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Masters Degrees (Enviromental)

We have 3 Masters Degrees (Enviromental)

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Deepen your understanding of the environmental issues facing New Zealand and the world. Examine subjects like climate change, the sustainability of our cities, loss of biodiversity, water quality and consumerism. Read more

Deepen your understanding of the environmental issues facing New Zealand and the world. Examine subjects like climate change, the sustainability of our cities, loss of biodiversity, water quality and consumerism.

Learn how environmental problems can be addressed through better policy, planning, design and communication. Discover how human behaviour can be influenced by these things and the role that politics plays in environmental concerns. You'll graduate with a good understanding of how you can create change.

Study alongside students from around the world and find out how environmental issues are tackled in different countries and the different problems they face.

Learn from the experts

Learn from highly regarded academics who are experts in their fields. You'll also hear from guest lecturers who are experienced professionals in environmental planning, economics, policy, law, politics, ethics and indigenous development.

Across disciplines

Environmental Studies connects with Geography and Development Studies as well as Public Policy, Law and Management. You can study the subject at postgraduate level from a science, commerce or arts background. Because you'll study with students from a variety of disciplines and professions, you'll broaden your own understanding through their different viewpoints and experiences.

The right connections

Make connections with the organisations that make the policy, do the research and create the spaces we live in. In the capital city you can take advantage of Victoria's relationships with the central government policy world and major research institutes like the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute.

Flexible study

You can choose to complete a one-year Postgraduate Diploma or a two-year Master's that will include a thesis. Both programmes offer you the flexibility to choose the courses that best suit your interests and career goals.

If you are interested in creating a better environment and have a Bachelor's degree with a B+ average in a relevant subject (or B for the PGDip), then postgraduate Environmental Studies is ideal for you. If you don't have a degree but have significant relevant experience, you may also be able to enrol in one of the programmes.

Available qualifications

  • Master of Environmental Studies
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Studies

Choose the qualification that suits your career goals, time constraints and financial situation. If you begin by enrolling in the Diploma programme you may be able to continue on to complete your Master's. Or if you enrol in the Master's but only complete the first year (Part 1), for whatever reason, you can be awarded the Diploma.

What you'll study

The PGDip is the same as the first year, or Part 1, of the Master's.

Core courses

Both qualifications include the 15-point core courses Environmental Management, and Research Methods. You'll get an overview of the current issues decision-makers face in managing the environment and look at case studies ranging from water management to urban design.

Research Methods will prepare you for thesis research and you'll study research design, data collection and analysis and how to communicate research findings.

Elective courses

You'll select the remaining 90 points from a wide range of approved 400- and 500-level courses from several different disciplines. You'll complete around seven of these and can tailor your choices to match your areas of interest and career direction.

You might focus on environmental law or economics, Māori resource management, climate change, political ecology or the psychology of behaviour change.

Master's thesis and practicum

If you are doing the Master's, you'll go on to a second year (Part 2) and complete a research thesis. You can choose to do the 35,000-word option, or complete a 25,000-word thesis and do a 30-point practicum. The practicum is a supervised work placement at an organisation that specialises in environmental or resource management.

You'll need an average grade of B+ across your courses in Part 1, for entry into Part 2 of the Master's programme.

Research topics

The Environment Studies programme encourages an active culture of research. Find out what potential projects you might work on.

Workload and duration

If you are studying full time you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students doing two courses per trimester will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.

The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDipEnvStud) can be completed in one year full time or usually two years part time. The Master’s (MEnvStud) will take you up to two and half years of full-time study or can be completed over up to five years if you are part time.


You'll graduate able to contribute to environmental practice in New Zealand or anywhere in the world. The skills you'll develop are relevant to many careers, including environmental policy, planning and management.

Many students have gone on to work in places like the Ministry for the Environment, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and regional or city councils. You might join a non-governmental organisation (NGO), a corporation, an iwi organisation or become an environmental business consultant or social entrepreneur.

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Over recent decades the fashion and textile industries has been making changes; responding to enviromental and social needs; publishing corporate social reports and working with industry bodies and NGOs. Read more


Over recent decades the fashion and textile industries has been making changes; responding to enviromental and social needs; publishing corporate social reports and working with industry bodies and NGOs. Yet the Rana Plaza disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2013 was tragedy for the workers, their families, the country and the industries, and an imperative for new thinking, new practice, and fresh ethics. It is a horrific milestone for fashion manufacture, communication, consumer awareness and industry responsibilities. The industries are now reaching out to governments, NGOs, charities, unions and radical thinkers for advice and support. They are accountable for their current and future ethics. Without doubt it is time for change in which education is a crucial contributor to the new solutions, and alternative futures for the industries.

