BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development


What is special about this course?

This online BSc (Hons) degree in Sustainable Development is the ideal course for you if you are interested in helping rural areas to develop in a way that is sustainable and protects the environment on which our communities depend.

The course is accredited by the Institute of Economic Development and has been running for 13 years now, with a great success rate for graduate employment. Graduates have gone on to careers in community economic development and managing rural development initiatives as well as key public sector agencies and organisations.

You will also have the opportunity to take part in residential study weekends, which provide real added value to your overall study experience.

Special features

This is a wholly online course that you can study from home or from your nearest learning centre anywhere in the UK, Europe and in the rest of the world. Students may now study this degree from anywhere in the world without having to leave home.

The course is accredited by the Institute of Economic Development, giving you membership to this professional body on completion of the course

High employability of graduates

Two residential weekends each year where you will meet practitioners and other students

You can study full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances

Individual modules and groups of modules have been developed specifically for continuing professional development (CPD)

Entry requirements

3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR

2 A levels at grade C or above

Non UK qualifications must be equivalent to the above.

If you have other relevant academic or professional qualifications or experience, your application will be welcomed and considered individually by the course team.

For potential entrants with non-standard qualifications, a module designed to test your ability at the first year of an Honours degree is available for all: Access to Sustainability Studies 

Study Mode

Study options

  • Full time
  • Part time (structured)
  • Part time (unstructured)

You will study entirely online, from anywhere in the UK, through the UHI virtual learning environment (VLE) with support from your tutors via email, Skype and online discussions.

How long will my online course last?

  • Full time: 4 years @ 21+ hours per week as an indicative figure
  • Part time (structured): 6-8 years @ 11+ hours per week as an indicative figure
  • Part time (unstructured):variable

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Start date

  • September
  • January


How much will my course cost?

For students living in Scotland or the European Union, studying an undergraduate course (degree, HNC, HND) the following fees apply for the academic year 2012-13:

Full-time (6 x 20 credit modules) per year £1,820
Part-time (structured) (4 x 20 credit modules) per year £860
Part-time (unstructured per module)(per 20 credit module) £215

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

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

Rest of UK students

For students living in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) studying this course full time, fees for academic year 2012-13:

Year 1 CertHE £7,500 p.a.
Year 2 DipHE £7,500 p.a.
Year 3 Degree £7,500 p.a.
Year 4 Honours free*

*4th year free only for students who have paid for previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands

International students

(students not living in the UK or European Union)

View international course fees for academic year 2012-13

Year 1 CertHE £5,340 p.a.
Year 2 DipHE £5,340 p.a.
Year 3 Degree £5,340 p.a.
Year 4 Honours £5,340 p.a.

This equates to £890 per module. Please note that Part-time study options are available and costs will be based on multiples of this figure.

The cost of these online modules has been specially discounted for International students.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.


What can I do on completion of my online course?

Once you have successfully completed your BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Government departments and agencies such as Scottish Natural Heritage, National Trust, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • European and Economic Development departments of local authorities
  • Community enterprises and community energy groups
  • Community land initiatives
  • Natural and rural heritage organisations
  • Voluntary sector development posts

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BSc (Hons) Sustainable Development to Masters programmes, including these ones offered by the University of the Highlands & Islands: