This masters degree focuses on the key strategic and leadership challenges brought about by climate change and broader environmental issues. From spatial master-planning to politics and economics, this MSc gets to the heart of how the environment must be brought into decision-making. It is among the first such programmes in the UK to put adaptation transformation at the heart of the teaching.
Future environmental change and the effectiveness of solutions are both uncertain. We teach students to integrate risk assessment into decision-making. Theoretical concepts are reinforced with applied projects in landscape planning, design and case studies. The MSc course covers a variety of themes including land use, cities and communities, politics and economics, ecosystem function, water and waste management. Optional modules in the built environment, energy, sustainable materials and renewable technologies can also be taken.
Aims of the MSc programme
The Sustainability and Adaptation Planning masters degree gives you the knowledge and skills to plan for adapting to environmental change. It also gives you the tools to drive sustainability strategy and transformation across a range of organisations and government. This includes skills for incorporating risk assessment into decision making and dealing with uncertainty.
The MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning 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.
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 you 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 to escape daily life and apply yourself 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. Learn more.
Sustainability and planning careers
This is a new course in an emerging sector, as policies for adaptation to climate change become more and more widely adopted by local authorities in the UK and governments around the world. This is among the first courses in the UK to put adaptation to climate change at the heart of its teaching. This means your skills upon graduating will be highly sought after.
The Graduate School of the Environment at CAT has now got over 1000 graduates, working in sustainability roles across all sectors including 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 who are studying sustainability, and adaptation for the first time. The MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning includes students with a background in arts and sciences, and many people use a masters degree as a way to change fields. The programme may particularly attract people with a background in planning, architecture or landscape architecture, engineering, architectural technology, surveying, management, business, construction management, government and politics.
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