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MSc Green Economy

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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time

This course is studied by distance learning.

The development of a green economy, or an economy that is environmentally sustainable, has become a political and socio-economic imperative. It is highly inter-disciplinary, drawing from ecology, geography, social science, psychology and technology – and, in keeping with the ethos of the course, is studied by distance learning. 

Key drivers include the need to reduce carbon emissions to minimise the risk of climate change, overexploitation of resources and widespread environmental degradation, which is eroding the natural capital on which human wellbeing depends. The transition to a green economy represents a substantial challenge to society, particularly in the current era of rapid environmental and socio-economic change.

This green economy course seeks to provide the scientific understanding on which the transition to a green economy can be based, including the principles of environmental sustainability and the societal responses required to implement these in practice.

This course is accredited by IEMA.  This means as a student on Green Economy you will simultaneously receive free student membership at IEMA. Once you graduate you will also become a GradIEMA professional membership.

Find out more about this course with Programme Leader, Dr Elena Cantarello on the MSc Green Economy webinar.

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

“As the Conservation Director for a national charity, having a good understanding of ecological principles is no longer enough. It is also essential that you have an understanding of what makes your country tick. This course option combines a good grounding in economic principles with the consideration of alternative ways of valuing growth and nature, and all from the comfort of your own home!”
​Andy Lester, Conservation Director, A Rocha UK

For September 2021 entry: in order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in industry to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses.

This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page in March 2021 to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.

Key information

Next start date:

January 2021, September 2021, January 2022, September 2022


Distance learning


1 year full-time, or 2 years part-time



Required subjects:

Geography, Ecology, Environmental Science, Economics, Politics, Psychology or Sociology

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree, 2:2 or equivalent in a required subject area and/or relevant comprehensive professional experience. Applicants without a required subject will be considered.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic)  with a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading. For more information see our full entry requirements.

Accredited by:

Course details

You can take the core units of this course separately as individual continuing professional development units (CPDs). You can find out more by following the links through to each of the units listed. 

Download the programme specification (pdf 906kb)

Placement opportunities

Your application

A strong background in scientific subjects is not an essential requirement for this course, and candidates with a broad range of first degrees will be considered, including arts and humanities as well as scientific subjects. A key requirement is a commitment to learn about and integrate perspectives from a range of disciplines, including both social and environmental sciences, and the characteristics of social-ecological systems.

Above all, candidates should be keen to consider the real-world challenges to achieving sustainable development, and to critically examine the various options for the future that have been proposed.

Entry requirements


Upon completion of this course you will enjoy a wide range of career opportunities, as an increasing number of organisations are taking an active interest in the green economy. Not only will this course equip you with subject expertise, but you will have a practical understanding of how to apply that knowledge to make a difference to businesses. This will give you extra marketability in the professional arena, providing you with a route into a successful and rewarding career.

Costs and fees

You can find full information about the deposits required and how to pay your fees in our postgraduate fees and funding section, including details of the Postgraduate Loan (subject to fee status).

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per annum. Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course.

Find out more about living expenses for postgraduate students

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that teaching staff can change.

What our students say

Brian Atkinson

The academics are very, very good. The material is interesting and well written.

Hear from our staff

Hear from our alumni

Lucy Harbour

On days when I wasn't working I studied from home. Distance learning suited me and I got better grades than I did when I was studying first time around.

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.