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University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Environmental Geography

We have 4 University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Environmental Geography

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This programme provides an accredited pathway for science-based graduates to become Environmental Health practitioners. It is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) as meeting its core curriculum requirements. . Read more

This programme provides an accredited pathway for science-based graduates to become Environmental Health practitioners. It is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) as meeting its core curriculum requirements. 

The course is taught using formal lectures; workshops; group work; case studies and student centered learning, recognising the importance of technical and practical skills as well as academic excellence. Site visits are arranged in order for students to put into practice their newly acquired skills. Students benefit from being taught in a research-intense environment and are encouraged to develop their critical thinking and research skills. The course supports building the foundation of competence through the knowledge and skills required by the CIEH curriculum.

This programme is aimed at UK/EU students. If you are an International student, please see the equivalent Public and Environmental Health MSc programme.

Course details

This course fulfils the academic requirements to become a graduate Environmental Health Officer. On completion of the MSc, students will need to undergo practical training in an approved organisation and complete their Portfolio of Professional Practice (PPP) to become a registered Environmental Health Practitioner. The portfolio is based upon the concepts of experiential learning and reflective practice and requires candidates to undertake a range of interventions, develop a range of skills and reflect upon their experiences. Further information can be found on the CIEH PPP pages.

Students benefit from being taught in a research intense environment and are encouraged to develop their critical thinking and research skills. The course supports building the foundation of competence through the knowledge and skills required by the CIEH curriculum.

Bringing out the best in our students

Our students regularly win awards and recognition for their work from Environmental Health organisations, often allowing them to influence real-world issues and policies.

Former MSc Environmental Health student Gam Bahadur Gurung was recently awarded the Environmental Protection UK ‘best research project for indoor air quality’ prize for his dissertation entitled ‘To investigate the exposure to Carbon Monoxide (CO) and PM2.5 levels inside the shisha premises of Birmingham in collaboration with Birmingham City Council (BCC)’. This is the second award that Gam has received for his dissertation, having previously been awarded the Sir Oliver Lodge Prize. Find out more about Gam's award 

Top marks in CIEH Annual Graduate Award

Former Student Rebecca Espley won the West Midlands CIEH award 2017 for the best dissertation from the West Midlands, investigating Awareness of Allergens and Consumer Protection. The award was presented at the WMCIEH annual conference held at the University of Birmingham.

The CIEH has historically held an annual competitive award to students, selected from the 13 accredited UK universities, who have the best academic records, achieve the highest results in the CIEH examinations and successfully present at a formal CIEH panel on a selected topic. Our students have won a number of gold, silver and bronze medals.

Learning and teaching

The ethos of the course is problem-based learning. Its purpose is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to be able to work as an Environmental Health Practitioner within a range of organisations including National and Local Government, Health Services, Commercial Companies and Private Consultancies. 

The course is led by experienced Environmental Health Practitioners supported by external lecturers who are recognized specialists in their fields. Students have opportunities to be taught by and supported in their own research dissertations by the research scientists within the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management.

Placements and Portfolio of Professional Practice

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has accredited the course since 1991. Further to completion of the MSc, you must undertake a period of work based learning. You will be required to complete a Portfolio of Professional Practice ( PPP) of work based learning for the CIEH and undertake a professional interview with the CIEH.

Graduate Training programmes can be up to 12 months in length or can be shorter internships. The majority are provided within local authorities, but an increasing number are offered by private companies such as ASDA retail company. There may be some financial support given by the training provider. Many are advertised through the CIEH journal, Environmental Health News, and directly to the University. We offer you full support to prepare for interviews for these positions.

If you are a part-time student already based in Local Authorities then you may be able be able to negotiate individual arrangements subject to meeting the Chartered Institute’s PPP requirements.

Portfolio of Professional Development (PPP) Distinction for Birmingham Student

On graduation, Emma Stiff obtained a placement at Birmingham City Council where she completed a Portfolio of Professional Practice (PPP) as required by the CIEH prior to taking her professional examinations. She received an award as the first student ever to obtain a distinction in all 15 components of the PPP. The award was presented by Lt Col Douglas Ralph, Chair of the Qualifications Standards Committee, and Graham Jukes, Chief Executive.



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This programme is designed for international students wishing to advance their knowledge in public health and environmental health. It provides opportunities to understand how to manage risks posed to public and environmental health and provide the necessary solutions. Read more

This programme is designed for international students wishing to advance their knowledge in public health and environmental health. It provides opportunities to understand how to manage risks posed to public and environmental health and provide the necessary solutions.

A virtual learning platform has been introduced to allow students to identify hazards and risks within an industrial environment. The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health for international students. It is taught in conjunction with the MSc in Environmental Health.

This programme is aimed at International students. If you are a UK/EU student, please see the equivalent Environmental Health MSc programme.

Course details

The course is taught using formal lectures, workshops, group work, case studies, practical simulations, industrial/commercial visits and student centered learning. Students benefit from being taught in a research-intense environment and are encouraged to develop their critical thinking and research skills. The course supports building the foundation of competence through the knowledge and skills required by the CIEH curriculum.

