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About the course

Tackle complex social, political and scientific challenges on this interdisciplinary master’s degree, combining analytical and practical problem-solving skills with leadership skills in the fast-growing and critically important sustainability sector.

Defined more by the problems it addresses than the discipline it employs, sustainability science seeks to understand the interactions between natural and social systems – and how those interactions affect the future of the planet.

Awareness of sustainability issues is higher than it’s ever been, shaping government policy, business practices, education, research and social movements.

On this innovative, technically focused MSc Sustainability Science course, you will learn to unpick the complex challenges facing our modern world, looking at how environmental and human systems interact and identifying potential solutions – developing the fundamental and specialist knowledge to become leaders in the growing sector of sustainable development.

Teaching combines theory with applied investigations to explore and investigate complex interactions, with a range of applied subjects, including industrial ecology, life-cycle assessment, energy and environmental science.

As a sustainability scientist, you will be in high demand; according to the IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), a wide range of industries are now employing sustainability professionals. Globally agreed sustainability objectives and the move towards a circular economy will require continued and increasing investment from government and private industry, ensuring a steady demand for suitable qualified sustainability experts.

And it’s a fascinating sector. You will learn to consider both the big picture and the fine details, understanding the environment, globalisation, economics and society, and how these vastly complex systems interact in the real world. You will develop expertise in logistics, geography, resource management, engineering, and science – as well as learning how to influence and inform policymakers and managers from a broad range of industries.

You can apply direct to Solent University for this course.
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After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies

The course has a strong real-world focus, exploring sustainability in the context of real-world environmental, economic, and social systems.

What does this course lead to?

As a course alumnus you should find a range of opportunities before you, thanks to the broad transferable skills the course develops. You’ll be a problem solver and practical analytical thinker, well practised at taking the latest theory and applying it to real-world problems – potentially allowing you to help resolve some of the most taxing social and environmental issues.

Outside of the expanding sustainability sector, you could potentially find careers in a range of other fields, from project management or consultancy to policy and thought leadership.

Who is this course for?

If you’re looking for a career investigating and overcoming some of the most meaningful challenges facing modern society, refining your understanding of sustainability and developing your leadership skills, this innovative master’s is for you.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £8,220
International full-time fees: £13,905
UK, EU and Channel Island part-time fees: £4,110 per year
International part-time fees: Students from outside the EU are usually unable to obtain a visa for part-time study. Please visit our visas and immigration page for more information.

Students in receipt of a postgraduate loan from the Student Loan Company are typically able to pay their tuition fees via instalments.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

Fieldwork and site visits during this course require appropriate clothing – sturdy boots, waterproof clothing and a rucksack are highly recommended. Dress deemed inappropriate to safe operation in the field will lead to exclusion from the work. Specific safety equipment will be provided as required.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2018, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

A bachelor’s degree at in a related field, such as physics, engineering, geography, management, construction/ architecture, and environmental science.

  • We also consider candidates with alternative qualifications and related professional experience.
  • If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS 6.5 with no component score below 5.5
  • TOEFL IBT 92 with minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a Pre-Sessional English Language Course for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.


Solent alumni save up to 50% on their tuition fees

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.

Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application.

  • Two academic references
  • Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of current visa (if applicable)
  • A personal statement
  • Employer sponsor form where appropriate

 To apply please contact our admissions team:

Email admissions

Alumni discount

Solent alumni could be eligible for up to a 50% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate degree classification as follows:

Solent alumni with a:

  • First (1.1) will be offered a 50% discount to study at PG level
  • 2.1 or 2.2 will be offered a 20% discount to study at PG level

The discount applied will be based on the most recently completed course.

If you are currently a student at Solent University and are continuing on without a break in your studies, your discount will be automatically applied on your return.

If are not following directly on from a course at Solent University, but have studied with us in previous years, you will need to register for the alumni discount.

Click here to register or to find out more

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units

Circular Economics and Resource Management (30 credits)
To address the issues of a throw-away consumerist society, we must first develop understanding of the technological, social, and environmental influences on waste production. This unit explores these issues, drawing on case studies to illustrate current and future challenges.

Energy and the Environment (30 credits)
Is it possible – or even necessary – to change our global dependence on fossil fuels to more renewable sources of energy? What are the challenges involved? This unit explores these questions and investigates what future energy systems might look like.

Sustainable Design and Manufacture (30 credits)

Explore the techniques and principles required to design and manufacture the products and services necessary for a transition to a circular economy and sustainable future.  

Life Cycle Assessment (30 credits)
This applied unit introduces the concepts and techniques of Life Cycle Assessment – a holistic assessment of the environmental effects assignable to products and services – and how this information might be used to improve processes, policy, and decision making.

Leadership and Management in Sustainability (30 credits)
To effectively bring about meaningful change needs more than understanding – it requires expert communicators and leaders. On this unit you will explore and develop the skills in leadership and management needed to sustainably manage business and projects.

Research Project (30 credits)
In this unit you will plan, prepare, and undertake your own research project, putting your new skills and understanding to use in exploring a real-world problem and suggesting potential solutions.

Meet the course team

Laurie Wright academic profile Laurie Wright Course Leader View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


State-of-the-art resources, flexible learning spaces, online learning tools, campus-wide wifi and dedicated study areas all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.

Solent University has 25 years’ experience running environmental programmes, with specialist expertise in the marine and maritime industries.

Your future

Sustainability is a rapidly expanding field, giving graduates the potential to shape the sector through a range of potential careers in industry, government, and society:

  • Sustainability specialist
  • Climate change analyst
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Energy consultant
  • Environmental specialist
  • Science teacher
  • Corporate sustainability strategist
  • Risk management specialist

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