Interest in what the future holds for sustainable development and global justice has never been so intense: the UN climate change summits, the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Social Forum are just some of the arenas seeking to lead the way on future environmental and development agendas globally. An MSc in Global Futures: Justice, Development and Sustainability at Royal Holloway, University of London equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to tackle these era-defining issues, learning from expert academics with experience in Latin America, the Caribbean, South, East and South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the polar regions.
Study the MSc in Global Futures: Justice, Development and Sustainability at Royal Holloway and you’ll learn to tackle issues that are high on the national and international agenda, graduating with excellent employability prospects in the UK and abroad. Whether you are still an undergraduate or someone already in a professional career, graduates of this course will gain a Masters of Science in a discipline offering excellent employability prospects. During the programme, you’ll benefit from networking and placement opportunities with leading organisations and institutions, and enjoy exciting field working opportunities.
In the Department of Geography you’ll join a vibrant research community (ranked 2nd in the UK for research excellence in the most recent REF2014 assessment) and contribute to our renowned research culture with your own independent dissertation project. In particular, you will work with the leading researchers based in our Department of Geography’s Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice (GDSJ) research group, which currently consists of over 20 research-active staff and 35 PhD students committed to conducting collaborative research which seeks to understand and contribute to addressing problems of social inequality, environmental destruction and injustice.
Engage with some of the most profound challenges of our times in this exciting Masters degree.
Core ModulesTerm 1
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.
In this module you will develop an understanding of research methods used for exploring the social sciences. You will look at the key methods used by social scientists, with teaching delivered by those who have practical experience in their field. You will look at the research process and explore research beyond the field, becoming familiar with the practical considerations of a range of methods, their benefits and challenges, their epistemological basis, and their ethics.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how your cultural geography learning is relevant beyond the academy. You will critically reflect on the role of impact and knowledge exchange in the contemporary academy, examining how you may put your cultural geographic ideas into practice.
This module aims to address some of the potential issues this world faces from a cutting edge geographical perspective. These topics include climate change, political division, and technological revolutions. The module is split into sessions, titled Earth Futures, Secure Futures, Just Futures, and Creative Futures.
This module explores several methods that reflect upon the rest of the program. These methods include creative methods, archiving and interpretation, and participatory methods.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how your cultural geography learning is relevant beyond the academy. You will undertake a placement with one of a number of cultural institutions across London, spending a minimum of 20 hours working with you chosen organisation. You will be allocated a member of staff as an academic tutor to help support your experience and learning.
You will write a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice. Guided by an advisor, you will develop your research topic over the course of the year and will design and conduct original research in order to produce an original research report.
All modules are core
Teaching & assessment
Assessment is by coursework only. Formative feedback and detailed ongoing discussion of work before final submission is a central part of the teaching ethos of the course. Students also have significant autonomy in the selection of topics for coursework and dissertation allowing them to develop particular interests and specialisms.
Each module has a specific assessment as follows:
- Key Concepts in Justice, Development and Sustainability – 5000 word essay (20 credits)
- Research Methods for Social Science – group presentation and 2000 word dissertation proposal (20 credits)
- Social Media & Audiencing – blog posts and a podcast or video (20 credits)
- Global Futures – 5000 word manifesto (20 credits)
- Advanced Research Methods for Global Futures – 5000 word workshop report (20 credits)
- Placements, Volunteering and Scenarios – 3000 word diarised report (20 credits)
- Dissertation – 15000 word dissertation (60 credits)
Please note, these modules are currently provisional and are subject to module validation.
Geography, Politics, International Relations, English, History and Classics, Sociology and Philosophy. Other disciplines may be considered.
Normally we require a UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in relevant subjects but we will consider high 2:2 or relevant work experience. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area may be considered. Where a ‘good 2:2’ is considered, we would normally define this as reflecting a profile of 57% or above.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements please see here.
Your future career
Gradates of this course will possess in-depth social scientific research skills and critical knowledge of contemporary geographic issues. Also, there is the opportunity to develop important public engagement skills, as well as to undertake placements and volunteer work in external institutions. The department has excellent links with a range of national and international charities, business and NGOs. These are actively used during the teaching of the course (via external speakers and field visits), and so students gain first hand experience and invaluable networks with this broad range of specialist institutions.
As such this is ideal preparation for careers in a wide-range of sectors including consultancy, government research, charities, intelligence, think tanks and private businesses.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £7,900
International students tuition fee per year**: £16,800
Other essential costs***: You should allow for up to £150 for travel and subsistence from campus to London for fieldwork and trips to organisations and societies.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the programme via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees see our terms and conditions.
Please note that for research programmes, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** 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.