Global Development and Sustainability degree – Bath Spa University

Global Development and Sustainability

BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BSc (Hons) Global Development and Sustainability
School of Sciences
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: LF81 or S166
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

Explore how we can live sustainably with our Global Development and Sustainability degree.

  • Learn from a friendly, supportive team of lecturers, who are at the cutting-edge of current research.
  • Broaden your experience through placements and overseas fieldwork, in destinations such as India and Barcelona.
  • Develop the practical, technical and transferable skills that employers in a range of sectors look for.

Are you interested in contemporary environmental and development challenges, and do you want to pursue a related career? Global sustainable development is at the heart of the environmental, social, economic and geopolitical challenges facing the developed and developing world.

This global development degree explores topics – such as sustainability in a variety of contexts, globalisation, food supply, inequality, environmental issues, spatial development, natural hazards, education, and renewable energy options – that aim to tackle the sustainable development issues affecting the world today.

You can tailor your modules to your individual interests, career goals and aspirations; you may decide to choose topics from Business and Education courses alongside Geography and Global Development and Sustainability modules, for example.

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What you'll learn


Global sustainable development studies at Bath Spa University are designed to examine relevant geographical concepts and apply geographical methods and techniques to real-world problems.

You’ll learn principles in physical and human geography throughout your degree, which you’ll apply to the study and solving of development issues.

The course is designed to let you specialise through your module choices. There’s a strong vocational focus, with opportunities for you to undertake an extended work placement and an industry-relevant project. If you decide to take the four-year version of the course with Professional Placement Year option, you're particularly encouraged to opt for an overseas work and/or research placement.

Course structure

Year one
We introduce you to the theories and realities of global development and sustainability issues. You’ll acquire the foundational Geography skills to equip you to develop your interests and skills in these fields.

Year two
In your second year, you’ll acquire more specialist knowledge and skills in topics and research methods relevant to professional practice. Your research skills are developed through an extended research project in the spatial development module where you’ll apply your growing mastery of your subject to real-world problems and issues.

You’ll also start to plan for your career options, with opportunities to undertake a work placement or to volunteer overseas.

The optional field trip to India offers a unique opportunity to explore development and sustainability themes in a real-world context. On this trip, you’ll examine environmental hazards and development, wellbeing and social inequalities, and the legacy of colonialism. Please note that some of our field trips may incur an additional expense on top of your course fees.

Year three
In your final year, you’ll continue to specialise. You’ll also develop your skills as an independent scholar by undertaking primary research that will enable you to demonstrate both the academic and transferable skills you’ve acquired on the course.

An optional field trip to Barcelona examines urban regeneration, social inequalities and urban sustainability. There is also the opportunity to undertake a community placement and project as part of your studies.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll experience a variety of assessment methods throughout your degree. These include essays, project reports, presentations, posters, video-clips, field-craft assessments, reflective items, time-constrained tests and examinations. These are designed to give you a rich and diverse skill-set, and be of real benefit in pursuit of your chosen career.

How will I be taught?

Good teaching is important to us; our graduates rate highly the quality of teaching on the course. In our friendly department you’ll benefit from small classes, specialist expertise, and up-to-date technologies, including ArcGIS and GPS survey instruments. You’ll experience lectures and workshop or seminar-based teaching, with small groups that enable discussion about specific topics.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Global Development
  • Geographical Skills
  • Sustainability in Life and Work
  • Environment, People and Place
  • Global Food Issues
  • Economics and Globalisation

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Geographical Research Methods
  • Spatial Development Planning: A Global Perspective
  • Climate and Society
  • Geomorphology and Environmental Hazards
  • Geographical Fieldwork
  • Geotechnologies for Society and Environment
  • Migration: Identity, Belonging, Citizenship and Security
  • Social Problems, Social Divisions, Social Justice
  • Crime, Law and Society
  • Work Placement
  • Education and International Development
  • Operations and Project Management
  • Destination Management
  • Immigration and Race in Twentieth Century Europe
  • Social Enterprise
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Development and Sustainability Dissertation
  • Advanced Geographical Fieldwork
  • Identities and Inequalities
  • River Management
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Geographical Fieldwork
  • Culture, Risk and Environmental Justice
  • Community Engagement
  • Global and International Education
  • Enterprise: Creating Your Business
  • Managing Sustainability
  • Tourism: Contemporary Issues


Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.


Fieldwork is an integral part of our Global Development and Sustainability programme as it provides you with the opportunities to learn hands-on skills with real world applications.

Optional international residential field trip opportunities are provided in both the second and third year of the degree. Our current destinations are Northern India (second year) and Barcelona (third year).

Within modules you'll also undertake fieldwork in the local area including on our beautiful Newton Park campus, as well as in locations such as the Mendip Hills, the Somerset Levels, the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.

Please note that you will have to make a financial contribution towards residential field trips.

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities to undertake work placements in your second and final years – this is an excellent way to gain experience in the workplace.

Guest speakers from industry contribute to the learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will help you make those all-important career decisions when you graduate.

Competitions/ awards

There are prizes awarded each year in recognition of excellence in the core modules. This culminates with the Excellence in Global Development and Sustainability Prize, recognising the best overall performance in the compulsory modules in the final year of study.


There are lots of ways you can make a difference. Your global sustainable development career could take many forms; whether in research, as a development practitioner, consultant or in policy reform. After graduating, you could pursue roles in government or non-government organisations (NGOs), local, regional and international organisations, and sectors such as education, charity and not-for-profit, business, and overseas development. You may also choose to continue your studies; perhaps on our MSc Environmental Management.

Whatever your aspirations, our aim is that the real-world experience you gain on this course will set you up to take on diverse challenges – and thrive.

Course delivery in 2022/23

Our focus is on providing the best possible in-person experience for you and your peers whilst maintaining the most successful aspects of online delivery that we know will benefit your learning. Learn more by reading our programme delivery statement

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll be taught on Newton Park campus, with access to a range of facilities including:


We have all the latest technologies, learning resources and Geographic Information System (GIS). You’ll have access to IT suites with geographical software including ArcGIS.


Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026

UK students part time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026

International students full time

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,400
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

2024/25 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2024
Year 2 Published Jan 2025
Year 3 Published Jan 2026

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for enthusiastic and motivated students who are interested in understanding and finding solutions to the challenges facing the developed and developing world today. We accept a broad range of traditional qualifications and less conventional routes into education – we welcome students from a wide background.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - grades BCC-CCC preferred including a Grade C in Geography, Sociology, economics or Science.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) in a related subject, preferably Social Sciences.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required including Grade 6 in Geography, Sociology, economics or Science at Higher Level.
  • Access to HE courses - typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher) in a related subject.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Course leader: Dr Giovanna Gioli

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