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The University of Edinburgh: Planetary Health (Online Learning)

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


An innovative, interdisciplinary degree with Edinburgh Futures Institute

The different global crises that the world is facing are interconnected, and many are determined by the way that we have used the earth’s resources, and prioritised development and growth.

‘Planetary Health’ is a new field of study which examines these factors and their consequences, and looks at ways in which redesigning, connecting and leveraging the interdependent health, environment and economic systems could offer new global solutions.

The challenge is how we can do this in a socially, economically and environmentally empathetic manner.

This interdisciplinary MSc programme has been developed with expertise from across the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science and the College of Science and Engineering.

It equips students with the critical and data skills required to understand and design solutions for global crises. In particular, crises at the intersection of the future health and well-being of people and our planet, including:

  • the climate crisis

  • environmental degradation

  • emerging infectious diseases

  • mass extinction/loss of biodiversity

  • malnutrition

  • extreme poverty

  • digital power concentration and inequality

  • conflict

  • cyber insecurity

  • livelihood crises

The MSc Planetary Health has a strong focus on engaging local governments, finance and industry, and in designing policies with action-oriented and context-sensitive solutions. Students will:

  • develop a robust understanding of Planetary Health concepts

  • interrogate the relationship between the socioeconomic, environmental and geopolitical determinants of health across the globe

  • access support to build careers focused on tackling climate collapse, health, and other inequalities

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 that is focussed on complex global and social challenges. Our programmes are 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 Edinburgh Futures Institute will give you the skills and understanding you need to become a creative, confident and critical citizen in a fast-changing world.

These skills include:

  • core data skills

  • data ethics

  • the ability to interrogate issues of global scope using methods from across disciplines

  • creative and analytic approaches to knowledge

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

Edinburgh Futures Institute

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) is a large, new and future-facing part of the University of Edinburgh. We give students the chance to explore different and ambitious ways of thinking, collaborating, learning and working.

Rather than being a discipline-based School, our cross-sector, interdisciplinary approach draws together the very best of the University of Edinburgh to enable students to learn and connect across many fields and areas of expertise.

We are collaborating with industry, government and communities to build project-led, flexible and innovative degree programmes linked to leading research and enquiry from across disciplines.

We are opening up education in new ways …

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