Economics for Transition

MA, PG Cert

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Never has there been a more important time for a new approach to economics.

There is an urgent need for a radical rethink of our economic system. We need new thinking and new models that recognise the challenges we face now, rather than blindly following the path that has led us into the converging crises we now face.

These models will enable us to both mitigate the impacts and adapt to these inter-locking crises – including 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 complementarity of ecological protection and human flourishing.

For 20 years, pioneering thinkers and practitioners have been developing alternative economic ideas, models and experiments that were once considered radical and marginal. As we turn to face a new economic dawn, these theories and practices are now moving centre stage.

"I can honestly say with hand on heart that my time as external examiner for the MA Economics of Transition has been without a shadow of a doubt the most enjoyable and rewarding external examining experience I have had in my academic career…..This Masters has produced the highest quality written work that I have come across at this level as both a teacher in my own university and in my experience of external examining in other universities across the UK and Ireland.  Part of the pleasure and learning for me has been in observing how I think the students benefit enormously from the ‘Schumacher experience’, the intense, protected and supported learning environment of Schumacher college which of course spills over into personal development and growth and the development or unfolding of something we rarely explicitly focus on in higher education today, that of cultivating character, the fusing of knowledge and passion within an intense learning community and experience.  It has been a pleasure to be associated with this new Masters programme, to see it grow and blossom, and become a place where future leaders in the transition from unsustainability have been cultivated, supported, mentored and launched into the world."
John Barry, External Examiner, Economics For Transition 2014-2015

Why Schumacher College?

Since 1991, Schumacher College has been pioneering radical new thinking in economics, attracting leading teachers, practitioners and activists from across the globe. We have inspired and supported thousands of organisations and individuals from many different countries in their quest to achieve a more sustainable and equitable world.

In 2011, in response to the deepening economic and related crises, we launched our first postgraduate programme in Economics for Transition in association with the New Economics Foundation, the Transition Network and the Business School at Plymouth University.

Now in its fourth year, this partnership offers you an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the cream of radical economic thinking, activism and entrepreneurship globally.

Hosted by highly respected radical economists, completed by an unrivalled visiting faculty of teachers and practitioners from across the world, you have a unique chance to join those at the forefront of new economic thinking.

More detail about our innovative approach to teaching and learning at the College can be found here >>

Our Teachers Include:

Who Is This Course For?

We are delighted to receive your application whether you are coming directly from an undergraduate degree, taking time-out to study mid-career or wanting an opportunity to retrain in a subject area that is of huge importance to our global economic future and wellbeing.

We are looking for enthusiastic agents of change who are ready to co-create a new economy in practice. We are looking for those prepared to take a risk and stand on the cutting-edge of new thinking in this area.

Schumacher College welcomes students from all over the world in its diverse mix of cultural experience and age group that allows for rich peer to peer learning.

What Will You Learn?

  • The key sustainability issues facing the world today
  • How ecological, economic and social crises are systemically linked to the malfunctioning of today’s globalised economy
  • A critique of the dominant neoclassical, industrial growth model from different perspectives
  • A theoretical and experiential understanding of an ecological world-view
  • How to apply ecology and complexity science to the economy and social systems
  • The co-creation of a new approach to economics drawn from alternative schools of thought
  • The co-creation of future scenarios and pathways towards low-carbon, high wellbeing and resilient economies
  • Participation in current debates on the economics of transition
  • New economics tools, methods and policies and their application to real-world case studies
  • Self-evaluation to improve professional practice

You will also carry out an independent research project related to the economics of transition

Where Will You Go?

Are you ready to join a new generation of business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, researchers, consultants and activists?

Graduates from this programme will have the skills and knowledge to work for sustainable change in the public and private sectors as well as in civil society, or to set up their own projects or organisations that will contribute to the transition to a new economy.

Hear from some of our past and present students and find out how this programme has changed their lives and careers by reading our the Economics for Transition student profiles.

