Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions MSc

London, Bloomsbury

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. Students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to drive change and become the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
1 academic year
2 academic years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications closed


Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in an appropriate subject (earth science, economics, political sciences, geography, physical sciences, law, engineering or related subject).

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

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. 

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

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

What this course will give you

You will study important aspects of sustainability such as resource efficiency, renewable energy but also non-renewable fuels, societal transitions (particularly in the Global South), international relations and international political economy, and eco-innovation. Discussions on environmental justice and ethics recur throughout.

All these aspects form the basis for a systemic approach to the complex elements that shape resource consumption and patterns of use. You will also gain an understanding of planetary boundaries, the role of people and governments and new approaches such as the resource nexus and the Circular Economy.

We offer a novel interdisciplinary understanding of resources with contributions spanning economics, political science, engineering, natural sciences, business studies, and sociology.

The programme also offers excellent opportunities for networking with key figures of academia, government and industry. The residential field trip offers a valuable experience and interesting visits to companies and a unique opportunity to strengthen student-staff interaction. Regular seminars are held across UCL including monthly lecture put on by the Institute for Sustainable Resources.

Students become members of the Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions MSc alumni network and will be invited to attend alumni events and benefit from additional networking opportunities with fellow students.

As you student benefit from:

  • A world leading, multidisciplinary learning environment
  • A residential field trip and site visits that give a valuable experience of your studies in practice
  • Our long-standing established relationships with industry, policy makers and academia
  • Extra-curricular seminars and events with key thinkers in the field
  • Our extensive alumni network, now within many significant organisations across the globe, who attend networking events in our Institute
  • Studying in London - a city full of culture, at the heart of the UK's government and industry
  • An inclusive environment that promotes global citizenship, and an ethos of equality and diversity

The foundation of your career

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, econometrics, macro-economics, policy mixes, water-energy-food modelling, behavioural economics, foresight and scenario techniques.

You will 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.


This Master's equips you for challenging, rewarding and socially beneficial employment in a wide range of sectors concerned with economy-resource-environment interactions. This includes business, national and local government, NGOs and global organisations. We hold a careers event where you will hear from a variety of organisations, showing the breadth of opportunities available.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, project group work and presentations from visiting speakers. Hands-on workshops will provide opportunities for practical development and the implementation of programme content. Assessment is through examination, assessed coursework, group work and a dissertation.

In terms 1 and 2 full time students can typically expect between 8 and 15 contact hours per teaching week. The remainder of the 37.5 full time hours should be dedicated towards self-directed study. In term 3 students should be in regular contact with their dissertation supervisors and otherwise work independently on their dissertations.


Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time.

They take four core modules in term 1, followed by one core module and three optional modules in term 2. The dissertation module runs across terms 1 and 2. In term 3 students work on their dissertation.

Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time. Flexible students normally attend half this amount.

Flexible students can spread out their studies over two to five years.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions.


A residential field trip and visits to companies offer valuable first-hand experience of some of the issues surrounding sustainable resources and circular economy. There will be no additional costs to students for this trip.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Applying to The Bartlett Promise UK Master's Scholarship

Presentation and Q&A about the Bartlett Promise UK Master’s Scholarship.

Online - Open day

Applying to The Bartlett Promise Sub Saharan Africa Master's Scholarship

Presentation and Q&A about the Bartlett Promise Sub Saharan Africa Master’s Scholarship.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500 £8,250
Tuition fees (2022/23) £29,400 £14,700

Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please get in touch with the programme administration team by e-mailing

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Additional funding available from our Faculty is advertised on The Bartlett's scholarships page.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Applications Open: 1 March 2022. Deadline: 31 May 2022
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 18 April 2022
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Brown Family Bursary

Now Closed for 2022/23
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Ecclesiastical Insurance Bursary

Deadline: 13 May 2022
Value: Up to £24,150 (to cover the cost of fees and a stipend) (1yr)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we access your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions at graduate level
  • why you want to study Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.