Our Sustainable Cities MSc is very much driven by the problems that exist within city systems, and the problems that they each face. The course blends the core concepts of sustainability and urbanism with applied, problem-based learning.
Your core modules will focus on the very systems that need transforming to create a sustainable city, such as: energy systems, housing, mobility, urban ecosystems and food. Throughout the course you'll study just one module at a time, allowing you the space to think and properly focus as you go into depth on each topic.
You'll progress through a seven-module structure, completing one module at a time. You'll complete the learning, activities and assessment for each module before the next begins. This way your MSc allows you to focus on one subject at a time, building into the big picture of urban sustainability by the end of the degree.
You'll also undertake a research project, which is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Examples of project topics include:
Linking up energy and transport systems with a project on electric vehicles in the city.
Undertaking public ‘visioning’ exercises for major sustainability developments.
Creating a mixed low-carbon housing development, by analysing alternative ownership and construction approaches.
Creating fuel forests in the city, linking urban parks with biomass production.
Developing city and regional climate change strategies around key systems.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Sustainable Cities module descriptions for more detail on what you'll study.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Sustainable Cities MSc in the course catalogue
Cities and Sustainability
Research and Skills for Urban Sustainability
City Systems: Energy
City Systems: Sustainable Housing
City Systems: Mobility
City Systems: Urban Ecosystems
Research Project and Leadership for Sustainability
Learning and teaching
Our ground-breaking research feeds directly into teaching and you'll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings.
Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge. You'll also have opportunities to work with industry and professional contacts.
You'll be assigned a personal tutor, who will maintain contact with you throughout the year and offer pastoral guidance. They will help you to settle into the university and clarify any procedures, as well as helping you prepare for employment upon graduation.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
Active research environment
Our world-leading research informs the content of our Sustainable Cities MSc and gives you the opportunity to interact with academics who are at the forefront of major global issues.
You'll be taught by academics whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. This course draws on our expertise in a range of fields such as critical approaches to urban development , energy use and low carbon societies, self-repairing cities, transport issues, social justice, cities, citizenship and sustainable urban mobility planning.
The Programme Leader, Dr Stephen Hall, focuses much of his research inon the links between low carbon innovation, economics, energy, climate change and society. His work has been incorporated into national energy policy, used by the Infrastructure Commission, and adopted by the International Energy Agency.
The wider programme team is made up of academics and researchers from across the School of Earth and Environment, School of Geography and the Institute for Transport Studies.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
You'll be assessed using a range of techniques including essays, presentations, with further assessment of problem- based learning sets. The problems set will be drawn directly from real world challenges facing cities and are an excellent preparation for professional practise.
You'll have the opportunity to choose how to tackle assessments yourself; whether that be through the creation of a website, a presentation or more traditional methods.
Online taster courses
Our Environmental Challenges collection is a five-part series of free online courses, delivered via FutureLearn. Ideal for current undergraduate students or mid-career professionals considering a Masters degree, this series explores how environmental management policies are developed and the challenges surrounding their formulation.