MSc Sustainable Development and Environmental Management
- Programme director
- Jonathan Chenoweth
- Programme length
- Full-time: 12 months, Part-time: Up to 60 months, Part-time: up to 60 months
- Programme start date
- September 2013
Offered as part of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.
The taught programme offered by the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) has an interdisciplinary focus that will challenge you to think pragmatically, systematically and creatively about core environmental issues.
Masters courses can be taken full- or part-time, and are taught through a series of intensive, week-long modules. You will also complete a dissertation, and have the option of a placement in industry or the public sector. The programme provides excellent preparation for any sustainability-related career and is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.
Courses offered include:
- MSc Corporate Environmental Management
- MSc Environmental Strategy
- MSc Sustainable Development
- MSc Sustainable Tourism (joint course with the School of Hospitality and Tourism)
Modules from the taught programme, whether individual or in combination, can be taken as stand-alone training for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes. Credits contribute towards Certificate, Diploma or MSc qualifications, and provide the basis for Associate Membership of the IEMA.
Our four MSc programmes are housed in the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES), which is a leading centre for environmental and sustainability-related research and postgraduate teaching in the UK. CES accommodates a wide range of disciplines dedicated to resolving environmental problems.
The programmes prepare a new generation of environmental professionals for the myriad challenges ahead of them. You will gain the knowledge and skills needed to implement ISO 14001 environmental management standards, undertake sustainability life-cycle and environmental risk assessments, develop sustainable and renewable energy solutions, inform low carbon policies and introduce corporate social responsibility programmes into organisations.
You will be encouraged to undertake a placement with a company, NGO or public sector body as part of your MSc degree. In fact, the contacts and experience gained from these placements are what help the University of Surrey to maintain one of the highest employment rates of any UK university.
The normal entry level is a minimum 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in social, life or physical sciences, or engineering disciplines, or sufficient work experience.
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.
English language requirements
IELTS minimum overall: 6.5
IELTS minimum by component:
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.
Fees and funding
All fees are subject to increase or review for subsequent academic years. Please note that not all visa routes permit part-time study and overseas students entering the UK on a Tier 4 visa will not be permitted to study on a part-time basis.
|Programme name||Study mode||Start date||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees|
|MSc Corporate Environmental Management||Full-time||Sept 2013||£6,025||£15,570|
|MSc Corporate Environmental Management||Part-time||Sept 2013||£670 per 15 credits||£1,730 per 15 credits|
|MSc Environmental Strategy||Full-time||Sept 2013||£6,025||£15,570|
|MSc Environmental Strategy||Part-time||Sept 2013||£670 per 15 credits||£1,730 per 15 credits|
|MSc Sustainable Development||Full-time||Sept 2013||£6,025||£15,570|
|MSc Sustainable Development||Part-time||Sept 2013||£670 per 15 credits||£1,730 per 15 credits|
MSc Environmental Strategy
This programme provides both a theoretical and practical grounding for evaluating technical, social, economic and organisational elements of environmental problems.
These include life cycle assessment and other analytical methods to understand how to use resources and manage materials and waste.
You will learn how to anticipate and respond to future policy developments and market pressures, understand stakeholders’ roles and develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.
MSc Sustainable Development
This programme provides the essential tools for analysis of the relationship between environmental issues and human society in order to make informed decisions. As part of this approach, you will evaluate political, socio-economic, ethical, cultural and regulatory frameworks.
You will acquire a sensitive appreciation of issues surrounding sustainable development, especially in relation to developing countries.
MSc Corporate Environmental Management
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 a sensitive business practice.
The programme of study is structured in a flexible format, with modules offered as a series of intensive one-week lectures, seminars and practical exercises, supported by independent learning material.
Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility
This module evaluates and discusses how environmental concerns have affected organisations in the private sector. It will also examine how organisations have affected the content, shape and direction of the environmental debate.
This module introduces the basic insights of ecological economics – that is an economics grounded in ecological realities - and contrast these with perspectives from conventional economic theory and environmental economics.
Environmental Auditing and Management Systems
This module enables students both to understand and develop appropriate environmental policies, and to appreciate and work with environmental management systems (EMS).
This module introduces the structure of key environmental laws in the UK and EU. Regulations covering waste, water and atmospheric pollution will be an important element.
