Environmental Psychology MSc

Why choose this course?

The School of Psychology at the University of Surrey was the first in the world to establish an MSc in Environmental Psychology in 1973. This course is still one of just a few such postgraduate programmes worldwide, and the only one in the UK. We have a reputation for developing professional and innovative programmes that reflect contemporary societal concerns and employment opportunities.

We’re one of the most active and highly regarded psychology departments in the UK, and specialise in applied and policy-oriented teaching and research within a strong theoretical context.

We’re the largest provider of postgraduate psychology training in the UK, and one of the highest ranked schools in the country for graduate employability. We’ve also been the centre for many cross-national studies, and attract funding from major research councils and local and national government departments.

What you will study

Our MSc Environmental Psychology course will give you a thorough grounding in the theories, methods and practice of environmental psychology. You’ll develop the skills and confidence you need to take on environmental psychology research in a professional setting. This course emphasises the application of psychology to real-world problems, and also considers issues related to professional practice in preparation for your career as a professional psychologist.

Environmental psychology is a multidisciplinary research activity. We’re driven by psychological theories and methodologies, but draw on other social sciences, as well as the disciplines of environment and design. We investigate environment behaviour relationships at every scale, from personal space and office design, through to neighbourhood renewal, to the public understanding of global climate change. We have long-established links with national and international academic institutions, and you’ll be able to take advantage of these links in your research.

When you join us you’ll become part of our Environmental Psychology Research Group (EPRG), which has an international reputation for fundamental and applied research built over 30 years.

You’ll become involved in the research life of our School through active participation in our research groups, attending research seminars and, where possible, being attached to one of our ongoing research projects. As a student of the School of Psychology, you’ll also be able to attend a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
MSc Full-time 12 months Oct 2018
MSc Part-time 24 months Oct 2018
Stag Hill

Global opportunities

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.


If you make a successful application to the Economic and Social Research Council, you’ll be eligible for a grant for your MSc year and then further support (subject to satisfactory progress) to enable you to study for a PhD.

We sometimes have students who receive financial support from industry through sponsorship. This would involve you taking on a piece of research for your dissertation which would be of interest and value to industry, in return for which you’d receive a grant by the commissioning company. In the past, this sponsorship has ranged from £500 to £6,000. This is mutually beneficial to both the student and sponsor, and allows you to perform a ‘real’ piece of research that has practical or policy implications, while receiving money to assist with your fees and subsistence costs.

Career prospects

Our graduates have progressed into careers in central and local government, taking on policy-oriented research on a variety of environment behaviour issues. Many of our graduates have become practice consultants, using their environment behaviour research skills.

This could be a specialist environment behaviour practice or an architecture, planning, design or engineering practice where graduates with a sensitivity to people-environment issues and a training in environment behaviour research can provide an important and unique set of skills and expertise.

Our graduates who have a background in architecture, landscape architecture, planning or design often return to their profession, but with an enhanced range of skills.

Programme leader

GATERSLEBEN BC Dr (Psychology)

Our students

  • Jade-Ashlee Cox, EngD Sustainability for Engineering and Energy Systems

    "The SEES Engineering Doctorate at the University of Surrey complements my degree in Physical geography from the University of Durham and MSc in Environmental Technology (Distinction) from Imperial College, London."

    Read more

  • Paschalia Mavrou, Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability EngD

    One of the great things about working in such a multicultural environment as Surrey is meeting people from different disciplines and backgrounds.

    Read more

Our graduates

  • Marta Topor, BSc Psychology

    "The psychology department is fantastic. The lecturers are very enthusiastic and they support every student as an individual, taking into consideration their needs, interests and career plans."

    Read more

  • Harsheenee Doorga, MSc Sustainable Development

    “I got exposure to experienced and international postgraduates at CES, and learnt a lot of new things”

    Read more


  • Celebrating Women in Engineering

    Read more

  • My Surrey Experience – Ben Hartfield, MSc Sustainable Development (with industrial placement)

    Read more

  • My Surrey Experience – Zeyang Xiang, MSc Environmental Strategy

    Read more

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.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand. All modules listed are compulsory.


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). The course modules are delivered across two academic semesters with lectures most often on a Wednesday and/ or Thursday, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability support

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can assist you in developing your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

Students are encouraged to disclose their condition and register with the service so that they can be appropriately supported during their studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also provided to students where appropriate.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a 2:1 or 2:2 honours degree in psychology from a UK university (or equivalent overseas qualification).

Degrees in related subjects (such as architectural engineering, architectural landscape, architecture, environmental engineering, interior architecture and design, and urban planning) will also be considered.

Relevant work experience can be considered by the faculty.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall, 6.5 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.

Recognition of prior learning

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 this applies to you, 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, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and 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. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Oct 2018 £7,900 £19,800
Part-time Oct 2018 £4,000 £9,900

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018-19 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.


Student finance

Find out about the Government's postgraduate taught student finance support and Career Development Loans.

For more details.

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.

For more details

Surrey International Scholarship for Engineering and Physical Sciences 2018 entry

These university-funded scholarships are worth £2,500 - £5,000 for 2018 entry on select MSc programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences departments.

For more details

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

Contact us

Admissions enquiries

+44 (0)1483 682 222


  • Register for a Postgraduate Webinar