Development (offered through Development Studies)
Sample two-year MSc schedule
The schedule below shows how your MSc will progress over two years, through the completion of four × 16-week subject modules and four × 8-week dissertation sessions. Each year consists of two sessions. The first session starts in mid-October, and the second starts in mid-April.
Three-year MSc schedule
If you aim to complete your MSc in three years, there will be two study sessions when you will not need to study a taught module. You may choose not to study at all during these sessions due to work or other commitments. Alternatively, you may use this time to undertake additional preparation for your dissertation.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.
What you will learn
This online Sustainable Development postgraduate programme provides a theoretical basis for understanding the evolution, meanings and use of the concept of sustainable development and it will help you to gain practical research experience. You will also acquire the skills needed to understand current environmental, development and sustainability issues and debates.
The aims of the programme are:
- to provide students with the skills necessary to analyse and interpret current issues and debates related to sustainable development.
- to enhance knowledge and understanding for decision- and policy-making on sustainable development issues.
- to enhance students' critical, analytical, and integrative skills for responding to sustainable development challenges.
- to provide research training and experience in relation to sustainable development.
Graduates from the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy leave SOAS with in-depth knowledge about the environment and sustainability challenges facing the world today, as well as the interdisciplinary skills to tackle them. Graduates go on to apply their learning in the private and public sectors, international organisations, NGO's, consultancies and the development sector.
Recent graduates have been hired by:
- African Development Bank Group
- Civic Exchange, Hong Kong
- Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Energy Networks Association
- Energy UK
- Ernst & Young LLP
- Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
- Plan UK
- Public Policy Projects
- UN Environment Programme
English Language Requirements
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