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MSc Global Environmental Change and Policy

MSc Global Environmental Change and Policy

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Global Warming Earth Sciences

Course type


Course Summary


The pace of change of our climate is staggering, with the climate system strongly influenced by numerous environmental and global feedback processes. Understanding these complex issues, as well as our role in these processes, is crucial to the development of mitigation and sustainability policies on global and local scales. Effective communication of this knowledge, whether in terms of climate literacy to the public or policy makers, is crucial to match our response to the pace of change.

The MSc in Global Environmental Change and Policy is designed to equip the next generation of Earth and Environmental scientists with the multidisciplinary skills needed to tackle the complex global issues associated with climate change, societal challenges and policy development.

The programme provides the highly integrated level of fundamental, applied and communication-based knowledge which is urgently needed to identify, characterise, and effectively find solutions to a range of challenges related to climate change.

From a basic understanding of how the planet works as a holistic unit to socio-economic interactions between business and the environment, including the ability to communicate this knowledge to a broad spectrum of academic researchers, policymakers and the public.

The programme has seven core courses in multidisciplinary topics, with the potential for students to widen their studies by choosing an optional course for further specialisation. Students will have the opportunity to perform their dissertation projects in collaboration (through co-supervision) with one of several world-leading Edinburgh based research organisations including:

British Geological Survey

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

Scottish Parliament Information Centre

Edinburgh's Dynamic Earth

Natural Museum of Scotland

Scottish Natural Heritage

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Dissertation projects may be field, or desk based and will be co-designed to address significant real-world issues aligned with the ongoing research projects undertaken at the Lyell Centre and in collaboration with the different research organisations.

Research projects will be co-designed with the aim of professional development of the students, including addressing skills gaps, gaining wider impact and recognition, or leading to a publishable output. Students will also achieve PGDip award in this course.


Earth System Science - Core
Applied Skills in Laboratory, Fieldwork and Data Analysis - Core
Reconstructing Environmental Change and Tracing Ecosystem Function - Core
Innovative Technologies and Global Water Challenges - Core
Science Communication and Engagement - Core
Ecosystems under Pressure - Core
Business of the Environment - Core
Earth Sciences MSc Project

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in a related subject area, preferably in an Earth or Environmental Science or general science qualification. A more diverse UG/PG background will also be possible. For postgraduate conversion courses, non-related degrees will be considered. Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered. PG Diploma level entry applicants must have an ordinary degree in a related subject area and relevant post qualification industry experience.