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Corporations are constantly making choices about their products and services which have significant environmental implications. Corporate environmental managers are needed to help ensure organisations minimise their environmental impact and actively work towards a global sustainable future.
Our MSc in Corporate Environmental Management is run by the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES), a leading centre for environmental and sustainability-related research and postgraduate teaching. CES is an inter-disciplinary research and teaching centre seeking to resolve environmental sustainability problems within corporations.
This course prepares future environmental and sustainability professionals for the challenges being faced by the corporate world.
What you will study
Read more about this course
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.
Relevant work experience may also be considered
Please see course website for further details.
Fees & funding
Start dates & study options
The University of Surrey is one of the UK's top professional, scientific and technological universities. Surrey has a world-class profile, a leading reputation in teaching and research, and received a prestigious Gold award in the first ever Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)Read more
"Nicki Ledger, originally from the UK, studied at the University of Surrey for an MSc in Corporate Environmental Management and is now working as a Sustainability Officer for the City of Melville.
“I originally completed a degree in Biology, but found it very hard to get into the environmental industry without specialised knowledge,” she says. “Studying the MSc in Corporate Environmental Management at Surrey provided me with a mix of theory and practical skills. The variety of teaching methods, guest lecturers from a range of sectors and the opportunity to undertake an industry-based placement made this course stand out from the rest. The fact that participants were drawn from such a variety of backgrounds was great; the range of perspectives was really enlightening.”
Nicki enjoyed her experience at Surrey because of the academics, facilities and subject matter. “My supervisor was available to provide support with finding a placement, choosing a dissertation topic and agreeing research methods. And the lecturers were fantastic – really engaging and passionate. They all have a strong research portfolio which helps to show how theory can be applied to real-world scenarios. The field trips and practical aspects of the course were also really useful and fun.”
Having undertaken a work placement with a small consultancy firm called Sustainable Homes based in Kingston, as part of her degree, Nicki was able to put her theoretical understanding into practice. “I helped Sustainable Homes develop a sustainability assessment programme for social housing providers,” she explains. “I also used this opportunity to generate a research question around how residents use water-efficient fittings. The company provided me with contacts for research participants and were supportive throughout.
“Surrey’s MSc taught me about the practical side of environmental management within organisations,” she concludes. “It also gave me insight into the potential barriers of implementing sustainability measures. Most importantly, my degree taught me how to think systematically – how to properly examine the life-cycle impact of a product or process.
“The best thing about studying this course at Surrey was the contacts I have made. The sustainability world is quite small, and having supportive and knowledgeable peers is invaluable!”
Nicki is now living in Australia, coordinating environmental management systems, leading water and energy efficiency projects, teaching school children about sustainability, as well as implementing community engagement programmes."
“The diverse course content of my MSc at Surrey appealed to me,” he says, “as I was looking to build on my undergraduate knowledge but didn’t know what shape my Masters programme should take. Over time, I was able to craft a degree programme in Corporate Environmental Management which best suited my interests and aspirations.
“I was lucky to develop a dissertation topic which really tallied up with my outside interests in climbing and the outdoor sector: leading to work experience with the British Mountaineering Council. My supervisor, Dr Jonathan Chenoweth, shared my passion for the sector, and gave me invaluable insight into this field.”
Nicholas says he enjoyed working at Surrey, even though his lecture timetable was a little daunting at first. “A week of nine to five lecturers can sound a bit of a nightmare, but it was actually great. Seminars were broken up with guest speakers, break-out sessions and engaging content.”
Having the opportunity to undertake a work placement during his MSc, Nicholas interned at Portsmouth City Council. He says, “I was able to work within a city authority, which gave me insight into how public bodies work, and interacted with community groups and green champions; all experiences I have been able to reference in interviews to land future roles.”
Nicholas is now able to support athletes and sports enthusiasts, starting up sustainability conversations and implementing positive environmental behaviours – including the recommendation of cutting the embedded carbon and water footprint in meal choices and reducing the use of disposable plastic bottles. He is also working with the British Association for Sustainability in Sport to design a national award to be presented to ‘green’ sports teams.
“The Corporate Environmental Management MSc at Surrey gave me the knowledge, resources and confidence to work within this sector, and without my dissertation, I would not have been as successful in my career,” Nicholas says. “I would recommend this course to others, and reiterate that the placement opportunities you get are invaluable to developing essential work skills and contacts.”
“I wanted to study my MSc at the University of Surrey because of the broad range of relevant and interesting modules,” he says. “I was able to tailor the course to avoid revisiting familiar subjects.”
Matthew explains how he was supported whilst undertaking his studies. “Supervisors were always happy to engage in discussion and debate, gave detailed feedback on project work and did not hesitate to broker introductions with other academics and researchers as required.”
Finding the tuition beneficial, Matthew says that the lectures were both engaging and relevant to current issues. He illustrates this with an example: “Over the period of a Risk Management module held in partnership with City University, the lecturer was a guest on Channel 4 News who contributed to the Fukushima Disaster coverage.
“And some lectures were so popular that they were over-subscribed. The Sustainable Development module featured numerous prominent guest speakers and was fully booked up – but instead of limiting attendance, the University took advantage of the conference facilities of a local hotel, giving the module a very enjoyable and different conference atmosphere.”
Matthew was given the opportunity of a work placement (during his MSc) with Chris Britton Consultancy, a specialist highways subsidiary of Balfour Beatty. He focused on sustainability assessment schemes for civil engineering projects in the context of highways replacement and maintenance contracts. “I learnt much about a field of construction which was not familiar to me, and gained valuable experience working as part of a dedicated sustainability team.
“I would recommend the University of Surrey for its excellent facilities and picturesque campus immediately adjacent to a mainline railway station and bustling market town. The Corporate Environmental Management MSc was engaging and insightful and filled with professionals from a wide range of sectors. I was introduced to many new contacts and friends who were all attracted to the Centre for Environmental Strategy by its excellent reputation and research,” says Matthew.
Matthew is now responsible for managing and reporting on energy usage for his company’s properties in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden. He is also involved in identifying and implementing efficiency improvements.
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