MLA College

CertHE Global Sustainable Development

MLA College is a specialist in global education, earning acclaim as an award-winning higher education provider. Specialising in UK distance learning degrees, which can be studied from anywhere in the world, our focus extends beyond boundaries, particularly within the dynamic marine and maritime sector. Established in 2012, MLA College, formerly Marine Learning Alliance Ltd, has transcended its origins at the University of Plymouth and now proudly stands as a registered higher education institution in England.
What sets them apart is their robust collaboration with the United Nations Institute for training and Research (UNITAR), a partnership that amplifies our commitment to delivering cutting-edge sustainability programs. These initiatives are designed to resonate across all sectors of industry, making a lasting impact on global education.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Principles of Sustainable Development (MLA411)

      This module introduces students to the ideas and concepts that have underpinned our thinking around sustainable development. Through a series of lectures and visits, students will explore the ways in which we have approached sustainability on a number of fronts. It also uses sustainable development as a framework for enhancing key academic skills, and enculturation into the expectations of studying in UK Higher Education.

    • Environmental Systems (MLA412)

      Systems thinking is a crucial skill when considering sustainability. This module discovers the four systems of the natural world; the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. In particular it addresses their linkages, such that changes in one often result in impacts in another. This knowledge will underpin all discussion of the environmental science in the course.

    • Economic Geography (MLA413)

      Economic inequalities are addressed within a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This module explains some of the fundamental and theoretical economic concepts at play, as well as discusses how economic systems can provide both the cause, and potential solutions, behind many of these areas of global and regional inequality.

    • Space and Society (MLA414)

      How humans organise and identify themselves, and the kinds of political and cultural conditions this creates have a significant impact on the differences between us. Moreover, they can also underpin our relationship with nature. Thus, this module will investigate the ways in humans have organised and conceived of space and the places they live in and relate to.

    • Mapping Sustainable Solutions (MLA415)

      Many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals are concerned with the differences between the human and natural world. However, in developing students as researchers, it is important to understand how practitioners collect and analyse information in order to understand these spatial differences. This module will look at various ways of data collection, analysis, and presentation to help answer these concerns.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

For the latest information regarding programme fees please visit:
MLA offer a number of bursaries and discounts, including Women in Maritime Bursary Scheme and Professional Membership Discount. Check the MLA website for more details.

How to apply

To apply for the course please fill in the online application form on the Marine Learning Alliance website.
Admissions tutors for the MLA College will check all applications thoroughly, and may also arrange an interview (usually by telephone or Skype), in order to assess your suitability for study. Offers are based on the information provided in the application documents and interview (where appropriate).
If you have any further questions or would like to discuss any aspect of studying with MLA College, please contact the Marine Learning Alliance

Our partnership with MLA 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. 

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

MLA College

The MLA College has developed blended distance e-learning programmes that are perfectly suited to marine professionals seeking advancement of skills and qualifications without having to attend university full time.
We have developed a flexible syllabus that meets the growing market need for part time study that fits around your working patterns.