Interest in development, environment and issues of sustainable development has never been so intense. Rio 1992, Johannesburg 2002, the Kyoto Protocol, and the World Social Forum have brought environmental and development issues and problems long on local and national agendas, onto the international scene.
All sustainable development issues are a complex and dynamic web of natural, social, political and economic processes, and it is this unique interdisciplinary approach which drives the MSc in Practising Sustainable Development. This popular course has evolved and expanded in scope and appeal, and has attracted students from over 26 countries and a diverse range of backgrounds who work or are interested in development issues and the environment.
This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Masters degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.
The course is divided into three compulsory elements. Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma do not undertake the dissertation.
Core course units:
Theory, policy and practice- This element comprises ten modules which provide you with an interdisciplinary perspective on a range of development and environment issues from a temporal, spatial and practical viewpoint.
Research Training- You will be provided with training in a range of methods to enable you to plan, carry out and complete a piece of research. There are three modules in this element:
* Social Research Methods Training provides a range of social science methods for field research and analysis.
* Quantitative Methods for Graduates - provides basic statistical concepts and procedures used in empirical research.
* Development and Environment Research Training provides guidance for planning, developing and undertaking research in a development and environment context.
Dissertation (MSc only)- The dissertation is of between 12,000 and 15,000 words, on a topic of your choice which has been approved by the supervisor. It requires both secondary and primary research, and the demonstration of originality in integrating theoretical and practical research methods in tackling a particular problem. You will be encouraged to carry out your dissertation in collaboration with an organisation in the field of development and environment.
On completion of the course graduates will have:
* an understanding at an advanced level of the relationships between, and complexities of, social, economic, political and environmental aspects of sustainable development
* an understanding at an advanced level of how the key issues in sustainable development theory influence policy and impact on practice
* the ability to critically analyse complex or contradictory areas of knowledge in aspects of sustainable development.
Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).
Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.
All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.