MSc Global Sustainability Solutions
Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
MSc Global Sustainability Solutions
This innovative programme will challenge you to critically evaluate and propose new solutions that will have an impact in the real world.
Our impacts on the Earth system are at such a scale that we have become a geological force. If we are to not just survive but flourish, we urgently need to create robust and practical solutions to a set of interacting global challenges. These challenges span countries, regions, and academic disciplines. For example: the challenge to establish food, water, and energy security for a global population increasing towards 9 billion by the middle of this century; the urgent need to halt the rapid decline in biodiversity; the required sudden decrease of greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid dangerous climate change. While diverse, the common thread that links these and other challenges is that these are all ultimately a challenge of systems.
The programme has been designed to allow students from a wide range of backgrounds to immerse themselves in a transformative educational experience. No science, mathematics, or engineering prerequisites are required. Upon graduation, you will have the experience and skills to become an agent of change for a sustainable future.
As a student you will benefit from:
- Applying your learning to real-world challenges and so operating in a complex problem space. You will receive training on systems thinking and the opportunity to practice how your learning is engaged within wider social, economic, and policy debates
- Residential learning experiences which provide an opportunity for immersive learning of fundamental skills and approaches to understanding and solving challenges
- Opportunities to undertake a work placement or research projects within an organisation as an alternative to a traditional academic dissertation
- Your learning being informed by the latest research undertaken by world-leading scholars and research-led teaching of Global Systems Institute community
Global Systems Institute
The MSc Global Sustainability Solutions is the flagship programme for the Global Systems Institute which brings together researchers, students, citizens, and partner organisations to solve global challenges, and help create a flourishing future world together, through transformative research and education. The Global Systems Institute works with others to secure a flourishing future for humanity as an integral part of a life-sustaining Earth system. It is uniting a trans-disciplinary group of researchers, educators and partners to look beyond single ‘environmental’ issues to a truly systemic view of coupled global changes in the human social and economic sphere and the biosphere.
My highlight so far was the residential at Kaleider. It was really interesting talking to different companies and departments of the local council about their ideas for improving sustainability of their products or in their workplace. It was amazing to be involved in finding and implementing sustainable solutions.
We also went on a trip to Brixham Harbour for a day to look around the local fishery and talk to fishermen about their experience with issues such as bycatch and juvenile discards. It gave us the opportunity to see these issues from a different perspective and attempt to think of ways in which we could work with fishermen to solve them.
Imogen, MSc Global Sustainability Solutions.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
Learning and teaching
Dr James Dyke, Programme Director, discusses MSc Global Sustainability Solutions in a live chat.
Innovative teaching lies at the heart of the programme. Emphasis will be placed upon applying learning to real-world challenges and enhancing your employability.
Residential learning experiences in Term 1 will provide an opportunity to develop a cohort identity across staff and students, whilst learning fundamental skills and approaches to understanding and solving challenges.
You will be given the training and opportunity to practice how your learning is engaged within wider social, economic, and policy debates. Assessments will focus on the application of your learning and go beyond exams and essays. You will have the opportunity to choose to be assessed via the creation of project reports, policy briefings and white papers, the preparation and delivery of press conferences, online and interactive infographics, short documentary films, recorded talks and interviews, reflective blogs and journals.
The residential at Kaleider covered a broad range of topics, from how to define the Technosphere to looking at the implications of a new geological epoch. The studio was an excellent working environment and gave us the opportunity to branch out away from campus.
It was the perfect opportunity to delve into the course content in an engaging but relaxed format. We had the opportunity to learn from people with a diverse range of backgrounds and saw how we could fit into the bigger picture of global sustainability.
Rebecca, MSc Global Sustainability Solutions.
The programme will address global sustainability challenges equipping graduates to apply systems thinking to solve complex problems in a wide variety of environments and contexts. A key feature of the programme are the innovative teaching and formative and summative assessments. Emphasis will be placed upon applying learning to real-world challenges and enhancing the employability of graduates.
A key specialism is the training and opportunity to practice how your academic work is engaged with in wider social, economic, and policy debates. Upon graduation students will have the experience and skills necessary to become agents of change for a sustainable future and are expected to work across a range of roles.
Graduates of this programme might expect to gain the following attributes:
- An imaginative critical thinker and problem solver
- An active global citizen
- A creative and enterprising team player
- An engaged and participative leader
- A confident, resilient and adaptable individual
Opportunities for a work placement or research project to be undertaken within an organisation will be available as an alternative to a traditional academic dissertation. Students will identify and secure their own placement but will be facilitated with appropriate support. A new credit-bearing Green Consultants employability-focussed module will be offered as an elective module that would provide you with technical and employability related training combined with practical training.
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service, ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market, with many employers targeting the University when recruiting new graduates.
You will benefit from tailored employability training and exploitation of the Global Systems Institute external partner network for the purposes of collaboration on the Dissertation Academic module and placement for the Dissertation Internship module. This networks will also accelerate your search for employment after graduation.
Supporting your career
Each year students are able to access a huge range of opportunities when considering their future career options. Recent events have included career insights with visiting alumni, career conversations with employers on campus, mock interviews with visiting employers and alumni, immersion day at the Met Office, and the Life and Environmental Sciences Careers Fair.
This innovative and interdisciplinary Masters programme will provide the skills and experience for you to analyse these complex challenges, critically evaluate proposed solutions, and formulate new solutions that will emerge from intense periods of academic exploration in collaboration with a community of external partners.
Dr James Dyke, Senior Lecturer: Global Systems
All applicants are considered individually on merit although we usually require a 2:1 honours degree.
No specific subjects are required.
The programme has been designed to allow students from a wide range of backgrounds to immerse themselves in a transformative educational experience. No science, mathematics, or engineering prerequisites are required.
Requirements for international students
If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.
English language requirements
Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.
Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.
Pearson Test of English (Academic)
58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.
Other accepted tests
Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.
Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees per year 2020/21
- UK/EU: £10,900 full-time; £5,450 part-time
- International: £21,100 full-time
Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.
UK government postgraduate loan scheme
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
The Scholarships, Bursaries and Studentships website has information on all available options for funding open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.
Global Excellence Scholarship
We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.
Global Systems Institute
MSc Global Sustainability Solutions is the flagship programme for the Global Systems Institute which brings together researchers, students, citizens, and partner organisations to solve global challenges, and help create a flourishing future world together, through transformative research and education.