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MSc Environmental Sustainability Education and Communication

Lead, educate and communicate on the most important environmental issues of our times.

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Effective education and communication are crucial in addressing contemporary environmental challenges including the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity.

Environmental Sustainability Education and Communication (MSc) is an exciting collaboration between our Departments of Education and Environment and Geography and will equip you with the skills to lead change in your future career. You’ll develop participatory, inclusive and creative approaches to formal and non-formal education, and critically reflect on how these approaches can contribute to social and environmental justice, and to environmental care and repair.

Our course will empower you to take action, lead change and negotiate difference in constructive ways, drawing on approaches from philosophical dialogue to problem-based learning.


This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences.

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Postgraduate study with the Department of Environment and Geography

Course content

Our programme is an offer from Environmental Sustainability at York, a collaboration between research, teaching, policy, and our campus operations; spanning disciplines across the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences – and involving partners locally, nationally and globally.

You'll take core modules and choose one option module from an interdisciplinary range between the Departments of Education and Environment and Geography. In the summer, you'll write a dissertation focusing on environmental sustainability education or communication.


Core modules

Option modules

You will also study one option module. Examples may include:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.


You will complete an 12,000-word dissertation as part of this MSc. Your dissertation will focus on environmental sustainability education or communication.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic and critical understanding of the role of education and communication in addressing environmental problems, and a global and multidisciplinary view of solutions and actions
  • Critically reflect on the use of education and communication to interrogate values, include stakeholders, elicit different perspectives, and work across difference on environmental issues
  • Ask questions and use a comprehensive understanding of research techniques in environmental education and communication
  • Create and communicate meaningful and equitable solutions to complex, real-world educational scenarios to promote environmental sustainability - using a variety of means - in a highly credible, independent, and trusted way
  • Work independently and in teams to educate and communicate in formal and non-formal settings, using reliable and trustworthy sources of information and evidence to inform thinking
  • Take a whole systems approach to environmental sustainability education and imagine alternative educational futures
  • Use initiative and imagination to make decisions and take responsibility for informed individual, social and political action
  • Make a positive contribution by assessing the environmental impact of education and communication actions, set targets for improvement and understand the implications of change.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £10,590£23,900

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Working together

Our staff collaborate with a broad range of private and public organisations including UNEP, DEFRA, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Overseas Development Institute and Willis Global Insurance Broker

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, capabilities, opportunities, and support you need for growth and leadership in environmental sustainability education and communication.

Teaching format

You will be taught through a combination of formal lectures, seminars, practical exercises and scenarios, workshops and online learning.

You'll spend time working on your own, reading assigned texts and researching supporting materials, as well as working with others to research, discuss and present your ideas.

There will also be opportunities to attend seminars from visiting scholars on a wide variety of educational topics.

Teaching location

This programme is an offer from Environmental Sustainability at York.  You will be based in the Department of Education and the Department of Environment and Geography on Campus West. Teaching for this course takes place at various locations on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Types of assessments used throughout this course include:

  • an original written dissertation
  • written policy brief
  • oral presentations
  • facilitation of discussion
  • poster presentations

Careers and skills

This course is suitable if you are aiming for a sustainability related role in the for-profit or not-for-profit sectors and education settings. The range of opportunities for developing a career in this area of practice is growing.

Career opportunities

  • Sustainability Manager
  • Communications Officer
  • ESG Project Manager
  • Environmental Compliance Officer

Transferable skills

  • Team leadership and team working
  • Policy drafting skills
  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Time management and organisation
  • Confident presentation skills

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree .2.1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in any subject or equivalent professional experience.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, minimum 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
KITE 459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Naomi Holmes

Learn more

Department of Education, Department of Environment and Geography

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