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Sustainability & Environmental Studies (MSc)

Course Description

Why this course?

This course offers a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of environmental management, policy and sustainable development.

You’ll gain knowledge of major environmental issues and understand the methods in which environmental considerations and climate change are used in development and planning decisions.

There’s a strong demand for graduates with environmental management and policy-making skills. We’ve seen our graduates capitalise upon a wide range of employment within the private, public and voluntary sectors.

See the website https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/sustainabilityenvironmentalstudies/

Work Placement

As part of the class Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry you can apply to work with industry projects. One of the projects is the Carbon Clinic. This is an innovative collaborative project between the Carbon Trust and the University. It aims to provide support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to reduce their carbon footprint and give you practical experience on environmental responsibilities within a business.


In our Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering we have invested £6 million in state-of-the-art laboratories which cover core areas of activity including geomechanics, microbiology, analytical chemistry and structural design.

- Field investigation
We are equipped with:
- nanoseismic systems for monitoring the mechanical evolution of soil and rock masses
- electrical resistivity tomography systems to detect clay fissuring and ground water flow in earth-structures
- dielectric permittivity-based sensors to monitor water flow in the sub-surface environment

- Geomechanics Laboratory
We are equipped with state-of-the art technologies for testing multiphase (unsaturated) porous geomaterials. These include:
- suction-controlled double-wall triaxial cells
- pressure plates
- triaxial cells equipped with bender elements for dynamic testing
- image analysis unit to monitor soil specimen deformation
- instruments for measurement of pore-water tensile stress
- Mercury Intrusion Porosimeter and SEM for microstructure investigation

- Software & numerical modelling
You’ll have access to a wide range of software packages relevant to civil and geotechnical engineering applications, including:
- GEOSTUDIO suite (Slope, Seep, Sigma, Quake, Temp, CTran, Air and Vadose)
- ABAQUS finite element packages
- Ansys
- Autodesk Civil 3D
- Limit State
- Strand 7
- Talren 4


This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.

Open Access

Home students can also choose to study through Open Access. This is initially a non-graduating route. You register for one module at a time and have the option to build up credits eventually leading to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc. You can take up to five years to achieve the qualification.

This option is popular with students in employment, who may wish to undertake modules for Continuing Professional Development purposes.

Home students who do not meet the normal MSc entry requirements for this programme are welcome to apply through the Open Access route instead.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Learning & teaching

The MSc involves a curriculum of three core classes and a very wide range of optional classes. Each module is taught two to three hours per week over 8 to 12 weeks.

In addition, you'll also undertake a dissertation. Progress to the dissertation is dependent on performance in the instructional modules.


There’s a strong demand for graduates with environmental management and policymaking skills. As a graduate you may find yourself in a range of positions in:
- Private consultancies
- Government agencies
- Local authorities
- Environmental regulators, businesses and agencies

- Where are they now?
84% of our graduates are in work or further study.*

*Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (2010/11 and 2011/12).

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp

Visit the Sustainability & Environmental Studies (MSc) page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Paul Adderley

466.JPG Joint winner of the Thorburn Prize for the Best Dissertation in the MSc in Environmental Studies

After working for 10 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the accountancy profession, I decided to embark on an MSc in sustainability. When assessing the plethora of sustainability/environmental MSc programmes I had three core criteria: i) multi and inter disciplinary approach; ii) a balance of academic and industrial expertise, and iii) an established and dedicated department that was not merely the re-branding of less trendy disciplines. The David Livingstone Centre for Sustainability (DLCS) satisfied all these requirements throughout the course.

I found the module Principles of Sustainability was extremely challenging, but that’s exactly what I wanted; I wanted to immerse myself in the core issues of Sustainability. I wanted my head to ache! The Environmental Law module was also demanding, but it has given me a strong foundation. A number of other modules which provided useful practical application in the more theoretical aspects of the programme were Strategic Environmental Assessment, and Business Environmental Strategy. These modules have been very useful with my work in helping businesses with their Environmental Management.

Another strong aspect of the DLCS is that you have immense freedom to explore your own research interests which may be outside the department’s comfort zone. I also wished for my research to have a practical application. Since graduating, I kept exploring possible commercial opportunities for the research; it has now consolidated into a new web based tool for Sustainable Business Travel. In fact, the outcome of my MSc has been the central reason for establishing my own business: Sustainable Opportunity Solutions. At Strathclyde University, The Research and Innovation Group (RIG) provided helpful advice so I could begin to commercialise my research idea. Furthermore, RIG continues to provide opportunities for me to engage with the Strathclyde Entrepreneur Network.

