The course is divided into three components, which students must pass independently:
The first of these is the core programme which all students take, and this focuses on developing a breadth of skills and understanding which complement the technical background of participants. The core is designed to provide both a conceptual qualitative approach to understanding sustainability concepts, values and change processes together with a quantitative approach which provides key tools in sustainability methods and metrics. All students also participate in a number of residential field trips and site visits through the year (For more details see “Inner Core Modules” and "Outer Core Modules").
Students also have the ability to choose four elective modules from a list of around 30 topics offered by the Centre for Sustainable Development, the Engineering Department and other Departments within the University. This allows individuals to tailor their studies to their own needs, and provides the flexibility to add more technical depth or explore wider areas in policy, management, planning and assessment topics. This flexibility is a major strength of the programme (For more details see “Elective Modules”).
The final component is undertaken between April and August when students complete an individual piece of research for their Masters Dissertation. This can involve working with companies, government agencies and other organisations and often produces work which is subsequently published in technical Journals. (For more details see “Dissertation”).