Type of qualification
Level of study
Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.
Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.
Time to complete
International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.
Study a Master of Sustainable Development Goals – MSDG
The Master of Sustainable Development Goals focuses 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.
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 and inequality, climate and 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. You’ll learn how to measure progress against the SDGs and the paradigms of indigenous knowledge and practice.
Each specialisation has contemporary relevance to local, national, regional and global wellbeing. These practical taught courses focus on you as a practitioner, working in an area related to sustainable development.
The final component of your degree is a research practicum. You’ll identify an organisation with which to work towards policies or practices guided by the SDG framework in your subject area. You’ll then conduct research on, and analyse the sustainable development work, undertaken by that organisation.
A MSDG is a good fit if you:
- want to address contemporary problems facing both people and the planet
- seek skills in applying sustainable development within an organisation
- are interested in alternatives to the dominant Western paradigm.
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
To enter the Master of Sustainable Development Goals you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a grade average of at least B in the highest level courses.
You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.
English language requirements
To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Get advice button on this page.
English language skills
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.
Maximum time limits for completion
There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.
Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit
Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit.
- Look for information under ‘Student Progression’ in the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.
- Contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.
To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.
You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.
Structure of the Master of Sustainable Development Goals
The Master of Sustainable Development Goals is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.
Part One is coursework and Part Two is a research practicum.
For progression from Part One to Part Two, students must have achieved a Grade Average of at least a B over the 120 credits of the Part One courses.
If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.
Courses and specialisations
- Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
- Course code
- Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
- Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
- Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.
- Part One: Schedule A core courses – 60 credits
- Part One: Schedule B subject courses – 60 credits
- Part Two: Schedule B practicum inquiry – 60 credits
This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.
Course planning key
- Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
- Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
- Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.
Schedule A: Part One Core courses (Choose 60 credits from)
Course code: 131704 Sustainable Development credits 30
A course concerned with the concept of sustainable development in all its dimensions (economic, social and environmental), focused on the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Conceptual lenses, including Indigenous understandings of sustainability and the sustainable livelihoods framework, are also discussed.View full course details
Course code: 131709 Sustainable Development Goals in Practice credits 30
This course provides advanced study in the practice of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on the application of the SDGs to real-world circumstances. Students will be exposed to diverse approaches, frameworks, and tools for measuring and integrating sustainability in policy making and practice.View full course details
Schedule B: Subjects
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.
Completing a subject is compulsory. A subject in the Master of Sustainable Development Goals requires 120 credits including an 800-level practicum inquiry course of 60 credits and any compulsory courses.
Business and Sustainability
This qualification will give you an advanced grounding in the theory, practice, and application of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to business and sustainability.
Massey’s Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Disaster Management) will give you an advanced grounding in the theory, practice, and application of the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to disaster management.
Economics for Sustainability
Gain the knowledge, skills, and tools to enable a shift towards sustainable development from the perspective of environmental sustainability, good governance, and institutions.
This qualification will give you an advanced grounding in the theory, practice, and application of the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to environmental sustainability.
Massey’s Master of Sustainable Development Goals (Global Development) will give you an advanced grounding in the theory, practice, and application of the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to global development.
Peace and Security
This qualification provides a comprehensive understanding of the global peace and security challenges we are facing and how they relate to wellbeing and development, as indicated within the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Fees and scholarships
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
- Student loans (StudyLink)
- Fees Free
- Student portal
This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.
Careers and job opportunities
There is strong demand in the global marketplace for workers with the skills to translate, implement, monitor and report on the SDGs.
The SDGs are already facing challenges. How are the goals’ macro-level aspirations, collected through multiple rounds of global consultation, translated into everyday community settings such as:
- the health sector
- the workplace.
Employees with these skills are in demand in both public and private organisations.
Accreditations and rankings
QS Ranking - Development Studies
Massey is ranked in the world's top 50 universities for development studies in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.
Useful planning information
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions. Learn more on careers.govt.nz