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Frequently Asked Questions

MASc in Global Sustainable Development

About the degree

Our next intake for the MASc in Global Sustainable Development will be on Monday 25 September 2023. If you are an Overseas student who needs a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)Link opens in a new window, there is a standard application deadline of 31 July. If you are a Home student, the application deadline is more flexible. If you are considering applying for a scholarship, please take into account the scholarship application deadline.

We have 22 MASc students in our current cohort, and class sizes for modules hosted in the GSD DepartmentLink opens in a new window range from 5-25 students.

A MASc degree is a Master of Arts and Science. 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, the MASc degree is offered as a full-time (one year) course only.

We are currently in the process of developing a distance learning Postgraduate Certificate and planning a distance learning version of the MASc degree which we hope to launch in the future.

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’ section on our MASc course page for more information.

Hear from some of our MASc graduates.


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 this course.

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 for an online application, 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 University’s Application FAQs.

  • 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.

  • If you are considering applying for a scholarship, please take into account the scholarship application deadline.

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

In particular, you may be interested in the following funding opportunities:

MASc Bursaries in Global Sustainable Development

The School for Cross-faculty Studies is pleased to announce its Global Sustainable Development Bursaries for postgraduate taught students. Four bursaries are available for students commencing MASc study in autumn 2022. There will be two bursaries in each of the following categories:

  • £2,000 awards for Home fee candidates.
  • £5,000 awards for EU/Overseas fee candidates.

Find out more about the MASc bursaries and how to apply. Applications are open until Monday 25 April 2022.

Warwick Alumni Discount Scheme

For 2023 entry, the University of Warwick is offering a 10% tuition fee discount for graduates of Warwick accepted onto selected full-time and part-time postgraduate masters level courses (this includes our MASc degree). Find out more about the Alumni Discount Scheme.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarships

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are intended for students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to afford to undertake Master’s level study in the UK, to gain skills and knowledge which will allow them to contribute to the development of their home countries.

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 and 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 module options you would like to take and the capstone project, and how this all ties together. Please see the 'Entry requirements' section on our MASc course page for more information regarding the Statement of Interest.

For more information on making an application please see here. 

Our MASc degree is interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary and so there are no specific subject requirements. We encourage applications from students with diverse backgrounds, from the Sciences, Social Sciences and the Humanities.

We will support you with quantitative work if you do not already have experience of this. In Term 1, the methods module (Creating Knowledge for Change: Foundations of Transdisciplinary Research) will teach both quantitative and qualitative techniques.

In Term 2 you could choose the optional core module, Quantitative Approaches to Sustainable Development. This may be something to consider if you would like to develop your quantitative skills. The module will be taught by staff who are very experienced in quantitative approaches, in an applied way and you will focus on learning quantitative approaches in 'real-world' contexts.


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.

You will be required to select your capstone project option when you join us: either the Research Project, the Practice-based Project, or the Workplace Project. Please note, you do have the option to change this, but it must be done by mid-January. We will meet with you during Term 1 to discuss which capstone project you would like to undertake, and we will support you when making this decision.

It will help if you have an idea of which capstone project you’d like to do before you join us. We hope that by the end of Term 1, you will know which 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.

  • Research Project: You will create a dissertation, policy briefing, or article output, guided by specialist academic supervision. The Research Project would be a suitable choice if you are interested in a career in research, either in academic or applied spheres.
  • Practice-based Project: You will engage across campus or beyond with Warwick’s pioneering sustainability agenda, or other organisations’ sustainability aspirations and plans. The Practice-based Project would be a suitable choice if you are interested in a career in consultancy and project-based work.
  • Workplace Project: You will think through issues of personal and institutional change-making and transition, using an agreed work placement with an outside organisation. The Workplace Project would be a suitable choice if you are interested in getting practical experience working with a professional organisation that considers sustainability as part of their business agenda and promoting meaningful and positive change in industry. Note that the work placement needs to be self-sourced with the support of our Employability and Placement Manager.

Discover some of the exciting capstone projects led by our first cohort of MASc students.

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 (two 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. If you are undertaking the Workplace Project or the Practice-based Project, you will typically spend 12 weeks working on your project.

There will also be plenty of opportunities beyond your scheduled contact hours to engage in events and develop your skills, both within the School for Cross-faculty Studies and across the University.

As of January 2022, UK government guidance is that universities should continue to provide face-to-face teaching delivery. Therefore, our MASc degree is currently being taught in person, on campus.

However, as the situation with COVID is fluid, our method of delivery for teaching may change in the future, in line with University policy and government guidance.

Please see the University's Coronavirus Guidelines for Students.

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 have a postgraduate Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) which communicates student views to the wider department. Our SSLC is made up of elected student representatives and members of staff. Through this committee, our student representatives are able to have their say on the MASc degree and the department.

This programme was in development for two years before launch and has gone through high-level scrutiny panels. 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 taught 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 general interest, or as preliminary studies in preparation for a PhD.

The MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development takes up to four years full-time or up to seven years part-time, and is a higher level research degree. Typically, you will need to complete a Masters level course to enter a MPhil/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 (MPhil). 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 staff 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 you, 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. 

For the academic year 2022-23 onwards, PhD students will study 20 CATs of research methods or other postgraduate taught (PGT) modules. 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.

There are several monitoring and progress review milestones in place for us to support your progression. You will be expected to have a minimum of one supervision meeting every month. Your major review milestones will take place annually. Your first Annual Review will be your MPhil to PhD Upgrade Interview, which will allow us to assess your suitability for PhD research. Between Annual Reviews, with your supervisors you will complete a Mid-year Report.

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. Our supervisors in the School for Cross-faculty Studies are familiar with this kind of approach to 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.

Our PhD is also offered as a part-time programme over a maximum of seven years so that it can be combined with work. Some of our current MPhil/PhD students are teaching on modules in the School for Cross-faculty Studies as Graduate Teaching Assistant (this work is paid).

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

In particular, you may be interested in the following funding opportunities:

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 2023/24 entry there will be up to 42 Chancellor's International Scholarships available to be awarded to the most outstanding PhD applicants assessed as Overseas Fees. 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).

If you are considering applying for a scholarship, please take the scholarship deadline into account.

Leverhulme - TRANSFORM programme

The next call for applications will open in early 2023.

Leverhulme prioritises support for scholarships to Home students, but we will offer one matched scholarship open to Overseas students.

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. Find out more about the TRANSFORM application process. 

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 our postgraduate programmes.

For the Leverhulme-TRANSFORM Doctoral Scholarships Programme, we have a part-time Administrator to oversee the programme.

Our Director of Graduate Taught Programmes, Deputy Director of Graduate Studies (Taught) and Director of Graduate Studies (Research) 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.

We encourage you to take a look at the 'Getting ready for your studies' section of our Offer Holders 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

Please get in touch with us to organise a one-to-one chat:

To find out about postgraduate Open Days at Warwick please see here. In between our Open Day events, we also offer online live chats. To hear directly about when our next events are taking place, please sign up for updates.