School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

MSc Sustainable Environmental Management

At the frontier of natural and social science where economic, ethical and political issues converge this programme helps you explore the many dimensions of sustainability and the environment. From the classroom to the field, our practical teaching provides a strong foundation for you to investigate your specific interests and gain hands-on experience. Led by renowned experts, as part of a multidisciplinary research community, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge to build a successful career.

Key features

  • Work side by side with experts from across the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Plymouth Business School – which were rated as ‘internationally excellent’ in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. 
  • Tailor your studies for the career you want – from environmental agencies and consultancies to local or central government and research – and take your place shaping the pioneering policy and projects of the future.
  • Focus on the aspects of sustainable environmental management that you feel most strongly about, with an individual research project and accompanying dissertation.
  • Benefit from our local, national and international sector connections as part of a respected and active research community that includes groups such as the Marine Institute – the first and largest of its kind in the UK – and the Centre for Sustainable Transport
  • Add value to your qualification by studying on a programme accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) – the benchmark for high-quality programmes recognised internationally by learners and employers.
  • Balance your work commitments and further education with the opportunity to study part time for a masters-level qualification.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • Exploring topics that span the natural and social sciences, you’ll gain vital insight into the whole spectrum of environmental management issues – from law and ethics to impact assessments and data analysis, river basin plans to marine regulations. We've designed the programme flexibly to equip you with an in-depth understanding of the essential theories, as well as practical fieldwork and industry experience. During the first two terms of this one-year programme, you’ll study a range of core and optional taught modules – from international environmental policy making to options like climate change: science and policy or economics and the environment. In the final term you’ll complete an independent dissertation project. Throughout your studies, we’ll support you in gaining the research and professional skills to help you get the most from the programme – and launch a successful career.
    Core modules
    • GEES515 Professional Practice in the Environmental Sector

      This module examines the place of sustainability and environmental management in modern business practice, and prepares students for professional work experience in semester 2. It also provides students with a critical understanding of the principles, ethics and methods of environmental law and regulation, and examines the role of economics in characterising and addressing human interaction with the environment

    • GEES516 Science, Society and Environmental Governance

      This module provides students, firstly, with a critical understanding of key debates in the principles, ethics and methods of both scientific and societal understandings of environmental issues. Secondly, the module makes a critical examination of the systems of governance and policy-making that have been established to regulate resource management, environmental degradation and nature conservation.

    • GEES517 Environmental Assessment

      This module examines current legislation and guidance on, and methods of, environmental assessment, focussing on strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and environmental impact assessment (EIA). Through critical investigation of case studies, students will learn how to use methodologies to evaluate impacts on environmental receptors and communicate outcomes, including impact statements, to professional standards.

    • GEES518 Professional Experience in Environmental Management

      The work-based learning module provides you with the opportunity, via a placement with a relevant environmental organisation, to develop your skills, learn more about professional careers in the environmental sector, develop contacts with potential employers, and refine your career aspirations.

    • GEES519 Environmental Knowledge: From Field to Stakeholder

      This module reviews qualitative and quantitative research methods relevant to professional and academic investigations in the field of policy-making, planning, management and consultancy in the built and natural environments. It encompasses the complete lifecycle of research (design, planning, data collection, knowledge dissemination and application), including stakeholder engagement across these stages.

    • GEES520 MSc Dissertation

      The student will complete an independent research project that they have designed in semester 1 as part of their research skills development. The record of the research will communicate the project aims, research problem, methodology, data analysis, interpretation, discussion/synthesis and conclusions in the format specified and to a professional standard.

    Optional modules
    • ENVS5002 Investigation and Assessment of Contaminated Environments

      Students are introduced to the scientific principles underpinning pollutant behaviour in the environment including the use of modelling and the process of site investigation and risk assessments. Students undertake a risk assessment of a contaminated site using literature and field investigation. Case study examples are used to highlight environmental consultancy approaches to site investigation and evaluation.

    • GEES505 Sustainable Management of Freshwater Ecosystems

      Sustainable environmental planning of land and water resources in the EU requires an ecosystem approach to river basin management. We explore the inherent challenges to this approach including the environmental legacy of earlier management approaches, how to work with natural catchment processes and flood regimes, and how to integrate diverse stakeholder viewpoints into a performance-based management framework.

    • GEES506 Climate Change: Science and Policy

      This module explores the science and policy of climatic change, including lessons from the past and the relevance of past climates to the global warming debate. We question climate change detection and attribution, feedbacks and uncertainty in climate change. We explore political actions through international political agreements and national policies and adaptation strategies and management of change in the UK

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Sustainable Environmental Management Programme Specification September 2017 1905

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. Candidates with experience in a relevant area are also encouraged to apply. 

Applicants with overseas qualifications can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The level of proficiency that is required can vary with the type of programme for which you are applying. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £6,500 To be confirmed
International £13,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £350 To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

International students

Scholarships are available for international students.

How to apply

Applying for postgraduate taught study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

If you would like any further information please contact the Postgraduate and Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

 

Applying for postgraduate research study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. The Doctoral College is available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.  If  you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

If you would like any further information please contact the Doctoral College:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 587640

Email: doctoralcollege@plymouth.ac.uk


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

Research community

As part of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, we contribute to a strong collective of research groups – so you’ll benefit from insights into work at the forefront of the sustainability sector.

Be inspired by people who are dedicated to forging new knowledge in your chosen field.

Find out more about the research groups

Student voice

Who better to give you an insight into the course than our alumni? We asked some previous students to share their thoughts.

Location, staff expertise and flexibility are just some of the reasons they chose Plymouth. What’s important to you?