The new MSc Ethics in Fashion (See http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/prog/msc-ethics-in-fashion/ ) is a research led, taught programme, focussed on analysing and understanding the industry, whilst mapping the changes in practice, monitoring the voices and diversity of stakeholders in the supply-chain. The programme offers a chance for ethically aware graduates and established professionals to refresh and extend their knowledge and skillset. An escalating need for an Ethics in Fashion programme has been identified, and Heriot-Watt University is in a unique position with subject specific research faculty, global industry links, outstanding fashion and textiles facilities and an enviable pastoral location, with strong transport connections.

"A Masters of Science on Ethics in Fashion is exactly what was missing in fashion education. Sustainability and ethics are key issues for this industry. Those who are not able respect people and the environment in their supply chain cannot stay in the sector for long. Today, all major players have a CSR officer integrated in their business, a profile that didn’t exist until a few years ago. Having this MSc is a true work of innovation." Simone Cipriani, Head, ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative (United Nations)

Our students

The taught programme has been created for those wanting to work, or already working in the fashion and textiles industries, in design, sourcing management, buying, journalism and corporate affairs. The qualification provides a set of fresh perspectives and insights for an existing first degree qualification, or relevant experience in any of the above areas or similar for those wanting to be part of the dynamic changing industries.

Industry links

The School of Textiles and Design, and the research staff have strong global industry and NGO links in design, corporate social responsibility reporting and corporate affairs, social enterprise. In addition teaching staff are Fellows of the Fellowship of 500, in the Ethical Fashion Forum. There are both courses, and research opportunities to work with local and international industry.

The programme has been designed to utilise selected core postgraduate courses offered within the School and introducing courses specific to Ethics in Fashion, thus encouraging inter-disciplinary participation and discourse, and membership of the a growing research community.

"There is a growing demand from consumers that the clothes they choose to wear haven’t been produced in sweatshops. Tragedies such as the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh have only heightened public concern. This is why it is critical that fashion colleges and universities are incorporating ethics into their programs of work. Ethical sourcing is increasingly becoming the norm for the clothing & footwear industry and we see this only growing in the future." Simon McRae, National Manager, Ethical Clothing Australia


- Analyse the ethics in supply-chain practice
- Speculate on, and develop, effective methods of communicating ethics
- Identify and map outcomes and consequences of unethical and ethical practice
- Speculate and apply new criteria within the supply-chain
- Analyse the motivations and roles of consumers in the ethics discourse and practice
- Identify best practice models across the traditional fashion and textiles industries, social enterprise and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
- Research independently the role of ethics in fashion practice and theory


Students are assessed through a combination of individual and group written course work, and projects and the Masters dissertation. Emphasis is placed on rigorous academic standards as well as acquiring and developing a range of transferable industry skills and individual development. Assessment exercises can therefore include making effective visual and oral presentations, writing reports and as well as team and group work.

How to apply

Applications are made by submitting a completed application form to the Postgraduate Office at the Edinburgh Campus. Additionally, before our final decision can be given, applicants will be asked to supply documentation to provide proof of academic background and suitability as a candidate:
- A copy of your degree(s) certificates and relevant transcripts
- A portfolio of past work where appropriate and/or evidence of relevant work experience
- Proof of having being awarded a first degree(s)
- Proof of your ability in the English language if this is not your mother tongue
- Proof of how your tuition fee and personal maintenance costs are to be met
- Two academic referees

For full details about our application process including relevant forms and guidance notes, please contact us or visit our website http://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/textiles-design/

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. Pre-sessional English courses (See http://www.hw.ac.uk/study/english.htm ) are available for applicants at the Edinburgh Campus to improve on English language usage and study skills. Please note that completion of pre-sessional courses are not a guarantee of admittance.
- 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
- 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Find information on Fees and Scholarships here http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/prog/msc-ethics-in-fashion/

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This 12 month course is offered by the Department of Civil Engineering but benefits from the research knowledge and expertise of staff in the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI). Read more

This 12 month course is offered by the Department of Civil Engineering but benefits from the research knowledge and expertise of staff in the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI). It is aimed at geography and science graduates, industrial practitioners, military and government personnel.

Key facts:

  • The institute, formerly known as the Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG), has been active for almost 40 years, covering major advances in terrestrial, air and spaceborne image acquisition systems, inertial navigation systems and the development of satellite-based systems such as Transit, GPS and GLONASS, EGNOS and Galileo.
  • The institute has excellent facilities for teaching and research, with lecturers drawn from a group of highly respected academics and external experts. We work closely with industrial partners and government agencies, and this provides excellent opportunities for our graduates to find employment with high profile organisations.
  • The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

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