Like most things in life, what you get out of it strongly correlates with your effort; but DLCS provides an enabling environment to support your aspirations. For me the aspirations I had in 2005 are materialising with new business opportunities.

I would suggest to anyone whatever stage in their career to discuss their post graduate aspirations with the team at DLCS. They will surely help you make the best decision.

(Student Profile)

Dr Kate Thompson

467.JPG Winner of the Thorburn Prize for the Best Overall MSc in Environmental Studies Student and Best Dissertation in the MSc in Environmental Studies

I took the course part-time over two years, which fitted in well with my work and family commitments and meant I only ended up with a couple of all night sessions to get assignments done! I’d worked for much of my life in seabird research and survey, but had taken a bit of a career break when I had my daughter and was doing a part-time admin job at Glasgow University. I wanted to get back into something a bit more challenging that fitted with my interests and would demonstrate some level of adaptability to potential employers. Doing the course gave me the kick start I needed and I moved to my current post, working on a Marine Spatial Planning pilot project, about half way through. I was then able to do my dissertation on a project directly related to my work, which was a great help.

Things I really enjoyed about the course were the variety of topics – I’d never imagined doing stuff on law or economics and finding it fun! It also gives you skills that can be readily applied – I’ve had to do SEA for real in my current job. The unending kindness shown to students by Morag is legendary and all the teaching staff were very approachable and supportive. My fellow students in both years were also great – interesting, diverse and fun.

Scariest bits were going into lectures with bunches of senior undergraduates young enough to be my kids and writing my first essay in over 25 years. But … I found I could do it and there were other times when my previous work experience was a real help.

So, if you too are going through a mini mid-life crisis and seeking a stimulating new direction this could well be the course for you … I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

(Student Profile)

Gitanjali Nayer

468.jpg I had previously worked in Facilities Management with Jones Lang LaSalle, India and received extensive technical training in maintenance and engineering by the company. I wanted to gain technical knowledge in the environmental sector and was very interested in the subject. Studying oversees is an extremely expensive affair and it is necessary to choose the right institute and country.

After almost a year of research, I short listed University of Strathclyde, Manchester University and Lancaster University and received admission in all three Universities. The obvious choice being University of Strathclyde because of the wide variety of electives, environmental sectors covered and the years of experience in the course. I personally prefer staying in cold countries so Glasgow was a very good choice, though could do with less rain.

The course is very well structured and students have the flexibility of choosing electives that they are interested in. The course is also tailored according to the job market and there are a lot of jobs available in the sector with almost 50 plus environmental companies based within Glasgow City.

The DLCS/Civil Engineering Department staff is extremely helpful and has extensive experience in the environmental sector. My special thanks to Peter Booth and Elsa João for providing me guidance throughout the course. The course also provides ample opportunity for students to get work placements and industrial experience. I was able to secure a summer internship with the Glasgow City Council through the Business Enterprise Partnership. My internship at the council involved sustainability mapping of new infrastructure and civil engineering projects across the City of Glasgow.

(Student Profile)

Peter Phillips

469.jpg I took an unorthodox route to studying at the David Livingstone Centre for Sustainability but I’m reaping the rewards now!

Originally studying classical cello at the RSAMD in Glasgow, I changed tack after two years, deciding
against the potentially unreliable career of a freelance musician. I’d always been interested in geography, environment and science at school and before I knew it (well after two harsh years of working as a chef/ climbing instructor..) I was fixed with an interview with Peter Booth – course director.

Fortunately, Strathclyde were willing to let a keen yet degree-less candidate undertake classes towards the Environmental Studies MSc via their open-access scheme. The idea being that I ‘prove myself’ academically with a view to joining the diploma programme, grades and ability pending!
To cut a long story short, the work was highly engaging and the lecturing staff were approachable, knowledgeable and most importantly in my case; supportive. I worked hard and graduated in 2007 with an MSc in Environmental Studies at distinction level – not bad for a ‘cello player with half an undergraduate degree..?!

I found employment within the environmental sector shortly after submitting my dissertation. I am currently working as an Environmental Policy Consultant for EnviroCentre Ltd. – a multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy based in Glasgow.

If you’re considering a course within the department, especially if it’s via open-access, my advice would be GO FOR IT!

(Student Profile)

Mudzunga Thangavhuelelo-Lucas

My epic moment in the course was participating in the Carbon Audit project - a partnership between Strathclyde University and the Carbon Trust. The audit emphasised the importance of climate change mitigation and provided me with the skills that enabled me to get the job I am currently doing.


