MSc in Sustainability & Environmental Studies

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Private and public sector organisations need an appropriately trained, highly skilled and environmentally aware workforce to respond to the challenge of sustainable development and climate change. This one year MSc in Sustainability and Environmental Studies has been successfully addressing this need since 1991.

The Programme and its International Context

This one-year MSc offers an innovative cross-disciplinary approach to the study of environmental management, policy, and sustainable development. It aims to develop an understanding of the broad theoretical perspectives associated with the decision tools used to apply sustainable development policy and management. Participants will gain an in-depth knowledge of the major environmental issues currently being investigated, monitored and controlled at global, national and local levels and an understanding of the methods and procedures with which environmental considerations and climate change are incorporated into development and planning decisions.

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering is dedicated to the provision of cross-disciplinary environmental programmes and leads interdisciplinary research in the areas of strategic environmental assessment, environmental policy and management, land contamination, pollution prevention and control, climate change, and sustainable development. The Department has extensive collaborative teaching and research links across the University and with external academic, governmental and private sector organizations across the UK, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Thailand and India.

Career Prospects

There is a strong demand for graduates with environmental management and policymaking skills and this MSc has successfully seen its graduates capitalize upon a wide range of employment within the private, public and voluntary sectors. This MSc provides the opportunity to develop applied professional skills and knowledge and graduates are employed in a range of positions in private consultancies, government agencies, local authorities, environmental regulators, businesses and industries.


The MSc Sustainability and Environmental Studies programme is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree.  See further information.

Programme Structure

The programme's structure is made up of individual classes, each 12 weeks in length (equating to approx. 24 hours of direct teaching class contact), which are taught during one of the two annual semesters (September - January & February - May).

Please click on MSc Sustainability & Env. Studies  for full details of modules offered and content.

MSc Degree

Candidates require 120 credits as described above, and a further 60 credits by the submission of a project report/dissertation (Level PG2 - max. of 16,000 words) which is completed between June-Sept.

Entry Requirements

MSc Degree:

  • Normally a First class or Upper-Second class Honours degree from a UK University (or equivalent Overseas qualification), from all backgrounds: social sciences, arts, engineering, agriculture, forestry, law, humanities, science and business.
  • Although at least an Upper-Second Class honours degree is normally required, slightly lower degree classifications might be considered if there is strength elsewhere (e.g. significant relevant work experience, excellent final project/dissertation).
  • Two supportive academic references (or a relevant professional reference may be accepted in place of one of the academic references).

Open Access Route: Alternative academic qualifications and relevant professional experience may also be considered.

In all cases, for candidates whose first language is not English, documentary evidence of an appropriate level of competency of written and spoken English must be provided. The minimum standards are a IELTS minimum overall band score of 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5). Applicants with slightly lower scores have the opportunity to attend the University's Pre-Sessional English classes to bring them up to the required level.

Online Applications

Online applications are open for September 2014 entry (2014/15) via the link below. Please refer to further details below and the Entry Requirements section.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Please upload copies of supporting documentation when submitting your MSc application (including full degree transcripts, CV and Supporting Statement) - see 'Frequently Asked Questions' for further details on documents and tuition fees. We advise applications are submitted in time to fulfill all academic and financial conditions by end of July 2014.

(High-calibre students with a 1st Class honours degree who wish to apply for university scholarships, would need to also submit a separate formal scholarship application - see 'Funding Opportunities' for details.)

HOME/EU STUDENTS: When submitting your application, please upload full copies of degree transcripts, CV, a Supporting Statement and academic reference letters if available.   Due to the limited number of home/EU places, a waiting list may operation for Sept 2014 applications closer to the start of term.


Open Access Study

UK students can choose study via Open Access - taking a couple of classes per year, adding up eventually to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc (up to the max of 5 years). More information email Additionally, UK/EU students who do not meet the normal MSc entry requirements for this programme, are welcome to apply via the Open Access route instead.

Contact Us

For further Particulars please email or contact the Course Director, Dr Girma Zawdie

for Sep 2015 entry to full-time MSc sustainability and environmental studies (Admission Code : CVMSC5)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Sep 2015 entry to part-time MSc sustainability and environmental studies (Admission Code : CVMSC6)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.