• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Award: MA (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

You will learn about biodiversity, renewable energy and global warming. You can use your knowledge to help the world through environmental policy and science.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Environmental sustainability is a diverse and dynamic subject examining the interaction between people and their surroundings.

Global warming, biodiversity and renewable energy are just a few of the recurring themes we hear on the news, and public agencies are now looking for graduates with the ability to deliver sustainable outcomes. Businesses, both large and small, are seeking graduates with substantial environmental expertise.

This exciting degree programme means you no longer need to wait until you have graduated to turn your academic interests into practical environmental skills. You can instead draw on two highly-rated disciplines to give you both the management and administrative skills to inform environmental policy and the scientific and technical knowledge to deliver a more sustainable environment.

If you want to tackle pollution, to ensure that new developments enhance rather than detract from their surroundings, to offer communities the chance to have a real say in how people use their natural resources, in short to have a real impact on the future of our earth, then this is the degree for you.

Our location

Dundee is uniquely located for the study of environmental sustainability. It has easy access to estuarine, maritime and a range of terrestrial environments. Its urban and industrial heritage, the fertile agricultural hinterland and the backdrop of hills and mountains afford a vibrant and varied 'laboratory' in which to study.

Professional Accreditation

Our MA in Environmental Sustainability is accredited by the professional body the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) which means that all students who attain a lower second class degree or better are eligible for Associate Membership of IEMA.

Student Society

There is an active student society called SPAD (Student Planners At Dundee) which organises social events and visiting speakers.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher BBBB (minimum) - AABB (typical) at Higher
Please see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects.
AB at Advanced Higher plus BB at Higher in different subjects
Please see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects.
GCE A-Level BCC (minimum) - BBB (typical)
Please see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects.
Please see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects.
BTEC A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDM A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDD
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5
Please see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
34 points at Higher Level grades 6, 6, 5
Please see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects.
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) H2H2H3H3 at Higher
Please see requirements for other Joint Honours subjects.
Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Graduate Entry
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC with B in the Graded Unit A relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access Relevant subjects with ABB grades to include English Literature/Language at SCQF Level 6 and Communication 4 plus Literature 1 Level 2 entry is not possible with this qualification
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Level at B Grade A with ASL-A Level at B
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at BB Pass with A Levels at AA
European Baccalaureate 70% overall 75% overall
Other Qualifications

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

What you will study

Level 1

Students study introductory modules in Environmental Sustainability and Environmental Science. You will be introduced to the principles of sustainable development and their application in practice, the processes of environmental change and some of the techniques used to measure these, and the legal and political framework that shapes environmental policy.

Sustainable Development and the Environment: TP11003
Semester 1, 20 credits
The need for a more responsible approach to resource use is established and the achievement of sustainable development is considered at the international, national and local scale. This module explores the relationship between the concept of sustainable development and the application of policies designed to deliver sustainable outcomes. It considers the interface between sustainability and economic growth, and how this has been interpreted through policy initiatives at international, European, national and local level. Of particular interest is the way in which sustainability is being applied and implemented within the UK.

Countryside Planning and Management: TP12004
Semester 2, 20 credits
This module introduces students to the principal institutions concerned with the environment. It explores the practice of planning and development in the countryside and examines some of the major issues and concerns that have a bearing on planning and environmental management processes, such as affordable housing provision, wind farm developments and community land ownership.

The Physical Environment: EV11001
Semester 1, 20 credits
The foundation of environments in all parts of the globe is a physical one, determined by geological and terrestrial processes, and flows of water and energy. These processes provide the habitat in which all species live and evolve, and provide the baseline against which change resulting from human agency can be measured. As the pace of human change accelerates in all parts of the world, an appreciation of how these influences control the nature and evolution of environments is increasingly valuable.

Environments for Life: EV12002
Semester 2, 20 credits
Earth as a planet is experiencing change which, in many respects, is unprecedented on a geological timescale. Many of these changes are truly global in scale and have diverse impacts on living systems. Global warming, ozone layer destruction, the pollution of air and water and loss of species due to land and marine management policies are just some of the issues causing worldwide concern. Managing all these issues requires a knowledge of the scientific principles and processes that maintain a sustainable environment. 

