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Frequently Asked Questions

MASc in Global Sustainable Development

About the degree

Our first intake for the MASc in Global Sustainable Development will be in September 2021. If you are an Overseas student who needs a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), there is a standard application deadline of 31 July. If you are a Home student, the application deadline is more flexible.

We are hoping that the cohort for September 2021 entry will be 10-20 students. Our maximum class sizes will be 25 for modules hosted in GSD (i.e. not optional modules in other departments).

A MASc degree is a Master of Arts and Science. We are currently one of only two institutions in the UK to offer this award. This award reflects that we will provide you with the opportunity to take multiple approaches across the Arts, Humanities, the Social Sciences, and the Natural Sciences.

Currently, our MASc degree is offered as a full-time (one year) course only.

We are looking to attract students with an openness to new approaches and a willingness to work out what the questions are, as well as potential solutions. We encourage applications from students with diverse backgrounds, from the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Please see the ‘Entry Requirements’ drop-down on our course page for more information.

We are currently in the process of developing a distance learning version of the MASc degree which we plan to launch in September 2022.


Tuition fees for the MASc in Global Sustainable Development are the standard Warwick postgraduate taught fees. Please see the University’s Postgraduate Taught Fees page for Home and Overseas fees for the MASc in Global Sustainable Development.

If you would like to find out about when to pay for the course, please see here.

There is a standard application fee of £60, charged by the central University. In certain circumstances, the University may agree to waive the application assessment fee. For example, you can request a waiver if you are:

  • Applying for a scholarship and your funding body will not pay the fee
  • Applying for a Government Student Loan or other forms of funding
  • Sponsored, for example, by a funding body or employer and they will not pay the fee
  • Experiencing financial hardship

If you are eligible to request a waiver, you will be able to do so when submitting your application. For more information about the application fee, please see the Application FAQs.

For Autumn entry:

  • If you are an Overseas student who needs a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), there is a standard application deadline of 31 July.
  • If you are a Home student, the application deadline is more flexible.

For up-to-date information on funding and scholarships for Home, EU and Overseas students please visit Warwick's Fees and Funding webpage.

MASc bursaries

The School for Cross-faculty Studies has been able to offer four bursaries for students commencing MASc study in Autumn 2021. The application deadline for these bursaries has now passed. We hope to offer further bursaries in future years.

Alumni discount

If you are a graduate of the University of Warwick and are of Home or Overseas fee status, you will be able to access a 10% tuition fee discount on this course.

As part of the application process for the MASc in Global Sustainable Development, you will be required to submit a Statement of Interest in response to the guidance we provide. Your Statement of Interest should be submitted as a supporting document. You are not required to submit a separate personal statement.

The focus of your Statement of Interest is up to you. You may wish to think about which options you would like to take and the capstone project, and how this all ties together.

Find out more about how to apply here.

Our MASc degree is interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary and so doesn’t require a Science background. In Term 1, the methods module (Creating Knowledge for Change: Transdisciplinary Approaches) will teach both quantitative and qualitative techniques.

Modules and capstone projects

Please visit our modules page to find out more about the core modules, optional core modules, optional modules and capstone projects.

Yes. In Term 1 one of the core modules is a mixed-methods module, which incorporates both qualitative and quantitative research methods, in an applied way.

In Term 2 you could choose the optional core module, Quantitative Approaches to Sustainable Development. This would be a good idea if you're lacking experience in that area. The module will be taught by staff who are very experienced in quantitative approaches, in an applied way. You will focus on learning quantitative approaches in 'real-world' contexts.

You will be required to select your capstone project option when you join us. Please note, you do have the option to change this, but it must be done by mid-January.

It will help if you have an idea of which capstone project you’d like to undertake before you join us. We hope that by the end of Term 1, you will know which capstone project option works best for you. If you are looking to interact with an external organisation during your capstone project, an early conversation with our Employability and Placement Manager would be advisable too.

Through our dedicated Employability and Placement Manager, the GSD Department has links with employers across the private, public, and third sectors. Students on our undergraduate degrees have undertaken diverse roles during their work placements such as Marketing Assistant, Sustainability Officer, Intelligence Analyst, Researcher, and many more.

Teaching and learning

In Term 1 there will be approximately 10 contact hours per week, involving a mix of lectures (including guest speakers), seminars, and practical classes.

Contact hours in Term 2 will depend upon your choices of optional core and optional modules. All optional core modules will be held weekly (2 hours per week). Most of your optional modules will have classes each week, however, occasionally they are taught in intensive blocks of one week, depending upon which options you choose.

