Environmental Management MSc


Fact file

MSc Environmental Management
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) 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.


Focused on understanding environmental issues and their management in the context of sustainability, this course draws on a range of expertise from the natural, physical and social sciences.
Read full overview

It offers an advanced, interdisciplinary coverage of a range of environmental issues. You will enhance your skills and knowledge of these issues in a national and international context.

Teaching is conducted by internationally renowned experts in 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.

A unique tutorial system supports your learning in a small-group setting, and you will have opportunities to conduct fieldwork in national and international settings.

Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent. You could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.

Key facts


Course details

This course comprises 80 credits of core modules and 40 credits of optional modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation. You will be allocated an appropriate dissertation supervisor who will oversee your progress.




Foundations of Environmental Management

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

Topics covered include:

  • climate-change impacts and mitigation
  • river channel processes and management
  • pure and applied research on biodiversity patterns
  • the science of risk-based contaminated land management
Environmental Management in Practice

The module will introduce you 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 could include:

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

This module 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
  • writing a literature review paper
  • philosophies of research design
  • selecting an appropriate environmental management research topic
  • preparation of a dissertation proposal
Environment, Space and Society

This module 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 include:

  • environmental history
  • environmental knowledge and governance
  • environmental activism
  • economy and environment

These issues are also explored through a day field visit.

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.
Project Management and Environmental Legislation

This module will develop your 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
Dissertation in Environmental Management

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

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



Environment, Development and Livelihoods

This module investigates key links between development, livelihood and environmental problems in the global South, with particular reference to competition and conflict over environmental resources.

Attention is placed on exploring livelihood-environment interactions from the perspectives of different income, gender and community groups and contrasting their everyday realities with key development concepts and aggregate statistics. 

Global Climate Change

The module covers the following:

  • 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
River Management and Restoration

This module further develops themes of river processes and dynamics introduced in the module River Processes and Dynamics, and considers them within the context of human attempts to manage and restore rivers. It initially centres on changes in the fluvial system that occur in response to river management and engineering and then goes on to examine approaches to restoring the natural functions of rivers that have been heavily degraded by human impacts.

The module includes reviews of past and present river channel restoration and rehabilitation activity in Europe and the USA. It details principles by which restoration practice is guided, and introduces criteria for selection between alternative strategies.

The module includes a residential field trip 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.

Spatial Decision Making

The first part of the module covers the theory and practice of utilising Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for supporting spatial decision making. It reflects upon the broader discipline of Geographical Information Science (GI Science) before considering the importance of data quality, key spatial analysis tools and visualisation techniques.

The second part of the module extends the skills and knowledge gained in part one by applying them to a real world problem supplied by an external client (Experian). Students will work in teams by responding to an invitation to tender, then developing a GIS-based solution to a problem supplied by Experian which will typically involve evaluating alternative locations for retail developments around Nottingham.

Teams will plan their own meetings, manage the division of workload and ensure they are meeting the requirements of the client (but also exploring further possibilities that the client may not have considered).


You can choose from other geography modules or options from other schools/departments across the University, subject to approval. The focus should be predominately science or engineering.

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.



Funding information is available on the school website and can also be found on the Graduate School website.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans of up to £10,609 for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge for a number of environmental management careers. Recent graduates have gone on to the public, private and third sectors including environmental consultancy, national and local government departments, and regulatory agencies and environmental charities. Some have also gone into further research.

Employability and average starting salary

100% of postgraduates from the School of Geography who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £25,721 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £29,847.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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