Why choose this course
- Study on the only one-year full-time (or two-year part-time) degree in the world to focus on both sustainability and environmental design (established in 1973), to discover how our physical environment influences the way we act, feel and think
- Access our state-of-the-art psychology facilities, including a virtual reality suite and two observation laboratories, and use the latest equipment to conduct experiments
- Learn from lecturers who are active researchers in environmental change, restorative environments, sustainable living and much more
- Join our Environmental Psychology Research Group to take part in seminars and workshops, and benefit from our links with renowned research institutions across the world
- Join the 98 per cent of our psychology graduates who go on to employment or further study.*
What you will study
You’ll explore the relationship between people and their physical environment at every scale, from personal space in offices to climate change awareness. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to support the design, management and use of environments that benefit human function and health.
You’ll address issues around architectural psychology, social change and sustainable development, while reviewing the major theoretical formulations and models within environmental psychology. We’ll also give you an insight into qualitative and quantitative research methods, including the use of statistics, ensuring you have a solid foundation to collect, analyse and interpret data.
You’ll select one optional module to delve into topics, including applied psychology and public policy, chronic conditions and psychological aspects of healthcare.
You’ll also complete a research dissertation that will allow you to carry out research on important topics in the field. Previous student projects have ranged from climate change perceptions to privacy in open-plan offices, biophilic design, and the emotional and cognitive benefits of nature engagement. We’ll match your interests with the expertise of our academic staff, ensuring you get the best support.
Please be aware: the course content and modules listed for this course are subject to change for the 2023/24 academic year, whilst we undertake a curriculum design review. Please contact the programme leader if you have any queries about the course.
Our facilities have recently undergone a £5m investment, giving you access to the latest equipment, including a virtual reality suite to simulate real-life scenarios and two observation labs. You’ll also have access to an extensive library of psychometric and clinical tests, 20 bookable project rooms, a breakout space, equipment lockers and a computer lab.
You’ll be taught by lecturers who are active researchers, ensuring everything you learn is up-to-date and relevant to employers. These may include:
- Professor Birgitta Gatersleben, an expert in sustainable living and human wellbeing.
- Dr Eleanor Ratcliffe, an expert in restorative environments and place.
- Dr Melissa Marselle, an expert in biodiversity and wellbeing.
- Dr Sarah Payne, and expert cognitive and emotional experience in the built and natural environment.
- Professor Ian Walker, an expert in sustainable behaviours and people’s relationships with the built environment.
You’ll be invited to join our Environmental Psychology Research Group where we investigate how people interact with different types of environments, how these interactions impact people’s personal wellbeing, and how we should go about developing and managing healthy places and spaces for all, and much more.
You’ll participate in discussions about research topics, findings and publications, and you’ll benefit from our links with renowned research institutions across the world. We also have a host of external speakers that visit us and present their work, and a collection of seminars and workshops, allowing you to network with like-minded individuals.
Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:
- Case studies
- Group work (e.g. discussion groups)
- Online learning
Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, place analyses and reading.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
We use a variety of methods to assess you, including coursework, essays, examinations and presentations.
Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Study and work abroad
There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.
Applying your knowledge to current world problems, we’ll prepare for your career. 98 per cent of our psychology postgraduate students go on to employment or further study (*Graduate Outcomes survey 2022, HESA). Our alumni take on roles as creative analysts, environmental planning consultants, planning officers, project managers, renewable energy consultants, sustainability engagement officers and workplace consultants. They work for consultancy organisations and the Government, as well as starting their own businesses.
The broad and transferrable skills that you’ll develop are also highly relevant in other fields, including design, engineering, landscape architecture and planning. Many of our graduates go on to complete a PhD, investigating an area of personal interest.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday – Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in architectural engineering, architectural landscape, architecture, environmental engineering, interior architecture and design, psychology, urban planning, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.
We'll also consider relevant work experience if you don't meet these requirements.
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall with 6.5 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Selection is based upon a candidate’s application, references and an informal interview. In special circumstances, a student may be set work for assessment before being offered a place on the programme.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.
Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (email@example.com) with any queries.
Start date: September 2023
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 2 years
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
- If you are on a two-year full-time MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
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Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, Regulations and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing but changes (for example, to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.