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Course content

Do you want to ensure that the environment is protected and maintained for future generations? 

Corporations are constantly making ethical choices, and corporate environmental managers help make sure that organisations, of many different types, work towards a global sustainable future.

Our MSc in Corporate Environmental Management is run by the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, which is a leading centre for environmental and sustainability-related research and postgraduate teaching.

CES accommodates a wide range of disciplines dedicated to resolving environmental problems, and this course prepares future environmental and sustainability professionals for the challenges faced by the corporate world. 

What you will study

From carbon foot prints to the design of revolutionary environmentally-friendly products, our course covers all the aspects involved in managing environmental and sustainability strategy in organisations.

We’ll give you a solid understanding of issues crucial to the sustainable development debate. You’ll also consider the views of stakeholders such as business groups, environmentalists, government agencies and development institutions.

As a student of this course, you will acquire skills to evaluate existing frameworks, inquire into environmental issues in organisations and industries, and develop sensitive business practices. It will provide you with excellent preparation for any corporate-focused environmental career.

We’re proud to share the list of exciting companies and organisations participating in our course, including but not limited to the NHS, Marks & Spencer, Rolls-Royce, HP, Sony, Aviva Investors, Costain Group and Telefonica.

This course provides a route to the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment graduate membership.

Academic year structure

Both full-time and part-time students must complete 5 compulsory modules and 4 elective modules by the end of their MSc. The dissertation forms 1 of the compulsory modules. 

The academic year begins with induction week when students are introduced to the university and full time students choose their elective modules. (Part-time students can enrol in modules close to the time they wish to take a module).

Modules are taught on an intensive five day basis, with classes running approximately from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday over the course of a single week. All modules require students to undertake individual study in preparation for the intensive week (readings and in some cases a pre-class assignment) and each module includes a post-taught component assignment.

All students are allocated a personal tutor who acts as a liaison between the student and the university.

During second semester students begin to focus on their dissertations, with a series of seminar events held to help students focus their ideas and make a start. Students are free to choose their own dissertation topic, with most students choosing topics related to issues or ideas encountered in the taught modules or in a professional context which relates to environment or sustainability. Each student is allocated a dissertation supervisor to help guide them through the dissertation process.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Study and work abroad

There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.

Academics

Several high-profile guest lecturers assisted with the teaching of some of the modules. CES modules make maximum use of guest lecturers, drawing on the practical skills and experience of major experts from government and industry to complement the theoretical components of the modules offered.

For example, Jonathon Porritt, former chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, gives a guest lecture on the Sustainable Development Applications module, analysing the standing of sustainable development in business and policy making.

The extensive expertise of CES academics and researchers is also drawn upon in modules. Professor Tim Jackson, adviser to the government and international bodies and author of the seminal book, Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, also lectures on some CES modules.

Industrial placement

If you are a full-time student, you will be able to study an industrial placement module which enables you to spend six to twelve weeks working for a company or a non-governmental organisation, doing the type of work you will aim to find after you graduate.

Examples of organisations where recent industrial placements have taken place include:

  • Minimise Solutions
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • GAP
  • Diocese of London
  • The Radisson
  • LC Energy
  • AECOM
  • Solar Aid
  • NUS.

Careers

Graduates of this course go on to a diverse range of careers. You will help to implement sustainable development and deal with the real environmental challenges facing humanity.

You could go on to work as an energy efficiency officer for a local government, an environmental officer in a multinational chemical company, or a sustainability adviser for a national television or radio station. Equally, you could become an environmental consultant for an engineering consultancy, or a programme officer with a sustainability charity.

Other graduates use the research skills they have developed to go on and do PhDs.


Visit the Corporate Environmental Management (MSc) page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

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