Published: 06 October 2022

Why you should study environment and sustainability at Surrey

Planning to study sustainability at postgraduate level at Surrey? If so, take a look at our acclaimed Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES) and check out the amazing academics and exciting experiences you’ll find there.

What’s special about the Centre?

CES is an internationally-acclaimed interdisciplinary centre of excellence on sustainable development, which enjoys an outstanding reputation for the quality of its research, teaching and strong links with industry. Established in 1992, CES advises and influences corporations, policymakers and civil society in striving to meet the challenges of living sustainably and well.

Areas of research that CES staff members work in includes:

  • Strategies for achieving net zero carbon energy systems
  • Consumption and production
  • Corporate environmental behaviour
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Policy development
  • Sociology of the environment
  • Sustainable prosperity
  • Vertical farming
  • Water and sanitation.

These strengths inform our teaching, which integrates engineering and science with insights from economics and social sciences to develop action-oriented responses to long-term environmental issues. In short, we produce graduates with the knowledge and skills to be the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

What’s it like to study here?

We offer three masters-level courses:

Teaching on masters courses consists of five-day intensive modules, which can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. This makes them ideal for blending with work and other commitments. Modules incorporate a host of external professional speakers from industry, non-governmental organisations and government, while an industrial placement module provides invaluable on-the-job training.


Alongside lectures, tutorials and field trips, the learning of all students will be enhanced by:

  • Guest lectures: Respected names from academia, industry or the public sector give regular talks to CES students.
  • Lunchtime seminars: We hold a regular series of seminars where external speakers discuss sustainability issues with our students.

Industry placements

You can choose to take an industrial placement module and gain invaluable practical experience and on-the-job training. Organisations that have accepted our masters students on placements and/or participated in our modules include:

  • Aviva Investors
  • Coates
  • Diocese of London
  • Forum for the Future
  • GAP
  • John Lewis Partnership
  • LC Energy
  • Minimise Solutions
  • NUS
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • The Radisson
  • Solar Aid
  • Telefonica
  • Unilever
  • Wates
  • World Wildlife Fund.
The academic staff at CES are incredibly accommodating. They’re always there to support students, making themselves available, and offering advice and guidance wherever needed. The support I received from my dissertation supervisor in particular was amazing.
Philippa Hastings, Sustainable Development MSc

What do graduates go on to do?

Over the last decade, our employment figures have been among the best in the UK. This was a key factor in Surrey being named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

We have strong links with industry and the public sector. Masters graduates from CES have gone on to roles such as:

  • Associate in Sustainability and Climate Change, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Climate Programs Director, Business Council on Climate Change
  • Education and Sustainability Officer, The Big Cat Sanctuary
  • Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator, Michael J Lonsdale Construction
  • Environmental and Sustainability Officer, London Diocesan Fund
  • Manager, National Grid
  • Principal Environmental Management and Permitting Professional, Jacobs
  • Program Development and Compliance Officer, Green Building Initiative
  • Senior Communications and Digital Officer, Climate Bonds Initiative
  • Senior Environmental and Sustainability Engineer, Frazer-Nash.

Find out more about postgraduate taught study at our Centre for Environment and Sustainability.

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