Why choose this course
Protecting our finite planet in the face of infinite human ambition and economic growth requires a strategic approach to the environment.
Our MSc in Environmental Strategy is run by our Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES) – a pioneering centre for inter-disciplinary environmental research and postgraduate teaching. Drawing upon the engineering, physical and social sciences, we’ll develop your technical and analytical skills to understand and resolve environmental problems.
This course will prepare you to join a new generation of environment and sustainability professionals ready to tackle the challenges ahead through the application of inter-disciplinary approaches, strategic thinking and analysis.
What you will study
This course will provide you with both theoretical and practical knowledge for evaluating the technical, social, economic and organisational elements of environmental problems.
You’ll be taught how to apply life-cycle assessment thinking and other analytical methods in order to understand how resources are used and how to manage materials and waste.
On this course, you’ll also learn about anticipating and responding to future policy developments and market pressures, enabling you to develop impressive problem-solving and decision-making skills.
The skills you’ll gain on our course are much sought after by environmental and consultancy employers and can also provide you with a direct route to the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment graduate membership, and the Institution of Environmental Sciences student membership.
Some full-time students complete an industrial placement as one of their elective modules. This enables you to spend six to 12 weeks working for a company or a non-governmental organisation, doing the type of work you will aim to find after you graduate.
Examples of organisations at which recent industrial placements have taken place include:
- Minimise Solutions
- Portsmouth City Council
- Diocese of London
- The Radisson
- LC Energy
- Solar Aid
Several high-profile guest lecturers will help teach on some of the modules. CES modules make maximum use of guest lecturers, drawing on the practical skills and experience of major experts from government and industry to complement the theoretical components of the modules offered.
For example, Jonathon Porritt, former chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, gives a guest lecture on the ‘Sustainable Development Applications’ module, analysing the standing of sustainable development in business and policy making.
The extensive expertise of CES academics and researchers is also drawn upon in modules. Professor Tim Jackson, adviser to the government and international bodies and author of the seminal book Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, lectures on some CES modules
Equality and diversity
We welcome applications from LGBT+ students. At Surrey, we have an active LGBT+ student society along with an LGBT+ Network to support staff. Every year, we run ‘LGBT History Month’ with many events happening across campus to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues. We also participate in the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme.
The University's home town of Guildford has been voted the leading university town for LGBT+ according to a new study. The research carried out by the Alternative UK University City League, is based on information from LGBT+ charity, Stonewall.
If you have any queries or want to find out more about how we support our LGBT+ students, contact Jonathan Chenoweth, our CES LGBT+ representative.
Learning and disability
The University welcomes applications from students with disabilities. Teaching on the MSc courses takes place in a single large teaching room, on the same floor where the departmental academic staff offices, staff and student kitchen and toilets are located. There is also direct lift access to the level from the ground floor.
We support students with disabilities and encourage any considering studying in the department to contact our disability representative, Moira Foster.
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.
This course is normally completed in 12 months on a full-time basis, or between 24 and 60 months when completed on a part-time basis.
Academic year structure
Both full-time and part-time students must complete five compulsory modules and four elective modules by the end of their MSc. The dissertation forms one of the compulsory modules.
The academic year begins with an induction week when students are introduced to the University and full-time students choose their elective modules. (Part-time students can enrol in modules close to the time they wish to take a module). Modules are taught on an intensive five-day basis, with classes running from approximately 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday over the course of a single week. All modules require students to do individual study in preparation for the intensive week (readings and in some cases a pre-class assignment) and each module includes a post-taught component assignment.
All students are allocated a personal tutor who acts as a liaison between the student and the University.
During the second semester, students begin to focus on their dissertations, with a series of seminar events held to help students focus their ideas and make a start. Students are free to choose their own dissertation topic, with most students choosing topics related to issues or ideas encountered in the taught modules or in a professional context which relates to environment or sustainability. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor to help guide them through the dissertation process.
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 or 60 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:
Each module on this course is taught on an intensive modular basis. There is pre-reading to do for each module and on occasion a pre-module assessment, followed by the intensive taught week where classes run from approximately 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday for one week. Post-module coursework is to be completed over the four-week period after the intensive week.
Part-time students must study until a total of eight taught modules is reached. These eight taught technical modules must include all the compulsory taught technical modules. Arrangements for carrying out the dissertation are flexible, and may be adapted to the circumstances of the student, subject to the rule that the student must have satisfactorily completed the taught portion of their course before being allowed to submit their final dissertation for assessment.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree, or a recognised equivalent international qualification. Relevant work experience may also be considered.
View entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other 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.
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.
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2020-21 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on an unstructured self-paced part-time course, the fee shown is per 15 credits for the 2020-21 academic year. The fee payable in subsequent years will be reviewed annually.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Asylum Seeker Bursary
Application Deadline: 30.06.20
Find out more
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and 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 generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will 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 vary to take into account specifics of your course.
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 more.