Sustainable Mountain Development MSc

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What is special about this course?

If you want to make a real difference towards the sustainability of mountain regions, this postgraduate course in Sustainable Mountain Development is for you.

You will access the latest thinking on complex mountain issues by studying modules with a focus on advanced theory and practice relating to environmental, social, economic and professional development. By the end of your studies, you will be equipped with the practical skills and knowledge to help you understand and manage the real challenges faced by people living in mountainous areas today.

The course is part time; you will study all modules online with support from experts at the Centre for Mountain Studies, based at Perth College UHI, and around the UHI network. This allows you to fit your studies around your personal and professional commitments. If you are not able to complete the full MSc, you can exit with a PgCert by completing the 3 core modules or a PgDip by also completing 3 optional modules.

The MSc Sustainable Mountain Development can be studied online from anywhere in the world.

Special features

  • Develop key scientific and policy skills
  • Learn from experts in the field of sustainable mountain development at the Centre for Mountain Studies, including  Professor Martin Price, holder of the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development
  • Study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip or full Masters degree
  • Study online, part-time to suit your lifestyle

Entry requirements

  • Honours degree or ordinary degree in a relevant subject
  • Postgraduate diploma or professional qualification in a relevant subject
  • Other qualifications will be considered if accompanied by a minimum of three years' relevant professional experience



  • Tuition fee loans (for full-time and part-time students) and living costs loans (full-time students only) to study up to PgDip level may be available for eligible applicants from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), for more information visit:


Access routes


Core modules are:

  • Environmental and social issues in mountain areas
  • Sustainable development
  • Policy analysis


Optional modules, from which you must choose three, include:

  • Biodiversity management
  • Developing communities
  • Developing potential through placement
  • Field studies
  • Local economic development
  • Communities and Nature
  • Research methods and techniques
  • Sustainable deer management
  • Sustainable rural land use and energy
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Water management
  • An elective from any UHI Masters Programme


To achieve the award of MSc Sustainable Mountain Development you must complete a 15,000 word research dissertation on a topic of your own choice.

How will I study my course?

  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Part time (structured)
  • Part time (unstructured)
  • Online

If possible, you are strongly encouraged to attend a two-day induction in Scotland at the start of your course.  However, if this is not possible, online/phone induction can be arranged.

How long will my course last?

  • Part time (structured): 3 years @ 8-10 hours per week per module
  • Part time (unstructured): 6 years @ 8-10 hours per week per module

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course.
This includes time online to view weekly lectures and other online materials; to participate in module discussion boards; and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

Start date

  • September

How much will my course cost?

The following fees apply to this taught postgraduate course:

Rest of UK
(inc EU)
Per module (20 credits) £520 £650 £820
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,560 £1,950 £2,460
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,120 £3,900 £4,920
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £4,680 £5,850 £7,380

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

Enquiries from employers for multiple student registrations are welcome and special fee arrangements may apply.

What funding can I apply for?

Tuition fee loans (for full-time and part-time students) and living costs loans (full-time students only) to study up to PgDip level may be available for eligible applicants from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), for more information visit:

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact Perth College UHI for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

You will be equipped to pursue or further develop a career in a number of different spheres in mountain management, such as:

  • Management positions in the public sector or non-governmental organisations
  • Working in mountain areas in the UK, Europe or further afield
  • Work with voluntary groups, conservation bodies or the private sector
  • Research

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students, graduates and staff say:

I have really enjoyed the course and it has been a worthwhile experience. It is a really good course and the only one of its kind.

Read further comments from our graduates

What's special about this course is that it is delivered entirely online, meaning that students can take part from anywhere in the world. It is also a part-time course, so that most students complete the programme alongside their everyday responsibilities. Professor Martin Price, Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies

Apply for Sustainable Mountain Development MSc

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2017

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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