Environmental Management MSc

Why choose this course?

The philosophy of the Environmental Management MSc programmes centres on the need for new environmental professionals: people with a strong cross-disciplinary understanding of the societal, economic, and environmental challenges posed by the emerging sustainable environmental management agenda.

The course aims to provide you with the in-depth knowledge and the essential practical and evaluative skills needed to give leadership for low carbon, resource efficient, sustainable futures in diverse global contexts. It will provide a good basis for careers in local government, NGOs, major international companies, independent consultants, and in education (eg. research and enterprise).

The final masters award title will be reflected by your chosen pathway:

  • Environmental Management MSc  this core pathway explores the rationale behind the exploitation of natural environments. It provides you with detailed knowledge and understanding of the important relationships between sustainable environmental management and natural ecosystems and the value of adopting an integrated approach to studying both.
  • Environmental Management (Energy) MSc  this pathway is timely, nationally and internationally relevant, given the world's energy needs, as well as the surrounding political debates regarding fossil fuels and increasingly, renewables, which form such an essential component of the world's existence.
Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Two days a week (Wednesday and Thursday) September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement Two days a week (Wednesday and Thursday) plus placement year September 2020
Part time 2 years One day a week (Wednesday or Thursday) September 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • These courses meet the need for environmental professionals who understand the challenges of sustainable environmental management. They are accredited by the IEMA, a worldwide alliance of environment and sustainability professionals.
  • Kingston has established and active links with European and American Universities, ensuring the courses are globally relevant.
  • These courses offer practical fieldwork experience.

Please note: fieldwork will incur an additional cost. Details can be found in relevant module guides or from the course director.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). IEMA is the professional body for everyone working in environment and sustainability. This course entitles students to FREE student membership for the duration of the course and on successful completion you qualify for GradIEMA. Graduate membership is a launchpad for future leaders within environment and sustainability and offers a range of benefits to support you throughout your career. You can then "Fast track" to Practitioner Membership.

What you will study

You will study the theoretical, practical and legal frameworks promoting sustainable environmental management and other drivers for sustainable behaviour at individual, institutional and governmental scales. You will learn how to innovate, respond to new and emerging challenges and work effectively in changing and unfamiliar situations.

The programme is made up of four modules each worth 30 credits and a research project module worth 60 credits. You will have the option of choosing from modules which explore aspects of sustainable environmental management, such as water, energy and land resources management and climate change.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Students will be required to pass every module to then go on placement.

Environmental Management MSc (Core pathway)

Environmental Management (Energy) MSc

Core modules

Environmental Management

30 credits

This module explores the motivations for, and paradigms of, 'sustainable development' at scales ranging from local to global including its grounding in economics, the social environment, in environmental politics and policy making as underpinned by law.

Water, Energy and Land Resources Management

30 credits

This module examines the relationship between water, energy and land (including the WEL-nexus), associated environmental management challenges and sustainable management solutions. The module will develop an understanding and critical evaluation of these challenges at a variety of scales through the systematic investigation of the component challenges (water, energy and land), the interface between the components and their relationship to sustainable development.

Research Methods and Techniques

30 credits

This module provides basic skills in research methods and techniques, including geographical information system (GIS) for data storage, manipulation and display. It initially develops GIS skills by introducing GIS concepts, sources for geographical information and outlines basic spatial concepts. Subsequently the module encompasses the theoretical underpinnings to research methods and techniques, including sampling schemes, measurements, quality control issues, and data collection, manipulation and analysis. This together with practical elements of designing research proposals and data testing enables the necessary skills for carrying out independent research work.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the use of GIS in the capture, storage and handling, manipulation and analysis of geographical information.
  • Critically discuss what a GIS is and develop an understanding of its relevance to key application areas.
  • Apply the latest developments in geographical database technology to geographical database case studies.
  • Synthesise the literature on a specific topic and identify key researchable issues relating to the literature review.
  • With respect to one researchable issue, develop aims and objectives and relevant research methodologies for a specific research project to enable them to meet their aims and objectives.
  • Manipulate data using a computer and select, execute and interpret results of appropriate data analytical methods.
The Challenge of Climate Change

30 credits

This module reviews current ideas on climate change and its implications for society. The complexities of this debate and their relevance to a sustainable future for human societies, and to ecosystems and planetary well being, more generally, are explored. Keynote lectures will introduce the science of climate change; uncertainties and challenges in global climate change modelling; implications of climate change predictions; appropriate societal responses; and 'best' strategies for mitigating potential climate change and its impacts. The challenges of policy-making against a background of uncertain science are explored through case studies and role-play scenarios and by site visits.

