The global challenge of environmental sustainability highlights the need for holistic design and management of complex environmental and technological systems. This interdisciplinary Master's programme presents environmental issues and technologies within a systems engineering context. Graduates will understand interactions between the natural environment, people, processes and technologies to develop sustainable solutions.
Students will develop an understanding of systems engineering and environmental engineering. Environmental engineering is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering concerned with devising, implementing and managing solutions to protect and restore the environment within an overall framework of sustainable development. Systems engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the development and management of large complex systems.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), a collaborative environmental systems project (30 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and an individual environmental systems dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.
Options may include the following:
All MSc students undertake an independent research project addressing a problem of systems research, design or analysis, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and projects. The individual and group projects in the synthesis element involve interaction with industrial partners, giving students real-life experience and contacts for the future. Assessment is through written examination, coursework, presentations, and group and individual projects.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Environmental Systems Engineering MSc
Career paths for environmental systems engineers are diverse, expanding and challenging, with the pressures of increasing population, desire for improved standards of living and the need to protect the environmental systems. There are local UK and international opportunities in all areas of industry: in government planning and regulation, with regional and municipal authorities, consultants and contracting engineers, research and development organisations, and in education and technology transfer. Example of recent career destinations include Ford, KPMG, EDF Energy, Brookfield Multiplex, and the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The discipline of environmental systems engineering is growing rapidly with international demand for multi-skilled, solutions-focussed professionals who can take an integrated approach to complex problems.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The discipline of environmental systems engineering is growing rapidly with an international demand for multi-skilled professionals who can take an integrated approach to solving complex environmental problems (e.g. urban water systems, technologies to minimise industrial pollution). Environmental engineers work closely with a range of other environmental professionals, and the community.
Skills may be used to:
UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering is an energetic and exciting environment in which to explore environmental systems engineering. Students have the advantages of studying in a multi-faculty institution with a long tradition of excellence in teaching and research, situated at the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.
The progamme is accredited by the Joint Boad of Moderators, which is made up of the Institution of Civil Engineers, The Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institutions of Highways and Transportation, and the Institute of Highway Engineers.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
60% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
You will undertake advanced studies in political sociological analysis and this programme is ideal preparation for a research degree. It assumes an undergraduate training in sociology and/or political science, or a cognate discipline, or relevant professional experience such as journalism.
The programme is distinctive in its focus upon social and political movements, protest, and the less conventional and institutionalised forms of political action and participation, environmental politics and globalisation, but students with interests in other areas of more conventional and institutionalised politics are well catered for.
You will gain an understanding of the interaction and interdependence among social and political institutions, processes and action, especially collective action. The programme begins with a focus upon protest and social movements, and in the second term you may choose to focus upon either or both of environmental politics and / or processes of global social change and questions of political order. There is a wide range of optional modules from which to choose, and at the end of the programme, you should have a much enhanced understanding of processes of social and political change and the theoretical and methodological approaches to their interpretation and study.
Depending upon your choice of option modules, the programme will also give you:
The programme is also designed to enhance your professional development. We place considerable emphasis on the socialisation of graduate students into a research community. This is reflected in our pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. There is less didactic teaching and more emphasis on structured seminars with greater participation from students. Class sizes are generally much smaller than at undergraduate level and you will be taught by established members of the academic staff, many of whom are internationally recognized leaders in their particular fields of inquiry. This facilitates close working relationships between staff and students. You will also be encouraged to participate in the staff/graduate seminar which allows MA and research students the opportunity to become more fully involved in a professional research culture, and to meet visiting speakers from many universities in Britain and beyond.
You take compulsory modules alongside optional modules of your choice. Modules may include:
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 social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.
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 from our School have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs.
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
MSc Environmental Governance critically analyses some of the key environmental challenges of our time, exploring the connections between environmental governance and policies and the production, distribution and consumption of resources.
The course will develop your ability to apply sophisticated, critical and interdisciplinary sustainability and environmental theories at multiple scales and in different geographical contexts.
As part of the course, you'll have the unique opportunity to collaborate and engage with cutting-edge researchers and world-leading experts on environmental governance, political ecology, Marxist political economy and urban sustainability. You will learn from real-world practitioners, and liaise with external organisations on live policy problems.
This makes MSc Environmental Governance an ideal choice for:
Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months. There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director first and also seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.
Eight taught units comprise two-thirds of the programme. The remainder of the programme consists of a 12,000 word dissertation on an approved topic. Typical course units comprise two hours a week of seminar or small-group work. Together these units involve a range of formative and summative assessments, including individual and group work, oral presentations and long essays, project work and reports. Coursework is designed to allow you to pursue your particular areas of interest.
In the summer semester, you work independently to undertake dissertation work based on primary and/or secondary data, or else a more philosophical/theoretical dissertation. We encourage you develop research in collaboration with members of the Society and Environment Research Group and external organisations.
Core course units
Past dissertation projects
Every year we have a range of different dissertation topics that reflect students' research interests. For illustration, this list presents some past dissertation topics:
"From the very start, I found all the staff extremely friendly and helpful. There was always someone to speak to, no matter what the problem - as someone who came into studying this subject from a very different undergraduate degree, this made my transition much easier. It also helped that the teaching staff have a real passion for the subject, which I found infectious and inspiring."
Oliver Gibbons, MSc Environmental Governance
The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The PGDip is the same as the first year, or Part 1, of the Master's.
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.
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.
The Environment Studies programme encourages an active culture of research. Find out what potential projects you might work on.
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.