SAAS Tuition Fee Loan - 18 Awards

Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) - Postgraduate FundingEligible postgraduate students can apply to SAAS for a tuition fee loan to help with the cost of their fees (up to £3,400 for full time students and up to £1,700 for part time students)MSc in Environmental Engineering
MSc in Environmental Entrepreneurship (*)
MSc in Environmental Health
MSc in Sustainability & Environmental Studies (*)
(*) These degrees accept students from any background

Value of Scholarship(s)

Home Tuition fees (eligible UK/EU students only)


Please check your eligibility for Postgraduate Funding by visiting the SAAS website: http://www.saas.gov.uk/index.htmThe residence eligibility conditions are complicated. If you are in any doubt about your residence eligibility status, you should contact SAAS directly on 0845 111 0244 or by email via their website.

Application Procedure

More information can be found at: http://www.saas.gov.uk/student_support/special_circumstances/postgrad.htm

Further Information



£1,000 Prestigious International Excellence Award for overseas students - Single Award

£1,000 International Excellence Awards are available for the following 1-year degrees offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept/David Livingstone Centre for Sustainability:MSc Environmental Engineering
MSc Environmental Entrepreneurship - first in Europe
MSc Environmental Health
MSc Sustainability & Environmental Studies
MSc Hydrogeology

Value of Scholarship(s)



In order to be eligible for this award, you should be a candidate of high academic calibre and submit an online application for your preferred MSc course within our Department. The awards will be allocated based on quality but applying early increases the changes to get one of these awards.

Application Procedure

In order to be eligible for this prestigious award, all you need to do is apply online for your chosen course, via the link provided in the individual web page for each degree. Please make sure your application is complete and includes evidence of previous degree qualification, two references (academic/employer) and proof of English language if applicable. In addition, please attach a one A4 page Supporting Statement covering these two points: * Why do you want to take this postgraduate degree and how will the degree support your career goals?
* What makes you 'excellent' that justifies you getting one of these Excellence Awards?The awards will be allocated based on quality, but applying early increases your chances of receiving one of these awards. Applicants with the equivalent to a 1st class honours UK degree (70% or above) will be prioritised, but applicants with the equivalent to a high 2.1 honours UK degree (65-69%) and/or with relevant professional experience may also be considered.

Further Information



Chevening Scholarships - 10 Awards

Prestigious awards funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office are available for postgraduate study in the UK to able international graduates through a number of different schemes.
Chevening Scholarships are currently available in 150 countries around the world. Strathclyde University has agreed to contribute 20% of the tuition fee as a part-scholarship for all Chevening Scholarship holders.Selection is carried out by British Embassies and High Commissions overseas in consultation with the local British Council representative. Competition is keen.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Awards vary, but can cover tuition fees, monthly stipend and one-off allowances.


Prestigious awards funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office are available for postgraduate study in the UK to able international graduates through a number of different schemes.

Application Procedure

Further details are available from local British Council officers or from http://www.chevening.com

Further Information



Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Awards (CSC) - 10 Awards

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commision scheme provides scholarships to citizens from developing Commonwealth countries for study in the UK. These scholarships are offered for Master's study in the UK and are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).Candidates must apply well in advance through their nominating agency (or university if applicable) in their home country.Examples of nominating agencies:1). The candidate’s national Commonwealth Scholarship agency. This is the main route of application and a full list of Commonwealth Scholarship agency addresses can be obtained from the CSC website2). The Executive Head of an eligible developing country University on whose staff the applicant serves. (In the case of Bangladesh and India, nominations are made through the University Grants Commission; in Pakistan, through the Higher Education Commission; and in Sri Lanka, through the Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education)3). Selected non-governmental organisations, charitable bodies and development partnershipsEach year, the CSC invites each nominating agency to forward a specific number of nominations. Each nominating agency is responsible for its own selection process.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Tuition fees/maintenance to commonwealth citizens.


Candidates must apply well in advance through the Commonwealth Scholarship Agency (usually based in the Department of Education) in the country in which the candidate permanently resides.
Commonwealth citizens of high intellectual calibre will be considered.

