Study Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions MSc at UCL

  • London, All EnglandLondon, All England


Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions MSc

In the face of global environmental challenges, societies, businesses and policymakers alike need to rethink how we can use our natural resources sustainably. UCL’s Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions MSc investigates the circular economy, resource efficiency and sustainable resource management. You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to drive change and become the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

Dramatically rising and unsustainable resource use is one of the key challenges of the 21st century, with potential negative consequences such as ecosystem collapses, resource scarcities and political instability. The Sustainable Resources MSc will give you the tools to work towards more efficient, circular, equitable and sustainable resource use.

Our curriculum reflects the global, multi-dimensional nature of understanding resources. You will gain in-depth knowledge on the environmental, social and economic aspects of resource management and governance from both public policy and business perspectives learning from leading experts in the field.

You will study a combination of innovative approaches about the sustainable management of resources, including:

  • Resource efficiency
  • Circular economy
  • The resource nexus
  • Sustainable supply chain management

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Who this course is for

You should have a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in a comparatively quantitative subject (for example economics, engineering, natural sciences physical sciences, geography). Alternatively, you may have non-quantitative background such as law, business studies or other related subjects. If so, you will need to demonstrate an aptitude for quantitative methods and be prepared to work on this prior to the start of the programme. Some advance reading will be provided.

The foundation of your career

Our alumni work in a broad range of sustainability-related career roles; some examples include ESG Consultant, Strategy Consultant, EV Consultant, Research Analyst, Innovation Officer, Environmental Economist, Environmental Scientist, Specialist in Environmental Law, Business Development Lead, and Policy & Public Affairs Officer.

Notable organisations where our graduates work include Apple, PwC, SMBC, Deloitte, Veolia, Natural Capital, The Carbon Trust, Shell, and Oxford City Council. Some of our graduates also go on to pursue further study and PhD research, for example in the areas of circular economy or critical minerals, using the academic networks from the MSc course.

Alumni views

The Sustainable Resources MSc was helpful in developing a systems thinking approach to different sustainability challenges, a crucial skill for any professional in the field to find impactful solutions to the complex and interconnected reality of climate change.”  Gregorio Giorgi, Sustainable Resources: Economics Policy and Transitions MSc Alumnus, Associate at the Carbon Trust


On graduation you should possess a sound understanding of the key challenges surrounding sustainable resource use, supply and demand drivers and future strategies for global resource management.

You should be knowledgeable about a range of methods, models and concepts including the Resource Nexus, material flow analysis, life cycle analysis, footprints, macro-economics, policy mixes, foresight and scenario techniques and – depending on the choice of optional modules – water-energy-food modelling and behavioural economics.

You will also develop key skills valuable for future employment, including communication skills, teamwork, breaking down complex problems, decision-making under uncertainty, intercultural communication, working in interdisciplinary environments and awareness of the business context.

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