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Environmental Health Sciences (MSc) Campus Attendance and Distance Learning

Course Description

Why this course?

The MSc in Environmental Health Sciences has been designed to allow graduates from a range of science and engineering disciplines to develop and extend knowledge in risk-based assessment and management of environmental influences on human health.

Environmental health is the assessment and management of environmental influences on human health. This includes the study of:

- environmental protection including control of air, water and land pollution

- food safety and hygiene including production, distribution and fitness for human consumption

- occupational health and safety including investigation and control of work-related accidents and ill health

- the built environment including homes, workplaces and public spaces

Environmental health work is important and highly worthwhile and many of our students are motivated by a desire to directly improve living and working conditions for a wide range of people.

You'll develop expertise in current methods for examining factors that affect human health, assessing and managing the risks involved, and meeting the challenges resulting from changes in the interaction between people and the environment.

The wide scope of environmental health sciences and the corresponding breadth of the degree reflect rapid technological progress. Environmental impact assessment, sustainable development, air, water and noise pollution are increasingly important and there is a pressing need for graduates with skills in these disciplines.

This course also provides an emphasis on teaching subjects that are relevant to contemporary problems faced by communities, government, industry and commercial organisations.

For example, professionals from outside Strathclyde work together with academic staff and students in the teaching of case studies of outbreaks of water-borne and food-borne diseases and also in urban and industrial air quality management.

See the website https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/environmentalhealthsciences/

You’ll study

Teaching is based on a core of conventional lectures and tutorials, complemented by group projects, laboratory classes, student-led seminars and fieldwork. The programme can be studied over one year full-time, two years part-time or up to five years through Open Access.

On the full-time programme, you’ll follow a core curriculum of eight classes and four optional class. Each class is taught for two to three hours per week over eight to 12 weeks.

Following successful completion of the taught component, you’ll undertake a dissertation from June to August.


Our laboratory facilities are well-equipped for a wide range of chemical and biological measurements. High-technological instrumentation and space are available to investigate:

- marine and freshwater quality

- air quality

- solid and hazardous wastes

- environmental microbiology

Teaching staff

The course is delivered by staff from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. The academic team includes:

- Dr Iain Beverland, programme manager of the MSc in Environmental Health Sciences. He has research & teaching interests in the areas of air pollution control, environmental epidemiology, exposure assessment, & public/environmental health. Current research includes study of the effects of exposure to air pollution on human health, with a focus on traffic-related air pollution in urban areas.

- Dr Tara K Beattie has expertise in the field of public health and the management of water and solid waste. Her research interests include free-living protozoa and their potential to cause human disease.

- Dr Raymond Wong has research and teaching interests in the areas of food laws (EU and UK), policies and compliance; food poisoning, contamination and prevention; and food safety management systems.

- Dr Christine Switzer specialises in contaminant fate, transport and remediation with emphases on non-aqueous phase liquids and aggressive remediation technologies.

Additional information

Staff within the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering have engaged with developing Environmental Health training in Africa for almost 20 years.

Flexible Options – Distance Learning & CPD

This course is also offered via Distance Learning mode, which allow you to complete an MSc via online study at home, at a time that suits you. This means you can study while balancing your existing work and family commitments. This option is suitable for students located anywhere in the world. The MSc via Distance Learning is via part-time study over 3 years.

Home students can also choose to study through the Professional Development route. You register for one module at a time and have the option to build up credits eventually leading to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc. You can take up to five years to achieve the qualification. This option is popular with students in employment, who may wish to undertake modules for Continuing Professional Development purposes. Students who do not meet the normal MSc entry requirements for this programme are welcome to apply through this route instead.


Graduates in environmental health sciences are well prepared for a wide range of professions that require intellectual flexibility and analytical skill.

Many of our graduates have highly successful careers in environmental regulation, government departments, environmental consultancy, health and safety management, food industry, public water utilities, and waste management.

There is increasing recognition by employers in the private sector that graduates in environmental health have skills and backgrounds that are well suited to management roles in a range of related business activities, including the specialist field of corporate social responsibility.

