With a rising human population, resource depletion and the current climate change and environment emergency, the need for a complex understanding of sustainability has never been more pressing.
Through interdisciplinary perspectives, you'll develop the skills and confidence to improve our understanding of the world around us, and work towards developing sustainable solutions to today’s environmental and social problems, drawing on ecology, bio- and geo-science to understand earth-system processes, and the social sciences and humanities to understand societal impacts.
With a range of module options, you can explore your interests and develop your career ambitions. Building your skills in the collation, analysis, synthesis and presentation of interdisciplinary data, you'll be well placed for a range of jobs or research paths.
Working within an exciting collaboration between our Departments of Archaeology, and Environment and Geography, you'll gain a fascinating insight into the sustainability of processes that take place over a few years to many thousands of years. Thinking across disciplines to address issues of current and future sustainability is both stimulating and challenging, requiring expertise from a range of subject areas. Our staff and students work together to create interdisciplinary teams, and our wide range of module options and guided independent research opportunities allow you to tailor your studies to your interests and career ambitions.
Our superb £12.5m Environment and Geography building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatre and seminar rooms, and features a spectacular living wall
Throughout the year, academic and industry speakers are invited to talk about current and policy-relevant areas of environmental and heritage research
You will study 180 credits across the duration of your course:
For the MSc in Sustainability Science you’ll take the Research Skills and Statistical Methods module, and either the MSc Dissertation module or the MSc Dissertation with Placement module from the Department of Environment and Geography. You will also undertake a 60-credit dissertation.
For the MA in Sustainability Studies you will undertake an 80-credit dissertation.
You'll then customise your programme by choosing option modules taught in both the Department of Archaeology and the Department of Environment and Geography; these will help you to focus on a particular period, region or specialist area:
You'll also have the opportunity to choose options from our full module catalogue. Examples may include:
Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
You will have regular meetings with your supervisor who is there to offer support, guidance and encouragement throughout the dissertation writing process.
Examples of previous dissertations include:
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.
Demonstrate a systematic and in-depth understanding of the concept of sustainability and related terms such as resilience and degradation, and of the ways in which these can be assessed, quantified and valued, with a particular focus on the application of scientific techniques [Knowledgeable].
Engage critically with current debates and advanced scholarship regarding sustainability in order to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of opposing arguments, including through appropriate statistical techniques, recognising that competing interest groups may prioritise the sustainability of different factors [Critical thinker].
Combine data and methods from a range of academic disciplines, while acknowledging that different specialist techniques produce data at different spatial and temporal scales and with differing levels of precision and certainty [Interdisciplinary thinker].
Identify trade-offs relevant to issues of sustainability, ascertain existing knowledge gaps, and design experiments of syntheses to fill these gaps, demonstrating how the research design will help address the identified problems [Problem solver and creator of new perspectives].
Undertake analyses of a discrete quantitative or qualitative dataset using appropriate techniques, demonstrating what role the resulting conclusions play within questions of sustainability [Analytical].
Synthesise research findings and key scholarly debates, and communicate data, methods, conclusions and recommendations through a variety of oral, written, statistical, visual and digital media to academic, public, professional and policy-making audiences, demonstrating an ability to adapt to the respective needs of these audiences [Effective communicator].
|International and EU
|Full-time (1 year)
|Part-time (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
|Part-time (3 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.
Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study.
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.
We don't anticipate there being any additional fees associated with this course. All books and resources you need will be available in the library or online, and it isn't mandatory that you buy your own copies. You may wish to set aside a small budget for photocopying, depending on how you like to work.
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.
The Department of Archaeology usually offers a £1,000 discount to students coming through from its undergraduate BA/BSc programmes in the current year. This is in addition to the University Masters fee discount scheme.
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.
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, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.
You'll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and field trips.
Run jointly between the Department of Environment and Geography and the Department of Archaeology, you'll have access to a range of facilities including our state-of-the-art Environment Building on Campus West, and the beautiful and historic King’s Manor in the heart of York. The location of your teaching will depend on your chosen option modules.
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.
Types of assessment in this course include:
Our staff collaborate with a broad range of private and public organisations including UNEP, DEFRA, Forestry Commission, Natural England, English Heritage, and the Overseas Development Institute
In addition to our state-of-the-art Environment and Geography building, you may also have the opportunity to study in the beautiful, medieval King's Manor, the home of our Department of Archaeology, in the heart of the historic city of York
Informality is one of our distinctive qualities - the atmosphere in our departments is friendly, supportive and enthusiastic. We want you to develop your potential and thrive at York
Through the development of skills in the collation, analysis, synthesis and presentation of interdisciplinary data, and an ability to work as part of a team, you'll graduate well-placed for a range of career paths, including progression to a PhD and research careers.
|2:1 or equivalent in a relevant subject such as Archaeology, Anthropology, Biology, Conservation, Ecology, Geography or related fields.
|Other qualifications and experience
|If you don’t have conventional qualifications, but do have appropriate, relevant experience, you are encouraged to apply. We carefully consider each application on its merits.
|Other international qualifications
|Equivalent qualifications from your country
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS (Academic and Indicator)
|6.5, minimum 6.5 in Writing and 6.0 in all other components
|B2 First: 176, with a minimum of 176 in Writing and no less than 169 in all other components
|7, minimum of 7 in writing and no less than 6 in all other components
|120, minimum 120 in production and 105 in all other components
|B2 with 33/50 in each component
|70 with a minimum of 70 in Writing and no less than 65 in all other components
|459-494, with 459-494 in writing and 426-458 in all other components
|Skills for English
|B2: Merit overall, with Merit in writing and Pass with Merit in all other components
|61, minimum 61 in Writing and 55 in all other components
|87, minimum 23 in Writing and 21 in all other components
|Trinity ISE III
|Merit in all components
For more information see our postgraduate 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.
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