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Sustainability and Management MSc

UCAS code
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
1 year full time
Department Geography »


The global pursuit of progress has led to widespread industrialisation, overpopulation, resource depletion, pollution and other threats to our planet. Through the research and teaching of environmental and social sustainability we aim to preserve our world and its resources for future generations.

Study Sustainability and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll develop the skills to communicate with experts across a variety of backgrounds, helping you to become an expert in sustainability and an attractive prospect for business, governmental agencies and NGOs.

The MSc Sustainability and Management is taught jointly by the Department of Geography, which is recognised for expertise in the research and teaching of environmental and social sustainability and the School of Management, which has a long tradition of research into sustainable businesses and corporate social responsibility.

Follow your passion for Sustainability and Management at Royal Holloway and you’ll graduate with an interdisciplinary Masters degree offering excellent employability prospects, and be well equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to tackle some of today's most pressing sustainability issues.

  • Study in the Department of Geography, ranked 2nd in the UK for research by the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • Learn from experts in both the Department of Geography and the School of Management.
  • Graduate with an interdisciplinary Masters degree and become a highly employable candidate for a wide range of employers.
  • Gain the skills and knowledge needed to confront some of our most pressing sustainability issues.

The course is divided into three compulsory elements; theory, policy and practice; research training; and a dissertation. Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma do not undertake the dissertation.

Core course units

International Strategy and Entrepreneurship

In this module you will develop an understanding of how international strategy and entrepreneurship fit into the organisation and running of a commercial entity. You will look at the ways in which a firm can achieve sustainable competitive advantage through strategy and entrepreneurship, evaluating the processes that firms use to develop, renew and reconfigure these. You will also examine the theoretical frameworks of strategy and entrepreneurship in the real business world.

Business Ethics and Enterprise

In this module you will be introduced to the moral frameworks and critical abilities necessary to understand the role of business in society from an ethical perspective. The course will cover different types of business including large publicly traded multinationals, small and medium sized enterprises, social enterprises and family firms. You will be expected to understand the different issues in these organisational types and to articulate moral arguments from a range of different perspectives. 

Sustainability, Development and Governance

This course will equip you with a detailed understanding of the development of sustainable development as a discourse. You will explore key sustainability issues such as climate change, globalisation, and human responses with an emphasis on the emergence of environmental governance as a means to pursue sustainability.

Sustainability, Development and Society

You will develop a detailed understanding of key social / environmental relationships incorporating contemporary issues in the geographies of sustainability. These will include 'risk society', sustainable cities, and the impacts of corporate sector activities on the environment. You will also understand the challenges to sustainable development at household and community levels, with a focus on community-based approaches to sustainable development.

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.

Community Volunteer Project

You will undertake an independent volunteer project which will give you practical experience in gaining sustainability related work experience in a non-for profit organisation. The project will enhance your employability whilst and provide an opportunity to gain practical experience of third sector organisational objectives, cultures and practices.

Optional modules

Climate change, governance and the seas

Climate change and the governance of the seas are two defining and intersecting issues of our time. Together they raise governance questions, challenges, and opportunities to understandings of development, geopolitics and security. This course is designed to engage with these complexities through a number of key themes and perspectives over the course of 10 weeks. From the rationale and evolution of scholarship on both subject areas, to key spaces, such as small island states, where these issues intersect, through to climate change and sea futures, the course is designed to provide a novel and practical insight into both climate change and geographical engagements with the sea and the associated governance challenges that ensue. 

Project Work for Managers – Sustainability and Societies

In this module you will develop an understanding of how ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) inform sustainability management issues in large, transnational organisations. You will look at issues such as consumption and sustainability, assessing the dichotomy of economic and environmental interests. You will also examine a range of ethical beliefs and expectations that underpin environmental and social sustainability.

Participatory Methods

This course combines detailed understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of participatory research and methods with practical experience of using different participatory research techniques. These include participatory diagramming, participatory video and participatory environmental monitoring.

You will benefit from innovative teaching including real-life case studies,
seminars with practitioners, field work and volunteering.

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.

Entry criteria:

Applicants with UK, EU or overseas qualifications who have or are on track to obtain at least a 2.1 (or equivalent) from a range of subject areas. These include::

  • Business Studies
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Management Studies
  • Social Studies

If your first degree result is close to this but does not quite meet this requirement, please contact us to discuss your case.

Consideration will also be given to relevant professional qualifications relating to the above mentioned areas.

 

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall with 6,5 in writing and no subscore below 5.5


If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor your study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT)

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below




Students from overseas should visit the International pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.

Sustainability and Management graduates from Royal Holloway, University of London are highly employable, with a range of attractive transferable skills. You’ll gain the most current, up-to-date knowledge, with expert teaching augmented by lectures from a wide range of highly respected guest speakers on current sustainability and business issues.

This highly-regarded programme will place you in a good position to progress to doctoral-level study. Our recent alumni have gone on to enjoy fulfilling careers, including Director at Sustainable Travel International, Consolidations and Reporting Analyst at Tetra Pak International, Researcher at the Institute of Business Ethics and Carbon Consultant at DHL.

  • Graduate with a highly desirable interdisciplinary education.
  • 90% of Royal Holloway graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to become an expert in sustainability for leading companies, governmental agencies and NGOs. 

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £8,300

Overseas students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £17,000

Other essential costs**: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*The tuition fees given above apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis.  Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee and information is available from the Royal Holloway Student Fees Office on Student-Fees@rhul.ac.uk. All fees are likely to rise annually in line with inflation but no more than 5 per cent per year.

For further information, please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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