Corporate Environmental Management MSc

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Why Surrey?

This programme is run by the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES), which is a leading centre for environmental and sustainability-related research and postgraduate teaching.

CES accommodates a wide range of disciplines dedicated to resolving environmental problems, and this Masters programme prepares future environmental and sustainability professionals for the challenges faced by the corporate world.

Programme overview

This programme gives you a solid grounding in issues key to the sustainable development debate. The views of stakeholders such as business groups, environmentalists, government agencies and development institutions will be considered.

You will acquire the necessary skills to evaluate existing frameworks, inquire into environmental issues in organisations and industries, and develop sensitive business practices.

The programme provides excellent preparation for any corporate-focused environmental career. It provides a route to graduate membership of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment. We encourage you to read about the past and present student experiences of our environment and sustainability programmes.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over 12 months and part-time for up to 60 months. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

  • Provide participants with a solid grounding in the sustainable development debate from the wide-range of perspectives, i.e. business groups, environmentalists, government agencies, development institutions, etc.
  • Equip participants to evaluate existing political, socio-economic, ethical, cultural and regulatory frameworks to inform decisions regarding environmental practice
  • Equip participants to develop a sensitive business practice towards environmental and social issues
  • To equip students with the necessary skills for critical inquiry related to environmental issues in organisations and industries

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Intra and inter-organisational contexts in which corporate environmental strategies are developed
  • Concepts of sustainable development and their usefulness to business ethics
  • Evolving regulatory and policy framework as part of engendering an anticipatory view of environmental management
  • Knowledge of a range of corporate environmental management strategies and control mechanisms
  • Accessing and using environmental data

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Absorb complex environmental information and communicate them effectively through logically constructed argumentsCreatively formulate new ideas (MSc, PGDip and PGCert)
  • Learn the value of teamwork to solve problems that require multi-disciplinary engagement
  • Independent learning and study through self-directed assignments and dissertation
  • Critical reading and analysis of environmental policy and regulation
  • Inductive reasoning: using specific examples/observations and forming a more general principal
  • Deductive reasoning: use stated general premise to reason about specific examples

Professional practical skills

  • Comprehend how corporations build, implement and maintain an Environmental Management System (EMS)
  • To perform an EMS Audit according to the ISO standards
  • Give coherent presentations
  • Lead discussions on complex subject areas
  • See the other side of the argument given that there are varying and often conflicting perspectives in the environment field
  • Competently handle environment information
  • Self-motivation, self-regulation and self-assurance

Key / transferable skills

  • Acquire knowledge and skills to prepare and deliver a structured and successful presentation
  • Write effectively as a means of communicating important ideas
  • Communication of findings and presentation of research to a non-specialist audience
  • Lead discussion of small/large groups
  • Organise and manage a research project
  • Basic to advanced IT skills, depending on type of electives and dissertation topic
  • Willingness to learn


Several high-profile guest lecturers have assisted with the delivery of some of the modules. CES modules make maximum use of guest lecturers, drawing on the practical skills and experience of key experts from government and industry to complement the theoretical components of the modules offered.

For example, Jonathon Porritt, former chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, gives a guest lecture on the Sustainable Development Applications module, analysing the standing of sustainable development in business and policy making.

The extensive expertise of CES academics and researchers is also drawn upon in modules. Professor Tim Jackson, advisor to the government and international bodies and author of the seminal book, Prosperity without Growth – economics for a finite planet–also lectures on some CES modules.

Industrial placement

Full-time students are able to undertake an industrial placement module which enables them to spend six to twelve weeks working for a company or NGO, doing the type of work they will aim to find on graduation.

Examples of organisations at which recent industrial placements have taken place include:

  • Minimise Solutions
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • GAP
  • Diocese of London
  • The Radisson
  • LC Energy
  • Solar Aid
  • NUS


Graduates go on to a diverse range of careers implementing sustainable development and dealing with the real environmental challenges facing humanity.

Recent examples include working as an energy efficiency officer for a local government, an environmental officer in multi-national chemical company, a sustainability advisor for a national television / radio station, an environmental consultant for an engineering consultancy, and a programme officer with a sustainability charity.

Other graduates use the research skills they developed to go on and do PhDs.

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Professor Stephen Morse

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: To be confirmed
  • Part-time: To be confirmed

Start date:

Sep 2017

Entry Requirements

The normal entry level is a minimum 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in social, life or physical sciences, or engineering disciplines.

Applicants without a qualifying degree, who have significant relevant experience, will also be considered.Students are accepted on our MSc programmes from a wide range of academic backgrounds, the strengths of which will be built upon during each specific course.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2017 £9,500 £19,000
Part-time Sep 2017 £1,100* £2,200*

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


The Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence

For all (with the exception of MBA) postgraduate taught courses starting in September 2017 within the Surrey Business School and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management we are offering all applicants who hold a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent the opportunity to be awarded between £2,000 and £4,000 through the Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence Scheme. Download a flyer or read more for eligibility and to apply.

For more details

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

Find out more


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.