MSc Climate Change, Development and Policy

Study the twin challenges of transition to a low-carbon economy and adaptation to climate change, and how they influence global and regional development. This course (for non-specialists in the climate field) explores the multiple and interconnected dimensions of science and technology, and the economics, politics and policy of climate change.

There is an emphasis on understanding the implications of climate change and climate policies for equity between, and within, countries. You gain specialist knowledge of the earth system and climate impacts, for example related to water, food and ecosystem services.

You’ll be based at the School of Global Studies, and taught by faculty from Global Studies, SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).

World-leaders in development studies

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a global research and learning organisation for equitable and sustainable change. In partnership with the University of Sussex, IDS is ranked first in the world for development studies by the QS University Rankings.

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time. (Our part-time study option is only available to students from the UK, EU, Channel Islands and Isle of Man).

Course content and structure

The academic year commences in September. Three terms run as follows: autumn term (September to December), spring term (January to mid May) and summer term (May to August).

This degree offers a wide choice of module options, allowing students flexibility to choose their area of interest and grow intellectually within the overall degree framework.

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

These modules are running in the academic year 2018/19. We also plan to offer them in future academic years. They may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

  • Dissertation (Climate Change, Development and Policy)
  • Ideas and Concepts in Climate, Development, Economics and Policy
  • Research Methods and Professional Skills (Geog)
  • The Science of Climate Change

Options

Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

  • Dissertation with Placement (Global Studies)
  • Climate Change and Energy Policy
  • Climate change: Impacts and Adaptation
  • Climate Resilient Development
  • Environment, Resources, Security
  • Low Carbon Development

Placements

You can apply to take a placement with this course. On placement, you gain work experience related to your subject and practical skills in preparation for a professional career. Research placements run for up to 12 weeks in the summer term and vacation. You can also write your dissertation based on your experience.

The School of Global Studies and the Careers and Employability Centre will help you with your applications.

Find out more about Global Studies postgraduate placements

Assessment

You’ll be assessed through term papers, coursework assignments, presentations, exams, practical exercises, and a 10,000 word dissertation.

Entry requirements

You should normally have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above. Your qualification should be in either the social or natural sciences; alternatively, you should have relevant professional experience or engagement.

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students: £8,500 per year. Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: £8,500 per year. International students: £16,750 per year. Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

If you’re studying part-time over two years, you’ll be charged 50 per cent of the equivalent 2019 full-time fee in each year of study. The fee in your second year – if you continue your studies without a break – will be subject to a 2.5 per cent increase (subject to rounding).

You have the option to undertake fieldwork for this course (though it is not mandatory).  You will need to cover the additional costs that this entails. Costs will depend on the scope and scale of the activities. For example, conducting interviews in your hometown could cost very little, whereas travelling overseas to interview government officials could cost much more in terms of flights, accommodation and subsistence. There may also be options for desk-based research, such as paying for access to research databases.  If you wish to conduct fieldwork, you should always talk to your course convenors and dissertation supervisors before making any arrangements.

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex

For scholarship opportunities and information on sources of funding please see the advice on funding on the University of Sussex website.

Careers

There is a rapidly expanding market for climate professionals. This course prepares you for employment in a wide range of government, non-government and academic organisations, as well as private companies in the areas of climate change, development and energy policy.

Our graduates are very successful in finding employment and developing careers in the profession, including among others:

  • international organisations and agencies (including the UN Environment Programme, The World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank)
  • various NGOs (including the International Federation of the Red Cross, Renewable World, Action Against Hunger International)
  • national government ministries and development agencies (including UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, DFID, GiZ)
  • national environment agencies across the world
  • a wide range of private-sector organisations (including energy utilities, the renewables sector, consultancy companies) and public-sector organisations (universities and not-for-profit organisations).

Graduate destinations

Recent graduates have gone on to roles including:

  • head of conference production, Climate Action
  • climate change specialist, World Bank
  • public international assistant, United Nations Environmental Programme.

(Recent Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers From Higher Education surveys)