UCL Graduate degrees


Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions MSc

The sustainable extraction, supply, use and disposal/re-use of natural resources is increasingly critical to business, policymakers and civil society around the world. In this degree you will investigate the circular economy, resource efficiency and sustainable resource management. You will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to become a leader in this field.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: 2-5 years

Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time. Typically, lectures and seminars occur on two days per week. Flexible mode students normally attend half this amount.

Application dates

Full-time applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 28 August 2020
Close: 28 August 2020

Tuition fees (2020/21)

£13,390 (FT)
£25,900 (FT)

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

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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).

English language requirements

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: Standard

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

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

The MSc programme's curriculum fully reflects the global and multi-dimensional nature of the subject of resources. As a student you will gain in-depth expertise of the environmental, social and economic aspects of the management and governance of resources from both public policy and business perspectives. The programme proposes a combination of innovative approaches to the sustainable management of resources, which includes key concepts such as resource efficiency and the Circular Economy, the resource nexus and sustainable supply chain management.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation project (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy and Transitions.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Sustainable Resources: Challenges and Principles (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Resource Economics and Policy (15 credits)
  • Policies for Sustainable Resources (15 credits)
  • Tools for Assessing Sustainable Resources (15 credits)
  • Future Resource Pathways and Visions (15 credits)
  • MSc Sustainable Resources Dissertation Project (60 credits)

Optional modules

  • Climate Change Impacts to Hydo-Ecological Systems (15 credits)
  • Earth Resources and Sustainability (15 credits)
  • Eco-innovation and Sustainable Entrepreneurship (15 credits)
  • Energy, People and Behaviour (15 credits)
  • Environmental and Social Sustainability Risk Management in Natural Resource Projects (15 credits)
  • Industrial Symbiosis (15 credits)
  • International Commodity Trade (15 credits)
  • Metrics, Modelling and Visualisation of the Resource Nexus (15 credits)
  • Resource Governance and the Global South (15 credits)


All students undertake an independent original research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words (60 credits).


Students will participate in a field trip, which will include site visits to leading businesses and organisations in the area of sustainable resources and the circular economy. There will be no additional costs to students for this trip.

Teaching and learning

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

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 bseer-studentqueries@ucl.ac.uk.

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


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.


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


This programme equips you for challenging, rewarding and socially beneficial employment in a wide range of sectors including business, national and local government, NGOs and global organisations concerned with economy-resource-environment interactions. The programme includes a careers event with speakers from a variety of organisations where you can discuss opportunities with potential employers.


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 also be technically competent in a range of economic and social science analytical approaches as well as in modelling techniques including integrated assessments, life cycle analysis, material flows analysis, foresight analysis/scenario analysis, system dynamics, and computable general equilibrium models (CGE).

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

Why study this degree at UCL?

The exciting multidisciplinary programme includes contributions from economics, law, political science, development planning, engineering and the natural sciences as appropriate for a systemic approach to the complex set of elements shaping pattern of use and consumption of resources and understanding planetary boundaries, the role of people and governments and new integrative approaches such as the resource nexus and the Circular Economy.

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.

We are part of The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources – home to specialist institutes in energy, environment, resources and heritage. The Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary Faculty of the Built Environment, bringing together scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

The QS World University Rankings (2020) places The Bartlett as the #1 for Architecture/Built Environment studies in the UK and #3 in the World. The Bartlett’s research received the most world-leading ratings for research on the Built Environment in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

Department: Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources

Application and 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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

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, or natural sciences). Alternatively applicants will need to have an aptitude for quantitative methods and be prepared to work on this prior to the start of the programme and some advance reading will be provided.

Application deadlines

Full-time applicants
28 August 2020
28 August 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 31 July 2020