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Course summary

Our innovative MASc in Global Sustainable Development is a unique opportunity to join a community of transdisciplinary experts and practitioners with a passion for research and teaching. On this flexible course you will combine academic learning with practical action and applied thinking to tackle problems of global sustainable development. Course overview In Global Sustainable Development (GSD) we take a critical approach to the dominant discourse of sustainable development. We are committed to understanding as well as challenging existing practice, and want you to join us, as we seek innovative, transformative responses to complex global challenges. Based in the School for Cross-faculty Studies, our academic home is a natural place for future transdisciplinary leaders to flourish. On this course you will work with Warwick’s GSD Department, the Institute for Global Sustainable Development (IGSD), and partner departments across the University. Our staff are at the forefront of their fields and share your passion for global sustainable development. Core modules will support your development as an intellectual leader dedicated to bringing about positive change. They will help to deepen your understanding of the core global challenges we face, and develop your critical and reflective approach, as well as your technical and methodological skills. Your learning will be rooted in critical intellectual enquiry and philosophical understanding, which will support your personal development as a leader of thought and action. In addition, by having a broad range of optional modules, you can tailor the course to your own areas of interest. In Term Three and the summer, you will have an exciting opportunity to ‘learn by doing’ as you undertake a transdisciplinary capstone project. We will offer you a choice of research, practice, and work-based experiences. Your chosen project will enable you to develop a skillset most suited to your future career goals. By the end of this course, you will be equipped to play an authentic role in reflective global citizenship. You will also have a defined understanding of what is necessary to act as a leader of positive change. The route you choose upon graduation will be defined by your own interests and aspirations. Your learning from the course will equip you with what you need for a career in applied research, in policy, business, or in third sector activity. Who is this programme for? This programme is ideal for you if:

  • You have prior experience of studying GSD
  • You are new to this field of study with a first degree and a strong interest in GSD
  • You have work and life experience relating to GSD
Skills from this degree You will learn to:
  • Think systemically, recognising connections and interactions between factors, and understand that actions often have many consequences
  • Identify and analyse the risk that system complexity can lead to unexpected and novel outcomes, and contribute to the proactive management of this
  • Describe complex issues in clear terms and communicate about them effectively and succinctly, both verbally and in writing
  • Work naturally and consciously, as part of a community of practice, by learning from others in a culture of respect, mutual understanding and empathy, and managing disagreement and conflict through socially non-violent means, even in the context of formal power hierarchies
  • Support and foster intellectual leadership by challenging assumptions, critically analysing information and negotiating alternatives to current practices
  • Create new and personal knowledge in GSD both through research and self-managed learning


Core modules Term One Leading Transformation in the Anthropocene Creating Knowledge for Change: Foundations of Transdisciplinary Research Global Challenges and Transdisciplinary Responses Term Two You will be required to take at least two of the following optional core modules: Qualitative Approaches to Sustainable Development Quantitative Approaches to Sustainable Development Policy, Governance and Sustainable Development Term Three and summer You will select one of our transdisciplinary capstone projects: Workplace Project Practice-based Project Research Project Optional modules The number of optional modules you take will vary depending on how many of the above optional core modules you select. Your optional modules will be offered by the GSD Department and partner departments. You will specialise in thematic learning, for example: Care-ful Sustainability: Place, Culture and Value Critical Perspectives on Business and Global Sustainable Development Popular Movements and Sustainable Change Sustainable Urbanisation: from Risk to Resilience Climate Change and Development Socially Engaged Performance: Interventions and Provocations Resource Fictions: Studies in World Literature World Literature in the Anthropocene Urban Resilience, Disaster and Data Habitability in the Universe Education for Sustainable Development Design Thinking for Social Impact Please note, optional modules are subject to availability and offerings may change each year to keep your learning experience current and up-to-date. You will also need to discuss your optional module choices with your personal tutor and receive approval from the Director of Graduate Studies in GSD. Other optional modules may be available across other departments.

Assessment method

The core modules on this course will be assessed in a variety of ways including essays, presentations, and research project plans. The assessments are designed to help you develop the skills for research, analysis, and communicating your work with others. For example, you will have opportunities to write professionally formatted policy briefings that’d be used to engage with policy-makers or the corporate world. All assessments in modules offered by the School for Cross-faculty Studies link to practical applications. In these modules, you will complete formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments will include discussion circles mirroring professional discussions in the working world. In your summative assessments, you will have the opportunity to show subject expertise, while continuing to develop process skills.

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements 2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent). Find out more about our requirements. We encourage applications from students with diverse backgrounds, from the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. We particularly welcome students with experience of interdisciplinary study. In certain circumstances, we will consider applicants with a lower second-class honours degree, or a normal degree (and their equivalents). This is particularly the case for applicants with relevant professional experience which can be explicitly and directly related to our curriculum. English language requirements You can find out more about our English language requirements. This course requires the following: Band B IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above. International qualifications We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. Additional requirements All applicants need to provide a Statement of Interest. This should be 1-2 pages long in content, with an extra page for cited references. Your statement should include: Your motivation for applying for this specific degree at Warwick How your educational background has prepared you for rigorous postgraduate study in this subject area How obtaining this degree will fit into your future plans What you hope to get from studying this course and your expectations You may also wish to include details about your personal/work/voluntary experiences if they relate to the degree programme Explicit discussion of knowledge, concepts, theories, frameworks, and general literature, with which you are familiar and believe can be applied to the subject area, referenced using appropriate tools of scholarship Cited references You should provide a list of any cited references, appropriately formatted. These should be included on an extra page, following your statement.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Sponsorship information

Global Sustainable Development at University of Warwick - UCAS