Sustainable Mountain Development MSc
Course code 91L7
What is special about this course?
If you want to make a real difference towards the sustainability of mountain regions, this MSc 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 and working in mountainous areas today.
The course can be studied full-time or part time; you will study all modules online with support from experts at the Centre for Mountain Studies, based at UHI Perth, and around the university 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.
*subject to re-validation
- Develop key scientific and policy skills
- Learn from experts in the field of sustainable mountain development at the Centre for Mountain Studies
- Benefit from modules on diverse contemporary topics, delivered by experts across UHI
- Study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards the PgCert, PgDip or full Masters degree
- Study online, full-time or part-time to suit your lifestyle, from within the UK or internationally
- 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
*Funding support notice*
Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scottish domiciled students)
Loans for tuition fees are available from SAAS for eligible Scotland domiciled students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.
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
- Communities and nature
- Developing communities
- Developing potential through placement
- Local economic development
- Research methods and techniques*
- Sustainable deer management**
- Sustainable land use and renewable energy
- Sustainable tourism
- Water resources in a changing climate***
- An elective from any of the university's masters programmes
* strongly recommended if you plan to continue to MSc level
** available as a stand-alone CPD module for January start
*** available as a stand-alone CPD module for September start
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?
- Part-time (structured)
- Part-time (unstructured)
- Students on this programme currently have the opportunity to attend the Integrated Land Use Conference
- Assessment methods include evaluation of your online postings on the university's virtual learning environment (VLE) discussion forums, assignments, presentations, plans and a 15,000 dissertation
- You will be supported by the Centre for Mountain Studies, UHI Perth. For more information on the centre, the course, or CPD modules, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)1738 877761
- An online induction will be held at the start of your course, which you are strongly encouraged to attend
How long will my course last?
- Full-time: 1 year @ 10-12 hours per week per module
- Part-time (structured): 2 years @ 10-12 hours per week per module
- Part-time (unstructured): 6 years @ 10-12 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?
- Perth - you can study this fully online programme from anywhere in the world. You will be enrolled by staff at the Centre for Mountain Studies, UHI Perth, who will deliver the course with support from staff across the UHI partnership.
For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:
- EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
- EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
- EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
|Per module (20 credits)||£584||£584|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£1,752||£1,752|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits)||£3,504||£3,504|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation)||£5,256||£5,256|
Rest of UK students
For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status, the following fees apply:
|Per module (20 credits)||£720||£792|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£2,160||£2,376|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits)||£4,320||£4,752|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£6,480||£7,128|
EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK
Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. These students will get an automatic fee scholarship.
This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
|2023-24||With scholarship||2024-25||With scholarship|
|Per module (20 credits)||£1,080||£810||£1,110||£833|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£3,240||£2,430||£3,330||£2,499|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits)||£6,480||£4,860||£6,660||£4,998|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£9,720||£7,290||£9,990||£7,497|
For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union, studying online from their home country, or assessed as international for fee status, the following fees apply:
|Per module (20 credits)||£1,080||£1,110|
|Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits)||£3,240||£3,330|
|Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits, 180 credits)||£6,480||£6,660|
|Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation, 180 credits)||£9,720||£9,990|
This course is not available to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.
A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international postgraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.
Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying full-time can access loans up to £11,500 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £7,000 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500.
Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying part-time can apply for a tuition fee loan from SAAS. You must be intending to complete the course in no longer than twice the length of time it would take for a full-time student. For example, if your course is available to full-time students as a one-year programme, you will be funded for a maximum of two years' part-time study. If your course does not have a full-time option, you must complete within three years. You can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £7,000, which will be paid pro-rata for each academic year of study.
Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.
Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company.
What can I do on completion of my course?
On successful completion of the MSc Sustainable Mountain Development, 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
Can I progress into further study?
You may wish to progress from this MSc Sustainable Mountain Development to PhD study.
Is there more information available online?
You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.
The MSc Sustainable Mountain Development was the course for me as it was both interesting and helpful for my career development. The course has provided self-discipline and knowledge that will be invaluable moving forward.
The flexibility of learning was perfect for me while I was working while studying, sometimes with limited internet connection. I enjoyed the style of teaching, and believe that having the MSc will be invaluable. I am already using what I learned in my course working for the Quebec Paddling Association where I assess paddling route feasibility, infrastructure and sustainability.
Will Hotopf graduated from the MSc Sustainable Mountain Development at the Centre for Mountain Studies UHI Perth while studying from Canada.
As an accountant for 30 years, when I heard that TV presenter and environmentalist Philippa Forrester on BBC Radio Scotland's Outdoor podcast had undertaken some studies to make a career transition, I was fascinated. I have always loved climbing the hills and mountains, and after some research, I found the MSc in Sustainable Mountain Development.
Despite having a degree without Honours in Business Studies, after an interview and submitting an essay, I was accepted for this course! While studying, I got a job as a Licensing Support Officer at NatureScot. After less than a year, I successfully applied for the role of Deer Policy Officer. This was wonderful as I found the Sustainable Deer Management Module the most rewarding of all the modules I had done!
It’s been quite a journey over the last few years and I owe everything to UHI for the course, which has opened the doors to where I am now.
Paul Main is studying the MSc Sustainable Mountain Development at the Centre for Mountain Studies UHI Perth.
I did not consider any other universities, my favourite aspect of the course were the social and policy aspects of mountain development. I enjoyed being part of a community of fellow students through online discussion boards and at student conferences, as well as working as a volunteer at the Mountains of Our Future Earth conference.
I was previously working in engineering, but I could study online, and the course helped me develop the confidence to apply my learning to the real-world. This course has meant that I can move onto further study, and possibly a PhD, and fulfil my ambition of working in policy development.
Jason Harrison graduated from the MSc Sustainable Mountain Development at the Centre for Mountain Studies UHI Perth.
Apply for Sustainable Mountain Development MSc
We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate 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.