From the Easter break onwards, contact hours will be much more flexible.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for our undergraduate programmes we’ve developed a blended learning approach, combining face-to-face learning (where possible) with online learning. Our blended learning model allows for us to change our approach in line with government guidelines, and we will continue to use this model when delivering the MASc degree.

The most likely changes that could happen will be regarding methods of delivery, as opposed to broad themes or content. We react strongly to student feedback. If something isn’t working, we’ll do our best to sort things out swiftly, with minimal impact. We will have a postgraduate Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) which will communicate student views to the wider department.

This programme has been in development for two years and has gone through high-level scrutiny panels. We’re confident that the programme structure won’t change mid-course. If we were to make changes, it would be for the following academic year.

PhD in Global Sustainable Development

The MASc in Global Sustainable Development is a Masters level programme. It is intended for students who would like to undertake a one year period of study. This could be for professional development, as a conversion course or interest, or as preliminary studies in preparation for a PhD.

The MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development is a 3-4 year programme, intended as a higher level research degree. Typically, you will need to complete a Masters level course to enter a PhD programme. We do also consider applicants with other forms of experience.

The MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development is listed as MPhil/PhD because students are initially enrolled onto the Masters of Philosophy. Those who meet the criteria for PhD level are then upgraded to PhD studies. The MPhil is classed as a research degree too, but at a lower level to PhD.

Please visit our PhD supervisors page to identify people with your range of interests. Once you have identified an appropriate supervisor, please initiate a dialogue to discuss whether your proposal falls within their area of expertise and if they have the capacity to supervise you.

In order to consider supervising they will need a brief outline of your research proposal, a copy of your CV and any relevant transcripts, so please ensure these are sent directly to them. Once supervision is agreed, your application should name the lead supervisor.

Find out more about how to apply here.

You will undertake one core module in the first year, Global Challenges and Transdisciplinary Responses. You will also agree a personal and professional development plan to complement your research and develop your research and professional skills. The rest of your time will be spent undertaking your research supported by supervision sessions with your supervisors.

You will have two or three supervisors who will be expected to support different aspects and approaches within your research project.

We will create bespoke arrangements for each PhD student, with supervisors contributing different amounts of time depending on what is needed. All our staff in the School for Cross-faculty Studies are familiar with this kind of research and are used to respecting and understanding the challenges involved in supervisors working together on interdisciplinary projects.

We will also develop a strong supervisory network, where we engage reflexively on our own positionality and how we support PhD students.

If you are hoping to undertake a PhD, we will take a rounded look at your preparation for a research degree, which in some cases may include extensive related work experience.

Our PhD is also offered as a part-time programme over a maximum of seven years so that it can be combined with work.

Please visit the Doctoral College’s Scholarship and Funding Opportunities page.

Leverhulme- TRANSFORM Doctoral Scholarship Programme

If your research links to one of the following topics, you may be interested in applying for the School for Cross-faculty Studies' Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Programme, TRANSFORM:

  • Climate resilience and socio-environmental justice
  • Sustainable urbanisation, health and wellbeing
  • Sustainable economies and the food-water-energy nexus

Chancellor's International Scholarship.

For 2022/23 entry there will be up to 42 Chancellor's International Scholarships available to be awarded to the most outstanding International and EU PhD applicants. Find out more and apply.

The deadline for PhDs is generally two months prior to the start date. There is flexibility: a PhD at Warwick can start on the first day of the month. Our preference is for your PhD to start on the first day of the university term – Autumn (October), Spring (January) or Summer (April/May).

Leverhulme - TRANSFORM programme

Our call for the Leverhulme TRANSFORM PhD programme is now open. Deadline: 12 pm (GMT) on Monday 7 March 2022.

Leverhulme prioritises support for scholarships to Home and EU students, but we will offer a matched scholarship open to overseas students. Leverhulme will occasionally support outstanding overseas students where Warwick is able to offer a fee waiver between home and overseas tuition fees.

We will have a mix of proposed projects. Equally, candidates can come up with their own project as long as it falls within the Leverhulme remit.

Please see here to view more FAQs about the Leverhulme - TRANSFORM programme.


We have a full-time Postgraduate Programmes' Manager and a part-time Postgraduate Coordinator to support all administrative and practical elements of the programme. For the Leverhulme-TRANSFORM programme, we will appoint a part-time Administrator to oversee the programme. Our Directors of PGT and PGR and Deputy Director of PGT will also support you along with our personal tutors and Senior Tutor who oversees pastoral support for the School.

Offer holders

Indicative reading lists are available for each individual module - please see our Modules page.

In addition, you may be interested in looking at the GSD bookshelf and publications by staff in the School for Cross-faculty Studies.

Contacting us

We are keen to speak directly to you if you are considering applying. Please get in touch with us to organise a one-to-one chat: PGGSD at warwick dot ac dot uk.