The University offers different entry requirements, depending on your background. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject-specific entry requirements as outlined on their pages.
- Standard entry grades:
- Minimum entry grades:
- Gateway entry grades:
- Applicants who have narrowly missed the minimum entry grades, but meet the University's contextual criteria, may be interested in one of the University’s Gateway programmes.
- Standard entry grades:
- Minimum entry grades:
- Standard entry grades:
- 38 (HL 6,6,6)
- Minimum entry grades:
- 36 (HL 6,5,5)
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
SQA National 5 (B) in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:
- Computing science
- Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
GCSE (5) in English language or English literature, and one GCSE (5) from the following:
- Computing Science
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes. Please see our entry requirements for more information.
More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
No previous knowledge of this subject is required.
Alternative study options
Students interested in this course may also be interested in the following:
Sustainable Development is available as both a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Master of Arts (MA) degree. The content of the subjects is the same irrespective of Faculty. Students who have a background in the sciences or who wish to study Sustainable Development alongside Science subjects at St Andrews should apply for the BSc. For those interested in studying Sustainable Development alongside Arts subjects, the MA in Sustainable Development may be of interest instead. The entry requirements are the same for all single Honours Sustainable Development degrees.
Sustainable development students can apply to participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the study abroad site.
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability. Find out more about approved English language tests and scores for this course.
The BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Development is a four-year course run by the School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
Your first two years of study illustrate the breadth of issues involved in sustainable development as well as how to move from unsustainable to sustainable development.
Alongside sustainable development, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.
The knowledge you gain will prepare you for your final two years, during which you will have the opportunity to choose from a range of modules from different Schools. These modules allow you to pursue your specific interests and explore the practice of sustainability through specific field visits. Subjects in these modules include (but are not limited to):
- climate change
- environmental management
- environmental politics
- ocean governance
- sustainable technologies
- social justice
- urban sustainability.
During your final year, you may also complete a dissertation module which focuses on a topic of your choice, with structured support from an academic in an appropriate school.
The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), you will take the four required modules in sustainable development alongside modules in at least one other subject.
Typically, you will take one sustainable development module per semester during your first two years. For Honours level (your third and fourth years), you choose from a range of Honours modules.
Students will take the following compulsory first-year modules:
- What is Sustainable Development?: provides an introductory overview to Sustainable Development, such as social justice, human well-being, inter-generational equity and environmental stewardship.
- Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges & Opportunities: offers detailed investigation of a selection of core issues in sustainable development - and how these issues are addressed by key players.
Students will take the following compulsory second-year modules:
- Sustainable Development: Frameworks for Implementation: explores conceptual frameworks that might be utilised (individually or together) to encourage and facilitate Sustainable Development.
- Sustainable Development: Tools for Action: builds upon core themes from Frameworks for Implementation and looks at how different agents, such as governments, corporations, and individuals enact change.
If you decide to take sustainable development in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules from separate Schools within the University.
In first semester of third year, all students must complete team-taught:
- Contesting sustainability: provides students with the broad conceptual skills required to engage critically with the history and contemporary use of the language and concepts of sustainability.
Here is a sample of optional Honours modules that may form part of the programme:
- Building sustainable, inclusive and just cities
- Extractive Environments
- Global Health Disparities
- Governance for Sustainability
- Green Politics: theory and practice
- Home and Energy Geographies
- The Blue Economy and Maritime Security Intersections and Interdependence
- The Nature of Political Ecology
- Transitioning to Sustainability: Community, Nature and Governance.
You have the opportunity to undertake extensive training in research through a residential field course where you will learn how to conduct research, explore research methods and gain quantitative and qualitative skills.
In fourth year, students may complete a dissertation module that combines expertise from partner disciplines with an understanding of sustainable development in researching a topic of your choice.
The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules appropriate to the programme for the current academic year can be found in the programme requirements.
Sustainable development is taught using a wide variety of methods including:
- laboratory classes
- field excursions
- research projects.
At sub-honours level, class sizes range from 200 to 350 students for lectures and 8 to 12 students for small-group tutorials.
At Honours level, much of the teaching is in small groups and there is a considerable amount of one-on-one contact with staff. Honours class sizes range from 15 to 40 students for seminars and laboratories down to 1 to 5 students for supervisions.
When not attending lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:
- working on individual and group projects
- undertaking research in a laboratory
- undertaking research in the library
- preparing coursework assignments and presentations
- preparing for examinations.
All sustainable development sub-honours modules are assessed by at least 50% coursework; depending on the individual module, the remaining 50% is made up either of further coursework or written examinations.
At Honours level, sustainable development modules are assessed by a variety of methods that include coursework and examinations.
Modules run by contributing Schools have varying methods of assessment.
Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.
The School aims to provide feedback on every assessment within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.
Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of sustainable development. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory classes and seminars under the supervision of the module leader.
You can find contact information for all sustainable development staff on the School of Geography and Sustainable Development website.
The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.
Tuition fees have yet to be set.
England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland
Channel Islands, Isle of Man
EU and overseas
More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.
Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.
Funding and scholarships
The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.
Joint Honours degrees
You can also take Sustainable Development as part of a joint Honours degree in which you will take core modules of your chosen subjects.
|Course name||UCAS code|
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biology and Sustainable Development||F896|
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Economics and Sustainable Devlopment||F893|
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geography and Sustainable Development||F802|
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Management and Sustainable Development||F898|
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Philosophy and Sustainable Development||RV48|
|Bachelor of Science (Honours) Psychology and Sustainable Development (BPS Recognition Route)||CS82|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Arabic and Sustainable Development||F889|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Art History and Sustainable Development||AS01|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Economics and Sustainable Devlopment||F892|
|Master of Arts (Honours) English and Sustainable Development||SEN1|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Film Studies and Sustainable Development||PV33|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Geography and Sustainable Development||L701|
|Master of Arts (Honours) German and Sustainable Development||F888|
|Master of Arts (Honours) German and Sustainable Development (With Integrated Year Abroad)||F884|
|Master of Arts (Honours) International Relations and Sustainable Development||F895|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Italian and Sustainable Development||F887|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Italian and Sustainable Development (With Integrated Year Abroad)||F883|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Management and Sustainable Development||F897|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Modern History and Sustainable Development||SV10|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Philosophy and Sustainable Development||RV47|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Psychology and Sustainable Development (BPS Recognition Route)||CS81|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Russian and Sustainable Development||F886|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Russian and Sustainable Development (With Integrated Year Abroad)||F882|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Social Anthropology and Sustainable Development||F894|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Spanish and Sustainable Development||F885|
|Master of Arts (Honours) Spanish and Sustainable Development (With Integrated Year Abroad)||F881|
Given sustainable development’s high global profile, graduates with this degree are in demand because of their keen interest in the nature and future of the planet, and their skills in thinking critically and creatively about today’s key challenges.
Sustainable development students have a rare combination of quantitative and qualitative skills, an ability to integrate and analyse diverse data, and a deep understanding of human-environment interactions.
Career pathways for graduates include:
- environmental management
- non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
- impact assessment
- strategic planning and development
- the energy sector
- business and finance
- scientific research.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
What to do next
Online information events
Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.
Undergraduate visiting days
We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online or in-person visiting days.
- 01334 462894
- School of Geography and Sustainable Development
The Irvine Building
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