Global Environmental Challenges

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Run by Faculty of Science
Awards available MSc by research
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Part-time study requires daytime weekday attendance.
Start date Not fixed. However in order to fully benefit from our interdisciplinary induction training, we strongly encourage students to start in either September or January.

Programme overview

Forge your career and address the key global environmental challenges of our time with the Cabot Institute's MSc by research.

You don't need an environmental degree to make a lasting impact on the world. Our researchers include earth scientists, engineers, historians, chemists, geographers, psychologists, literary experts, biologists, vets, mathematicians, social scientists and international development experts. These different specialists are united by a single mission - protecting the environment and finding ways to live better on our changing planet. Collaborative approaches are urgently needed to tackle the big environmental challenges of today.

We are seeking excellent candidates for this interdisciplinary Master's in Global Environmental Challenges. You will have the opportunity to focus on a 12-month research project that inspires and develops your specialism, while engaging in a training programme designed to enhance your career prospects. You will develop your skills in interdisciplinarity, collaboration, innovation, communication, and enterprise and entrepreneurship in relation to solving global environmental challenges.

Completing the programme will deepen your expertise in your chosen field or topic, with high-quality results and a wide range of transferable skills.

To find out more, including student testimonials, explore the Cabot Institute website.

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
Overseas: full-time

Bench fees: For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (eg training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or an equivalent qualification) in a topic aligned to the research project against which you are applying.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

This master's by research is a one-year research project supervised by an expert in your chosen field of study. You can apply for a specific research project/challenge, or propose your own research idea.

On arrival, you will meet with your supervisor(s) to develop a research plan, gaining advice and training from the Cabot Institute to help you deliver a high-quality research project.

In parallel with the research project, you will have the opportunity to take part in a unique programme of personal development and skills training designed to enhance both your research over the year and your career prospects on graduation.

During the first month, you will learn about interdisciplinary approaches and how they could improve your research and career, become acquainted with the research community of your home school, and form strong links with your course peers. You will also gain automatic access to the Bristol Doctoral College, which grows, develops and supports our thriving community of postgraduate researchers across all research degree programmes at the University. This includes access to a choice of optional unaccredited training modules over the year to develop your research and transferable skills.

Alongside your training programme, you will have access to the Cabot Institute’s vast range of affiliates across academia and industry via networking events. These networking links and organised events will help you make unique connections with industry to improve your career prospects on graduation.


This programme is the ideal springboard, whatever your future aspirations. The challenge-led, independent research focus of the master's will provide you with a clear pathway for PhD study, equipping you with skills required to excel in further research. For those seeking employment, you’ll be ready to make an impact in the sustainability and environment sector and propel your career outside academia.

The links with affiliates of the Cabot Institute means you will be well placed to build connections with an exciting range of real-world stakeholders. Students that the institute has worked with in the past have gone on to a variety of exceptional career paths, including NGOs, local and national government organisations, academia, research communication and start-up businesses.

Staff profiles

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Find out how to apply

Application deadline

We welcome applications at any time of year.

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch


School website: Cabot Institute

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

REF 2021 results

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK (Times Higher Education), with 94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Full REF 2021 results for the University of Bristol.


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