Sustainable Development (MRes) 2016 entry
The MRes in Sustainable Development is designed to prepare students for research career paths such as PhD study or advanced research positions in public or private organisations.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Research (MRes)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The School of Geography and Geosciences also offers a taught MSc in Sustainable Development.
UK and EU: £6,800
- covering letter/personal statement explaining why you are a suitable candidate and how the degree will help your personal development
- sample of academic written work (1,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- English language requirements certificate.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you are looking to start this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Sustainable Development MRes page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
- Interdisciplinary teaching provides multiple perspectives. Students are taught by experts from disciplines across the University and beyond.
- Field trips, such as to a Scottish highland estate, bring the subject alive by exploring practical applications of sustainable development. (Field trips are at no additional cost.)
- Practical experience supplements leading theory. The lecturers and visiting speakers all have practical experience of advising government, business and communities on aspects of sustainable development as well as being leaders in their academic fields.
The MRes in Sustainable Development is a one-year, full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development. The programme is aimed at those looking to pursue further research in sustainable development or to develop their research skills within an employment context. Training is qualitative and quantitative methods and in research design is an integral part of the MRes programme.
Sustainable development is now widely regarded as the most promising framework within which the challenges of clean water and adequate sanitation, energy generation and supply, human health, food production and distribution, and the threat to biodiversity can be addressed. The MRes programme will enable you to develop the knowledge and understanding you need to evaluate and address sustainability issues from multiple perspectives.
During the taught portion of the programme, students take six compulsory modules which are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, student-led workshops, as well as field trips and away days. Modules are assessed through written examinations and coursework including class tests, presentations and review essays.
Over the course of the programme, but with particular focus during the summer month, students will research and write a 15,000-word dissertation.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.
- Interrogating Sustainable Development: provides an introduction to sustainable development.
- Master Class in Sustainable Development: trains students to critically reflect on the potential and limitations of sustainable development.
- Being a Social Scientist: explores the fundamental skills required by all social scientists and prepares you for the research dissertation and professional development.
- Quantitative Research in Social Science: a user-friendly introduction to the fundamental concepts of quantitative analysis.
- Qualitative Methods in Social Research: offers both a theoretical and practical introduction to the collection, analysis and writing of qualitative social science research.
- Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences: introduces the basic theoretical approaches in the social sciences, encouraging you to make connections between the methodological and epistemological issues involved in conducting social scientific research.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.
Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
The dissertation gives students the chance to fully engage with the area of sustainable development about which you are most passionate, by researching and writing a 15,000-word dissertation which is the culmination of your degree. Advised by a member of academic staff, you will work across the summer months on your individual dissertation.
After the MSc
In addition to the MRes, the School offers a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Sustainable Development.
Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere.
PhD funding opportunities are available from the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.
Sustainability impacts upon almost all aspects of life and graduates from the Sustainable Development MRes pursue many different professional careers including:
- sustainability in business management, engineering, planning, transport, waste, energy or environmental management.
- sustainability research and policy consultancy.
- international development.
- sustainability advisers to supra-national bodies such as the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, and the OECD.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).