- 1 - 5 years
Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)
PGCert in Sustainable Development
Distance Learning Programme
2017 Entry requirements
- A degree or a technical or professional qualification and experience considered appropriate and relevant by the University.
- Teaching and Learning
- Fees and funding
Start of programme: February / May
Mode of Attendance: Distance Learning
The rationale for this innovative programme of study lies in the global environmental and development challenges that have been articulated in the Sustainable Development Goals. It is clear that solutions to the challenge of sustainable development require holistic, integrated and co-ordinated actions across a very wide range of sectors, and will increasingly require a multidisciplinary approach. This programme aims to provide students with a broad grounding in the main concepts associated with sustainable development, but also provides the opportunity to specialise in one area in greater depth.
For the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Development students will take:
- 3 core modules
- 1 elective module
- Understanding Sustainable Development [compulsory]
- Climate Change and Development
- Environmental Science and Management
- Ethics for Environment and Development
- Economic Principles
- Agricultural Trade and Policy
- Economics and Institutions for Development
- Understanding Poverty
- Economics of Environmental Policy
- Environmental Valuation: Theory, Techniques and Application
- Managing Knowledge and Communication for Development
- Water Resources Management
- NGO Management
- Project Planning & Management
- Gender & Social Development
- Sustainable Land Management (this module will run until 2018)
- Introduction to Environmental Economics & Policy
- Biodiversity, Conservation and Development
- Natural Resource Economics
- Environmental Assessment
- Environmental Auditing and Environmental Management Systems
- International Environmental Law
- Food Security and Social Protection
- Rural Development (this module will run until 2018)
- Management in Rural Development (this module will run until 2018)
Teaching and Learning
Teaching & Learning
1. Academic level
All CeDEP programmes are taught to Master’s (Second Cycle) level, which involves building upon existing knowledge and understanding typically associated with the Bachelor’s (First Cycle) level or its equivalent. Study at Master’s level requires:
- originality in developing and/or applying ideas, and extending or enhancing previous learning
- application of knowledge and understanding, including problem solving in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts
- integration of knowledge and handling of complexity
- formulating judgements with incomplete or limited information, including reflection on social and ethical responsibilities
- clear and unambiguous communication of conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences
- learning skills to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous
Prospective students should note that distance education of this kind demands a high degree of commitment, determination and self-discipline. Whilst CeDEP provides significant support through the tutorial system and by other means, students taking on programmes of this nature should possess a strong measure of self-reliance.
2. Study Expectations
How long will it take?
For students in full time employment, the MSc and Postgraduate Diploma, usually take three or four years to complete and the Certificate 2 years.
|Master of Science (MSc)||Postgraduate Diploma||Postgraduate Certificate|
|Minimum registration period||2 years*||2 years||1 years|
|Maximum registration period||5 years||5 years||5 years|
* For students wishing to complete their MSc in two years they should start the Research Component in year 1.
When can I study?
You can begin your studies in either February or June. The examinations for all students are in October. The study periods are 30 weeks for students starting in February and 15 weeks for those starting in June.
How many hours a week?
For the 30 week study period starting in February, you will need to allocate 5–6 hours of study time per module, per week. For students starting their studies in June with the shorter 15 week session, 10–12 hours per module, per week is recommended.
How many modules can I take per study year?
We strongly recommend that students should take only one or two modules in their first year, so that they can adjust to studying at a distance, whilst combining this with work and family life.
Students wishing to register for more than three modules in their first year should satisfy their academic programme convenor that their personal circumstances will allow sufficient study time for this on a weekly basis (e.g. those students not in employment or in part-time employment).
How you will be assessed
For each module you will sit a two-hour unseen examination held on a specific date in October, worth 80% of your total module mark. There is also an Examined Assignment (worth 20% of the total module mark) which is submitted during the study year and marked by your tutor.
Examinations are held in students’ countries of residence, using the University of London’s network of approved Overseas Examination Authorities. Fees for taking examinations at all examination centres other than London are the responsibility of the student.
Assignments are submitted to CeDEP electronically via the online learning environment.
Fees and funding
Pay as you Learn
Our distance learning programmes can be paid in full at the time of enrolment or on a pay as you learn basis. Pay as you learn means you only pay for the module you are enrolling on.
If you have been a resident in England for 3 years you may be eligible. Click here to learn more.
Alternatively, we recommend students approach their local British Council, British High Commission or British Embassy, for information on local funding.
Dependent on nationality, employment circumstances and other factors, funding and sponsorship sources can include:
- United Nations (UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, UNEP etc)
- Bilateral Aid Agencies (SIDA, GTZ, etc)
- European Union
- British Council
- UK Department for International Development / Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- Educational and other charitable trusts
How to Apply
Not ready to apply? Take a look at our guides on applying below:
Find out more
- By phone:
- +44 (0)20 7898 4098
- By email:
Got a question?
If you still have questions about this programme or studying at SOAS get in touch.
CeDEP distance learning applications should be made through our online application form.