The MSc in Environmental Technology has been running for over 40 years and provides the highest standard of knowledge and skills development for environmental and sustainability specialists. Through the course students acquire a diverse range of discipline-specific problem-solving skills for tackling contemporary sustainability issues. A major emphasis of the course is on the way that environments function and on the compatible tools, alternative technologies and policies for sustainable environmental management.
Our course combines the natural and social sciences, engineering and business in a truly interdisciplinary manner, providing a foundation for graduates to demonstrate their ability to identify and resolve environmental and sustainability issues in a holistic way. This broad training is followed by an in-depth education in many specialised areas, maintaining the course's interdisciplinary nature. The specialist options in the second term are designed to cater for a variety of individual interests and career requirements.
The course provides students with different options to build on their undergraduate degree, by allowing them to specialise in an area of particular interest, convert undergraduate knowledge to a different setting, differentiate for the job market and learn specific techniques and tools for research and management.
MSc candidates learn to appreciate that successful projects depend, at least in part, on belonging to a network of experts aiming to advance personal and collective environmental goals. We emphasise a friendly and supportive learning environment.
Building on Imperial’s environmental world-class research portfolio, dedicated teaching staff coordinate the interdisciplinary nature of our course and very strong links with industry, business and regulators. We pride ourselves on the quality of the service we provide to students, science and the society, and our excellence in delivering the valuable interaction between scientific/technological training and industrial experience.
First term – Core Course
The Core Course emphasises contemporary policy debates through a number of cross-cutting themes: climate change and energy, international development, sustainability and health, and biodiversity. This is delivered through the following modules:
Second term – specialist Options
Student elect to specialise in one of nine Options in the second term. A strong case study approach is employed with emphasis on working in teams, decision-making, strong analytical skills and report writing and delivery. The nine specialist options currently offered on the course include:
Third Term – Individual Research Project
The research project term, running from April to September, aims to provide graduates with valuable research and practical experience and give them the ability to address individual sustainability and environmental problems with confidence. It provides the opportunity to undertake rigorous independent research; to apply knowledge and understanding of sustainability and environmental disciplines to practical problems; and to develop and demonstrate interdisciplinary, transferable skills with specific emphasis on project management and oral and written presentation skills.
The research project normally follows from the specialist Option and may involve any combination of desk-, laboratory- or fieldwork. It may be set up and carried out in conjunction with an outside organisation thereby providing practical experience which greatly enhances employment prospects, and may be carried out in the UK or abroad.
The programme aims to:
• Provide the highest standard of training for environmental scientists and managers, who will become leaders in their fields, whether in academia, consultancy, research, government bodies, non-governmental organisations or industry and commerce, both nationally and internationally
• Deliver an holistic understanding of the interdisciplinary complexities underlying environmental issues integrating science, technology, law, economics, policy and management, with in-depth education in the more specific areas addressed by the eight specialist options
• Attract highly motivated students, both from within the UK and from overseas
The expected learning outcomes are:
Links with Industry
The MSc in Environmental Technology has developed very strong links with employers and research organisations, and maintains strong links with our large alumni body. All Options benefit from industry and alumni teaching into the course, actively complementing the academic teaching delivered by staff members. Collaborative frameworks are in place aim to deliver outputs beneficial to both organisations and the students in our course.
Understanding the development and functioning of environmental law across different levels of environmental governance is an important issue of our time. This requires moving beyond the traditional approach to teaching international, regional, EU and national environmental law in isolation from one other.
There's also a growing need to understand the relevance for environmental governance of the legal practices of indigenous peoples and local communities, business entities, local administrations, and transnational environmental practitioners.
The programme aims to help students critically appraise and creatively contribute to environmental regulation and governance at the international, transnational, national and local levels.
Studying this course, you'll be equipped with a wide range of expertise in environmental law, in areas like:
You'll focus on the global dynamics of environmental law. In particular, you'll look at the mutual influences and interactions among different regulatory levels.
The programme draws both on cutting-edge academic research on global environmental law, and on first-hand professional experience in environmental law and governance at different levels.
Your ability to gain international employment is at the heart of this course. It'll equip you with the skills and expertise you need to pursue a career in:
The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to establish a collaboration on innovative teaching of international environmental law, as well as to arrange for internships at UNITAR for students on the LLM in Global Environmental Law & Governance.
We have a successful track record of helping LLM students obtain competitive international internships with United Nations organisations. These are optional, and their duration and conditions vary depending on the host organisation. They usually start towards the end of the course.
Our programme directors are currently concluding formal agreements with selected international organisations to secure a number of internships for LLM students each year.
