In a collaborative arrangement with universities in the United Kingdom, the University of Madras will be offering online master's degree course in sustainable development and environmental management. Jointly developed by the faculty from Staffordshire University in the U.K. and the University of Madras, the M.Sc. programme in sustainability for natural resource management and sustainable development for urban environments will begin this September. The degree will be conferred by both the universities. The partnership between the two universities was established in 2004 as part of Staffordshire University's outreach programme.

The fee for this online course for Indian students will be roughly Rs.2 lakh for the standard three-year part- time programme.

The same course could cost about Rs.6 lakh if pursued in U.K. universities. Funding for the development of the SNRM award has been secured from the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). Apart from students, city planners in the country could benefit immensely by pursuing the course.