• University of York Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • Regent’s University London Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Glasgow Featured Masters Courses
  • Leeds Beckett University Featured Masters Courses
King’s College London Featured Masters Courses
University of St Andrews Featured Masters Courses
Leeds Beckett University Featured Masters Courses
Cass Business School Featured Masters Courses
University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses

Environmental Strategy - MSc

Course Description

This programme is run by the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) – a leading centre for environmental and sustainability-related research and postgraduate teaching.

CES accommodates a wide range of disciplines dedicated to resolving environmental problems, and this Masters programme prepares a new generation of environment and sustainability professionals for the strategic challenges ahead.


This programme provides both a theoretical and practical grounding for evaluating the technical, social, economic and organisational elements of environmental problems.

These include life-cycle assessment and other analytical methods to understand how to use resources and manage materials and waste. You will learn how to anticipate and respond to future policy developments and market pressures, understand stakeholders’ roles, and develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.

This programme provides a route to graduate membership of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment. We encourage you to explore past and present student experiences of our environment and sustainability programmes.


This programme is studied full-time and part-time. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation. 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.
-Environmental Science and Society
-Environmental Law
-Environmental Auditing and Management Systems
-Life Cycle Thinking
-Ecological Economics
-Transitions to a Low Carbon Economy
-Industrial Placement
-Foundations of Sustainable Development
-Integrated Assessment
-Sustainable Development Applications
-Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility
-Life Cycle Assessment
-Psychology of Sustainable Development
-Energy policies and Economic Dimensions
-Corporate Energy Management
-Energy-Consumer Goods in the Home
-The Energy Market from the Purchaser’s Perspective
-Energy in Industry and the Built Environment
-Renewable Energy and Sustainability
-Transport Energy and Emissions
-Emissions Trading
-Risk Management


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
-Diocese of London
-The Radisson
-LC Energy
-Solar Aid


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.


-Provide theoretical and practical grounding for evaluating technical, social, economic, and organisational aspects of environmental problems
-Apply life-cycle assessment thinking and other analytical methods to gain better understanding of resource uses and materials/wastes management
-Anticipate and respond pro-actively to future environmental policy developments including government regulation and policy, and competitive market pressures
-Develop a greater understanding and sensitivity to the range of stakeholders in environmental planning and management
-Adapt and apply appropriate specialist techniques and methodologies for problem-solving andn decision-making through advanced module options


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
-National and supra-national policy frameworks and their implications to sustainable development
-Systems thinking in environmental management
-Evolving regulatory mechanisms to anticipate and adapt to new legislation
-The place of ethics in good environmental practice and the advance towards sustainability
-Balancing risk with economic and social outcomes
-Strategic adaptation to technological changes, evolving values and regulation, andsocial expectations
-Accessing and using environmental data

Intellectual / cognitive skills
-To absorb complex environmental information and communicate them effectively through logically constructed arguments
-To creatively formulate new ideas
-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
-Understand and use LCA tools for decision-making
-Read legal documents and communicate them succinctly to varying audience
-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
-Design, use, analyse various research/study techniques
-Self-motivate and self-regulate

Key / transferable skills
-Knowledge and skills to prepare and deliver a structured and successful presentation
-To write effectively as a means of communicating important ideas
-Effective communication of findings and presentation of research to a non-specialist audience
-To lead discussion of small/large groups
-To organise and manage a research project
-Basic to advanced IT skills, depending on type of electives and dissertation topic
-To apply basic numerical skills for research


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 Environmental Strategy - MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)


Ayman AlAfifi, from Palestine, studied his MSc in Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey. He now works as a PhD graduate researcher at Utah State University.

“I was interested in learning about the principles and applications of environmental planning and sustainable development, particularly in developing countries,” Ayman explains. “The Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) at Surrey seemed to have the most international experience among all the British universities that I was considering applying to. I was attracted by the quality of research and international development projects carried out by CES.”

Ayman says he received great support throughout his degree. “My supervisors got me fully acquainted to the academic system in the UK, which I wasn’t familiar with before joining Surrey. They also provided me with excellent feedback on assignments and research projects, which substantially improved my academic writing, communication and research skills.

“The lecturers were very knowledgeable on the subjects they covered, and the guest speakers enriched the content of classes, by providing case studies and giving every example an external perspective,” he continues. “The facilities we used were also well-equipped and comfortable for long class sessions.”

Ayman is now studying at Utah’s Water Research Laboratory, developing a systems model to improve river and watershed restoration and quantify habitat quality. He is also undertaking two internships: the first as a proposal evaluator for the USAID Water For Food Security Grand Challenge Programme, and the second as an energy and climate change policy implementation intern with the Centre for New Energy Economy at Colorado State University.

“My MSc at Surrey prepared me well for my PhD,” he says, “because it equipped me with the skills and confidence to conduct high-quality research and address the needs of different stakeholders and policy makers in a professional way.”


Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


Self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]


GREAT Surrey Scholarships India - 6 Awards

Funded by the University and the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign, up to six scholarships worth £5,000 (paid in the form of a fee discount) are being offered on postgraduate taught courses from the following subjects:- Chemical and Process Engineering
- Chemistry
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Environment and Sustainability
- Mathematics
- Mechanical Engineering Sciences
- PhysicsWHO CAN APPLY?You can apply for a GREAT Surrey Scholarship if:- You hold a high first-class degree from an Indian university (the minimum requirement is 65 per cent from a prestigious university or 70 per cent from a regional university).
- You hold an offer from Surrey to study any MSc course within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as listed above (you must hold an offer before submitting an application for a scholarship)

Value of Scholarship(s)



The GREAT Scholarship – India programme is aimed at high-calibre Indian students who want to study for a postgraduate programme in engineering.

Application Procedure

To apply, you will need to complete the online form - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/content/great-scholarships-india-2016

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The normal entry level is a minimum 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in social, life or physical sciences, or engineering disciplines. Applicants without a qualifying degree, who have significant relevant experience, will also be considered. Students are accepted on our MSc programmes from a wide range of academic backgrounds, the strengths of which will be built upon during each specific course.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Surrey

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X