Schumacher College

MA Economics for Transition

It is precisely at this time of global upheaval that we want you to come to Schumacher College to share with us the ways in which you are moved to live and act differently. With a focus on interactive, experiential and participatory learning, Schumacher College offers the practical skills and strategic thinking required to face the ecological, economic and social challenges of the 21st Century bringing together the leading thinkers, activists and practitioners internationally, to deliver a unique brand of small group learning experiences. Schumacher College has an enviable reputation for cutting-edge learning.

We need new thinking and new models of our economic system that recognise the challenges we face rather than blindly following the path that has led us into the converging crises we now face. These models include climate change, biodiversity loss, the peaking in fossil fuel energy supplies, financial instability, food security, poverty and so on. They will be built on an understanding of the complementarily of ecological protection and human flourishing.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • Core modules
    • SCH504 Economics for Transition Dissertation

      This module provides students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their capacity for independent study in the application of research skills to a topic appropriate to the degree.

    • SCH509 The Ecological Paradigm

      This module explores the evolution of sustainability from Brundtland, to the triple bottom line to the recent focus on ecological resilience. Students apply principles from ecology & contemporary science to the socio-economic domain and develop personal & group inquiry practices to raise awareness of the interdependent relationship between the individual, society and nature.

    • SCH510 Emergence of the New Economy

      This module shows how current sustainability challenges are systemically linked to global economic forces. It re-examines the neoclassical economic paradigm from an historical perspective and through the lens of alternative schools of thought to derive pluralistic principles for a new economic approach. Students co-create transition scenarios for a sustainable future.

    • SCH511 New Economics in Practice

      How are we going to make the transition to low carbon, high well-being and resilient economies? This module applies the principles of the new economy to practice by demonstrating the application of practical tools, methods and policy interventions and illustrating with case studies from around the globe and drawn from students own experience.

    Optional modules
    • SCH5405 Contemporary Issues in Holistic Science

      Rapid developments in mainstream science are converging on key insights in holistic science. This module allows students to explore a range of these convergences together with their various social and ethical implications.

    • SCH5409 Economics and Development

      This module will examine the process of development to date, providing a critique of today's dominant paradigm and models and will explore various alternative emerging development paths and strategies that are more socially just and ecologically sustainable.

    • SCH5412 Sustainable Enterprise

      This module will review different models of sustainable enterprise, both old and new, to show the plethora of alternatives to shareholder capitalism. Links will be made to the financial processes and reforms needed to support ethical and green investment in enterprises for the future.

    • SCH5413 Writing the Transition

      This module will examine the importance of the use of language, narratives and framing in communicating messages relating to sustainability and new economics, drawing on recent findings to emerge from disciplines including neuro-linguistics and psychology. It will enable students to assess their own internal frames and to experiment with different writing styles aimed at influencing different audiences for different purposes.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements


A relevant degree with honours or an equivalent professional qualification. Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis.


Information for international students applying for a postgraduate course


Postgraduate bursaries and scholarships

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply

For further information and to apply for this course, please contact the college's admissions team directly using the contact details below. 

Our partnership with Schumacher College

The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Programme information

Learn about creating an economic system fit for the ecological, social, economic and spiritual challenges of the 21st century as we make the great transition to low carbon, high wellbeing and resilient economies.

Find out more about the MA programme

Studying with Schumacher College

Study with some of the biggest international names in social, economic and ecological thinking for the 21st century. Experience our radical blend of traditional and reflective learning in a communal living and working environment.

Find out more about studying at Schumacher College