Research Project

60 credits

This final module provides students with the opportunity to design and execute an original research ‘capstone' project related to their own discipline specific interests, which synthesises their learning. They will develop a theoretically informed body of work that integrates both theory and practice. It may take the form of a dissertation, practice project, or experiment-based project. Following submission students present their findings at a Masters Students Conference.

Optional modules

Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.

It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Core modules

Environmental Management

30 credits

This module explores the motivations for, and paradigms of, 'sustainable development' at scales ranging from local to global including its grounding in economics, the social environment, in environmental politics and policy making as underpinned by law.

Water, Energy and Land Resources Management

30 credits

This module examines the relationship between water, energy and land (including the WEL-nexus), associated environmental management challenges and sustainable management solutions. The module will develop an understanding and critical evaluation of these challenges at a variety of scales through the systematic investigation of the component challenges (water, energy and land), the interface between the components and their relationship to sustainable development.

Research Methods and Techniques

30 credits

This module provides basic skills in research methods and techniques, including geographical information system (GIS) for data storage, manipulation and display. It initially develops GIS skills by introducing GIS concepts, sources for geographical information and outlines basic spatial concepts. Subsequently the module encompasses the theoretical underpinnings to research methods and techniques, including sampling schemes, measurements, quality control issues, and data collection, manipulation and analysis. This together with practical elements of designing research proposals and data testing enables the necessary skills for carrying out independent research work.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the use of GIS in the capture, storage and handling, manipulation and analysis of geographical information.
  • Critically discuss what a GIS is and develop an understanding of its relevance to key application areas.
  • Apply the latest developments in geographical database technology to geographical database case studies.
  • Synthesise the literature on a specific topic and identify key researchable issues relating to the literature review.
  • With respect to one researchable issue, develop aims and objectives and relevant research methodologies for a specific research project to enable them to meet their aims and objectives.
  • Manipulate data using a computer and select, execute and interpret results of appropriate data analytical methods.
Energy Management

30 credits

Critically evaluates current ideas in the field of energy (eg production, conservation, economic value and the "energy trilemma"), relating to conventional and non-conventional hydrocarbons; nuclear power; and other alternatives such as wind, wave, geothermal and tidal.

Research Project

60 credits

This final module provides students with the opportunity to design and execute an original research ‘capstone' project related to their own discipline specific interests, which synthesises their learning. They will develop a theoretically informed body of work that integrates both theory and practice. It may take the form of a dissertation, practice project, or experiment-based project. Following submission students present their findings at a Masters Students Conference.

Optional modules

Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.

It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the work placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Tier 4 visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

A good honours degree (2.2 or better) or equivalent in a relevant discipline, such as biology, chemistry, geography, Earth sciences, environmental geography, environmental management, environmental sciences, natural resource management, sustainable development, as the major field(s) of study or a relevant professional qualification, with suitable work experience.

Where applicants have relevant work experience and/or professional qualifications in the field of environmental management, water resources management, energy management and sustainability or related fields may be presented for evaluation against Kingston University's mechanisms and processes for Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning (RPCL) and Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL).

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course the minimum requirement is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 382 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1418 hours

21% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Core pathway

Energy pathway

Core pathway
  • Coursework: 94%
  • Exams: 6%
Energy pathway
  • Coursework: 86%
  • Exams: 14%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes, therefore you may be taught alongside postgraduates from other courses.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the School of Engineering and the Environment in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

The Faculty's wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covers a diverse range of subject areas, from aerospace to geography; from maths and computing to biotechnology; and many more. Our collaborative set-up provides new opportunities for our students, and we design our courses with industry professionals to ensure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

School of Engineering and the Environment

The School of Engineering and the Environment prides itself on the high quality of its teaching, as recognised by the excellent and satisfactory awards in various subject reviews undertaken by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council.

The School has invested in developing its labs for both teaching and research, including:

  • facilities for environmental monitoring, geology, geochemistry, and mapping/GIS/computing; and
  • specialist instrumentation laboratories (eg nuclear metrology; laser raman spectroscopy; and 3D mapping).

