Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

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Course summary

Are you ready to explore some of the world's most pressing challenges? Understand the link between the environment and development agendas and global inequalities - for today and the future. The MSc Environment and Development enables you to critically evaluate the multiple dimensions of the inter-relationship between development and the environment, with an abiding concern for social and environmental justice. What will I learn? You will learn about issues that are inherently transboundary, multi-generational and multi-faceted, such as:

  • sustainable development
  • climate change
  • diminishing natural resources
  • biodiversity conservation
  • water
  • food
  • 'waste'
  • energy
  • disaster risk
  • vulnerability and adaptation
  • gender and social equality
  • urbanisation
Attempts to understand and address these interconnected issues need to pay close attention to their contested, political and ideological nature. That is why our MSc foregrounds society and nature as inherently linked, historical contexts as highly relevant to current debates, and global capitalism as an underlying force of change. Issues will be explored across a range of geographical scales, seeing the local and global as necessarily inter-related. It will consider the increasingly diverse set of actors, practices and processes driving environment and development issues, and question the power of these to direct agendas and actions. The MSc has relevance in both the 'Global South' and 'Global North', drawing attention to relationships of inequality and marginalisation as they occur for particular environments and sections of society worldwide. It will provide you with a unique critical perspective, as it draws on expertise from across the University, especially from development geography, social and political sciences, and environmental studies. You can explore society and environment issues through different theoretical and conceptual lenses, examining the interplay of sociocultural perspectives, economics and governance, development debates and ecological dynamics. There is much diversity in what you can study and conduct research on. Our flexibility enables you to develop your interests at an advanced level in an area you are most passionate about. How will I learn? Our teaching approach encourages you to reflect upon your own role, as both researchers and as professionals, in transformations towards social and environmental justice, considering the ethics of engagement in an unequal world. The programme helps you develop:
  • critical reflective skills
  • strong research and critical analysis capabilities
  • professional skills tailored to environment and development sectors
  • a deep understanding of social and environmental issues
It provides a strong basis for engaged citizenship in the world, enabling you to contribute to world debates and actions for reducing inequalities and working towards social and environmental justice and more sustainable practices. Reputation, relevance and employability You will be taught by world-leading researchers and experienced practitioners working in environment and development fields in various sectors from non-government organisations (NGOs), consultancies, or state organisations. Guest speakers and teaching staff will provide insights into real-world applications. We will challenge you to cultivate reflective research thinking that is cross-cutting and globally relevant. This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Development Academy. Is the MSc for me? The MSc Environment Development will suit a range of students, including those who have practical experience in the broad field of environment and development, either as practitioners, volunteers or activists. It is suitable for students from a wide range of undergraduate disciplines, from the environmental and natural sciences to the social and political sciences and humanities.


See our website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on our website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.
Environment and Development at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS