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Sustainable Development (MSc-Postgraduate Diploma-Postgraduate Certificate)

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  • Objectives
    This programme aims to give participants from a range of backgrounds a particularly valuable set of skills and a qualification for the future. It will provide you with a unique mix of theory, practical skills and applications, close links with community, commercial and governmental sectors, both nationally and internationally, as well as opportunities for placements and practical work in the UK, Europe and in key areas of international development worldwide. On completion of this degree, you will have: An understanding of the scientific principles (atmospheric, hydrological and ecological) that underpin sustainable development. An understanding of the economic, social, political and legal frameworks for sustainable development. A sound training in relevant practical, investigative, research, communicative and management skills essential for sustainable development professionals.
  • Entry requirements
    Entrance Requirements Normally a minimum of a second class Honours degree, but consideration is given to candidates with relevant professional experience. Enquiries are welcome from all prospective students who are confident in their ability to handle technical and policy related information and who are interested in the field.
  • Academic Title
    Sustainable Development (MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate)
  • Course description
    Structure and Content

    The Autumn Semester comprises core modules in:
        Principles and Challenges of Sustainable Development: Scientific, technical, societal and ethical aspects are examined.
        Information Technology: This module focuses on statistical techniques and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

    Plus two modules selected from:
        Environmental Policy and Management: The role of Environmental Management in society and the role of governments (UK and other).
        Environmental Systems and Assessment: This module focuses on terrestrial and freshwater environments and approaches to their assessment.
        Environmental Economics: A bridge between scientific knowledge and policy decisions.

    The Spring Semester contains advanced modules, at least two of which are chosen from:
        International Development: Sustainability and Livelihoods: Who is doing what and how is benefit created?
        Communities and Processes: How do we understand people and communities? How do we describe and promote change?
        Advanced Sustainable Development: Examines concepts, methods, measurement and modelling practices in sustainable development.

    Plus one or two modules chosen from a selection, typically:
        River Conservation and Management: Physical habitat restoration, river flow regulation and environmental impacts of river engineering.
        Pollution Control: Monitoring, data collection, laboratory analysis of air, water and soil.
        Biodiversity: What can be done to conserve the world’s biodiversity?
        Business Strategy for Environmental Managers: The implementation of environmentally sound practice in business, Environmental Management Systems and Environmental Law.
        Catchment Management and Water Quality: Strategies to minimise impact of human activity on water quality.

    At the end of the second semester, students who pass the overall assessment qualify for the Diploma and may proceed to the MSc to undertake a three-month dissertation, often in collaboration with a UK or international agent. Choice of a topic complementary to your option selections allows you to develop a high level of competence in specialised areas within sustainable development, whether at local or international level, in business, public sector, or voluntary activities.

    Delivery and Assessment

    The programme is taught by 12 staff from three Departments in the University and professionals from outside the University. Assessment is via both continual assessment and examination. Exams are held in December and May and external examiners may interview students at the end of the Spring Semester.

    MSc dissertations are undertaken during the summer and submitted in early September for full-time students and December for part-time students.

    Career Opportunities

    The demand for skilled professionals in sustainable development is growing steadily, both for newly qualified students and for those who link their qualification with existing employment or professional skills. Postgraduate students have an excellent record of finding employment or research positions after completing the programme.

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