MSc Sustainability and Adaptation (MSc)

Centre for Alternative Technology the United Kingdom

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The award
MSc

How long you will study
18 months

Domestic course fees
GBP 6250 per total

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
GBP 7500 per total

All study options

About MSc Sustainability and Adaptation at Centre for Alternative Technology

A flexible masters degree designed to develop a rigorous understanding of transformational responses to climate change. Taught at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), which pioneered sustainability practice and theory in the UK, this is the first MSc course to properly integrate the social, political, economic and practical aspects of living with environmental change.

This masters degree tackles these themes through a combination of academic study, discussion and hands-on practical work. We give our MSc students the knowledge, skills and experience needed to develop a career in the environmental sector and make an impact. The programme draws on our expert staff and a wide selection of academics and specialist guest lecturers; people who have made exceptional contributions to environmental thinking and action.

The MSc course uses the concepts of sustainability and adaptation transformation to frame an analysis of environmental and climate change policy and its implications for society. Students can then choose modules from a wide range that covers politics and economics, urbanisation, communities, biodiversity and ecosystem services, energy in buildings, sustainable materials, environmental assessment and renewable energy.

Aims of the MSc programme

The Sustainability and Adaptation masters degree gives students the knowledge and skills to plan for adapting to environmental change. The MSc programme provides the opportunity to develop confidence, aptitude and critical thinking. Graduates use their masters degree to put in place sustainability and adaptation principles in public, private and third sector organisations.

Future environmental change and the effectiveness of solutions are both uncertain. We teach students to integrate risk assessment into decision-making. The programme combines theoretical knowledge with practical and research experience. MSc students develop into rounded, self-reflective learners who can work with others with confidence and clarity.

Flexible and distance learning

It is a flexible degree, taught in blocks taken either with an intensive residential stay of five or six nights at the centre, or by distance learning. MSc students are free to choose between these teaching modes for every module. There is a choice of modules, taken over one year or two - meaning the degree can be part time. It is a masters degree designed to give students the best possible experience whilst also meshing neatly with the pressures of modern professional and family life.

Optional residential module weeks include lectures, seminars, group work and practicals. Applied work tends to dominate later in the week once we have laid the theoretical groundwork. These module weeks provide a truly immersive environment for students to escape daily life and apply themselves to new learning. Many eminent experts give guest lectures or hold seminars during these modules, as it is a course which seeks to draw on the expertise and learning of the whole sector. Distance Learning.

Sustainability and environmental careers

This is a new course in an emerging sector, as local authorities in the UK and governments around the world adopt more policies on climate change adaptation. This is among the first courses in the UK to put adaptation to climate change at the heart of its teaching, meaning students' skills upon graduating will be highly sought after.

The Graduate School of the Environment at CAT now has over 1000 graduates, working in sustainability roles across all sectors. Theses include government departments, local authority sustainability departments, large and small energy companies, construction companies, journalism, NGO's, environmental organisations and consultancies. Some have set up their own companies or organisations.

The nature of this masters degree means it attracts some people already part-way through their career, as well as people from diverse backgrounds. This diversity adds to the experience of all students on the course, and many people use a masters degree as a way to change fields. It may particularly attract people with a background in architecture or landscape architecture, engineering, international development, environmental science, politics or social geography.

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Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study18 months
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 6250 per totalInternational course feesGBP 7500 per total
  • The awardMScHow you will studyPart-time, Distance, Mixed-mode, ModularHow long you will study30 months
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 6250 per totalInternational course feesGBP 7500 per total

Entry requirements

The Sustainability and Adaptation courses are intended to cater for a broad range of interests. For acceptance onto the programme the following requirements apply:-

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • Students who do not possess formal qualifications but who can demonstrate that they have gained appropriate knowledge and skills equivalent to degree standard and that they will benefit from and contribute to the programme, may be accepted. Students may be admitted with advanced standing through the recognition of credit or the accreditation of experiential or certificated learning according to the University of East London Accreditation of (Experiential) Learning (A(E)L) policy.
  • A student may gain admission to a programme, with advanced standing, with up to half of the credits associated with the award being achieved through accredited experiential learning, or up two thirds through accredited masters certificated learning. (Where a combination of experiential and certificated learning is involved up to one half of the credits for the award may be achieved through accredited experiential learning with further credits being achieved through accredited certificated learning up to a maximum of two thirds of the credits for the award).
  • Students that apply to enter stages of the programme may be admitted through normal Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes, or through an approved articulation agreement. Therefore such applicants must be able to demonstrate and evidence that they have the required learning outcomes as listed in the modules for which they are seeking exemption.
  • The University and CAT are strongly committed to widening participation and equal opportunity for all.
  • In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required.

Application to this programme can only be made on line.

Location of Centre for Alternative Technology

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