Our course directors will provide advice on international careers. They can give you some insider tips on how to apply for jobs with, for example, the United Nations and will be available to review job applications.
LLM students will become part of a closed alumni group on LinkedIn. This will give you the opportunity to network with other professionals in environmental law and governance. It'll also ensure you're updated on selected job opportunities.
This course is taught by one of the most wide-ranging groups of environmental law experts in the UK. Our staff have expertise in:
They'll not only draw from their own cutting-edge academic research, but also their involvement in multilateral environmental negotiations, consultancies for the United Nations and regional organisations, legal advice to developing countries on reforms of natural resource laws, and collaborations with non-government organisations and indigenous and local communities’ organisations.
Some of your classes will also include input from many of our external experts and practitioners. This includes those from
The Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law & Governance (SCELG) aims to identify and shape emerging areas of legal research in environmental governance.
Our students are an integral part of the centre, together with academic staff, PhD students and visiting scholars. You'll have the chance to take part in the research and consultancy work carried out by the centre. You can put your new skills and knowledge into practice, strengthening your CV.
The BeneLex project aims to investigate the conceptual and practical dimensions of benefit-sharing.
You'll be involved in ongoing research on fair and equitable benefit-sharing, in the areas of:
You'll take part in SCELG events, and will be responsible for organising the annual Festival of Environmental Law and Governance. There, you'll present your LLM dissertation project, and network with other students and a wide range of experts already working in the area.
Climate Change Law & Policy (LLM) is taught via distance learning with the exception of two residential weeks. Students on the course come to Scotland and stay for one week per semester to attend masterclasses and workshops with their peers. You'll be given the opportunity to take part in these residential sessions for learning and networking purposes.
Our library has a wide range of law reports, legislation, serials and monographs. It also has duplicate sets of key law report series and houses extensive collections in government publications and other related areas.
You'll have access to a wide range of electronic information which you can access from home. This includes all major legal databases.
The Global Environmental Change and Policy course focuses on 4 key questions:
By addressing those four questions the overall aim of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive and broad understanding of the scientific, legal and policy concerns informing the GEC field, and to guide students towards applying, independently, the necessary tools to address GEC questions, analytically and critically. This is done through small group seminars, lectures and case studies arranged into four main strands:
Strand I - Climate Change Science, Environmental and Health Impacts and Adaptation
This strand explores the analysis and prediction of change in the earth's physical and chemical systems and their impact based on scientific evidence. Sessions include analysis, prediction and impact of changes such as climate change and acidification in the atmosphere, oceans, the water cycle and global land cover and use. In light of the projections of scientific bodies such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), students become acquainted with different global warming scenarios and their likely impact on water management, vegetation, soil, health and other relevant sectors, and the correlated adaptation policies required in different parts of the globe in order to manage environmental change. It also addresses specific adaptation policies necessary in areas that are most likely to be affected by climate change, such as in Africa.
Strand II – Climate Change Mitigation, Business Strategies and Innovation
This strand focuses on climate change mitigation (non-LULUCF) and related business strategies and the development of technologies in the transition towards a low-carbon economy. A number of greenhouse gas mitigation and alternative energy policies – including renewable energy deployment and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) - are selected for analysis. It examines the social and economic causes of the environmental changes with respect to population, urbanisation, energy policy, and pollution and addresses the policy options to mitigate climate change. It includes a study of international and regional schemes, carbon markets and alternative policies such as carbon or fuel taxes. In addition, this strand assesses the broader question of quantifying the costs and benefits of mitigation and adaptation in light of the developmental priorities of different regions of the globe, as well as possible business solutions towards low carbon economic growth.
Strand III – Biodiversity, Land Use Change and Forestry, and Conservation Strategies
This strand explores biodiversity loss, conservation strategies, the monitoring and prediction of change in the earth's ecosystems and their response to a range of environmental changes including climate change, and the impact of these changes on humans, ecosystems and the management of natural resources. The different mechanisms proposed or already applied to protect biodiversity broadly and in relation to climate change are covered in this part of the course. Among other things, we may critique mitigation policies applicable to the agricultural sector and look at the sustainability of biofuels as cleaner sources of energy.
Strand IV – Law and Governance
The strand draws together some of the issues outlined above. The role of international law and policy in developing innovative solutions for global environmental problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, is emphasised. It addresses the law and politics behind the negotiation of, inter alia, global climate change agreements, the international framework for climate change, environmental governance, examines the role of compliance and monitoring, asks bigger philosophical questions related to rights, equity and justice in an environmental context and looks at the fundamental principles and norms of the international environmental law regime and their utility in going forwards.
