Environmental Management MA


Fact file

MA Environmental Management
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (or international equivalent), preferably in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) discipline, including geography, environmental science or related degrees
Other requirements
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


Interdisciplinary understanding of environmental issues and their management in the context of sustainability lies at the core of this masters programme, which draws on a range of expertise from the natural, physical and social sciences.
Read full overview

This Environmental Management MA offers an advanced, interdisciplinary coverage of a range of environmental issues. It aims to significantly enhance your skills and knowledge of these issues in both a national and international context, and from the perspectives of the natural, physical and social sciences.

It is delivered by internationally renowned experts in the fields of flood risk management, climate science, contaminated land management, and agri-environmental governance and management. You will also benefit from the expertise of external practitioners and scholars who contribute to the programme.

A unique tutorial system supports your learning in a small group setting, and you will have opportunities for optional field work at our Malaysia or China campuses.

Key facts

  • 75% of our research output was rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • We were rated 'excellent' in the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) assessment of teaching provision
  • We are ranked 39th worldwide for geography according to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016

Course details

You are required to successfully complete 80 credits of core taught modules and 40 credits of optional taught modules, before undertaking a supervised dissertation worth 60 credits.




Dissertation: Environmental Management

This module will require students to research an environmental issue of their own choice under the supervision of an appropriate member of staff and to report their findings in the form of a written dissertation (12,000 words).

Key skills developed include those of independent study, critical analysis and report writing.

This module aims to:

  • allow students to make a detailed independent analysis of an environmental issue or problem of their choice and to report their findings in appropriate ways
  • encourage the analysis of an environmental issue from an inter-disciplinary perspective
Foundations of Environmental Management

The module provides a foundation for the scientific concepts and issues which underpin environmental management.

Topics covered include:

  • the structure and function of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • the importance and operation of the major biogeochemical cycles
  • the flow of energy through the earth-system

A day trip cost will be involved, full details of expected cost will be given nearer the date of the visit.

This module aims to:

  • provide an understanding of the physical, biological and chemical bases of environmental systems, with an emphasis on human interaction with these systems
Environment, Space and Society

This content is split into a number of sections following an opening session which introduces the different ways in which human geography engages with environmental issues. Indicative content of the remaining sessions: environmental history, environmental knowledge and governance, environmental activism, economy and environment. These issues are also explored through a day field visit.

The assessment method is a 3-page report and 6-page essay.

Geographical Research Methods

This module is split into three major sections:

  • Quantitative Methods: An introduction to parametric and non-parametric statistics and the use of databases and statistical packages.
  • Social Research Methods: An introduction to the philosophical and analytical issues that lie behind designing social research methods. A range of social research methods are considered in terms of their approach, design, implementation and analysis.
  • GIS: An introduction to the technologies of GIS. It covers the design and operation of these systems and how they are used as decision support tools. The material also covers the concept of modelling and what issues the user must be aware of in evaluating model outputs.

This module aims to:

  • offer an understanding of the issues and techniques surrounding the handling of quantitative and qualitative data in the social and environmental sciences
  • provide practical experience of key quantitative and qualitative techniques in geography

Optional examples

Environmental Management in Practice

The module will introduce the student to a range of approaches to environmental management and their use in practice within Government and Non-Governmental agencies and the private sector. Approaches covered include:

  • tendering for projects in the context of environmental consultancy
  • environmental management practices
  • participatory approaches to environmental policy and planning

This module aims to:

  • introduce and evaluate a range of approaches available to the environmental manager and their practical application in the governmental, non-governmental and private sectors
Environmental Management Tutorial

This year-long module is split into two sections, Tutorial A in semester one and Tutorial B in semester two. This module is primarily skills based and provides opportunities for small group teaching and learning on core environmental management issues. It will provide an introduction to review and report writing and fieldwork skills and practical approaches to environmental management as well as research planning.

Tutorial A will cover the following:

  • Referencing and searching for literature
  • Reading and note-taking
  • Review writing skills
  • Approaches to group working
  • Presentation skills
  • Critical review of environmental paradigms

Tutorial B will cover the following: 

  • Writing a literature review paper
  • Philosophies of research design
  • Selecting an appropriate environmental management research topic and preparation of a dissertation proposal

This module aims to:

  • foster an awareness and appreciation of key concepts in Environmental Management, such as sustainability and environmental protected natural areas
  • encourages students to adopt interdisciplinary approaches to Environmental Management topics
  • help students to develop skills of synthesis and analysis
Project Management and Environmental Legislation

This module will develop students' understanding of the principles of project management and land related environmental legislation. The lectures will focus on:

  • the management organisation of projects and the roles taken by individuals in the management structure
  • the management of change, quality and risk
  • time and resource management techniques
  • project selection strategies
  • project finance
  • evaluating the legal context of land contamination related liability

This module aims to:

  • develop students' understanding of the purpose of project management and the range of project management tools 
  • develop students' ability to plan projects
  • develop students' understanding of the UK and EU legal system, the main environmental legislation and the legislation dealing with land contamination
Global Climate Change

The module covers:

  • a review of modern climate systems and forcings
  • climate modelling, projections of future climate change and their uncertainty
  • controversies around climate change, the argument between believers and sceptics and the ways in which climate change is communicated to and perceived by the public
  • the impact of climate change on the world's physical and built environments, water and food resources, and human health
  • mitigation and adaptation to future climate change including the role played by policy markers and NGOs

This module aims to:

  • introduce students to the science and issues that surround present and future climate change and its impacts on human society and the natural environment
River Management and Restoration

This module develops themes of river processes and dynamics and considers them within the context of human attempts to manage and restore rivers. The module includes reviews of past and present river channel restoration and rehabilitation activity in Europe and the USA. It details principles by which rehabilitation practice is guided, and introduces criteria for selection between rehabilitation strategies. 

The module includes a residential field trip in semester one and a non-residential fieldtrip in semester two, where students will have the opportunity to explore a range of river management and restoration issues relevant to rivers in the UK and develop practical skills in field survey and modelling techniques employed in contemporary river management. Students will present their work through verbal presentations and written reports.

This module aims to:

  • raise awareness of the range, type and methods of river rehabilitation
  • develop knowledge and critical evaluative skills to propose a rehabilitation design appropriate to a field-based example

Alternatively, you can choose from other modules from the School of Geography, or in other schools across the University. 

At least 10 of these 40 credits must be level 4, with the remaining 30 credits at level 3 or 4. The option modules should be predominantly Social Science or Arts and Humanities based.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



The school has details of funding opportunities on our funding webpage. Further information can also be found on the Graduate School website.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



This course aims to give you the skills and knowledge to hit the ground running in a number of careers related to environmental management. Recent graduates have gone on to have successful careers in the public, private and third sectors including environmental consultancy, national and local government departments and regulatory agencies and environmental charities. Some have also gone on to undertake research leading to a PhD.

A postgraduate qualification from The University of Nottingham shows potential employers that you are an intelligent, hard-working individual who is bright and flexible enough to undertake any form of specific career training.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 95% of postgraduates in the School of Geography who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation.*

* Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

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