Sustainability MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)

Blended learning, Distance learning


Course duration:
Blended delivery*: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Distance learning: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Study options: UK students can study this course as blended learning (a mix of online and face-to-face teaching), or online only. International students can study online only.


See the world as a system, and explore the levers we have to create a kinder sustainable future. Engage with the subject alongside a cohort of like-minded individuals. Invest time in understanding your talents and how to use them as a catalyst for change. Use your newly gained knowledge and theories of change, to focus your assignments on sustainability challenges that matter to you, working alongside our experienced team of tutors.

This unique and immersive course is co-designed and co-delivered by the Eden Project, a world-renowned educational charity and eco-attraction, and the Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), an internationally prestigious research institute that pioneers interdisciplinary research to support transformations towards sustainable and just societies.

Full description


Our graduates take on a diverse range of career paths.

Some have used their prior experience and have returned to the business or sector they were familiar with utilising their new knowledge and skills to become disrupters of the status quo.

Others have used the masters to launch a new career, including within business, charities, government and education.

Others still have been inspired to start their own sustainable businesses or to embark on a PhD.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Sets the scene for the rest of the course. And addresses the questions; 'What is sustainability?', 'What are its components?' and 'Why is it so important?' The importance of a systems-based approach to addressing sustainability and its epistemology will be discussed and you will examine a range of current concepts and models of sustainability (including 'circular economy', 'five capitals', 'natural step', 'one planet living' etc.) and their usefulness in increasing our resilience to environmental, social and economic change.
  • In this module you will focus on the growing business case for sustainability and examine the role of leadership, purpose, innovation and culture to create an organisation which 'does business better'. You will examine The Eden Project itself as a social enterprise, to help you understand its characteristics, culture and ethos and you will assess the transferability of some of key principles to other organisations in Cornwall and internationally. You will also have the opportunity to develop your own plan for a social enterprise.
  • This module is closely linked with a 200 hour work placement where you will undertake practical and supported work-based learning. Your work placement will combine your knowledge and understanding of sustainability with the practicalities and compromises of an organisation, as well as your requirements for personal learning and development. You will gain an insight into the challenges and opportunities of learning and driving change and critically analyse your own strengths and weaknesses through a programme of reflective learning and feedback. During your placement you’ll also be developing a range of work-based skills, recognised as vital by employers.
  • Sustainability challenges are characterised by their complexity and uncertainty. They are often described as ‘wicked’ meaning they have no single or permanent solution. In this module you will be supported in developing methodologies, tools and techniques to address this complexity and uncertainty while creating practical ways to positively address these challenges. You’ll apply your new knowledge and skills to a specific sustainability ‘challenge’, assessing its various current and future factors and agents to create a practical proposal for positive change.
  • This module supports you in the preparation and submission of a Masters stage dissertation or project. The work is rated at 60 credits at Level M and involves 600 hours of student commitment. A short project proposal (usually a paragraph) is submitted to the module leader for approval earlier in the course to identify an appropriate academic supervisor for the project. Ethical approval is required before research starts. A stage 1 ethics application should be completed and if needed (for example, the research involves interviews) forms should be submitted to the School Research Ethics Panel for approval. Research should not commence until ethics approval has been given.


You’ll be assessed through reports, essays, presentations, outline plans and designs, and your dissertation.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our learning management system.

More about blended learning

Distance learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our online learning management system.

More about distance learning

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2022/23 (full-time, per year)


UK students starting 2022/23 (part-time, per year)


Distance learning students 2022/23 (UK and international, total cost for full-time study)


Distance learning students 2022/23 (UK and international, part-time per year)


UK students starting 2023/24 (full-time, per year)


UK students starting 2023/24 (part-time, per year)


Distance learning students starting 2023/24 (full-time, total cost)


Distance learning students starting 2023/24 (part-time, per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. These include an Alumni Scholarship, worth 20% off fees for ARU graduates.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting a course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Teaching at ARU

We offer face-to-face campus teaching (with the exception of Distance Learning courses), supported by our established online learning systems, which provide additional support for individual study and engagement. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information.

In the event that there are restrictions that are put into place due to the pandemic by the government - we will endeavour to retain face to face teaching as much as possible but will respond accordingly to the restrictions placed on the University.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Check the standard entry requirements for IELTS requirements for this course.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 686868

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 683680

Enquire online