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University of Aberdeen: Sustainability Transitions

Institution University of Aberdeen View institution profile
Department School of Geosciences
Telephone 01224 272090
Study type Taught


This programme is designed to train the future generation of innovators and thinkers who have the passion and ambition to deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and become true sustainability leaders which the world needs.

While societies and economies are embarking on complex transitions to more sustainable practices in order to mitigate climate change and address contemporary environmental challenges, there is a shortage of leaders with appropriate skills and knowledge to take this agenda forward and help make the world a more sustainable place. This programme addresses this gap and develops the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

Sustainable development – the balancing of environmental, economic and social goals – is the greatest challenge facing the planet today. The transitions to more sustainable forms of production and consumption which organisations, firms, and institutions, as well as entire communities, societies and economies need to undergo to mitigate climate change are, however, far from simple.

Apart from the shift from carbon-intensive systems to less environmentally destructive arrangements based on renewable sources of energy and greener practices, such transitions require corresponding changes in governance structures, institutional frameworks, legal regulations, public perception and consumption patterns.

Moreover, each industry and each community, region, and country faces challenges of a different kind, with the need to reconcile numerous conflicting objectives often remaining the most serious one. Never before has the world needed qualified professionals to lead transitions to sustainability more than now!

To provide students with a comprehensive understanding of what sustainability transitions entail, the programme covers a wide array of topics, addresses challenges faced by different sectors and utilises case studies drawn from different parts of the world – both more and less developed states.

Students are taught not only by academics, but also by experts in a range of fields, including energy transitions, coastal management, land management, tourism, and transport. The programme includes multiple field trips and visits to organisations that champion sustainable practices, which helps students to engage with government, industry and business.


University of Aberdeen


The University of Aberdeen is Scotland’s third oldest university and the fifth  oldest in the UK. Founded by Bishop William Elphinstone in 1495, the beautiful campus attracts a diverse international community of over 14,000 students  from over  130 countries.

The University of Aberdeen is ranked as a Top 20 UK university by the Guardian University Guide 2024 and Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024, and ranks among the best 200 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023). It also ranks second across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for student satisfaction in The …

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