What will I learn?

Massey’s Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Environmental Sustainability) will give you an advanced grounding in the theory, practice and application of the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to environmental sustainability.

The Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Environmental Sustainability) is a new 180-credit taught degree focusing on the theory and practice of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme addresses the most pressing imperative facing humanity and the planet: sustainability. This degree is unique in Australasia. It presents a unique opportunity to showcase Pacific and Indigenous paradigms of sustainability as alternatives to dominant western paradigms.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The SDGs are the UN’s ambitious macro-level plan for humankind’s development and sustainability. The goals address global challenges including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.

Follow your interests

You’ll take two core courses in sustainable development. The first will introduce you to theories of sustainable development and the SDGs. The second will focus on multi-disciplinary frameworks, how to measure progress against the SDGs, and paradigms of Indigenous knowledge and practice in the field of sustainability. This will have a strong international flavour.

Then you’ll take courses related to your endorsement in Environmental Sustainability. Your endorsement has contemporary relevance to local, national, regional and global wellbeing. You don’t need any prior knowledge of this subject. These practical taught courses focus on you as a practitioner, working in an area related to environmental sustainability. The courses cover topics such as environmental management principles and practice, environmental policy, land system science, and zero waste.

This programme integrates perspectives from environmental policy, environmental management, land system science and zero waste management. You’ll gain important insights into key elements of SDG 15 (Life on land), SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate action).

This qualification will give you:

  • the skills to establish appropriate, collaborative working relationships with professionals in the sustainable development sector;
  • an advanced ability to understand and apply the tools and approaches used in the theory and practice of sustainable development under the framework of the SDGs;
  • critical skills to evaluate the success of particular SDGs in their application to particular real-world problems;
  • a sophisticated understanding of alternative frameworks for the successful application of the SDGs; and
  • the ability to reflect critically on multidisciplinary approaches to the SDGs, their interaction with one another, and their application to complex real-world problems.


There is strong demand in the global marketplace for workers with the requisite new skills to translate, implement, monitor and report on the SDGs. The SDGs are already facing challenges on how the goals’ macro-level aspirations, collected through multiple rounds of global consultation, will be translated into everyday community, health, education, and workplace settings.

Employees with the skills to implement and measure progress against the SDGs are much in demand in both public and private organisations.

Note: To be considered for Distinction/Merit all requirements must be completed within 18 months for full-time study.

Which department am I in?

School of Humanities

Study options

Full Time (1.5 years)

Tuition fees
NZ$36,120.00 (US$ 22,535) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

Expected May 2021

More details

Start date

13 July 2020, 22 February 2021


Massey University

Manawatu Campus,

Tennent Drive,

Palmerston North,


4474, New Zealand

Online/Distance (1.5 years)

Tuition fees
NZ$31,410.00 (US$ 19,597) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

Expected May 2021

More details

Start date

13 July 2020, 22 February 2021

Entry requirements

For students from United States

An appropriate undergraduate degree from a recognized tertiary institution is required. English Language Requirements: IELTS - 6.5 (no band less than 6.0); TOEFL iBT- 90 overall (min 20 in Writing); PTE Academic - 58 Overall (min 50 in communicative skills); Cambridge English - 176.

For international students

Entry to the Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Environmental Sustainability) requires a bachelor degree (or equivalent) with a grade average of at least B in the highest level courses.

Students from a country where English is not the first language, must obtain a minimum English Language competency level.

  • IELTS score of 6.5 (no band less than 6.0)
  • TOEFL iBT score of 90 overall (min 20 in Writing)
  • PTE Academic score of 58 Overall (min 50 in communicative skills)
  • Cambridge English score of 176 overall and all bands 169 or better

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About this uni

As well as being highly ranked in Development Studies, Education & Psychology, all students graduate with skills that make them highly employable.

  • Choose Massey - For a wide range of study options
  • Home to 5,000+ international students
  • International partnerships in 15 countries
  • A long tradition of teaching & research excellence