Environmental engineering laboratory

MScEnvironmental Engineering

Why this course?

Closely aligned with industry’s demands, this course meets the needs of:

  • urban regeneration
  • environmental protection
  • infrastructure investment portfolios in Scotland and worldwide

A distinctive feature of this course is its highly topical nature. Glasgow has been undergoing extensive urban regeneration. This included building on land that's been contaminated in the past. You’ll have challenging 'real world' issues to study close to the University.

This MSc provides the knowledge and skills to equip you for a career in either environmental engineering or science.

You’ll study

You'll follow a curriculum of five core classes and a wide range of optional classes. Each class is taught for two to three hours per week over eight to 12 weeks.

Following successful completion of the taught component, you’ll undertake a dissertation from June to August. In addition to the dissertation topics proposed by course leaders and industrial partners, you may propose topics that can be of relevance to your employer.

For part-time study the modules can be taken over two years (attending classes typically one day per week) with the dissertation completed in Year 2 or 3.

Work Placement

As part of the class Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry you can apply to work with industry projects. 


One year full-time study involves attendance at classes over two terms, plus a dissertation during the third term.

Part-time (open to UK/EU students only) involves class attendance in Years 1 & 2 and a dissertation in Year 2.

You can also study this course part-time through online distance learning, over 36 months, offering a flexible learning mode of study.


Our laboratory facilities are well-equipped for a wide range of environmental measurements. High-technological instrumentation and space are available to investigate:

  • environmental microbiology and molecular biology
  • environmental and analytical chemistry
  • air pollution monitoring
  • soil mechanics and quality
  • ecotoxicology

Teaching staff

Course coordinator

Key lecturers


This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.

See www.jbm.org.uk for further information.

Open Access

Home students can also choose to study through Open Access. This is initially a non-graduating route. You register for one module at a time and have the option to build up credits eventually leading to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc. You can take up to five years to achieve the qualification.

This option is popular with students in employment, who may wish to undertake modules for Continuing Professional Development purposes.

Home students who do not meet the normal MSc entry requirements for this programme are welcome to apply through the Open Access route instead.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Environmental Chemistry
The class will provide you with the basic concepts of chemical analysis relevant to the environment, establish outline knowledge of a range of common analytical techniques and issues surrounding sample collection and handling.
Principles of Environmental Microbiology

This class introduces microbiology in a manner that is of practical importance in environmental engineering and science.

Topics covered include:

  • the microbial ecology and microbiology of dilute nutrient solutions such as lakes, subsurface environmental and biological treatment processes
  • microbial physiology
  • biochemistry
  • biodegradation
  • public health aspects of microbiology
Research Protocols for Science & Engineering

The course will familiarise students with basic research methodology, including the use of scientific literature, quantitative and qualitative methods, the maintenance of laboratory notes and the use of scientific English.

Particular assistance is given on research techniques to prepare students for the dissertation/project stage of the course.

Site Investigation & Risk Assessment

This class explores the complete sequence of a site investigation:

  1. Desk study
  2. Site sampling organisation and techniques
  3. Data collection
  4. Chemical analysis
The class also covers data modelling and interpretation using risk assessment models.
Waste Management & Landfill Design
This class covers organisational and regulatory aspects of waste management practice in the UK: legislation, composition of domestic and industrial wastes, storage, collection, reception, and disposal of solid wastes, clinical wastes, sewage sludge disposal, recycling and recovery.

Elective classes

Choose seven from this list

Air Pollution, Climate Change & Human Health

This class provides you with knowledge and skills related to atmospheric pollution impacts, ranging from local to global scales.

This includes a focus on the assessment & management of impacts on human health through interface between the public health sciences of environmental epidemiology and environmental toxicology; and environmental engineering approaches to manage environmental risks.

Contaminated Land Management

Within the background of land redevelopment (residential, industrial/commercial and gardens/parks), this class aims to provide insights into the remediation of contaminated land, including the regulatory framework and risk assessment, sampling & analysis, and various remedial techniques for contaminated land.

Environmental Impact Assessment

This class provides an introduction to the methods used to predict environmental impacts, and evaluates how these may be used to integrate environmental factors into decisions.

The class draws principally on the UK planning context of environmental impact assessment of individual projects (project EIA), but also takes account of EIA experience in other countries and international organisations.

Environmental Law
  • Environmental problems and progress
  • EC environmental law
  • Ethical, economic, scientific and political context of environmental law
  • Approaches to pollution control and environmental protection
  • Air pollution controls
  • Human rights approaches to environmental protection
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Nature conservation
  • Trace and environment
Environmental Pollution Management

This class develops in-depth knowledge & skills regarding the science, engineering & management of environmental pollution control approaches to protect public health.

The class achieves these aims through research-led teaching at the interface between public health and environmental engineering, with a particular focus on methodologies based on risk-centred approaches.

