Graduate profile
View over the lake on campus

Nicki Ledger

"The variety of teaching methods, guest lecturers from a range of sectors and the opportunity to undertake an industry-based placement made this course stand out from the rest."

Course
Corporate Environmental Management

Nicki Ledger, originally from the UK, studied at the University of Surrey for an MSc in Corporate Environmental Management and is now working as a Sustainability Officer for the City of Melville.

“I originally completed a degree in Biology, but found it very hard to get into the environmental industry without specialised knowledge,” she says. “Studying the MSc in Corporate Environmental Management at Surrey provided me with a mix of theory and practical skills. The variety of teaching methods, guest lecturers from a range of sectors and the opportunity to undertake an industry-based placement made this course stand out from the rest. The fact that participants were drawn from such a variety of backgrounds was great; the range of perspectives was really enlightening.”

Nicki enjoyed her experience at Surrey because of the academics, facilities and subject matter. “My supervisor was available to provide support with finding a placement, choosing a dissertation topic and agreeing research methods. And the lecturers were fantastic – really engaging and passionate. They all have a strong research portfolio which helps to show how theory can be applied to real-world scenarios. The field trips and practical aspects of the course were also really useful and fun.”

Having undertaken a work placement with a small consultancy firm called Sustainable Homes based in Kingston, as part of her degree, Nicki was able to put her theoretical understanding into practice. “I helped Sustainable Homes develop a sustainability assessment programme for social housing providers,” she explains. “I also used this opportunity to generate a research question around how residents use water-efficient fittings. The company provided me with contacts for research participants and were supportive throughout.

“Surrey’s MSc taught me about the practical side of environmental management within organisations,” she concludes. “It also gave me insight into the potential barriers of implementing sustainability measures. Most importantly, my degree taught me how to think systematically – how to properly examine the life-cycle impact of a product or process.

“The best thing about studying this course at Surrey was the contacts I have made. The sustainability world is quite small, and having supportive and knowledgeable peers is invaluable!”

Nicki is now living in Australia, coordinating environmental management systems, leading water and energy efficiency projects, teaching school children about sustainability, as well as implementing community engagement programmes.

 Discover more about our Environment and Sustainability programmes.