We hope that by the time you’re ready to start your studies with us the situation with COVID-19 will have eased. However, please be aware, we will continue to review our courses and other elements of the student experience in response to COVID-19 and we may need to adapt our provision to ensure students remain safe. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, regularly visit our website, which we will continue to update as the situation changes www.leeds.ac.uk/covid19faqs
Sustainable development and environmental management are two key challenges facing the Global South. As part of our Environment and Development MSc degree you will be provided with high-quality interdisciplinary training to help you understand the many perspectives of different actors operating in the Global South.
You will investigate the debates and challenges associated with international development that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable and contribute towards achieving solutions that support this topical, fast-growing field.
You will gain the knowledge, skills and practical experience that national and international employers require to reconcile distinct objectives, such as the need for sustainable economic development and environmental conservation.
The course is ideal if you would like to develop or continue a career in environment and/or development practice, policy, training or research, and/or if you are thinking of working in an international capacity. The Masters will prepare you for work in both the public and private sectors, and within local, national and international institutions. Alternatively, you could pursue a research career or go on to a PhD.
Learn the fundamentals with core compulsory modules and combine them with optional modules in which you can specialise within your own interests.
Benefit from our strong links with field sites across the world, designing projects for partners in the field to put into action.
Be taught by experts in the field – our teaching draws on specialist knowledge from practitioner and research communities covering both the natural and social sciences.
Attend research seminar series run by the School of Earth and Environment, School of Politics and International Studies, plus those organised in Leeds’ Biology and Geography departments.
The Programme Leader, Dr George Holmes, is an Associate Professor of Conservation and Society in the School of Earth and Environment.
You will also be taught by a world-leading team of researchers covering the social sciences, economics, development studies, environmental management and conservation and the natural sciences from within the School of Earth and Environment and the School of Politics and International Studies.
Many are also members of research centres, such as
The School of Earth and Environment is home to five world-leading research institutes, which are at the heart of our active research environment – working to tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges. Throughout your degree you will be taught by experts who are leaders in their fields, and be directly engaged with their cutting-edge research.
Many of the staff that teach on this degree are based within the Sustainability Research Institute, one of the largest and oldest interdisciplinary environmental and social science departments in the UK.
We have successful and productive links with many partners with different perspectives on sustainability, environment and development. You will come into contact with our network of partners throughout the course.
We will also support and encourage you to develop your own links so that you can collaborate with institutions that might be beneficial for your future career progression.
In the past, students have worked with companies, UK-based charities, international development organisations, government departments and universities.
Through our long term engagement with a field site in Tanzania, you will also have the opportunity to link up with the people on the ground there in a unique case-study context, which enables you to look at the real-world beyond just concepts.
Industry support for your dissertation
To help you set-up your research dissertation, supervisors have excellent collaborative links with sustainability, environment and development organisations across the UK and internationally.
Recent students have worked with Brunei National Energy Research Institute, ASDA (foodwaste), Tullow Oil Company and The International Rice Research Institute. While other students have teamed up with ongoing research projects.
Online taster courses
Our Environmental Challenges collection is a five-part series of free online courses, delivered via FutureLearn. Ideal for current undergraduate students or mid-career professionals considering a Masters degree, this series explores how environmental management policies are developed and the challenges surrounding their formulation.
In your first semester you will gain an advanced understanding of the core knowledge and skills in both sustainability and development related themes such as environmental governance, development studies, environmental social science research methods and sustainable development. You will be taught through lectures, seminars and interactive discussions, and will approach topics from different angles thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of academics from both the School of Earth and Environment and the School of Politics and International Studies.
As well as compulsory modules you will also be able to specialise through optional modules in topics such as business or ecological economics.
In semester two you will take the theoretical knowledge that you have gained from semester one and begin to build upon it. You will apply this knowledge and skills to form a deeper, more specialised understanding of the challenges of environment and development and be able to apply it to real-word scenarios.
