- Start date: January & September
- Accreditation: Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation & Institute of Highway Engineers
- Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time; 24 or 36 months part-time (on campus); 36 months (distance learning); 60 months professional development route
Award: Only engineering department of its kind in Scotland with an Athena SWAN Silver Award
Study with us
- provides the knowledge and skills to equip you for a career in either environmental engineering or environmental science
- develop interdisciplinary perception of environmental problems and the ability to work towards finding solutions
- study challenging real-world issues
- carry out an industrial project
This degree is accredited by the
- Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
- Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)
- Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT)
- Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)
on behalf of the Engineering Council 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 Joint Board of Moderators website for further information.
*It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.
Why this course?
MSc Environmental Engineering is closely aligned with industry’s demands, this course meets the needs of:
- urban regeneration
- land contamination management
- environmental protection
- infrastructure investment portfolios in Scotland and worldwide
A distinctive feature of this course is its topical nature. Glasgow has been undergoing extensive urban regeneration, including building on land that's been contaminated in the past. You’ll have challenging 'real world' issues to study close to the University. From this experience, you'll become able to translate the principles of environmental engineering that you have learned into national and international context.
Studying in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Watch our video to find out more about more.
What you’ll study
You'll undertake five core classes and a range of optional classes. Each class is normally taught for two hours per week over eight to 11 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 future career or 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 Years 2 or 3.
As part of the class Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry you can apply to work with industry projects. Industrial partners often sponsor projects applicable for student dissertations.
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 Years 2 or 3.
If you can't attend this course full-time on campus, there are various Flexible Learning options available to you.
Professional Development Courses
This is initially a non-graduating route. You'll register for one 10-credit class 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 those in employment, who might want to take classes for Continuing Professional Development purposes.
A range of qualifications will be considered for entry.
You can also study this course by online Distance Learning, which is based on three years part-time study of 60 credits per year, offering a flexible learning mode of study.
This allows you to complete the course by studying online at a time that suits you, without attending at our Glasgow campus, aloowing you to balance your existing work and family commitments. This option is suitable for students located anywhere in the world.
Our £6 million state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are well-equipped with high-technological instrumentation and available space to investigate:
- environmental & molecular microbiology
- environmental chemistry
- analytical chemistry
- geomechanics & soil quality
- structural design & material science
Living Laboratory for Sustainability
You'll benefit from this innovative initiative which encourages students and researchers to carry out projects that aim to work towards the enhancement of the university’s sustainability. Get involved with Sustainable Strathclyde.
We've been awarded the Athena Swan Silver Award for our work supporting women in engineering.
A typical selection of classes offered on the programme are outlined below. Please note that these classes may be subject to change.
Classes marked * are available for distance learning, in addition to on campus.
This class will explore the controls of chemical composition of water resulting from geochemical reactions in nature. Students will develop an understanding of geochemical thermodynamics, as well as an understanding of weathering.
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
- public health aspects of microbiology
Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods*
Students will acquire familiarity with, and practice of, research techniques, and examine different ways of, and gain experience in, presenting research results.
The class discusses the key principles, and practical exercises, on both quantitative and qualitative research methods, including survey methods, interviewing techniques, use of census data and statistical methods. The class also includes discussion of ethical issues. Finally, there is dissertation-related teaching on choosing a research question and a research method, and writing a research proposal. This is a semester 1 and 2 class but meetings do not happen every week. Teaching staff: Dr Elsa João
Site Investigation & Risk Assessment*
This class explores the complete sequence of a site investigation:
- Desk study
- Site sampling organisation and techniques
- Data collection
- 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. Teaching staff: Dr Tara Beattie
Choose seven from this list.
Air Pollution, Climate Change & Human Health
In this class, run by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, you'll gain the knowledge and skills on atmospheric pollution and climate change impacts, ranging from local to global scales. The class includes a focus on the assessment and management of environmental impacts on people through the interface between environmental science and engineering activities that mitigate environmental risks. Learning objectives are assessed through a formative portfolio covering the main syllabus areas. Student interaction is encouraged throughout the class through structured feedback sessions, directed reading, student-led question sessions & directed questions sessions.
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 and analysis, and various remedial techniques for contaminated land. Teaching staff: Dr Christine Switzer.
Environmental Impact Assessment*
This class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, 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. Students are also introduced to key principles of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
International Environmental Law
This module will discuss the international legal frameworks applicable to deal with transboundary and international environmental problems, looking at the effectiveness of international litigation in dealing with global environmental challenges and analysing the relationship between legal rules and governance structures related to non-environmental fields (eg international trade and investment).
Climate change will be used as a key case study, but other global environmental problems, such as loss of biodiversity, fish stocks depletion, transboundary water pollution and over-exploitation (both surface and groundwater) will also be looked at.
Environmental Pollution Management*
In this class, you'll develop in-depth knowledge and skills regarding the science, engineering and management of environmental pollution control approaches to protect public health. You'll benefit from research-led teaching at the interface between public health and environmental engineering, with a particular focus on risk-centred methods. Lecture sessions are complemented by industrial and government case studies in contemporary air quality management practice. Teaching staff: Dr Iain Beverland.
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. Teaching staff: Dr Elsa João
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.
Necessary requirements for this class
You must have a working knowledge of mathematics, equivalent to year-1 Calculus, and introductory knowledge of chemistry either from undergraduate or high school studies.
