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Course content

The global challenge of environmental sustainability highlights the need for holistic design and management of complex environmental and technological systems. This interdisciplinary Master's programme presents environmental issues and technologies within a systems engineering context. Graduates will understand interactions between the natural environment, people, processes and technologies to develop sustainable solutions.

About this degree

Students will develop an understanding of systems engineering and environmental engineering. Environmental engineering is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering concerned with devising, implementing and managing solutions to protect and restore the environment within an overall framework of sustainable development. Systems engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the development and management of large complex systems.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), a collaborative environmental systems project (30 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and an individual environmental systems dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Core modules

  • Collaborative Environmental Systems Project
  • Environmental Systems
  • Systems Engineering and Management
  • Systems Society and Sustainability
  • Environmental Modelling

Optional modules

Options may include the following:

  • Engineering and International Development
  • Industrial Symbiosis
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Project Management
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Urban Flooding and Drainage
  • Offshore and Coastal Engineering
  • Natural and Environmental Disasters
  • Energy Systems Modelling
  • Smart Energy Systems: Theory, Practice and Implementation
  • Indoor Air Quality in Buildings
  • Light, Lighting and Wellbeing in Buildings
  • Building Acoustics
  • Science, Technology and Engineering Advice in Practice
  • Energy Systems and Sustainability
  • Waste and Resource Efficiency

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project addressing a problem of systems research, design or analysis, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and projects. The individual and group projects in the synthesis element involve interaction with industrial partners, giving students real-life experience and contacts for the future. Assessment is through written examination, coursework, presentations, and group and individual projects.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Environmental Systems Engineering MSc

Careers

Career paths for environmental systems engineers are diverse, expanding and challenging, with the pressures of increasing population, desire for improved standards of living and the need to protect the environmental systems. There are local UK and international opportunities in all areas of industry: in government planning and regulation, with regional and municipal authorities, consultants and contracting engineers, research and development organisations, and in education and technology transfer. Example of recent career destinations include Ford, KPMG, EDF Energy, Brookfield Multiplex, and the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Air Quality Engineer, National Environment Agency
  • Environmental Engineering Consultant, DOGO
  • Nuclear Analyst, EDF Energy
  • Graduate Flood Risk Engineer, Pell Frischmann
  • Project Manager, Veolia Environmental Services

Employability

The discipline of environmental systems engineering is growing rapidly with international demand for multi-skilled, solutions-focussed professionals who can take an integrated approach to complex problems.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The discipline of environmental systems engineering is growing rapidly with an international demand for multi-skilled professionals who can take an integrated approach to solving complex environmental problems (e.g. urban water systems, technologies to minimise industrial pollution). Environmental engineers work closely with a range of other environmental professionals, and the community.

Skills may be used to:

  • design, construct and operate urban water systems
  • develop and implement cleaner production technologies to minimise industrial pollution
  • recycle waste materials into new products and generate energy
  • evaluate and minimise the environmental impact of engineering projects
  • develop and implement sound environmental management strategies and procedures.

UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering is an energetic and exciting environment in which to explore environmental systems engineering. Students have the advantages of studying in a multi-faculty institution with a long tradition of excellence in teaching and research, situated at the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.

Accreditation

The progamme is accredited by the Joint Boad of Moderators, which is made up of the Institution of Civil Engineers, The Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institutions of Highways and Transportation, and the Institute of Highway Engineers.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

60% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Environmental Systems Engineering (MSc/PGDip) page on the University College London website for more details!

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