Sustainable Development MSc (online)

Key Information

Key Information

Taught 100% online, study Sussex’s world-renowned MSc Sustainable Development at a time and place that suits you.

Course start dates:

This course is currently going through University validation and is expected to start in July 2019. To be informed when applications open, please complete our enquiry form.


in the world for Development Studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018)

Top 25

UK university (Complete University Guide 2019)

TEF Silver

(2017 Teaching Excellence Framework)

Course overview

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By 2030, the aim is to end poverty and hunger while achieving gender equality, peace, decent education, healthcare, innovative and sustainable infrastructure and industry, clean energy, responsible consumption, urgent climate action, as well as the flourishing of life below water and on land.

For these goals to be realised, extensive sustainability transformations are required in multiple sectors of society, in all parts of the world. They will need to be driven by knowledgeable and skilful social entrepreneurs, engaged scholars and political activists.

Sussex’s online MSc Sustainable Development aims to meet the sectors’ needs by developing your skills and knowledge, enabling you to meet the formidable challenges facing the SDGs’ realisation.

This course is part-time and can be completed in a minimum of two years and maximum of four. Students have the opportunity to pause their studies if their work or life commitments require*.

*Maximum study break times apply to this course

Why choose this course

The University of Sussex is at the forefront of academic study in sustainable development. As a student on this course you will be taught by world-leading academics, researchers and practitioners from Sussex’s Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), and the Sussex Energy Group.

You’ll learn how to effectively use theories and concepts of ‘emancipating transformations’ (power and agency), political ecology, social and technological innovations for and pathways to sustainability, and real-world development policies and practices, in order to make a difference that matters for achieving sustainable development. Using a strong international perspective, the course juxtaposes multiple divergent perspectives, policies and practices.

With employability firmly in mind, you’ll take part in both independent and group work, exploring sustainable development policies and strategies for international agencies, NGOs, public and private organisations.

With proven employability success, you will join a prestigious group of graduates employed in policy, consultancy, government, NGOs and firms across the world.



The modules listed below provide a sample of modules and subject areas covered on this course and are currently subject to change;

  • Governing and Using Technology for Development
  • Innovation and Economic Development
  • Perspectives, Methods and Skills for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies
  • Policy Making and Policy Analysis
  • Science, Technology and Innovations: Markets, Firms and Policies
  • Sustainable Development: Perspectives, Policies and Practices
  • Energy and Development
  • Energy Policy and Sustainability
  • Governing Energy Transitions
  • Infrastructure, Innovation and Sustainability
  • Innovation for Sustainability
  • Innovation in the Creative Economy
  • Introduction to Statistical Research Methods
  • Management of Risk
  • Network Analysis and Infographics
  • Quantitative Methods for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

This course is currently subject to validation, in line with our procedures for assuring the quality of our degrees. This means that some course detail may change. The validation process will be concluded before the course starts.

Typical entry requirements

A lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree* or above from any UK university or international equivalent.

*This course is currently going through university validation; entry requirements are subject to change

Further information on applying for online Masters courses. 

English Language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English (and whose first degree was not taught in English) are required to obtain and provide evidence of English proficiency at IELTS Level 6.5.

Fees, funding and scholarships

This course is currently going through the University of Sussex’s validation process which includes the setting of course fees. Once the fees for this course have been set information will be available on this page, you can also receive updates on this course by completing the request for information form on this page. 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information on funding for master’s students.

Science, Policy and Research Unit (SPRU)

University of Sussex, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) – Masters courses

Study online with the University of Sussex from anywhere in the world

Contact us

To speak directly with a dedicated online Admissions Advisor call

+44 (0) 1273 019311