Diploma in Moral Economy & Sustainable Development

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The core taught modules provide an in-depth analysis of the core issues and debates surrounding sustainable development in the contemporary global and professional contexts. The optional (elective) modules enable students to develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of moral, economic, environmental and social issues. The role of public and private institutions engaged in sustainable development are also appreciated in responding to the challenges and policy implications of the Sustainable Development Goals in the context of different communities.

Elective modules will be offered on student preference and viability of group size. This will be made clear to applicants on the programme. The dissertation provides an opportunity for an in-depth exploration of a specific issue related to sustainable development agenda.

Course Level

This programme is approved and credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). It is available on a full-time or part-time basis.

The programme comprises 120 credits at SCQF level 11.

Course Duration

The programme is delivered full-time comprising two semesters.

Part-time basis (one-year) and block delivery may also be available.


Entry Requirements


Academic requirements  An honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent.

In addition, professional experience will be also recognised for enrolment in the course.

Work experience Not required, however professional experience will be recognised for enrolment in the course


English language requirements

International applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK will need to ensure that they have an IELTS test from a UKVI approved test centre.

Applicants would need to have achieved an average score of 6.5 in their IELTS test (with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four sub-components of language learning (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

Full entry requirements can be found here

Programme Aims

The proposed programme aims to explore critically, a range of perspectives and debates surrounding sustainable development in the contemporary global and professional contexts. It will provide students with a critical understanding of sustainable development theory and practice, and the skills required to contribute to, as well as, to critically analyse and evaluate sustainable development research, policy and practice in a range of contexts. The programme employs a multi-disciplinary approach aiming to provide students with the necessary knowledge, tools and skills to pursue successful research or professional careers in areas of sustainable development.

The programme explores the interaction of Islam and sustainable development and aims to provide a high-quality masters level study that:

  • Systematically and critically explores concepts, debates and approaches surrounding sustainable development in the contemporary global and professional contexts.
  • Develops a critical understanding of the implications of concepts, values and principles for sustainable development policy and practice.
  • Develops knowledge and understanding to critically evaluate the key concepts, theories, frameworks and strategies used in sustainable development targeting different communities.
  • Engages students in a range of contemporary sustainable development issues relevant to their particular interests, strengths, academic, professional and/or developmental needs.
  • Facilitates self-direction and originality to act autonomously in designing, planning, implementing and critically analysing and evaluating at master’s level in specialist areas.


The programme is comprised of compulsory and optional units.

Unit SCQF level Credits Compulsory/ optional Start date
Islamic Moral Economy and Finance 11 20 Compulsory September
Sustainable Development: Discourse and Policy 11 20 Compulsory September
Research Skills and Project Report 11 20 Compulsory September
Sustainable Governance and Democracy 11 20 Optional January
Civic institutions and Sustainable Development 11 20 Optional January
Development Policy and Application 11 20 Optional January
Sustainability and Ethics 11 20 Optional January
Theoretical and Practical Entrepreneurship 11 20 Optional September

Islamic Moral Economy and Finance

This unit develops a critical understanding of the origin and evolution, concepts and aims of the Islamic moral economy at a micro and macro levels, including Islamic finance as practical tool of Islamic economics. The unit covers a number of themes including: an overview of the foundation of Islamic moral economy and economic analysis of the prevailing theories, Islamic macroeconomic theories and the major structural themes of Islamic economics related to the voluntary sector, prohibitive elements in market transactions, and appraisal of the factors of production from an Islamic perspective.

Sustainable Development: Discourse and Policy

The underlying theory behind different approaches of economic development and sustainability is introduced in this unit to enable students to critically understand the consequences of carrying on with the current developmental practices of the Business As Usual (BAU) model on the future of the planet. The unit will also provide the necessary skills for understanding current debates and events in the fields of ecology, economic development and sustainability.

Research Skills and Project Report

This unit provides an opportunity for students to develop further as independent learners through the completion of a supervised study, which can include some elements of research carried out in a fieldwork context. It also explores a range of methods appropriate to a range of disciplines including entrepreneurship, banking and finance, management, and sustainable development and aims to develop students’ analytic skills, which are essential aspects of conducting independent project.

At the end of the unit, students will be required to produce a mini dissertation of 6,000 – 8,000 words.

Sustainable Governance and Democracy

This unit draws on the body of classical writings on the political and governance systems of Islam, the role of governments, and the legacy systems left by European governments in some countries after colonial rule, to develop a critical understanding of the contemporary debates and challenges facing sustainable development professionals.

Civic Institutions and Sustainable Development

The unit explores the role of civil society organisations (such as charities, religious institutions, and community, education, environmental and women organisations) in promoting good governance, in advocacy, policy change and service/programme delivery related to sustainable development.

Development Policy and Application

This unit explores the complexities, constraints and debates surrounding the development policy process. It also explores the politics surrounding development policy; the competing interests trying to influence the agenda and design of development solutions. The role Islamic values and maqasid shariah (objectives) are also explored in influencing and directing development policy agendas and solutions.

Sustainability and Ethics

This unit evaluates the influence of ESG issues inherent in the objectives of Islam (Maqasid al-Shariah) on shaping responsible organisation/business and Islamic finance operations (particularly SRF – socially responsible finance – and SRI – socially responsible investment). In addition, it examines how ESG issues inherent in the objectives of Islam (Maqasid al-Shariah) can be employed with financial metrics to assess the risks and opportunities of responsible investment decisions.

Theoretical and Practical Entrepreneurship

This unit examines the sources, concepts, and principles defined by Islamic ontology. Everyday practice of businesses and management can be different; and therefore, this unit draws upon the normative and positive discussion on management issues in Islamic and everyday life of Muslim societies. Examples of entrepreneurship from the Muslim world, which incorporate cultural and religious elements will be presented and discussed. In particular, the module develops a critical insight into the combined tool of entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and Islamic finance, to reduce poverty, empower people and contribute to sustainable development.


Teaching for all compulsory and optional units will be delivered through a blended model of face-to-face and digital teaching methods.


Graduates of this programme will typically find work in organisations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors in a broad range of sustainable development positions and roles.

The Diploma opens up opportunities for careers that demand postgraduate skills in sustainable development such as in research, management, policy analysis and consultancy, sustainable development programme planning, international development, and which require multi-disciplinary understanding to address challenges in their workplace and in the world.

Student Life

The College provides a conducive environment for its learners and staff in terms of facilities. More importantly, the College promotes multiculturalism as encapsulated in its vision and philosophy. The College is also situated near the city centre of Dundee close to the Universities of Dundee and Abertay as well as the Dundee College.

Tuition Fees