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Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy (MSc)

1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

The course aims to help green-minded individuals from a wide range of backgrounds to pursue an environmental career, enhance the skills of those working in the sector, and help prospective planners to understand more deeply the environmental implications and potential of planning work.

Special Features

Course Description

The MSc Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy is specifically aimed at those people wishing to gain expertise on contemporary sustainability issues. Students gain insights into the ways in which problems are defined, and the scope for applying cutting-edge policy and planning solutions to the environmental challenges faced by government, business and regulatory bodies.

The course links together theoretical debates about sustainability at different spatial scales with the practical dimensions of policy formulation and implementation. The planning system is given particular attention because it provides one of the most sophisticated mechanisms for regulating environmental change. A further core feature of the course is the focus on the latest social science research around environmental problems.

The course modules address three key dimensions:

Course Structure

The course is divided into two parts:

Available Modules

The following list relates to the modules for the academic year 2015/16. Please note that these may be subject to change.

Core Modules

Optional Modules

For further details and up-to-date information on the course and modules, please see the course listing on the School's website.

Skills Acquired

Students will acquire a range of skills in the analysis and critical appraisal of policy, in the construction and presentation of written arguments, and in the oral presentation of their work. Students will also be introduced to relevant professional skills in the environmental assessment of projects and policies. Throughout the course, students will acquire skills in a range of environmental research methodologies.

Careers Prospects

The course offers the knowledge and expertise for developing a research career or taking advantage of the increasing professionalisation of environmental jobs in the private and public sectors, including: government departments and environmental agencies; the business sector; consultancy, and environmental pressure groups.

Our Alumni collectively represent the variety of potential careers and jobs that our current (and future) students may embark on.

Alumni Testimonials

Profiles of alumni from the School of Geography and Planning can be read on the School's website.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. This MSc is suitable for graduates in subjects such as geography, sociology, politics or economics, and/or those with appropriate professional qualifications in planning. Applicants with a background in other subjects, and relevant work-based experience, will also be considered.

A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.

Students will be expected to demonstrate an interest in the field, and some familiarity with contemporary environmental policy and planning issues.

Study Visits

A number of field study visits may be arranged during the course. The School does partly subsidise these trips but students should allow for travelling and subsistence expenses.


Cardiff School of Geography and Planning is able to offer a reduction in tuition fees of £500 (or £250 reduction in each year of a part-time course) to all Cardiff University alumni.

For other funding opportunities available through the School, please visit their Tuition Fees and Funding webpage.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £6,750 £16,000
Part-time £3,375 £8,000
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Richard Cowell  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6684 

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4845 


School Website:

More information


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