Application Procedure

Candidates must apply well in advance through the Commonwealth Scholarship Agency (usually based in the Department of Education) in the country in which the candidate permanently resides. Approximately 300 scholarships are awarded each year. The CSC invites around three times more nominations than scholarships available – therefore, nominated candidates are not guaranteed to get a scholarship.Further information on the scheme and how to apply is available from the CSC website and from local British Council Offices.Closing dates for applications are usually around December of the year prior to the course commencing.Applications for MSc study in September 2013 closed on 7th December 2012.

Further Information



Pakistan 50th Anniversary Fund Scholarship - 4 Awards

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Foundation of the State of Pakistan a small number of scholarships are awarded by the University of Strathclyde from funds donated by the late Mr Yaqub Ali through the Scottish Pakistani Association to the University of Strathclyde Foundation. The aim of the Fund is to provide an opportunity for well qualified but needy Pakistan nationals to pursue a one-year MSc in the UK. The awards are made for one year only and are not renewable.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Tuition fees/living costs/return travel/other expenses.


First Class Honours Degree from a recognised Pakistan University; candidates must be in their home country at the time of application; preference will be given to candidates who have relevant work experience and have not previously studied in the UK; candidates must return to Pakistan at the end of their studies and serve there for three years. The awards are made for one year only and are not renewable. Priority to subjects in the areas of engineering, computing and business management or any other subject which the partners deem acceptable or which cannot be pursued adequately in Pakistan.

Application Procedure

Further information will be available from Shirley Kirk by email [email protected]

Further Information



Carnegie-Cameron Taught Postgraduate Bursary - 13 Awards

The Carnegie Trust offers awards for students wishing to undertake a one-year taught postgraduate course. Alternatively, it is permissible that the one-year course be taken on a half-time basis over two consecutive years. The award will cover the standard home tuition fee only and does not pay a maintenance stipend.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Home Tuition Fees


Applicants must be Scottish by birth, descent (at least one parent born in Scotland) or have been continuously resident in Scotland for a period of at least three years for the purpose of secondary or tertiary education.Bursaries are awarded on the basis of overall assessment of merit of the candidate, including financial circumstances. While the most promising candidates will normally have a first-class honours degree or equivalent, this is not essential.

Application Procedure

Application forms for entry in 2013 will be available in February/March 2013. Please contact Shirley Kirk, tel 0141 548 3204 or email [email protected] for further details.

Further Information



University of Strathclyde International Scholarships - 20+ Awards

For new students who begin a one year full-time taught Masters course in September 2013. These awards are not renewable. Applications should be made on-line at the address below before 31 May 2013.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£4,000 - £6,000


Students of outstanding academic calibre will be considered.

Application Procedure

Applications should be made on-line at http://ewds.strath.ac.uk/igo/Apply.aspx before 31 May 2013.

Further Information



Dean's Excellence Awards for India - Single Award

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering is highly rated with a world-class reputation for research and teaching. This multidisciplinary department has a large international student population and a global research profile. The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Department have introduced a new scholarship for students from India applying to its postgraduate MSc/MRes programmes. One £4,000 Excellence Award is available to an outstanding-calibre overseas student for the MSc and MRes degrees offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Applications are invited from well-qualified applicants from India joining the one year full-time postgraduate MSc programmes in September 2013

Value of Scholarship(s)

£4,000 toward tuition fees


The Dean’s Excellence Awards are open to all well-qualified applicants from India joining any of our one year full-time postgraduate MSc programmes in session 2013/2014.

Application Procedure

See following link:

Further Information



RUK Scholarship - Single Award

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering is jointly offering with the Faculty of Engineering, ONE £3,000 RUK scholarship towards the MSc tuition fee cost.These Awards were introduced to support high calibre students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK) who wish to pursue their MSc studies in Scotland.

Value of Scholarship(s)



RUK students on any of our MSc degrees within the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at University of Strathclyde. Those with first class honours degrees will be prioritised for shortlisting, but high upper second class honours degree candidates may also be considered.

Application Procedure

How do I apply and by when?Via a scholarship application made available from the Department. Please email [email protected] for an application form.
The closing date is 1st August 2013.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

First or upper second-class Honours degree from a UK university (or equivalent overseas qualification) from all disciplines (engineering, sciences, arts, law, business, education, languages, social sciences). No previous technical knowledge is required. You’re required to provide two supportive academic references. For candidates whose first language is not English, documentary evidence of an appropriate level of competency of written and spoken English must be provided. The minimum standards are an IELTS minimum overall band score of 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5). Applicants with slightly lower scores have the opportunity to attend the University's Pre-Sessional English classes.

Course Fees

2015/16: Scotland/EU £4,500; Rest of UK £9,000; International £16,700

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