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Course content

This programme gives you a solid grounding in issues key to the sustainable development debate. The views of stakeholders such as business groups, environmentalists, government agencies and development institutions will be considered.

You will acquire the necessary skills to evaluate existing frameworks, inquire into environmental issues in organisations and industries, and develop sensitive business practices.

The programme provides excellent preparation for any corporate-focused environmental career. It provides a route to graduate membership of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment. We encourage you to read about the past and present student experiences of our environment and sustainability programmes.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over 12 months and part-time for up to 60 months. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

  • Provide participants with a solid grounding in the sustainable development debate from the wide-range of perspectives, i.e. business groups, environmentalists, government agencies, development institutions, etc.
  • Equip participants to evaluate existing political, socio-economic, ethical, cultural and regulatory frameworks to inform decisions regarding environmental practice
  • Equip participants to develop a sensitive business practice towards environmental and social issues
  • To equip students with the necessary skills for critical inquiry related to environmental issues in organisations and industries

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Intra and inter-organisational contexts in which corporate environmental strategies are developed
  • Concepts of sustainable development and their usefulness to business ethics
  • Evolving regulatory and policy framework as part of engendering an anticipatory view of environmental management
  • Knowledge of a range of corporate environmental management strategies and control mechanisms
  • Accessing and using environmental data

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Absorb complex environmental information and communicate them effectively through logically constructed argumentsCreatively formulate new ideas (MSc, PGDip and PGCert)
  • Learn the value of teamwork to solve problems that require multi-disciplinary engagement
  • Independent learning and study through self-directed assignments and dissertation
  • Critical reading and analysis of environmental policy and regulation
  • Inductive reasoning: using specific examples/observations and forming a more general principal
  • Deductive reasoning: use stated general premise to reason about specific examples

Professional practical skills

  • Comprehend how corporations build, implement and maintain an Environmental Management System (EMS)
  • To perform an EMS Audit according to the ISO standards
  • Give coherent presentations
  • Lead discussions on complex subject areas
  • See the other side of the argument given that there are varying and often conflicting perspectives in the environment field
  • Competently handle environment information
  • Self-motivation, self-regulation and self-assurance

Key / transferable skills

  • Acquire knowledge and skills to prepare and deliver a structured and successful presentation
  • Write effectively as a means of communicating important ideas
  • Communication of findings and presentation of research to a non-specialist audience
  • Lead discussion of small/large groups
  • Organise and manage a research project
  • Basic to advanced IT skills, depending on type of electives and dissertation topic
  • Willingness to learn

Academics

Several high-profile guest lecturers have assisted with the delivery of some of the modules. CES modules make maximum use of guest lecturers, drawing on the practical skills and experience of key 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, advisor 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

Full-time students are able to undertake an industrial placement module which enables them to spend six to twelve weeks working for a company or NGO, doing the type of work they will aim to find on graduation.

Examples of organisations at which 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 go on to a diverse range of careers implementing sustainable development and dealing with the real environmental challenges facing humanity.

Recent examples include working as an energy efficiency officer for a local government, an environmental officer in multi-national chemical company, a sustainability advisor for a national television / radio station, an environmental consultant for an engineering consultancy, and a programme officer with a sustainability charity.

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

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.


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

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