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Climate Change and Development

MSc / PGDip / PGCert

This programme will offer critical insight into how current development models produce environmental problems which themselves threaten the objectives of development.

You will also develop the analytical skills to solve adaptation problems and identify low carbon development options.

LLM in International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation and Economic Law
This programme will offer critical insight into how current development models produce environmental problems.

The MSc Climate Change and Development will enable employees of these organisations to drive towards change more effectively. The programme covers key issues within climate change and development, such as energy access, poverty, social protection, gender and social justice.

The modules draw from a wide range of disciplines, concepts and methods, including economics and political economy, environmental science and law, human geography, and social development.

Visit the SOAS website to view all of the key dates.

Course details

  • MSc: You study four modules (one core, three elective) plus dissertation.
  • PGDip: You study four modules (one core, three elective).
  • PGCert: Your study two modules (one core one elective).

View modules

The programme is offered online and is fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You study at a time and pace that suits you (subject to course-specific deadlines) using the study materials provided and support from a dedicated tutor.

Study materials

We will send you study materials developed by academics at SOAS. These include a detailed subject guide for each course; a study calendar; textbooks and key readings; and various supplementary materials.

Online support

When you register, you gain access to your Student Portal. You can then access your email account and other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enables access to course materials, resources, and activities.     
  • CeDEP tutors are allocated to each module for you to contact with queries.
  • The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated helpdesk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.

Time commitment

You take modules one at a time over 16-week study sessions, which begin in April and October. We recommend studying around 15 hours per week during these sessions, and making additional time for exam revision after the study term has ended.


Student learning is linked to assessment in the programme to ensure students do as well as they can. Each module will be assessed on one written assignment (40-50 % of the module mark), a hand written examination (40-50 % of the module mark), and in some modules, online participation in regular learning and discussion exercises (10-20% of the module mark).

More about exams.

What qualifications do you need?

  • MSc: You will need a good degree in a relevant discipline from an institution acceptable to the University.
  • PGDip/PGCert: A degree or technical/professional qualification plus experience that we consider appropriate and relevant.
  • Individual Awards: Without the requirements above, we may consider your application if you provide evidence of your ability to undertake postgraduate study.

If you have a qualification in an unrelated subject or an unconventional career path with diverse work experience, we will consider your application on its own merits.

English Language requirements

If your first degree was not taught in English, you will need to provide evidence of language ability as tested by the British Council or another registered body. This is equivalent to a score of 7.0 overall in the iELTS test, or 7.0 in both reading and writing.

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. Certain courses may have additional requirements, such as software to manage spreadsheets and run macros.

See more about computer requirements.

The fees below apply if you begin during the 2018-2019 session. These may be increased by up to 5% per year.

Academic year2018-19

Total MSc


Total Postgraduate Diploma


Total Postgraduate Certificate


Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.

Additional Costs
You will also need to budget for exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams and any customs duties/taxes on educational materials (e.g. USB/CDs).

Method of payment

Please contact:

Graduates of this programme will be well-prepared for roles in the public sector, international organisations, NGO's, consultancies and development projects involved in:

  • policy analysis and implementation for disaster risk reduction;
  • climate and broader environmental issues;
  • local and national climate change strategies;
  • energy and development;
  • poverty reduction.

What do employers think of our graduates?

In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.

This programme is developed by the SOAS Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP), a merger of the former Imperial College Distance Learning Programme at Wye with Public Policy and Management at CeFiMS (SOAS).

CeDEP is now one of the largest international postgraduate distance learning portfolios in the field. It currently has over 1,000 students working in a range of NGOs, governments, businesses and other organisations spread over more than 160 countries.

Programme Director

Bhavani Shankar is Professor of International Food, Agriculture and Health at SOAS, University of London. He is an applied economist whose research crosses agriculture, food, nutrition and health, in developing as well as developed countries.

His current research interests include the analysis of economic drivers of over and under-nutrition, food and nutrition policy evaluation, and the role of agriculture and food systems in enabling better nutrition and health.

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.

Can I get sponsored?

If you're employed, your employer may be willing to cover part/all of the programme fees if you can make a compelling case as to how this programme will boost your contribution to the workplace.

Our courses are ideal for employers because they get to retain you as an employee and benefit from your learning from the moment you begin.

How can I get sponsored by my employer?