Lecture sessions are complemented by industrial & government case studies in contemporary air quality management practice.

Fundamentals of Environmental Forensics

This class provides you with an understanding of:

  • environmental forensics as a subject
  • a range of contaminants found in the environment, and their fate and transport
  • approach and analytical techniques to determine the responsible parties for contamination found in the environment
  • real-world applications of environmental forensics
Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
This practical-based classe provides a thorough introduction to the rapidly growing field of Geographical Information Science.

The class covers the key theoretical principles but also provides many computer-based exercises using current state-of-the-art Geographical Information Systems (GIS) – namely IDRISI and ArcGIS. The class evaluates how GIS can be used for spatial query and analysis, while at the same time assessing the quality and the effectiveness of the resultant products in terms of their use.
Global Water Policy

 This class aims to provide you with the ability to:

  • recognise the issues relating to overall global water policy and its interactions with other global issues
  • discuss the impact of climate change and economic development on water resources and availability
  • explore the different implementation issues based on regional case studies
  • explore the role of stakeholders on the acceptance and achievement of policy objectives

This class will help you to:

  • gain an understanding of Hydrogeology as a discipline
  • discuss and explore the physical mechanisms of water movement in the subsurface
  • undertake experiments in the lab that demonstrate key principals of groundwater movement
  • explore hydrogeological issues based on case studies
Pollution and Rehabilitation of Degraded Ecosystems

The class looks at:

  • ecological principles (organism, population, community, & ecosystem levels)
  • the impact of various forms of pollution on ecosystems
  • options available for monitoring pollution impacts;
  • remediation alternatives, recovery management, or ways to enhance environmental systems
Water & Environmental Management
To develop an understanding of the physical, chemical and biological parameters within surface water and how these relate to water quality, water quality objectives and pollution control strategy. To provide knowledge on the design and process involved with the control of water and wastewater treatment.
Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry

This class will allow students carrying out placements and projects with industry to develop and refine professional skills while gaining credits in the process.

One project will be the small or medium sized enterprise (SME) Carbon Audit that students carry out with training from Carbon Trust. A placement type project activity is another possibility, by individual agreement.

Approval of students being able to take this module would be done on case-by-case basis by MSc course leaders. You’ll be selected by competitive application and CV. 

Water & Wastewater Treatment Design
This class gives you an understanding of water treatment and wastewater treatment processes. You’ll also develop the ability to undertake design calculations sufficient to produce a concept and detailed design of a water and wastewater treatment plant.

Entry requirements

First or upper second-class Honours degree from a UK university (or equivalent overseas qualification) in engineering, earth sciences, environmental management or a background in the chemical, physical, biological or mathematical sciences.

Students with a lower Second-class Honours degree will be considered with relevant experience.

You’ll need two supportive academic references and/or appropriate professional experience or achievements.

For candidates whose first language is not English, minimum standards of English proficiency are an IELTS 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.

Open Access

Alternative qualifications or professional experience may be considered by the course leader (home students only), depending on the module chosen. Find out more about Open Access.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


2015/16 - £4,500

Rest of UK

2015/16 - £9,000


2015/16 - £16,700

How can I fund my course?

Scholarship search

Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship Scheme for International Students (Sept 2015 entry)

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde is offering a substantial number of scholarships for international students with outstanding academic qualifications who are commencing their studies from September 2015. Students may be eligible for a scholarship towards their tuition fees of up £3,340 for the first year of their programme of study. Find out full details of our scholarships.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.


Graduates of the MSc are widely scattered internationally in environmentally related jobs – including a large number of environmental and engineering consultancies, industry, local government and national and international regulatory agencies.

The career prospects of graduates are excellent due to the significant skills shortages in the environmental engineering field both in the UK and overseas.

Where are they now?

Many of our graduates are in work or further study.*

Job titles include:

  • Entry-level Civil Engineer in Landfill Division
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Environmental Health and Safety Analyst
  • Forestry Civil Engineer
  • Graduate Engineer

Employers include:

  • Adrian Laycook Ltd
  • Cairns Intersphere Consulting
  • Crossfield Consulting
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Scott Partnership Engineering
  • Scottish Water

*Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey.


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 fulfil all academic and financial conditions by end of July 2014.

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 operate for Sept 2014 applications closer to the start of term.

Environmental Engineering

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Environmental Engineering

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Environmental Engineering

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Environmental Engineering

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Environmental Engineering - Distance Learning

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2015, Mode of delivery: open learning, part-time

Environmental Engineering

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Civil & Environmental Engineering - Open Access (Modular)

Qualification: , Start date: Sep 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Civil & Environmental Engineering - Open Access (Modular)

Qualification: , Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Environmental Engineering

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Environmental Engineering

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Environmental Engineering

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, part-time

Environmental Engineering - Distance Learning

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: open learning, part-time

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