Employers of Strathclyde Environmental Health graduates include:

AECOM; ACS Physical Risk Control Ltd; British Army; British Petroleum; Glasgow Caledonian University; GlaxoSmithKline plc; Health Protection Scotland; IBI Group Inc; International Atomic Energy Agency; Institute of Occupational Medicine; Malaysian Government; Maltese Government; Swaziland Department of Health; Logica plc; Malawi Government; National Health Service in Scotland; Ricardo AEA Ltd; Royal Bank of Scotland; Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland; Royal Navy; RPS Group Plc; Scottish Environmental Protection Agency; Scottish Government; UK Meteorological Office; University of Edinburgh; University of Glasgow; University of Strathclyde; World Health Organisation.

The MSc Environmental Health Sciences programme is not a pre-training programme for students wishing to become a local government Environmental Health Officer in Scotland through the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) scheme of professional training.

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp

Visit the Environmental Health Sciences (MSc) Campus Attendance and Distance Learning page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Dolores Borg

487.JPG My name is Dolores Borg and I come from the Mediterranean Island of Malta. I have been working as an Environmental Health Officer in Malta for the last 11 years. My studies in Environmental Health started by obtaining a Diploma; and then an Honours Degree in Environmental Health at the University of Malta. Subsequently, to further enhance my academic standing I decided to study for an MSc at Strathclyde University.

The MSc course was very interesting, wide ranging and covered new topics including Acoustics and Contaminated Land Reclamation. I was invited by another student to visit Dumfries and Galloway Council in Stranraer to obtain first-hand experience in Environmental Health work in Scotland and to meet other colleagues. The lecturers, staff and students were very helpful and friendly. It was an interesting and fulfilling year and I am positive that the experience and knowledge gained will help me in my career as an Environmental Health Officer.

(Student Profile)

Moira Malcolm

488.JPG I am from Edinburgh, Scotland and have previous degrees in Zoology from the University of Glasgow and an MSc in Food Science from Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen. I have worked in a variety of places including the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh doing various projects including research on oiled birds from oil spills and curating the mammal skeleton collection (which involved amongst other things boiling a polar bear). I also spent time as a production and quality manager in a hand-made luxury chocolate factory. For the last 5 years I have worked as a food safety officer in local government.

The Environmental Health degree encompasses a broad range of science subjects and as such is very interesting – from asbestos to zoonoses and everything in between! The principles learnt in previous science degrees are applied to practical situations: chemistry for pollution; biology for food; physics for noise. Being in a class with students from different backgrounds is helpful as each brings their own experience and can add a different point of view to discussions, which in turn helps everybody! Even if your first degree seems somewhat removed from the taught subjects, an interest in the world around you is more important to gaining the most from the course.

Strathclyde University is a good place to be – I commuted from Edinburgh so being in the heart of Glasgow was definitely a bonus for me. The teaching staff are friendly and easy to approach with any problems.

The degree was essential for the work I am now in – I am now training to be an Environmental Health Officer at my previous employer which specifically requires either the undergraduate or postgraduate qualification for entry. I am really enjoying using what I have learned at Strathclyde and applying it to the ‘real world’ of environmental health. Many of the things I learned during my course are more up to date than my colleagues know about so despite being the ‘new girl’ I occasionally get to teach them a thing or two!

(Student Profile)

Olaitan Femi-Falade

I found all of the modules very relevant and enjoyable, and the teaching methods made understanding the concept of each module easy to comprehend. I like the approach used for the Contaminated Land classes. I particularly enjoyed, and found very useful Air Pollution, Climate Change & Human Health and I had the best time on my project.


Entry Requirements

First or upper second-class Honours degree from a UK university (or equivalent overseas qualification) in a relevant science or engineering discipline. Lower degree classifications might be considered if there is strength elsewhere (for example, relevant work experience, excellent final project/dissertation, very strong academic letter of reference, very strong application statement linking with career goals).

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