MSc Global Development and Environment

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New programme for 2022

Faculty Faculty of Science
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Unit availability can only be confirmed on an annual basis, therefore any choices made by part-time students at the outset of the programme for their second year of study will be provisional.
Start date September 2022

Programme overview

More of the world's extreme poor now live in middle-income than in low-income countries, and processes such as climate change, transnational migration and globalisation demand a global consideration of the state of the planet. Development is now being seen as a global process and activity, rather than something reserved for a subset of countries such as the Third Worldor Global South. Contemporary global challenges demand the linking of environmental issues to conventional foci of development (like health, urbanisation, poverty, food security and migration). They also demand an understanding of how the world's resources (water, energy, land, minerals, demography, etc.) are allocated and managed, and how contestations over these distributions play out.

This programme is aimed at talented graduates seeking to develop or enhance their expertise in the fields of development and environment. You will develop the capacity to critically analyse the large-scale drivers of environmental consumption and stewardship, and how these interlink with and produce developmental outcomes.

You will gain a perspective that is at once global and interdisciplinary while also paying attention to locality (place) and people’s agency in forging a just and sustainable future.

This programme is unique in the UK context; no other UK university offers a programme explicitly linking global development with environmental topics. It builds upon Bristol’s existing research strengths in these fields, with links to the University's Cabot Institute, Perivoli Africa Research Centre, Elizabeth Blackwell Institute, Jean Golding Institute, and Bristol Poverty Institute.

Virtual open week

This programme was covered in our Geography: Environment, Policy and Climate webinar.

Watch on demand

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK : part-time (two years)
Overseas: full-time

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2022/23

Students from low- and middle-income Commonwealth countries may be eligible to apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme. Other opportunities for international students include the University of Bristol Think Big Postgraduate Scholarship, and the School of Geographical Sciences Phyllis Mary Morris Bursaries.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The programme is structured around two core units and two mandatory methods units. Students will also choose two optional units and complete a research dissertation.

The programme is structured around the core unit Global Development and Environment: History, Theory, Practice (GEOGM0044), with Sustainability, Risk and Resilience in the Urban Age (GEOGM0037) as the second mandatory core unit. Students will receive research training in the compulsory units Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography (GEOGM0041) and Practical Statistics for Use in Research and Policy (GEOGM0010).

Subject to availability, students will be able to choose two optional units dealing with topics ranging from postcolonial critique to environmental policy and politics. The GDE Studio unit will provide you with an opportunity to develop a range of practical skills by working in small teams to address real-world policy and practical challenges facing external clients including public agencies, private organisations and NGOs.

All units are worth 20 M/7 credit points, while the dissertation unit will earn 60 M/7 credit points.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc Global Development and Environment.

Entry requirements

Minimum of an upper second-class honours degree with a final average of 65% or above (or international equivalent) in social sciences or physical sciences, although candidates with a strong background in humanities will also be considered. Relevant professional experience or qualifications may also be considered as equivalent to the academic entry requirements given above and considered on a case-by-case basis.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement


Students completing this programme will be able to go on to work in government, the non-profit sector, multilateral organisations and private companies including development and environmental consultancies. The intensive research training will also prepare you for further postgraduate study.

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Find out how to apply

Expected application closure date

Overseas applicants: 29 July 2022.
Home applicants: 12 August 2022.
Places are limited and allocated on a continuous basis from October 2021 until all places are filled. Early applications are advised to avoid disappointment.

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Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

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Contact details

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email:

School website: School of Geographical Sciences

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2014 results

  • 20% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 45% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 30% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 5% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


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