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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study


Programme structure

MA Sustainable Development: Year by Year

Sustainable Development courses Pathway courses Outside courses
Year 1 Introduction to Sustainable Development (S1)
Science & Society (S2)
Two courses Two courses
Year 2 International Development, Aid & Humanitatarianism (S1)
Perspectives on Sustainable Developement (S2)
Two courses Two courses
Year 3 Responding to Sustainability Challenges (S1)
Cases in Sustainable Developement (S2)
Research training course
Optional course
Two courses
Year 4 Dissertation in Sustainable Development (S1 & S2) Two optional courses Two courses

Year 1

You will study two core courses. The first will introduce the concept of sustainable development, focusing on the definitions, principles, and measurement of sustainability. It will then provide an introduction to a range of different disciplinary perspectives. The second core course will examine in more depth the relationships between society, science and environment. You will also choose two courses from a main subject area (or pathway) from either Geography, Politics, International Relations, Sociology or Social Anthropology. In addition to this you will also choose two 'outside courses' from a wide range of social science and humanities subjects including Art, Divinity, Education, History, Classics, Archaeology, Law, Literatures, Languages and Cultures, Business, Philosophy, Psychology, Economics as well as Physics, Astronomy or Biomedical Sciences.

Year 2

You will study two further core courses in this year, one in each semester. In the first semester, you will explore in more depth some of the key topics and issues pertaining to sustainable development; and build on these in the second semester to examine some of the challenges and opportunities that addressing sustainable development provides. For your main subject area, you will choose two other courses then select the last two courses from your 'outside choices' as above.

Years 3 & 4

You will specialise in sustainable development option courses drawn from one of the two disciplines that you studied in depth in Years 1 and 2, as well as undertaking a course on Case Studies in Sustainability and a 40-credit dissertation on a sustainable development issue.

Students will be taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials. You will also receive one-to-one supervision for your dissertation. The programme is assessed through exams, coursework and project work.

The programme is based within the School of Social & Political Science. Teaching will largely take place in the George Square campus of the University although there will be opportunities to take courses in other parts of the University, including the science site at Kings' Buildings. There may be opportunities to study abroad through the University's International Exchange Programme.

Graduates of this programme are likely to work in the growth areas of corporate social responsibility, environmental education, environmental management, environmental auditing, environmental politics, risk management, sustainable citizenship and sustainable development.

For further information about the Sustainable Development programme course outline following main subject areas, visit the Pathways page from the menu on the right.

Acknowledgements Images by Anna Dickie, former civil servant, now poet and photographer, East Lothian, Scotland. With many thanks.

For more information about the MA, please contact the Undergraduate Teaching Office.

Sustainable Development