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Master in Sustainable Development Practice (MSDP)


Masters in Sustainable Development Practice (MSDP) is a global multi and interdisciplinary graduate degree program that prepares students to better identify and address the challenges of sustainable development. This programme consists of two years of coursework in four intersecting disciplines-health, natural, social, and management sciences-combined with cross-sectoral field training. The multi and interdisciplinary nature of this MSDP programme equips development practitioners to speak the different “languages” of specialists, for example, health, agronomy, and economics, in enabling them to better understand the root causes of extreme poverty and to address the challenges of sustainable development. One of the unique characteristics of this programme is one of the courses i.e. Global Classroom: Foundations of Sustainable Development Practice - a course that fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration and allows students and teachers from around the world to participate in collective assignments and learning experiences through a live video conference. Students from around the world are assigned the same readings and then join their classmates for a live weekly on-camera sessions with global experts. The programme is monitored by the Global Association Board of Master’s in Development Practice (MDP). At the moment, there are 31 universities in 6 continents offering this programme globally and the MSDP programme at USM is offered in Kuala Lumpur since September 2014.


Programme Educational Objectives (PEO)

The MSDP Programme Educational Objectives are: 

Programme Learning Outcomes (PLO)

At the end of the MSDP programme, the students will be able to:


Students have to complete a total of 44 units of core courses and electives courses to graduate. The core courses consist of 38 units, while the elective courses consist of 6 units. Both the core and the electives courses are divided into these clusters – General Cluster, Global and Health Cluster, Science and Engineering Clusters, Management Cluster, Social Science Cluster.

The duration of studies shown below,

  • Full-time students: Minimum 4 semesters / Maximum 8 semesters
  • Part-time students: Minimum 6 semesters / Maximum 10 semester

Classes are held in person (physical classes) during the weekend for both full-time and part-time students, possibly every fortnightly in Kuala Lumpur (sains@KL).

Class venue:
Universiti Sains Malaysia Kuala Lumpur,
Level 20, MoF Inc Tower, Platinum Park,
No. 9 Persiaran KLCC,
50088 Kuala Lumpur


Core courses (38 units)

Students must register all the 12 core courses, altogether they are 38 units for the core courses.

  • General Cluster
    • NDP 501/3 Global Classroom: Integrated Approaches To Sustainable Development
    • NDP 502/3 Research Methods for Sustainable Development
    • NDP 503/3 Project Design Evaluation and Management
    • NDP 504/3 Masters in Sustainable Development Practice Project
  • Global Health Cluster
    • NDP 511/3 Health Policy and Management
  • Science & Engineering Cluster
    • NDP 513/3 Human Ecology and Sustainable Development
    • NDP 516/3 Energy Infrastructure Planning
  • Management Cluster
    • NDP 514/3 Budget Planning and Financial Management
    • NDP 518/3 Information Technology for Development
  • Social Science Cluster
    • NDP 512/3 Social Services Management
    • NDP 515/3 Law and Governance in Development
    • NDP 517/3 Economic Analysis for Sustainable Development

Electives (6 units)

The remaining 6 units will be from the elective courses, students must choose 2 out of 3 elective courses. For elective courses availability is based on the number of student enrolment i.e. at least 6 students in a class.

  • General Cluster
    • NDP 542/3 Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • NDP 544/3 Application of Environmental Science
    • NDP 546/3 Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Enterprise



Full-time student (4 semesters)

Full-time/part time students (6 semesters)

Full-time/part time students (8 semesters)


Applicants should possess the following:

  • A minimum of 2.75/4.00 for Bachelor degree; or
  • CGPA below 2.75/4.00 for Bachelor degree with additional requirements

(Applicable for International Applicants Only)

A minimum score of 35 in Internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language); or

  • A minimum of Band 5 in IELTS (International English Language Testing System); or
  • A minimum score of 154 in Cambridge English Advance (CAE); or
  • A minimum score of 154 in Cambridge Proficiency Advance (CPE); or
  • A minimum score of 36 in Pearson Test of English (PTE); or
  • A minimum of Band 2 in MUET (Malaysian University English Test)

Exemption can be given if:

English is the candidate's mother tongue or National Language; or

The candidate graduated from an Institution of Higher Learning in which the medium of instruction is English


Semester 1 (April) & Semester 2 (October)

Programme Book

MSDP Programme Book - download here

Contact Person
Dr. Noor Adelyna Mohammed Akib
Deputy Director
Centre for Global Sustainability Studies
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM Penang
Tel no.: +60 4653 6651 / Email: