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The University of Edinburgh: Circular Economy

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department Edinburgh Futures Institute
Study type Taught


A new, interdisciplinary degree with the Edinburgh Futures Institute

The circular economy is a way of thinking, researching and acting on climate change. A ‘circular economy’ means moving away from the world’s current, predominantly wasteful economic model where resources are extracted, manufactured, used, and discarded to one where waste is designed out and products and materials kept in use for as long as possible. Beyond the need for design innovations, a circular economy also means investigating how to change the way we consume and use goods and services, both locally and globally.

On this interdisciplinary programme, you will have the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge of circular economy in order to support communities, businesses, and policymakers to create a more sustainable and equitable future.

The core courses will focus on both practical and theoretical approaches to:

  • the fundamentals of a circular economy, including foundational literature and concepts

  • designing for a circular economy

  • the circular economy business perspective

  • the evolving field of circular economy

  • responsiveness to the climate and environmental crisis

You will be able to shape your learning to meet your own interests and objectives, particularly through option course selection and your final project. This programme offers lots of opportunities to think differently, examine our finite global resources in the context of our changing world and society, and to act as an agent of change.

This programme is aimed at recent graduates and early- to mid-career professionals from across the globe, and from a wide range of backgrounds and skill sets. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you will be able to explore and nurture your ideas for disrupting the status quo and rethink how we currently design, make, and use resources in the world. The programme is designed to support student entrepreneurship, with an opportunity for you to explore your own circular business ideas through coursework and the final project. Postgraduate study at the Edinburgh Futures Institute

This programme is part of an interconnected portfolio of postgraduate study in the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI). EFI supports interdisciplinary teaching, learning and research focused on complex global and social challenges.

Our programmes are all taught by academic experts from many different subject areas. As an EFI student, you will develop creative, critical and data-informed thinking that cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. You will have the space to think deeply about questions linked to your own passions and professional goals, and will develop a project based on an issue that you care about.

As well as knowledge specific to your area of study, studying at EFI will give you the skills and understanding you need to become a creative, confident and critical citizen in a fast-changing world. These will include:

  • core data skills

  • data ethics

  • the ability to interrogate issues of global scope

  • the creative and analytic approaches to knowledge that are vital for building better futures

You can join us regardless of whether you already have skills in the use and application of digital data.


Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

University of Edinburgh 


Be open to possibilities. Be open to the extraordinary.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 15th in the 2023 QS World University Rankings Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts students and staff from across the globe, creating a unique Edinburgh experience. Whatever excites you, whatever your ambition, whatever makes you ‘you’, we know one thing; nothing ordinary comes from this extraordinary place.

Our students have been making an impact on the world for more than 400 years. Each year is different – every …

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