MSc Global Sustainability Engineering

The course

Full-time, Part-time
Course type
Entry date
January, September

MSc Global Sustainability Engineering is an important new degree introduced by Heriot-Watt University for September 2021 intake. It builds on our 30 years of experience in researching and teaching sustainable engineering with a global focus.

Podcast series: A Future Made

Material Magic

In this episode we discover exciting new solutions to the huge problem of waste from used PPE. Thanks to an ingenious project from the University’s School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, there’s scope for recycling mountains of PPE and for generating new forms of energy.


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This programme of study responds to the global demand for graduates with science or engineering backgrounds who can provide technical consultation and deliver specialist solutions to improve sustainability. 

Graduates from MSc Global Sustainability Engineering will work at the forefront of sustainable development. They will be able to call on engineering knowledge to identify existing unsustainable processes and practices and implement strategies for improvement. 

Programme aims

In developing this degree, Heriot-Watt University has built on over 30 years of experience in researching and teaching sustainable engineering. We have taken inspiration from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and want our graduates to be advocates of change; to understand how both incremental and disruptive approaches can be harnessed for effective sustainable development.

Courses will break down the barriers between disciplines and promote synergy between different branches of learning so that a holistic view of problems and solutions can be developed.

Programme structure

Students on this programme will take five mandatory courses and three optional courses. Five mandatory courses develop critical understanding of the fundamental issues impacting global sustainability whilst the selection of three additional courses from seven options allows each student to tailor the degree to their own area of interest and potential career pathway such as process engineering, building services and carbon management. 
In addition to eight 15-credit courses, students will complete a mandatory 60-credit dissertation project in order to graduate with a full MSc qualification. 

Research Centre for Carbon Solutions

Heriot-Watt University's Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) is an interdisciplinary engineering centre with a track record of inspiring and delivering innovation for the wider deployment of technologies needed to meet necessary carbon targets.

A brand-new course on this degree, Carbon Solutions, has been directly informed by the world-leading work carried out by Heriot-Watt University's Research Centre for Carbon Solutions.

September 2023 entry

The deadline for applications from UK students is 31 August 2023. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 1 August 2023.

Course content

Semester 1 (Sep - Dec) Semester 2 (Jan - April)
Climate Change and Sustainability Sustainable Processing
Process Engineering Environmental Impact Assessment
Foundations of Energy Optional Course
Optional Course Optional Course
Semester 1 optional courses:
  • Process Intensification
  • Renewable Energy Technologies
Semester 2 optional courses:
  • The Circular Economy
  • Carbon Solutions
  • Technology Futures and Business Strategy
  • Demand Management and Energy Storage
  • Green and Sustainable Logistics
Semester 3:
Sustainability Dissertation

Entry requirements

Graduates with a good first degree from a relevant subject area will be considered. Suitable backgrounds include: engineering or environmental, earth, chemical, physical, or mathematical sciences.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time
UK £9632 £4816
Overseas £22264 £11132


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.