The Environments for Life module aims to provide this basic understanding in a range of accessible formats, through a programme of lectures, tutorials and practical classes focussing on environmental chemistry, atmospheric processes, weather and climate, terrestrial ecosystems, biodiversity, aquatic science and urban green space management.

Plus 2 other modules

Level 2

Level 2 continues to develop the building blocks of environmental sustainability but also introduces new topics such as environmental management and environmental law. An example of a Level 2 project is a group exercise to develop a 'green' building on a local site.

Management in the Built and Natural Environments: TP21009
Semester 1, 20 credits
This module examines management for environmental (built and natural) professionals and environmental projects.

Introduction to Environmental Law: TP22004
Semester 2, 20 credits
This module introduces students to statutory controls in relation to the environment, and considers the relationship between planning law and environmental regulation.

Management and Monitoring: EV21001
Semester 1, 20 credits
Environmental resource management is described as an essential process of decision making incorporating the setting of environmental objectives, monitoring and assessment of current environmental conditions and the prediction of future change. Students will study resource management issues in relation to Mineral Resources and in a wider context, the protection of Scotland's natural resource base as a whole. The design of environmental monitoring programmes is considered in terms of supplying information required for management. In particular, the use of Remote Sensing techniques is examined in this module.

Mechanisms and Measurements: EV22002
Semester 2, 20 credits
This module serves as an introduction to the science of aquatic, atmospheric and terrestrial processes and emphasizes physical, chemical and biological mechanisms and their measurement. The range of topics taught in the module gives students their first opportunity to study oceanography, incorporating ocean circulation and global heat transfer and leading in to the productivity of the marine environment. Of equal importance are terrestrial processes. Terrestrial ecology is studied through exploration of vegetation adaptation, land reclamation and restoration. Finally, the chemistry of atmospheric pollution, water pollution and water treatment are examined.

Plus 2 other modules

Level 3

You tackle more specialised aspects of environmental sustainability such as environmental business, environmental assessment and environmental geoscience. The Business, Law and Environment module, for example, gives students insights into environmental theory and practice as it is applied in the corporate sector and involves visits to firms who have adopted environmental management systems.

Modules on offer typically include:

  • GE31019 - Research Methods in Human Geography OR GE31020 Field and Laboratory Skills in Physical Geography (Sem 1)
  • EV32002 - Environmental Geoscience (Sem 2)
  • TP32009 - Business Law and the Environment (Sem 1)
  • TP32004 - Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal (Sem 2)

Level 4

You can choose from a range of option modules and prepare a dissertation on a topic that interests you. This allows you to study in depth and develop your own specialism.

  • TP42004 - Climate Change: Societal and Organisational Responses (Sem 1)
  • EV41006 - Environmental Sustainability in Practice
  • TP42011 - Dissertation (Year-Long)

plus 2 options from a list which typically includes:

  • TP41004 - Community Governance (Sem 1)


How you will be taught

As well as lectures, our teaching methods include tutorials, seminars, lab work and group instruction for skills development.

Through a range of practical coursework, you will have the chance to develop your skills in communication, report writing, presentation, policy analysis and evaluation, problem solving, decision making, IT, and team work.

As progress is made through the programme students have an increasing opportunity to specialise in subjects of their choice.

Graduates from the programme are employed in a wide variety of jobs:

  • preparing national policy and legislative guidance on environmental protection
  • assisting local authorities with sustainable development strategies, waste strategy implementation and other environmental policies
  • working as environmental consultants in specialist areas such as atmospheric or water pollution;
  • working in large corporations as environmental sustainability personnel or corporate social responsibility managers
  • acting as countryside rangers

Whilst many of our graduates have helped shape environmental policy and regulation at local and national levels, one recent graduate has worked at European Union level, drafting pollution control regulations in Brussels while on secondment from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowEnvironmental Sustainability MA (Hons)F751
Apply NowEnvironmental Sustainability and Geography MA (Hons)FL7R
Apply NowInternational Business and Environmental Sustainability MA (Hons)NF17