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Course content

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.  

Opportunity to do MSc dissertation linked to Malawi

The Department has strong links with Malawi. Professor Bob Kalin takes students to Malawi every year for their dissertation/project. This is mainly offered to the students in the MSc in Hydrogeology but there is the potential for students from this MSc to also take part.

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.


As part of the class Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry, you can apply to work with industry projects.


Our £6 million state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are well-equipped with high-technological instrumentation and available space to investigate:

  • environmental & molecular microbiology
  • environmental chemistry
  • analytical chemistry
  • geomechanics & soil quality
  • structural design & material science

Discover more about our laboratory facilities.

Living Laboratory for Sustainability

You'll benefit from this innovative initiative which encourages students and researchers to carry out projects that aim to work towards the enhancement of the university’s sustainability. Check out some of our students’ projects and dissertations.

Flexible learning

If you can't attend this course full-time on campus, there are various Flexible Learning options available to you.

Professional Development Courses

This is initially a non-graduating route. You'll register for one 10 credit class at a time, and have the option to build up credits. This will eventually lead 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 might want to take classes for Continuing Professional Development purposes.

A range of qualifications will be considered for entry.

Distance learning

You can also study this course by Distance Learning, which is based on three years part-time study of 60 credits per year.

This allows you to complete the course by studying online at home at a time that suits you, without attending at our Glasgow campus. This means you can study while balancing your existing work and family commitments. This option is suitable for students located anywhere in the world.

Learning & teaching

Teaching is based around lectures and tutorials. You’ll also take part in group projects, laboratory classes, student-led seminars and fieldwork.

Throughout the course there is a strong emphasis on teaching that is relevant to contemporary problems faced by communities, government, industry and commercial organisations. For example, external professionals worked together with academic staff and students in the teaching of case studies of outbreaks of water-borne and food-borne diseases.


You’ll present work in written, verbal and graphical forms including field and laboratory reports, portfolios, posters and oral presentations.


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.

Visit the Environmental Health Sciences MSc page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!






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