During this semester you will also have the opportunity to connect with our partners in Tanzania, through a unique case-study context drawing on academic field-based research, local community and stakeholder perspectives. You will develop a detail understanding of the area and begin to understand how both theoretical concepts and real-world challenges intertwine, and the challenges that they face, based on our extensive long-term research in this area.
You will have a little more flexibility in choosing optional modules, enabling you to develop specialised knowledge in topics such as climate change impacts and mitigation and ecological economics.
Taking all of the knowledge and skills that you have learnt in the previous two semesters your focus will now turn to your individual dissertation project. You will produce an original piece of cutting edge research on a topic of your choice, and will work closely with a member of staff as your dissertation supervisor.
Critical Perspectives in Environment and Development
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
GIS and Environment
Business, Environment and Sustainability
Introduction to Ecological Economics
Environmental Economics and Policy
Environment & Development Remote International Field Course
Climate Change: Physical Science Basis
Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation
Climate Change Mitigation
Tools and Techniques in Ecological Economics
Learning and teaching
You will learn through teaching methods selected to help you develop subject specific and transferable skills. This includes lectures, practical workshops, policy simulations, computer lab sessions, research seminars and project work (individual and groupwork).
Practical exercises focus around real-world scenarios and case studies to produce optimal solutions including familiarisation with state-of-the-art technical approaches, software and the regulatory regimes that companies and public sector organisations operate within.
The research-intensive environment of the School ensures that course material is both up-to-date and research led – meaning that we train you to learn what questions to ask, how to read unfamiliar data, and to ultimately tackle the big questions in the field so that you can become the leader of tomorrow.
You will also learn the scientific and rational principles lying behind the practical approaches used in the world outside academia, so that you are equipped to address the challenges of today and tomorrow.
You will be assigned a personal tutor, who will maintain contact with you throughout the year and offer pastoral guidance. They will help you to settle into the university and clarify any procedures, as well as helping you prepare for employment on graduation. You will also receive administrative support from SEE’s dedicated Student Education Support office.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Our aim is to get you to do the best possible work and we have a variety of assessments to showcase your skills and abilities. Assessments might include written exams, academic and professional written work and your final Masters dissertation project.
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in social sciences such as (but not limited to) international development, geography, politics, sociology, environmental management, sustainability, in environmental science or in a related subject.
Applicants with a 2.2 will be considered on a case by case basis where applicants can demonstrate relevant work experience or aptitude in a relevant specialist field. Graduates from other disciplines and those with professional experience in the sector will also be considered.
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Visit our Brexit page for the latest information on the effect of the UK's exit from the EU on current students and applicants to the University.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
We hope to run our fieldwork activities as planned for the 22/23 academic year, but it might not be possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continually reviewing the situation and will communicate any decisions to applicants and offer holders at the earliest possible opportunity.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
A degree from Leeds and the experience you'll gain here will give you the edge to find the career you want. Your course will give you the experience and knowledge that employers are looking for to help you secure a job.
The University of Leeds is in the top five most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2021 report.
The School of Earth and Environment has a strong commitment to enhancing student employability and has its own dedicated Employability Officer. We offer extra support and activities to help you stand out in your chosen field and achieve your career goals.
This course is ideal if you want to continue your undergraduate studies, you are looking for a career change, or if you are looking to increase your skill set to progress in your career in industry or academia.
We typically find that graduates assume, or continue careers, in sustainability, environmental management or development practice. Our alumni work in the research, public and private sectors and within local, national and international institutions.
Our graduates have secured positions including:
Global Ambassador, Raleigh International
Environmental Advisor, London Mining PLC , Sierra Leone
Consultant, Sustainability Consultancy - Canada
Advisor on Agricultural Pollution, Natural England
Many of our graduates have secured positions on PhD programmes in the UK and internationally. The Sustainability Research Institute has a large and successful PhD cohort covering environment and development topics, offering many opportunities for students graduating from this MSc course.
At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.
You’ll have access to the wide range of careers resources and support from your Careers Service. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations, book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops and webinars. Our careers fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UKs leading employers.