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Environmental Resource Assessment - MSc

Course Description

Increased environmental degradation and legislation, and a drive for greater environmental protection have created a demand for scientists skilled in environmental resource assessment and problems associated with their exploitation. This course gives you the skills required for careers in the environmental assessment industry, or organisations with a statutory involvement in the environment.

This interdisciplinary course in Environmental Resource Assessment is suitable for students with a first degree in biology, environmental science, hydrology, physical geography or a related subject.

The course is comprised of compulsory and optional modules, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests. Through the compulsory modules you will develop knowledge and skills in core concepts such as:
-Environment and habitat assessment
-Ecological survey techniques
-Land-water interfaces
-Global ecosystems, land use and environmental change
-Geographical information systems and remote sensing

You will also undertake a major project, similar to one you might experience in the workplace. You will be supported through training in designing and delivering a laboratory project or field-based investigation. After choosing your topic you will collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis reporting your investigation and results in a critical manner. This research project and thesis may be undertaken overseas.


The course is taught in a block format with one, six week block and then smaller two week teaching blocks.

You will be taught through:
-Practical and field classes
-Case studies
-Small group discussions

You will be expected to undertake independent study outside of these structured sessions. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through written examinations, coursework, presentations and your final major project.

You can also study through the Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme (CATS). This allows us to award postgraduate level qualifications using credit-bearing stand-alone modules as 'building blocks' towards a qualification. This means that the credits from modules undertaken within a five year period can be 'banked' towards the award of a qualification.

Visit the Environmental Resource Assessment - MSc page on the Newcastle University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Stephanie Cottell

1675.jpg Why did you choose to study at Newcastle University?

It had a wide range of modules to choose from including soil and hydrology, EIA, ecosystem management and a number of modules that required field work that I didn't cover in a biology undergraduate degree.

What were the best aspects of your degree programme?

Learning lots of new information particularly on the field courses and meeting people that were like-minded.

What jobs have you had since graduating?

I volunteered for a few months with an ecologist for experience and then gained a Graduate Ecologist position in Bristol with Mott MacDonald who are an engineering consultancy.

My job involves surveys such as Phase 1's,dormouse, great crested newt, badger and bat. Writing method statements for contractors and supervising contractors such as vegetation clearance to ensurelegislation is upheld and no protected species are harmed and writing reports such as Phase 1's and Phase 2's.

How has your degree helped you to get these jobs?

Most employers are now looking for postgraduate studies therefore without my MSc I may have been out competed for my current job.

Favorite Memory

The week long field course, it was hard work but it was one of the best weeks we had. The bird ID skills week also taught me so much and I enjoyed it thoroughly.


Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or an international equivalent, in a relevant subject, such as: biological sciences; earth sciences; geography; environmental sciences; agricultural sciences. You will be considered on an individual basis if you have lower or non-standard qualifications and significant, relevant industry experience.

Last Updated

08 May 2017

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