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Sustainable Environmental Management (MRes)

Course Description

At the frontier of natural and social science where economic, ethical and political issues converge this programme helps you explore the many dimensions of sustainability and the environment. From the classroom to the field, our practical teaching provides a strong foundation for you to investigate your specific interests and gain hands-on experience. Led by renowned experts, as part of a multidisciplinary research community, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge to build a successful career.

Key features

Work side by side with experts from across the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Plymouth Business School – schools which were rated as ‘internationally excellent’ in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008.

Carry out an extended dissertation project - designed to benefit those who intend to undertake further study or a research-based career.

Tailor your studies for the career you want – from environmental agencies and consultancies to local or central government and research – and take your place shaping the pioneering policy and projects of the future.

Focus on the aspects of sustainable environmental management that you feel most strongly about, with an individual research project and accompanying dissertation.

Benefit from our local, national and international sector connections as part of a respected and active research community that includes groups such as the Marine Institute – the first and largest of its kind in the UK – and the Centre for Sustainable Transport.

Add value to your qualification by studying on a programme accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) – the benchmark for high-quality programmes recognised internationally by learners and employers.

Balance your work commitments and further education with the opportunity to study part time for a masters-level qualification.

Course details

Exploring topics that span the natural and social sciences, you’ll gain vital insight into the whole spectrum of environmental management issues – from law and ethics to impact assessments and data analysis, river basin plans to marine regulations. We’ve designed the programme flexibly to equip you with an in-depth understanding of the essential theories, as well as practical fieldwork and industry experience.

During the first two terms of this one-year programme, you’ll study a range of core and optional taught modules – from international environmental policymaking to options like climate change: science and policy or economics and the environment. In the final term you’ll complete an independent dissertation project.

Throughout your studies, we’ll support you in gaining the research and professional skills to help you get the most from the programme – and launch a successful career.


The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email .

Visit the Sustainable Environmental Management (MRes) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Sally Murrall

1159.jpg After three years in the music industry, Sally Murrall decided to go travelling. It was during this time she realised what she really wanted to do with her life - help protect the environment - and so she returned to the UK to make a start by enrolling on an MSc in Sustainable Environmental Management at the University of Plymouth.

I travelled to South America, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Far East, which was when I witnessed first hand how the changes to the environment are affecting the world.

This was when I realised what I wanted to do with my life. When all my friends were on the beach in Thailand, I was in an internet café researching my options. I started looking at courses relating to environmental change and sustainability.

When I returned to the UK, I volunteered as a climate change campaigner for Friends of the Earth in Birmingham before taking up a place on the MSc at Plymouth.

Having completed my MSc, I had a lot of options but I decided to stay on and complete a PhD in Renewable Energy Policy. The University was a great place to study.

I am self-funding my PhD, working as a teacher at the University. I work as a consultant in the Centre for Sustainable Futures. I work on a specific project that demands around four weeks a year, but I can spread this out over the year.

The flexible hours are very handy. I am also the chair of the ‘Climate Society’ at the University, so I am rather busy. However, one thing I have learned through the PhD is good time management. In fact, the University of Plymouth offers many courses on skills development which are run by the Postgraduate Centre, which are really useful.

My PhD is so unlike my first degree. It is teaching me how to be an effective researcher. My first degree was very broad and a PhD is extremely focused. My first degree was also very structured and a PhD is mostly self-directed, thus, it has taught me how to motivate myself and direct my own studies.

As a postgraduate you are treated as a member of staff, your study is self-directed and you are expected to be quite independent. You are also invited to take teaching courses and give presentations and seminars about your work.


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. Candidates with experience in a relevant area are also encouraged to apply. Applicants with overseas qualifications can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service. If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The level of proficiency that is required can vary with the type of programme for which you are applying. The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5.

Course Fees

UK/EU: £5,660, International: £13,250, Islands: £13,250

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