City Systems & Infrastructure
This class will examine the key systems and infrastructure on which urban centres depend and promote critical reflection on how the design, management and monitoring of these systems impact on the social, environmental and economic sustainability of cities. The use of case studies will allow students to engage with real-world situations, challenges and opportunities and consider multiple infrastructure and technology options for sustainable city strategies. Teaching staff: Dr Neil Ferguson
Work, Wellbeing and New Technology
This class explores the social implications of renewable energy technologies by critically evaluating the new opportunities and risks for work, employment, health and wellbeing associated with large, industrial scale projects and with localised, community energy alternatives. The class engages with practitioners across academic disciplines and the energy sector, and facilitates students from business and engineering working in interdisciplinary groups to assess changing technology and changing employment practices and their impacts of social wellbeing. A unique element of this class is that it includes a four-day field study to the Isle of Eigg (an island in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland) in April, that will provide practical experience for students’ group project work. Note there is a cost associated with this class (cost for 2017-18 has not yet been confirmed, but as a guide in 2016-17 it was £175 to cover field trip costs of transport, accommodation and food).
Circular Economy & Transformations Towards Sustainability
The class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, introduces circular economy as a systems-based concept in which production is designed to be restorative and resilient, while waste is designed out of the system. Circular economy is thus featured as a reaction to the conventional dispensation of the linear ‘make-use-dispose’ economy, and as a framework for the development and management of a sustainable, ‘waste-as-a-resource’ economic system. The implications of the concept for research, policy and industrial practice are also explored as these relate to innovation and knowledge production; social trends and consumer behaviour; conservation and sustainable use of energy and material resources; climate change and environmental sustainability; and design of business models for green enterprise development and for sustainable growth and employment generation.
The main objective of this class is to provide a grounding in the economics of the environment. It demonstrates what economic analysis can contribute to discussions about the use of our natural capital (or environmental resource) base, and to discussions about policy responses to environmental problems.
A key element of the economic approach to environmental policy is ‘value for money’ - designing policy interventions that give the greatest environmental improvement for any particular budget outlay. But economic analysis also deals with questions about sustainability (and so impacts on future generations) and equity between different individuals, groups, and countries.
This class pays particular attention to international environmental problems. Such problems have been high on the agenda for environmental policy interventions since the Rio Summit of 1992, yet are ones that seem to be the most difficult to make progress with. We examine why this has been the case, making use of the growing literature on international environmental agreements.
The class adopts a practical, applied orientation throughout. Applications include transport policy, water quality and availability, global climate change, and loss of biological diversity.
Public Health Studies*
This class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, develops students’ understanding of public and environmental health, and the multidisciplinary approach in preventative and proactive action to safeguarding public health.
A diverse range of subjects are covered ranging from the risk assessment approach taken with respect to protecting the public from private water supplies, to the role of environmental health professionals in the prevention of the spread of infectious disease.
The class also provides students with fundamental knowledge regarding Health Improvement/Promotion and Health Protection, including the different methods used and the variety of agencies involved.
Geographical Information Systems
This class provides a thorough introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
GIS are spatial databases which can handle spatial information in a far greater variety of ways than was previously possible with paper maps. By capturing, manipulating, integrating and displaying digital spatial data, a wide range of different analyses can be carried out and questions addressed.
The class covers the key theoretical principles of GIS, provides practical hands-on exercises using current state-of-the-art GIS systems, including raster (IDRISI Andes) and vector (ArcGIS) based software, and demonstrates how GIS can be used for spatial query and analysis.
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Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in engineering, earth sciences, environmental management, or a background in the chemical, physical, biological or mathematical sciences.
Lower degree classifications may be considered if there is strength elsewhere (for example, relevant work experience, excellent final project/dissertation, very strong academic letter of reference, very strong application statement linking with career goals).
You’ll need two supportive academic references and/or appropriate professional experience or achievements.
|Professional Development Courses|
Alternative qualifications or professional experience may be considered by the course leader (Scottish/EU students only), depending on the class chosen. Find out more about our Flexible Learning options.
Pre-Masters preparation course
The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.
Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.Visit our international students' section
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my course?
Scottish postgraduate students
Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Students coming from England
Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Students coming from Wales
Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Students coming from Northern Ireland
Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.
If you are looking for a place of rightful education, practically engaging and relevant industry-based education, then University of Strathclyde is the best option. You will receive education that is useful for your entire life.
Graduates of the MSc in Environmental Engineering 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.
After graduation, many of our graduates get an Associate membership of IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment) by doing the online exam. Becoming an Associate member of IEMA allows you to use the AIEMA suffix after your name — a way to prove to employers, clients and colleagues that you’re on the great career path that the MSc has given you.
Most of our students also become members of the IAIA (International Association for Impact Assessment) as the University offers a bulk discount membership for students. The IAIA launched IAIA Work Experience Program in 2017, which is only available to IAIA members (including student members). This innovative programme allows members who complete specific projects of benefit to the IAIA to be recognised through:
- a Certificate acknowledging the work
- the ability to include that project as professional work on their CV
This programme enhances the professional capacity of our students who take on a project; gaining skills that are complementary to the MSc programme.
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
- 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.
Strathclyde is more than a university; it's a home for highly motivated and like-minded domestic and international students.
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!
We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.
Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!Find out all about life in Glasgow
Start date: Jan 2022
Environmental Engineering (January intake)
Start date: Sep 2022
Start date: Sep 2022
Start date: Sep 2022
Environmental Engineering - Distance Learning
Start date: Jan 2023
Environmental Engineering (January intake)
Have you considered?
We've a range of postgraduate taught and Masters courses similar to this one which may also be of interest.