Environmental Science and Society
This module introduces basic environmental science concepts including thermodynamics of ecosystems and human systems, ecology and biodiversity, pollution science, the science of climate change, and environmental policy and human behaviour. During the module, students learn how to undertake environmental risk assessments.
Foundations of Sustainable Development
This module introduces the foundational concepts of Sustainable Development. The aim is to provide a basic understanding of sustainable development that will equip students to discuss and research complex conceptual and practical challenges in the integration of sustainable development ideas in organisations, policies and projects.
This module explores the interface between scientific evaluations of environmental impacts and their use in policy decision processes. Case studies will be important to demonstrate examples.
Life Cycle Thinking
This module introduces participants to life cycle thinking, life cycle management and related environmental systems analysis approaches. Participants gain sufficient depth of understanding to be able to commission an LCA study, interpret the results and provide critical feedback on its execution.
Life Cycle Assessment
This module builds upon the understanding of the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology developed in the Life Cycle Thinking module by providing more in-depth training on LCA methodology, practical experience of doing a LCA and opportunities to analyse LCA case studies.
Sustainable Development Applications
This module provides an introduction to SD for students primarily concerned with industrial ecology, and a consolidation and deepening of understanding for students focussing on sustainable development and corporate environmental management.
Transitions to a Low Carbon Economy
This module provides a broad understanding of the role of energy, and of the range of economic, human and environmental impacts associated with energy systems. Specialist knowledge of the energy field is placed within a more general environmental/sustainability framework, allowing students to analyse strategic energy issues and carbon management.
Water Policy and Management
This module aims to introduce students to global water issues, problems and potential solutions. Students gain a basic understanding of hydrological cycle, global trends in water resources use, international water resources law, as well as concepts such as Integrated Water Resources Management.
You will work on specific projects to gain valuable practical experience in industry, government agencies, NGOs or research centres.
There are twelve other modules dealing with materials, manufacturing and energy that students can choose from, both at the University of Surrey’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and at City University. For further information on these options, please contact the Faculty.
The programmes are based on one-week modules in a similar format to the University’s Engineering Doctorate. Each programme consists of eight modules and a project/dissertation. Four modules are compulsory and the remaining four optional modules can be chosen from a wide range available at CES and other relevant MSc programmes. Each module carries 15 credits.
The compulsory modules have been designed by CES in consultation with industry and will continue to be fine-tuned in close consultation with our graduates and collaborators in the field.
Students on the full-time programmes start in September and follow a sequence of modules that has been designed to ensure steady and structured progress through the achievement of the Postgraduate Certificate to the Diploma and master’s degree. Part-time students may begin the programme at any time of the year.
You are allowed to choose up to two modules elsewhere in the University of Surrey’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, or from the Energy and Environmental Technology and Economics programme at City University, as agreed with your personal tutor. Students may take modules at other universities with the approval of the Board of Studies.
Teaching and assessment
Teaching is a collaborative effort between University lecturers and research fellows, with some industrial contributions where appropriate.
Each module is taught over an intensive five-day period, preceded by preparatory reading and followed by coursework. A typical five-day teaching week is an intensive period of lectures, interactive group work and seminars, with occasional site visits. A preparatory learning package for each module is generally made available on the University’s online learning system.
Seminars, themes, discussions and fieldtrips are also organised to give students opportunities to consolidate their learning.
Each module is a self-contained unit, assessed separately. Traditional essays, report writing and case-study presentations will be required for assessment.
Your dissertation of 15,000 words will involve an in-depth piece of research on an appropriate subject. This may be the findings of a small-scale pilot study, an analysis of data or a development of theoretical aspects of a topic.
You must achieve a satisfactory standard in both the taught modules and the dissertation to be awarded a master’s degree.
Each full-time student will be allocated a personal tutor. Together, you will draw up a personal study plan. It is recommended that you meet regularly to discuss your progress.
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, former Environment Minister Michael Meacher MP has regularly given guest lectures as part of the Environmental Science and Society module, highlighting the challenges faced by government when dealing with environmental issues.
The programmes are accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) which is a broadly based environmental management organisation with more than 9000 members.
Successful completion of the modules Life Cycle Thinking, Environmental Science and Society, Environmental Auditing and Management Systems, and Environmental Law offer a direct route to associate membership of IEMA.