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Facilities

There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • the £9.8 million Eadweard Muybridge building with state-of the art laboratories, including labs dedicated to environmental science and geochemistry;
  • new work areas and dedicated laboratories for research;
  • specialist equipment, such as
    • ICP-AES and ICP-MS analytical facility;
    • scanning microscopy (SEM and TEM) and electron microprobe equipment; and
    • laser raman microprobe, fluid inclusion and cathodoluminesence equipment;
  • computing laboratories and a team of IT technicians to offer assistance.

Where this course will take you

Graduates are expected to find extensive career opportunities with NGOs, governmental organisations, businesses, industry and education or as independent consultants and advisers. Recent graduates are employed at local councils as environmental sustainability officers or waste management officers.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting. 

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £15,200
  • MSc part time £8,360

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.


Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

What our graduates say

Prior to the masters, I did a lot of volunteering in the environmental sector in an attempt to help me clarify my career direction. However, it was the MSc itself that pointed the way.

I graduated with an MSc in Environment & Earth Resources Management (now Environmental Management) in 2012. It was an extremely intense year of study and self-discovery, and I enjoyed (and I dare say savoured) every single moment. Prior to the masters, I did a lot of volunteering in the environmental sector in an attempt to help me clarify my career direction. However, it was the MSc itself that pointed the way.

As soon as I attended the first 'Water Resources Management' lecture, I knew I wanted to work in freshwater conservation. I wrote my dissertation in a water topic and received a distinction. This gave me a lot of confidence to go out there and pursue my newly found passion. After graduation, I worked briefly in water policy and in 2014 I moved on to a more hands-on 'project officer' role at a Rivers Trust in SE England where I was able to implement sustainable catchment management activities that helped improve the overall water environment of the river catchment.

I now work as an Education Officer at the Wessex Chalk Stream & Rivers Trust and my passion for freshwater conservation is still as fresh as back in 2012 when I discovered it at Kingston University.

Veronika Moore

Without having undertaken the masters at Kingston, I would not have been able to make this change. I was working in the oil industry and had been through several phases of redundancy. I was based in an office and wanted a career with the opportunity to work outside, as well as to be able to assess and analyse data. As a result, I chose to undertake the masters in Environmental and Earth Resource Management at Kingston University.

The course gave me the flexibility to continue working whilst learning new skills. It offered a variety of subjects and the one which I enjoyed the most was in Contaminated Land. Within months of finishing the course, I was able to secure a position with a contaminated land consultancy and embarked upon a career that combines site work, data assessment and reporting.

Since then, I have worked on complex and challenging investigation and remediation projects, not just in the United Kingdom, but also in Europe, Africa and India. It is a career that is both interesting and rewarding. Without having undertaken the masters at Kingston, I would not have been able to make this change.

Robert Glavin

Current research in this subject

  • Research associated with solid waste management.
  • Investigations into effects of land-use change on decline in biodiversity and species extinctions.
  • Research associated with biogeochemical cycling of trace elements and nutrients in terrestrial and aquatic environments.
  • Investigations into understanding the underlying processes of metal/nutrient transfer between soil and plants; investigations into the long-term behaviour of metals in soils.
  • Investigations into understanding the underlying processes of metal/nutrient transfer between soil and water.
  • Research into the long-term behaviour of land use impacts on diffused water pollution.
  • Investigations into sustainable water uses in developing countries (eg South Africa).
  • Research on desalinisation in developing-world context.
  • Research on globally relevant topics associated with conventional energies, renewable energies and sustainable energies.
  • Exploring the importance of protected areas in tropical developing countries.

Research in the Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research (CEESR)

Research forms part of the Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research (CEESR). Research falls into three different groups:

  • geodynamics and crustal processes - including tectonics, basin evolution and applications of palaeomagnetism to global geodynamics;
  • environmental change - including remote sensing of land cover change in tropical and temperate ecosystems and human impacts on watercourses and soils in Britain; and
  • agriculture, environment and people - including the human, environmental and policy dynamics of rural systems.

Events and lectures

  • Students can attend bi-weekly Departmental Seminar Series (ie CEESR).
  • Students are invited to the annual CEESR Seminar.