University of Dundee Master of Science

Target Audience

This course is suitable for a wide range of graduates from;

environmental backgrounds (e.g. geography, planning, environmental studies) looking to upskill and achieve a deeper understanding
natural science graduates (e.g. chemistry, maths) and engineers looking to develop a more rounded understanding of environmental issues, especially in relation to regulation and policy
arts and social science students wishing to use their social, economic and political perspectives to take on the challenges associated with complex environmental systems and their management.


Sustainability has emerged as one of the defining issues of the 21st century. Achieving enduring and fairer societies requires viable economies, sound science and good governance. This course provides training in theory and critical analysis along with the practical skills to facilitate the transformations needed to deliver secure low carbon futures.

The MSc in Sustainability is being introduced in recognition of the grand challenges of water, food, energy and health security facing the planet. The portfolio of environmental disciplines is exceptionally strong in the University as are its traditions of cross-disciplinary collaboration and cooperation.

Along with the flagship MSc in Sustainability, there are three specialised pathways:

MSc in Sustainability and Water Security
MSc in Sustainability and the Green Economy
MSc in Sustainability: Climate Change and Low Carbon Futures

Course Objectives

Each of the MSc in Sustainability pathways is geared around the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge and Understanding:

-Achieve a critical understanding of key sustainability principles and perspectives informing actions in pursuit of sustainable development, inclusive of environment, economy and equity considerations;
-Demonstrate knowledge of approaches to evaluating and measuring sustainability;
-Apply different concepts of transformation and change to enable individual and societal shifts towards more sustainable practices;
-Each of the four named MSc in Sustainability pathways (Water Security; Living with Climate Change, Low Carbon Futures and the Green Economy) features additional thematic modules complemented by a cognate independent research project.


– Ability to analyse, evaluate and critically review theory and policy debates relating to sustainability;
– Ability to draw on international perspectives and examples of best practice in relation to methods of evaluation and assessment of sustainability;
– Ability to design and plan interventions for creating change to promote greater sustainability across different scales;
– Design and undertake a substantial independent research project to address significant areas of theory and/or practice.


– Critique and synthesis theory and evidence drawing on a variety of sources;
– Ability to communicate evidenced based reports relevant to a range of stakeholders, including policy makers;
– Ability to work independently and as part of a team tackling complex environmental problems to tight deadlines;
– Ability to design and evaluate transformative change leading to improved sustainability strategies, processes and plans
– Transferrable skills, including building arguments, synthesis, reflexivity and making presentations.