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Environmental Economics

MSc / PGDip / PGCert

This programme will give you the essential tools required for theoretical and empirical economic analysis, particularly in relation to renewable natural resources.

Choose from modules orientated towards environmental ethics, law, science and management, project planning and management for comprehensive training as an environmental economist.

A wind turbine
The Environmental Economics programme combines core modules in policy, trade, food security and political economy with electives in a range of areas.

Develop an extended knowledge of contemporary economic theory and analytical skills to address problems concerning choice and resource allocation in national and international markets.

Course details

  • MSc: You study nine modules (four core, three elective, two research).
  • PGDip: You study eight modules (four core, four elective).
  • PGCert: Your study four modules (four core or three core plus one elective).
  • Individual Professional Awards: Study as short courses for professional development.

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, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London 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 can begin in either February or June. The study session lasts 30 weeks if you start in February, or 15 weeks if you start in June.

For the 30-week session, we recommend that you study for 5-6 hours per module per week. For the shorter session, we recommend 10-12 hours per module per week.


Each module (except the research element of the MSc) is assessed by an assignment (40% of the mark), and a two-hour unseen written exam (60%).

Research Methods is assessed by two assignments (each worth 50%). The dissertation module is assessed by a research proposal (10%) and of a 10,000-word written report (90%).

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 2017-2018 session. These may be increased by up to 5% per year.

Academic year2018 (from 01 October 2017)
Module fee (including IPA)£ 1,050
Total Postgraduate Certificate£ 4,200
Total Postgraduate Diploma£ 8,400
Total MSc£ 9,450

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 typically find work as agricultural economists in fields including:

  • Government ministries undertaking work in agricultural policy analysis;
  • Public and private sector companies involved in upstream and downstream agricultural industries;
  • International and non-governmental organisations concerned with the economic analysis of agricultural sector issues;
  • Applied research and teaching in institutions of research and higher education.

What do employers think of our graduates?

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

Laurence Smith is Professor of Environmental Economics at SOAS, University of London. He specialises as an economist working on natural resource management, rural development, and water resources management. He is currently principal investigator for a RELU funded project investigating innovative market-based mechanisms and networks for long term protection of water resources.

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?

Maressa Zahra MSc Environmental Economics, Malta

Maressa Zahra - Environmenal Economics

"The content’s quality is excellent and the courses are designed to be interesting, highly informative and applicable to real life issues."