The importance of addressing the climate emergency has never been clearer. Climate change experts are needed in government, business, research, and non-governmental organisations, to help drive sustainable transformation in changing environments.

Our MSc in Climate Change Science and Policy trains highly skilled graduates with a solid grounding in climate change science, alongside a critical understanding of the context for action on climate change. The programme is designed for students with a background in science (through their undergraduate or work experience) and includes hands-on quantitative training with climate models and climate data. Graduates of the programme have experience in the tools and methods of climate science, and an understanding of the role of scientific evidence in policy, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to governing the environment.

The programme is provided by the School of Geographical Sciences, ranked #1 in the UK for 'Geography and environmental studies' research (THE analysis of REF 2021). You will join our research groups in analysing key areas of climate change science and environmental policy.

This innovative programme also allows you to develop a range of professional skills, including presentation, project work, teamwork and communication. There is a strong emphasis on carrying out your own research project.

The programme is closely linked to the renowned Cabot Institute, which brings together the University's research into the changing global environment, and benefits from our location in the city of Bristol, a vibrant hub of environmental action.

Programme structure

The programme consists of six taught units and a dissertation project. Currently, all students will undertake three mandatory units, providing:

  • an overview of climate change science and climate change impacts, including the implications of science for climate change adaptation and mitigation,
  • hands-on learning and a chance to explore the dynamics of the Earth System with numerical models,
  • training in quantitative analysis of climate datasets.

Students also choose three optional units, with the opportunity to pursue further training in quantitative skills (for example, statistics, GIS, remote sensing data) and/or further understanding of the context for climate change policy-making (for example, environmental policy and politics, urbanisation, global development, UK policy on agriculture and water).

Students then undertake a research dissertation project on a climate change-related topic of their choice, with the support of a supervisor from the School of Geographical Sciences. The dissertation is submitted in the form of a research paper.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Climate Change Science and Policy.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in a scientific discipline, such as Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Biology, Earth Sciences, Geography or Environmental Sciences. Applicants must be able to demonstrate academic experience in Programming, Modelling or Applied Data Analysis, evidenced in their transcript. A strong numerical background is required. Applicants with a lower class of degree with relevant work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

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

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£11,400 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£5,700 per year
Overseas: full-time
£25,900 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

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 2023/24

Students from developing Commonwealth countries may be eligible to apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme, University of Bristol Think Big Postgraduate Scholarship, and the School of Geographical Sciences Phyllis Mary Morris Bursaries.

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

Career prospects

Previous graduates have gone on to work at a wide range of employers after completing this MSc, including environmental consultancy, UK and other government departments, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the UK Met Office, as well as numerous PhD positions.