Sustainable Development MA (Hons) 2020 entry
Sustainable Development is widely regarded as the most promising framework for addressing environmental and developmental challenges in the 21st century. These challenges include the provision of clean water and adequate sanitation, energy generation and supply, human health, food production and distribution, and the continuing threat to biodiversity.
The MA (Hons) in Sustainable Development encourages students to rise to the challenges of the environment and society and focuses on the study of principles and practices of sustainability in an interdisciplinary environment.
Sustainable Development is studied up to Honours level in both the Faculty of Science (BSc) and the Faculty of Arts (MA). Students who have a background in the Arts or who wish to study Sustainable Development alongside Arts subjects at St Andrews should apply for the MA. For those interested in studying Sustainable Development alongside Science subjects, the BSc in Sustainable Development may be of interest instead.
Master of Arts (single Honours degree)
Four years full time
- Start date: 7 September 2020
- End date: 30 June 2024
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. 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.
- Standard entry grades: AAAB
- Minimum entry grades: AABB
- Gateway entry grades: BBBB
- Standard entry grades: AAA
- Minimum entry grades: ABB
- Standard entry grades: 36 (HL 6,6,5)
- Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
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 entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.How to apply
Do I need to have studied this subject before?
No previous knowledge of this subject is required.
General entry requirements
All applicants must have attained the following qualifications, or equivalent, in addition to the specific entry requirements for individual programmes.
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.
St Andrews students must meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews was ranked fifth in the UK in the recent Research Excellence Framework 2014, and was ranked first in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2020 and first in Scotland in the Complete University Guide 2020.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2019 as 95% of St Andrews final year students were satisfied with the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), you will take 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, and four sustainability modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.
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 and 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.
Here is a sample of Honours modules that may form part of the programme:
- Governance for Sustainability
- Green Politics
- Home and Energy Geographies
- 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 statistical and quantitative skills.
In fourth year, students will complete a dissertation module which 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 available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.
“My passion for the environment and in learning how we can make adjustments to live more sustainably made me want to study Sustainable Development. There are many projects to get involved in within St Andrews and beyond to ensure that I am applying what I learn and having a positive impact on the community. I also enjoy the field trips we go on, they are a great way to experience a different style of learning and provide us with the opportunity to talk with lecturers in a more relaxed setting.”
Brittany (Toronto, Canada)