The course structure, individual seminars and activities are designed to enable each student to attain the following:
Understanding, skills and capabilities are developed and assessed through active participation in coursework which comprises research and presentation, negotiation and conflict management and a panel group exercise. Panel Meetings run throughout the option term. The aims of these sessions are to establish and coordinate research, discussion, presentation and negotiation in respect of selected global environmental change issues, leading ultimately to the formal conclusion or agreed policy and scientific statement on one or more aspects of GECP.
This course offers a broad curriculum studying the relationships between human and natural components of the environment alongside developing the capacity to implement measures for analysing and managing environmental impacts of organisations.
Designed to produce graduates sufficiently equipped to play a leading role in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of environmental policy initiatives within the environmental industries, this course will enable you to develop essential knowledge and skills to progress into a professional career in environmental management, regulation or consultancy.
You will be engaged with a number of ideas drawn from law, economics and the social and physical sciences which are of relevance to the theory and practice of environmental assessment and management. Modules address existing and emerging challenges and explore contemporary management, technological and regulatory systems designed to reduce environmental risks.
A key feature of this course is applied learning and an emphasis on authentic, experimental problem based learning ensuring that you will benefit from experience as well as being supported in reviewing your own progress towards career goals.
For the MSc, the full-time and part-time routes comprise three 14-week trimesters or five 14-week trimesters, which you can take within one or three years respectively. There are two intakes per year allowing flexibility in regards to the time you wish to begin your study (September or January).
Within the full-time course, you will study four taught modules as well as completing a dissertation. Three modules are compulsory with two studied in trimester 1 and the remaining one in trimester 2. For the remaining module in trimester 2 you have an optional choice, see below for available choices.
For part-time students the taught components span two academic years each consisting of two trimesters between September and May. Year 1 involves the study of two core modules. Year 2 involves the study of one core and one optional module. During your third year of the course you will complete a dissertation.
Teaching is delivered through lectures, tutorials, case studies and workshops. Simulated business projects are utilised to develop practical, observational and analytical skills. In addition, you will take part in field work and site visits and will have many opportunities to discuss and exchange your own professional experiences with the course team and invited specialist speakers. You will work with an organisation and/or relevant stakeholder on a real project as part of a team thereby enhancing your network with external clients and developing your real world experience of environmental assessment and management, engaging with a range of research methods relevant to your field.
Research & Professional Practice (30 credits) - Project & Learning portfolio (100%)
Risk: Perception & Management (30 credits) - Literature review (30%); Case study portfolio (70%)
Techniques for Environmental Assessment and Management (30 credits) - Case study analysis (50%); Environmental Management Project (50%)
Environmental Investigation and Remediation (optional) (30 credits) - Coursework 1 (40%); Coursework 2 (60%)
Energy, Resources & Sustainability (30 credits) - Poster presentation (30%); Case Study Report (70%)
Dissertation (60 credits) - Research protocol (15%); dissertation (85%)
Many employment opportunities exist in this field including positions as environmental managers, environmental regulators and environmental consultants working in fields as diverse as contaminated land, planning and environmental impact assessment, environmental management in organisations, and waste, water and energy management.
Previous graduates of this course are working in energy companies at the forefront of environmental innovation (e.g. Uniper and EDF Energy), national and local environmental regulators (e.g. the Environment Agency and local authorities), environmental consultancies with an international dimension (e.g. Royal Haskoning, Scott Wilson, WS Atkins, Mouchel) and utilities companies (e.g. United Utilities, Viridor-Laing).
The course emphasises the development of professional skills and capabilities supplemented by practice-based learning opportunities. Your employability is developed through project work with external clients and through opportunities to work on a specific business problem for your dissertation. You will work in a team on a project with an external client organisation to develop your research and analytical skills and to enhance your employability profile. Recent projects include an analysis of the air quality benefits of trees in urban areas (City of Trees), evaluation and enhancement of environmental management procedures for a large multinational manufacturing company, analysis of energy management measures implemented in schools for a local authority and the assessment of environmental management options for a large national charitable organisation.
You are encouraged to undertake voluntary work for which assistance is provided. The programme has links with a range of volunteering organisations including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Groundwork organisations and the Bolton Community Development Partnership.
Full-time students also have the opportunity to work with a business on an environmental management project of relevance to the organisation as part of their dissertation. Past projects include work with E.ON UK, United Utilities, Groundwork and Manchester City Council on a range of projects including contaminated land investigation, feasibility studies of sustainable technologies for business and stakeholder perceptions of sustainable environmental practices.
After completion of this course, you may wish to specialise in a chosen subject area in one of the School’s two main research centres: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EER) or Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).