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Environmental Protection & Management (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

This programme will give you a fundamental understanding of the issues affecting the Earth enabling you to play a vital role in devising and enacting strategies to protect and conserve the environment, both in Europe and beyond.

Human activities are recognised as having an increasingly significant effect on the Earth’s biosphere. Our use of natural resources, deforestation, soil erosion, the release of potentially toxic compounds and pathogens, and the increase in greenhouse gases are all examples of pressures that have potentially serious consequences for humanity and other life on Earth.

On this programme you will learn about the issues that face the Earth and gain an in-depth understanding of natural resource management and the processes that give rise to environmental degradation and pollution problems.

It will allow you to play a vital role in planning and putting into action strategies to protect and conserve the environment.

This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Programme structure

This programme involves two semesters of taught courses, which are a balance of lectures, seminars, workshops and visits, plus a research dissertation project of about 16,000 words.

Compulsory courses typically include:
•Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
•Analysing the Environment
•Land Use/Environmental Interactions
•Analysing the Environment Study Tour

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:
•Soil Protection and Management
•Integrated Resource Management
•Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Marine Systems and Policies
•Archives: History, Geography, Politics
•Carbon Capture and Transport
•Culture, Ethics & Environment
•Encountering Cities
•Environmental Geochemistry
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Principles of GIS
•Project Appraisal
•Understanding Environment and Development
•Values and the Environment
•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Waste Reduction and Recycling
•Sustainability of Food Production
•Participation in Policy and Planning
•Forests and Environment
•Carbonate Sequence Stratigraphy
•Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
•Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
•Integrated Resource Planning
•Introduction to Environmental Modelling
•Political Ecology
•Ecosystem Values and Management
•Soil Science Concepts and Application
•Water Resource Management

Field trip

This programme typically includes a week-long study tour in spring. Past study tours have been held in France, Greece, Portugal, Israel and Morocco.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

•develop a scientific understanding of some of the major processes which influence the quality of land, air and water resources
•acquire knowledge of the most effective methods of environmental protection
•develop expertise in the design and implementation of programmes of environmental protection
•have the opportunity to study the integrated protection and management of particular ecosystems or resources

Career opportunities

Our graduates have a solid record in finding employment in the environmental sector while some choose to further their studies through a PhD.

There are also opportunities in consultancy positions and with environmental regulators, government and NGOs.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.

Visit the Environmental Protection & Management (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Student Profiles

Highly Skilled Workforce Scholarship - No. of awards TBC

The scholarships will cover the UK/EU tuition fee for eligible programmes.

Value of Scholarship(s)

The scholarships will cover the UK/EU tuition fee


Scholarships are available to UK nationals who are permanently domiciled in Scotland, as well as EU nationals (excluding UK nationals) domiciled in the EU or Scotland but not elsewhere in UK. Applicants must be accepted on an eligible full-time or part-time Master’s degree programme beginning in the 2017-2018 academic session. Scholarships cover the full UK/EU rate of fee for the duration of the programme.The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and the benefits to the student. Candidates must have, or expect to obtain the international equivalent of a UK first class or 2:1 Honours degree at undergraduate level.

Application Procedure

Eligible applicants should complete an online application
This scholarship has two rounds of applications. The first round will close on 2 May 2017; the second on 30 June 2017.Please note you will not be able to access the online application form unless you have applied for admission to the University of Edinburgh.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in biological science, environmental science, physical science, geography, engineering, economics, or other relevant subject. Applicants with a UK 2:2 degree, or its international equivalent, may also be considered upon evidence of relevant work experience or career change.

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Recipient: University of Edinburgh

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