The Environmental Social Science programme is interdepartmental and benefits from expertise found across the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Social science perspectives are crucial to understanding and solving environmental problems. Human behaviour produces many elements of the ‘natural’ environment, from landscapes to floods and famines. Local and national policies and international agreements regulate the environmental practices of corporations, governments and households. The social sciences have a great deal to contribute to understanding what have become defined as environmental issues, and what measures can most effectively tackle them.
Environmental Social Science draws on contributions from the study of Anthropology, Conservation and Ecology, Law, Social Policy and Sociology.
This interdisciplinary programme introduces you to social science perspectives on environmental issues. It draws on sociology, politics, social policy, anthropology and law. The dissertation is a chance for you to make a specialised study of a topic that interests you, and we encourage first-hand research. The programme is suitable for graduates with a wide range of first degrees.
You take compulsory modules alongside optional modules of your choice. Modules may include:
This programme aims to:
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills. We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills. You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of environmental social science is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professional advancement.
Our graduates obtain a range of transferable skills and report high levels of being in employment or further study within six months of graduation across all of our degree programmes.
Over 98% of Kent's postgraduate students who graduated in 2016 were in work or further study within six months. Recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers in environmental law, community projects, research, education, advocacy and social policy at both local and central government levels.
How to apply: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/
We offer inspirational teaching and supervision alongside first-class library and IT facilities. You also benefit from our high-impact research in all subjects. Whatever you are looking to study, Kent provides a dynamic and challenging environment for your postgraduate studies.
* of 122 universities, not including specialist institutions
Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences master's programme in Wageningen has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Students will gain insight into the socio-economic causes and the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, including the effects on human beings, the atmosphere, ecosystems and other organisms. This two-year programme is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Students learn to develop analytical tools and models, as well as technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental and sustainability issues.
The Environmental Sciences MSc programme of Wageningen University is an international programme containing one year of course work and and one year of research. It is thesis-oriented with the individual research project (major) as its core. Compulsory elements are kept at a minimum, thus enabling the coursework to be tailored to the wishes and needs of the individual student. Study adviser and thesis supervisor both assist the student in selecting the most relevant courses from what Wageningen University has to offer. Read more about the background of the programme.
Within the master's programme you can choose from the following Thesis tracks to meet your personal interests:
Graduates find jobs at many different organisations. Professional job possibilities can be found as:
Read more about the career perspectives and opportunities.
The aim of the Option is to provide graduates with the skills to enter a wide range of environmental careers, with particular emphasis on environmental consultancy and regulatory job markets. The Option is designed to train students in analysis and assessment methods applicable to environmental contamination problems.
The Environmental Analysis and Assessment (EAA) Option comprises lectures plus two practical case studies, each with a different technical emphasis.
A large number of the lectures are from consultants, the regulators and industry professionals, many from alumni of the Option, providing the student with first-hand contact with live issues as well as the chance to discuss job opportunities with potential employers.
The Option lectures are supported by a number of site visits plus a five-day study tour to provide practical underpinning of the Option material.
The EAA Option is designed to train students from diverse scientific and technical backgrounds in assessment methods applicable to environmental contamination and pollution problems.
The emphasis throughout the course is on the use of quantitative environmental assessment methodologies, including:
A thorough grounding in physical, chemical and biological processes of contaminant behaviour in the environment is provided as the basis for understanding the impacts of chemical contamination. This is strengthened by the introduction to, and use of, predictive modelling techniques for assessing risks and impacts associated with either real or hypothetical contamination scenarios.
To complement and enhance teaching of quantitative aspects of environmental assessment techniques, classical EIA and auditing methodologies are also an important course component.
After completion of the course the students should be able to:
Environment and Health
Air Pollution and Climate Change
Waste and Resource Management
Environmental Decision Making and Tools
Integrated Land Management
Environmental Pollution and Assessment
The majority of the graduates enter environmental consultancy both in the UK and abroad usually within the risk assessment and contaminated land areas, but this is not an exhaustive list. A second path of graduates is to regulatory agencies/government bodies such as the Environment Agency of England & Wales and the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Other paths have included further study, the retail sector and banking. To date, the Option has had an excellent track record of employment with over 90% of graduates employed within 12 months of completing the MSc.
One piece of fieldwork is undertaken in collaboration with the WM and Health and HGWEoptions of the MSc, and provides a "real-world" case study of contaminated land and water on Hounslow Heath, near Heathrow Airport, in close collaboration with Hounslow London Borough Council. The second piece of fieldwork is a waste management project in collaboration with Veolia Waste Management Services Ltd., providing an opportunity for students to work on a typical waste management problem.
At the end of the Option term the EAA students will spend a week on location at a city somewhere in the UK visiting a variety of industrial facilities, plants and operations.
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.
Water is vital. Drought, floods and water footprint are crucial topics across the globe.
The Water Management Option was one of the original options of our MSc Environmental Technology course first offered in 1977, and remains at the cutting edge today, with research into the balance between water treatment, energy use, climate change and legislation being the focus of intense interest.
