MSc Climate Justice

Each year, the effects of climate change become more pronounced. People all over the world are displaced due to rising sea levels, crop-destroying droughts and increasingly frequent floods and forest fires. Over the next decade, these climate consequences will only intensify. How we chose to move forward is one of the most important ethical questions we face.

Glasgow Caledonian University is the university for the common good. You will benefit from an impressive, international teaching cohort, research-led and further enhanced by expert speakers, we provide a truly practical learning experience. The only programme of its kind, this masters programme can help influence change at the point where science, human rights and policy development intersect.

The growing field of climate justice needs people who can help craft public policy at local or global level, work with non-profit and intergovernmental agencies, assist developmental organisations or pursue academic research in the field.

Taking a practical, multi-disciplinary approach, the curriculum at Glasgow Caledonian University offers in depth study of the complex issues of climate justice.

  • Explore topics in resources and sustainability
  • Learn about carbon management and renewable energy technologies
  • Study how water access affects public health
  • Investigate gender issues and their implications for human rights
  • Master the basics of project management and environmental management

Centre for Climate Justice

The Centre for Climate Justice is a Glasgow Caledonian University research centre dedicated to achieving meaningful social change. Based within the Glasgow city campus but at the centre of a global research community, staff and students share common values in the fight for human rights.

Graduate prospects

Graduates of the MSc Climate Justice have found rewarding careers with development organisations, the UN and related organisations, government agencies and non-profit organisations - as well as within academic and research institutions.

The MSc Climate Justice explores the principles that underpin climate justice; human rights, development and climate change. The programme is tailored to provide a practical angle to climate justice to allow students to graduate with a Masters which provides them with skills, approaches and methodologies for addressing climate justice in their future work plans. It can be studied full-time for one year or part-time over two years.

Resources and Sustainability

This module provides an overview of our resources (water, air, forests, soil, raw materials, energy and so on) and how to critically analyse how and why these resources are exploited on a global scale. This module will focus on both the natural and social and economic sciences to provide a holistic understanding of sustainable resource use and management.

Climate Change and Carbon Management

Develops a student's understanding and knowledge of global climate change issues and the role of built environment in it, and an ability to conduct practical investigation of carbon management in the context of the built environment.

Climate Justice

Provides an overview of key issues that underpin climate justice (injustice) and the history of the climate justice movement and critique thereof. Climate injustice and human rights to life are explored via addressing equity and equality including the implications, complexities and trade-offs between climate change and poverty. Controversial issues are examined by exploring challenging current economic models and theories and analysing failures (Kyoto, CDM and MDGs).

Human Rights, Gender and Development

This module critically examines the variety of ways in which a rights-based approach seeks to engage with the impact of climate change. It does so by considering climate change within broader debates surrounding human rights and the structured nature of vulnerability in relation to gender and development.

Environmental Ethics and Climate Change

Critically examines the ethics of climate change. Rather than taking the concept of climate justice as its starting point, however, the focus is on locating the phenomena of climate change within the wider debates and schools of thought that are prevalent in the field of environmental ethics.

Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation

Develops a student's understanding and knowledge of global climate change issues and the ways that differing political cultures can impact adaptation and mitigation measures. In addition, sectoral responses to climate change will be explored and country/regional mitigation strategies will be considered, using climate modelling to investigate how decisions regarding adaptation and mitigation emerge.

Water, Justice and Public Health

Develops a student's understanding and knowledge of the important links between water and public health and explores the water/food/energy nexus that prevents developing world countries from making the most of economic development opportunities. It discusses whether developed world solutions are appropriate or even desirable for implementation in the developing world.

Renewable Energy Technologies

The module concentrates on the renewable energy technologies most likely to succeed in the UK and other temperate countries, including solar energy, energy from waste, wind, hydro and biomass. Renewable energy is regarded as an integral part of a sustainable development strategy and is intimately linked to safe water access and agriculture based economic development.

Master's Dissertation/Project

Provides the student with the opportunity to conduct an individual in-depth piece of research, into a topic of their own choosing. This includes elements of time management, achieving deadlines and outputs and different ways of presenting work.

Download the Programme Specification for a detailed breakdown of its structure, what you will learn and other useful information.

Study Options

  • 2020/21


Mode of study


Start date



Distance Learning
2 - 5 Years
18 Jan 2021
GCU Glasgow
Full Time
1 Year
18 Jan 2021
GCU Glasgow
Part Time
2 Years
18 Jan 2021
GCU Glasgow
Distance Learning
2 - 5 Years
14 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Full Time
1 Year
14 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Part Time
2 Years
14 Sep 2020
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location  
MSc Distance Learning 2 - 5 Years 18 Jan 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Full Time 1 Year 18 Jan 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Part Time 2 Years 18 Jan 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Distance Learning 2 - 5 Years 14 Sep 2020 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Full Time 1 Year 14 Sep 2020 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Part Time 2 Years 14 Sep 2020 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Entry requirements

UK honours degree 2:2 (or equivalent) in international development, development studies, environmental sciences, climate change, social sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, geography, political sciences, sustainable development or economics.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

English language

Academic IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) with no element below 5.5.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.

International pathways

If you do not meet the English language requirements, you may be eligible for our pre-sessional English programme which is taught at our Glasgow campus.

Students will be assessed via a combination of coursework, oral presentations, on-line discussions, computer based exercises, case study analysis, reports and a final dissertation.

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Tuition fees 2020/21

Home: £6,000
RUK: £6,000
EU: £6,000
International: £13,500

Tuition fees 2019/20

Home: £5,500
RUK: £5,500
EU: £5,500
International: £12,980

Part-time and distance-learning tuition fees

View our part-time and distance-learning fee schedules

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only. Fees and refund policy.

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of over £2.5 million per year.

View our Postgraduate scholarships.

For new international students, particular care is taken around our induction events which begin on 11 September 2020 to welcome you to the UK and GCU prior to the start of teaching. There will be a whole host of fun and informative activities taking place during this period, including campus tours, city tours and social events where you can meet other international students. Where possible, we encourage you to arrange travel to allow you to arrive in time to enjoy these.

Find out more about international life at GCU.