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Sustainability and Management MSc

UCAS code
Year of entry 2018
Course length
1 year full time
Department Geography »
Location of study
Main Campus (Egham) »


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.

Core modules

Sustainability, Development and Governance

In this module you will develop an understanding of the development of sustainable development as a discourse. You will explore key sustainability issues such as climate change, globalisation, and human responses, considering the emergence of environmental governance as a means to pursue sustainability.

Sustainability, Development and Society

In this module you will develop an understanding of the key social and environmental relationships, incorporating contemporary issues in the geographies of sustainability. You will look at the concept of 'risk society', sustainable cities, and the impacts of corporate sector activities on the environment. You will consider the challenges to sustainable development at household and community levels, with a focus on community-based approaches to sustainable development.

Ethics and Social Entreprenuership

In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of business in modern society from an ethical perspective. You will look at different types of business, including publicly traded multinationals, small and medium sized enterprises, social enterprises and family firms. You will examine the issues in these organisational types and articulate moral arguments from a range of perspectives, critiquing alternative models of business, including social entrepreneurship, fair trade and microfinance.

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.

Community Volunteer Project

You will undertake an independent volunteering project, giving you practical experience sustainability-related work in a not-for-profit organisation. The project will enhance your employability by providing you with an opportunity to gain a practical understanding of third-sector organisational objectives, cultures and practices.

Research Training

In this module you will develop an understanding of the practices of research design and training, thus enabling you to plan, carry out and complete your own independent research. You will look at social research methods, how they are applied in the field, and the techniques used for analysis. You will explore quantitative methods, focussing on statistical concepts and the procedures used in empirical research. You will learn how to plan, develop and undertake research in a development and environment context.

Dissertation

You will carry out an extended project on a topic of your choice, producing a written report of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. Working with your supervisor, you will carry out primary and secondary research, using theoretical and practical methods to tackle your research question. You will carry out your dissertation in collaboration with an organisation in the field of development and the environment.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Climate Change, Governance and the Seas

In this module you will develop an understanding of the issues surrounding climate change and the governance of the seas, encompassing their development, geopolitics and security. You will look at key spaces where these issues intersect, such as small island states, and consider the governance challenges of both climate change and geographical engagements with the sea.

Participatory Methods

In this module you will develop your understanding of the theoretical groundings of participatory research, and gain practical experience in using various methods and techniques. You will look at participatory diagramming, participatory video, and participatory environmental monitoring, reflecting on these approaches and evaluating the limitations of each method. You will also consider the role of participatory approaches to monitoring and evaluation.

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.

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:

UK 2:1 (Honours) degree 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. For equivalencies, please see here


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 2018/19*: £8,500

International students tuition fee per year 2018/19*: £17,500

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

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email student-fees@royalholloway.ac.uk for further information on part-time fees. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees and our terms and 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, have not been included.

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