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. It remains one of a few such postgraduate programmes in the world and the only one in the UK.

Our School of Psychology has a reputation for developing professional and innovative programmes reflecting contemporary societal concerns and employment opportunities.

What you will study

Our MSc Environmental Psychology programme will help you gain advanced knowledge in environmental psychology.

It will provide you with the skills and confidence you need to undertake environmental psychology research in a professional setting, developing what we call the ‘practitioner-researcher’.

Prior experience in this field, or undergraduate qualifications in psychology are not essential. Previous applicants have had backgrounds in sociology, geography, architecture, transport, and environmental policy. What they share is a strong interest in understanding people-environment interactions.

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.

Funding

Funding is now linked to continuation funding for a PhD – that is, successful applicants to the Economic and Social Research Council will be given a grant for the MSc year and then further support (subject to satisfactory progress) to enable them to undertake a PhD.

Occasionally students receive financial support from industry through sponsorship. This would involve students undertaking a piece of research for their dissertation which would be of interest and value to industry or commerce, in return for which they will be given 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 the student to undertake a ‘real’ piece of research that has practical or policy implications, whilst receiving a sum of money to assist with fees and subsistence costs.

Environmental psychology at Surrey

The MSc Environmental Psychology programme is part of a larger modular programme, thereby providing a flexible teaching and learning structure. 

Environmental Psychology at Surrey has always sought to be a multidisciplinary research activity. We are driven by psychological theories and methodologies, but draw on other social sciences, as well as the environmental and design disciplines.

We investigate environment behaviour relationships at every spatial scale and environment, from personal space and office design, through neighbourhood renewal, to the public understanding of global climate change.

Psychology at Surrey

The School of Psychology at the University of Surrey is one of the most active and highly regarded psychology departments in the country. We specialise in applied and policy-oriented teaching and research within a strong theoretical context. The international, interdisciplinary, policy and applied strengths of the School mean that students’ theoretical and methodological research puts them at the cutting edge of the discipline.

We are one of the highest ranked schools in the country for graduates entering employment, and also one of the largest providers of postgraduate training in the UK.

The University of Surrey’s School of Psychology has been the centre for many cross-national studies and has attracted funding from research councils and local and national government departments, such as:

  • ESF
  • Defra
  • The Ministry of Defence
  • Home Office
  • The Environment Agency
  • The Countryside Agency
  • Surrey County Council
  • The EU

If you choose to study psychology at the University of Surrey, you will be provided with a combination of opportunities that would be hard to match elsewhere. We offer you a degree that provides a thorough grounding in the theories, methods and practice of contemporary psychology.

Our programmes lay particular emphasis on the application of psychology to real-world problems, and also consider issues related to professional practice in preparation for your career as a professional psychologist.

The basis of good postgraduate programmes is the research activity of staff, the incorporation of current research programmes in teaching material and a reciprocal relationship between theory development and applied research in everyday contemporary issues.

We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the School through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects.

As a student of the School of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.

Collaborations

Environmental psychology researchers have always enjoyed collaboration with other disciplines.

Current and recent research collaborations include an EPSRC funded research project on energy technologies in homes (REDUCE) with colleagues of environmental sciences (CES) and communications technology (CCSR), a DEFRA/ESRC-funded research programme on lifestyles in transition (SLRG) and a major ESRC funded research program on sustainable lifestyles (RESOLVE: research on lifestyles, values and the environment) both with colleagues from sociology, economics and environmental sciences.

We have long-established links with national and international academic institutions including the Department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde, the Centre for Transport Studies at the University of West England and the Department of Psychology at Bath University.

The environmental psychology community is strongly international and this is reflected in the long-term active teaching and research collaboration we enjoy with the universities of Groningen, Madrid, La Coruña, Umeå and Rome.

Students on the MSc programme are encouraged to take advantage of these links during their dissertations.

MSc students are actively encouraged to participate in ongoing research projects. Our recent research clients include:

  • Building Research Establishment
  • Surrey County Council
  • Eden Project
  • Defra
  • Environment Agency
  • Forestry Commission
  • European Commission
  • Rentokil Initial
  • King Sturge

Research

The Environmental Psychology Research Group (EPRG), of which students on the MSc in Environmental Psychology are automatically members, has been undertaking research for more than 30 years and has gained an international reputation.

Research undertaken by the EPRG is both ‘fundamental’ (that is, contributing to the development of the discipline and our understanding ofpsychological processes) and ‘applied and policy-oriented’.

Both government and business are concerned with effective policy development and delivery, and it is increasingly recognised that these can only be successfully achieved by informed evidence.

Students on the MSc Environmental Psychology are encouraged to make their research not only useful, but useable.

Career prospects

Recent graduates have progressed into careers in central and local government, undertaking policy-oriented research on a variety of environment behaviour (E-B) issues. Many of our graduates have become practice consultants, using their E-B research skills.

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

Those 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

Dr Birgitta Gatersleben

Our students

  • Mauro Lafratta, EngD Sustainability

    "I started less than a year ago and so far it has been an amazing educational experience. In a few months I already feel more competent in my field of study and more personally developed."

    Read more

  • Dr Gemima Fitzgerald, PsychD Practitioner Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

    "I loved the placements on my course and the breadth of experience I was able to gain over the three years."

    Read more

Our graduates

  • Irene Samuel, PGCert Supervision and Consultation: Psychotherapeutic and Organisational Approaches

    "It was nice to be part of a proper campus university; there was a vitality and excitement which was very inspiring to me."

    Read more

  • Ebuka Ntube, MSc Sustainable Development

    “The MSc course has given me the theoretical tools and practical approach I need to help promote a sustainable development structure in Nigeria.”

    Read more

Discover

  • 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. Please be aware that these specifications are applicable to the current academic year.

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.

Modules

 

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

A UK first or 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in a social or design science discipline, understanding, experience or a passion for environmental, planning or architectural issues. We also accept students with a background in design disciplines, architecture or planning, as well as environmental engineering. Applicants without a degree, who have significant relevant experience, will also be considered.

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.

Fees

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.

Funding

Loans, scholarships and financial support

There are many streams of funding for postgraduate students including awards, scholarships and loans. Learn more.

 

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

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:

+44-(0)1483-682-222

admissions@surrey.ac.uk

  • Register for a Postgraduate Webinar

    Register