The aim of the option is to produce graduates who understand the challenges posed by water supply and water resources management, and who meet the demands of organisations concerned with the water environment and water technology. These include water companies, regulators, consultancies and research organisations. Changing priorities in these organisations mean there is an increasing emphasis on management in addition to the traditional broad foundation in the basic concepts of water technology and the water environment. As a result, the Water Management Option spotlights and develops management techniques, with two extended consultancy-style projects, one run in conjunction with Hounslow London Borough Council and the other with Anglian Water plc. In addition to lectures and tutorials the students develop their research and presentation skills in a dynamic, cooperative and competitive environment.
At the end of the course, the student will understand the basic concepts of water technology and the water environment both locally and globally, and be able to:
The Option comprises a number of modules designed to introduce the student to the broad range of scientific, environmental and management issues relevant to man’s effects on the Earth’s most precious resource. In addition to lectures, delivered by a of leading practitioners from regulators, water companies, consultancies, research and other environmental organisations, there are seminars and practical coursework assessments that provide experience of contaminated land remediation and strategic investment planning for water supply and wastewater treatment.
Environment and Health
Water Technology and Management
Environmental Policy and Resource Management
Environmental Decision Making and Tools
Integrated Land and Water Management
Environmental Pollution and Assessment
Finally, a four-day study tour incorporating a programme of visits gives operational insight into many aspects taught on the option. Visits to sites concerned with water and environmental resource management and related environmental conservation projects are complemented by visits designed to give an understanding of the technology used for water and wastewater treatment.
Graduates from our course have a very high success rate in achieving well paid employment. This is commonly in environmental consultancies and to a lesser extent in water utility companies, the Environment Agency, Defra and other regulators, and water charities in the UK, in the European Union and overseas.
Graduates from recent years have taken up positions and careers in the following companies:
Students undertake two assessed pieces of coursework over the option term. One piece of coursework is in collaboration with a water company, Anglian Water and in addition to team research with other option members it involves a visit to the Anglian Water premises in East Anglia. The other piece of coursework is conducted in collaboration with the Hounslow London Borough Council. It builds on the theme of integrated land and water management and incorporates a day of water and soil sampling on Hounslow Heath in London (working alongside another of the MSc Options – Environmental Analysis & Assessment).
The opportunity exists for one student to carry out the MSc Environmental Technology Course Water Management Option over two years, which includes a 16 month industrial placement with Anglian Water. The programme provides the chosen candidate with an Anglian Water-financed bursary and payment of tuition fees (at UK/EU rate). Please visit the website to find out more.
Management of the natural environment is increasingly important in all sectors from business to public policy. This course will equip you to critically evaluate environmental issues and contribute to the economic and policy decision making process in organisations of any size.
This course provides students with the necessary up-to-date knowledge and understanding of environmental issues as they impact on the public, private and voluntary sectors. It also provides students with the ability and skills to critically appraise alternative environmental measures and develop the ability to identify and recommend suitable solutions for effective environmental management.
Core modules develop a range of knowledge and skills including environmental principles (such as the ecosystem services framework), economic and financial methods, and social, policy and governance viewpoints. Electives allow further development of economics and strategic thinking methods, or other skills including risk communication, environmental life cycle analysis and environmental auditing.
This course will equip you to critically evaluate environmental issues and contribute to the economic and policy decision making process in organisations of any size. It will give you the skills and experience required to monitor and critically evaluate business practice through the environmental auditing and other assessment methods, or to participate in economic and policy decision making.
This degree has been accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
This course comprises eight modules, an individual project and a group project.
Group projects, which run between February and April, enable you to put the skills and knowledge developed during the course modules into practice in an applied context while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research. Group projects are usually sponsored by industrial or public sector partners who provide particular problems linked to their businesses. Projects generally require the group to provide a solution to the operational problem. Potential future employers value this experience. The group projects are across the MSc courses in the environment programme, giving the added benefit of gaining new insights, ways of thinking, experience and skills from students with other backgrounds.
During the project you will develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. At the end of the project, all groups submit a written report and deliver a presentation to the industrial partner. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop interpersonal and presentation skills within a professional environment. The project is assessed through a written report and an oral presentation by the group. In addition, a poster exhibition provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.
The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into a specific area of interest. As our academic research is so closely related to industry and public sector organisations, it is very common for our partners to put forward real-world problems or areas of development as potential research topics.
The individual research project component takes place between April/May and August for full-time students. For part-time students, it is common that their research projects are undertaken in collaboration with their place of work under academic supervision, given the approval of the Course Directors.
Individual research projects undertaken may involve a wide range of techniques from qualitative analysis to quantitative modelling.
Taught modules 40%, group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), individual thesis project 40%
To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.
Successful students develop diverse and rewarding careers in government ministries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), environmental and business consultancies, public sector organisations such as environmental protection agencies, and the manufacturing and service industries in the private sector.
The international nature of the course means that career opportunities are not restricted to the UK. Cranfield graduates develop careers around the world.
We have been providing Masters level training for over 20 years. Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers. The increasing interest in sustainability and corporate and social responsibility has also enhanced the career prospects of our graduates.
Cranfield's applied approach and close links with industry mean 93% of our graduates find jobs relevant to their degree or go on to further study within six months of graduation. Our careers team support you while you are studying and following graduation with workshops, careers fairs, vacancy information and one-to-one support.