What Others Have Said:

" I teach at Schumacher College because of its strong link with ecological sustainability and an approach which is based on collaborative co-creation. People are not told what to do, together they co-create their ideas. It’s a fundamentally different model of education that we can learn from and apply to the economy as well as other areas of our life."
- Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly, London School of Economics

" In making the transition to a world in which we can all thrive within planetary boundaries, it is paradigm shift or bust, and nobody does paradigm shift better than Schumacher College. Its learning environment and the content of its courses make visions of a better world tangible. And, the Economics for Transition MA shows how right now we can take the first steps to get there. "
- Andrew Simms, Fellow of New Economics Foundation

"The Economics of Transition course demonstrates how to unite the theory and practices of ecological economics and social economics to secure Co-operative Commonwealth. "
-Pat Conaty, Executive Director of Rebuilding Society Network

" Schumacher College is one of the few places I know where economic questions are being asked as openly as they need to be. When I run seminars there, I learn as much as I teach. "
- Kate Raworth, Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute

Our Teachers

Jonathan Dawson, Coordinator and Senior Lecturer – Economics For Transition

Jonathan is a sustainability educator, currently working as Head of Economics at Schumacher College in Devon. Until recently a long-term resident at the Findhorn ecovillage and a former President of the Global Ecovillage Network, he has around 20 years experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager in the field of small enterprise development in Africa and South Asia.



Julie Richardson, Manager of Schumacher Worldwide and Senior Lecturer

Julie has taught ecological economics and international development at the Universities of London and Sussex and has worked in sustainable development for over 20 years in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. This experience changed her view of ‘development’ – believing there is much we can learn from the wisdom of other cultures about sustainable livelihoods and restoring healthy relationship between human society and nature. Julie has applied systems thinking and complexity science to different aspects of sustainability – including sustainable design, organizational change and environmental policy. The Landscope project at Dartington arose out of this work to demonstrate industrial ecology in practice

Tim Crabtree, Senior Lecturer – Economics for Transition

Tim Crabtree has been involved in “new economics” for 30 years, after studying economics at Oxford University and then working for the New Economics Foundation for 5 years. He has experience in policy development, local economic development and business advice, and was the co-founder of a number of a successful social enterprises including the Wessex Reinvestment Trust group and Dorset-based Local Food Links Ltd – where he was responsible for developing farmers’ markets, food festivals, community gardening projects, a specialist workspace (the Centre for Local Food), a vocational training programme for young people and a school meals catering service, employing 25 people, which now supplies 33 schools with a turnover in excess of £1 million p.a.

Associated Institutions

nefnef (the new economics foundation)

Nef was founded in 1986 by the leaders of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) which forced issues such as international debt onto the agenda of the G7 and G8 summits. They combine rigorous analysis and policy debate with practical and innovative solutions to economic, environmental and social issues.

transition networkTransition Network

The Transition Network supports an international movement to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities and organisations to rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.

Business School at Plymouth University.

Plymouth University Business School are committed to social and environmental enterprise and were top of the People and Planet Green League of Universities in 2010.

Bursaries Are Available For This Programme

The Schumacher College Postgraduate Bursary Fund exists to enable those with potential and in financial need to participate in our Masters programmes.

Tuition Fees Bursary All students are eligible to apply for the Tuition Fees Bursary. There is no set limit to the size of an individual Tuition Fees Bursary, however smaller bursaries inevitably have a greater chance of success and amounts greater than £2,000 will only be offered in exceptional circumstances.

You may submit a Bursary application with your Masters application. Your Bursary will be considered if you are offered a place on your chosen Masters programme. Please click here to download the Postgraduate Bursary Application Form Please read carefully the Terms and Conditions and instructions given on the application form.

The E.F. Schumacher Scholarship Award

Learn more about the E.F. Schumacher Scholarship and how to apply

Chevening Scholarships Awards

International Students applying to us for  Holistic Science and Economics for Transition postgraduate programmes starting in September 2017 may be eligible to apply for a Chevening Scholarship. To find out more and see if your country is listed please see:   When searching for the MA Economics for Transition programme on the Chevening site please look under 'Economics' as the subject area. Please note:  The deadline for applying to Chevening for a 2017/2018 award is 8 November 2016; whilst applications to Schumacher College remain open until March 31st 2017; students applying to Schumacher College after this deadline should e-mail to discuss places available.