Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics (MSc) 2017 entry
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.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Science (MSc)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. No previous training in sustainable development is required, but students with an undergraduate degree in Economics or a business-related subject are welcome to apply.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative 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.
UK and EU: £7,500
- covering letter/personal statement explaining why you are a suitable candidate and how the degree will help your personal development
- sample of academic written work (1,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics MSc page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.Apply for this course
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. Students are taught by experts from disciplines across the University.
- Field trips, such as to a Scottish highland estate, bring the subject alive by exploring practical applications of sustainable development. (Field trips are at no additional cost.)
- Practical experience supplements leading theory. The lecturers and visiting speakers all have practical experience of advising government, businesses and communities on aspects of environmental economics and sustainable development as well as being leaders in their academic fields.
During the taught portion of the programme, students take six 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 and write a 12,000-word dissertation, and present their research at a dissertation conference.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
- Development and Environment: introduces key concepts in economic development and natural resource management.
- 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.
- Economics for the Environment: introduces the contributions that environmental economics can make to helping us understand and manage a wide range of environmental problems.
- Public Policy and the Environment: introduces advanced debates in development and environmental economics.
Students choose two optional modules. Alternative MSc-level modules may be taken from Schools across the University, with approval of the Head of School.
Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered (see the University’s position on curriculum development), but currently recommended modules include:
- Quantitative Research in Social Science: a user-friendly introduction to the fundamental concepts of quantitative analysis.
- Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Management: introduces students to the basic principles, including the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and an introduction to the use of remotely sensed data for spatial analysis.
- Responsibility, Sustainability and Accountability in Organisations: an introduction and analysis of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, the meaning, tensions and conflicts that these concepts entail and the role that accountability can play in their achievement.
- Advanced Geographic Research Methods: allows students to specialise in a research area using a research method or technique that most interests them.
- Qualitative Methods in Social Research: offers both a theoretical and practical introduction to the collection, analysis and writing of qualitative social science research.
- 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.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue .
The dissertation gives students the chance to fully engage with the area of sustainable development about which you are most passionate, by researching and writing a 12,000-word dissertation which is the culmination of your degree. Advised by a member of academic staff, you will work across the summer months on your individual dissertation.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation 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.
Conferences and events
The School of Geography and Sustainable Development's vibrant research culture is reflected in an extensive programme of events including seminars, and conferences, in addition to the regular informal meetings organised by the research groups and centres, including the Environmental Economics and Policy research group.
After the MSc
Applicants thinking of undertaking research degrees might consider taking the one-year Master of Research (MRes) as an alternative to the MSc, or converting to it once they begin the MSc programme.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in further research degrees, either a PhD or the shorter two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
PhD funding opportunities are available from the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.
Sustainability impacts upon almost all aspects of life and graduates from the Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics MSc pursue many different professional careers including:
- environmental economists working in agencies, ministries, energy and water companies and consulting
- sustainability in business management, engineering, planning, transport, waste, energy or environmental management.
- sustainability research and policy consultancy.
- international development.
- sustainability advisers to supra-national bodies such as the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, and the OECD.
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 to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).