Learning and teaching

Course Schedule

Students must expect to attend 4-5 days per week in the autumn and spring terms. There is little teaching in the summer term with time set aside for completing assignments, examination preparation, and undertaking the Dissertation.

Short Courses

You may wish to take the opportunity to study an additional short course leading to an extra qualification whilst at the University.

Certificate in Environmental Noise Monitoring - accredited by the Institute of Acoustics

This will be a practically based module which will enable you to make reliable measurements of background noise and noise from a variety of noise sources, according to the requirements of relevant British Standards, Codes of Practice or legislation. The presentation and interpretation of the measured data will be considered and the significance of measured noise levels in terms of acceptability to people will be assessed. The principal methods of noise control to mitigate the impact of noise on the community will be identified. Having considered the above you will be able to critically appraise the noise measurement methodology, data and interpretation in reports and environmental appraisals, and to comment on proposals for noise impact mitigation.

Employability

Career opportunities

Graduates of this course have found employment with:

  • Government Health Departments
  • Government Health and Environmental Protection Agencies
  • International and National Non-Governmental organizations
  • Multi-national companies
  • International Environmental Health Consultancies
  • Higher Educational Establishments

During the time on the course, students will be encouraged to develop employability skills which are essential for graduate recruitment. These include:

  • Time management
  • Communication Skills
  • Team working
  • Personal planning and organisation
  • Critical thinking skills


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This course will examine the interactions between climate, hydrology, geomorphology, ecology, biogeochemical cycling, water and habitat quality and biodiversity. Read more

This course will examine the interactions between climate, hydrology, geomorphology, ecology, biogeochemical cycling, water and habitat quality and biodiversity.

Using a combination of lectures, fieldwork, tutorials, laboratory classes, group projects and an individual research-based thesis, you will be provided with the necessary training and skills for a career in the successful environmental management of rivers.

Course details

River systems are under ever increasing pressure through the growing demands of water abstraction and hydroelectric power generation, and suffer recurrent disturbance through diffuse and point source pollutants, drought, flooding and channel modification.

The environmental management of rivers is required to mitigate the effects of these pressures. This requires a holistic understanding of how river systems are structured and function, and of how these systems have been altered by anthropogenic activities. To this end, the course will examine the interactions between climate, hydrology, geomorphology, ecology, biogeochemical cycling, water and habitat quality and biodiversity.

An important aspect of the training will be an understanding of how these interactions act at different spatial and temporal scales to influence the structure and function of ecosystems in running waters. This scientific and technical corpus will allow you to understand and quantify the consequences of natural and anthropogenic disturbance on river systems.

Using a combination of lectures, fieldwork, tutorials, laboratory classes, group projects and an individual research-based thesis, you will be provided with the necessary training and skills for a career in the successful environmental management of rivers, including techniques on assessing their status and approaches to rehabilitate and restore the condition of these globally threatened environments.

This degree will provide direct postgraduate training for students interested in this career direction, as well as providing advanced-level training suitable for further PhD studies in water science.

We are fortunate at Birmingham in having a wide variety of staff within the Water Sciences Research Group with interests in rivers, particularly in the arena of hydroecology, and it is this expertise that will inform the teaching of the modules in River Environments and their Management. 

Learning and teaching

Course Activities

The River Environments and their Management programme involves a core of lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes. This core material is backed up by supplementary material designed to deepen the comprehension of the basic processes, to understand their application in environmental management and industry and to develop an appreciation of both the industrial and environmental management environment.

Examples of activities include:

  • Seminars by external lecturers to broaden knowledge of the water industry and river environmental management
  • Seminars by course participants to improve communication skills and knowledge of current trends in river environmental management
  • Fieldwork and visits to river monitoring sites, river restoration sites, the River Laboratory of the Freshwater Biological Association and research organizations.
  • Computing and practical projects to develop information technology, modeling and field skills
  • Group management projects and industrially related projects to develop research, problem solving and management skills

Using a combination of lectures, fieldwork, tutorials, laboratory classes, group projects and an individual research-based thesis, you will be provided with the necessary training and skills for a career in the successful environmental management of rivers, including techniques on assessing their status and approaches to rehabilitate and restore the condition of these globally threatened environments. You will also gain training in legislation that drives the environmental management of rivers worldwide. 

Fieldwork

There are also a number of day-long field trips connected with a variety of modules, in particular Surface Water Hydrology, River Ecology and River Restoration, including a day of learning measurement techniques at the BIFOR field site.

Employability

The course is of considerable value if you wish to pursue a career in the river environmental management field or the water industry. It also provides advanced level training if you wish progress on to a PhD.

Currently, due to the large national demand for Water Managers, we have a 100% employment success rate for all our home/EU students, with graduates obtaining employment in the consultancy sector, typically with jobs secured before graduation. Additionally, Environmental Scientists who have spent some time in a branch of the water industry often feel the need for a postgraduate course to give them an overall understanding of their profession. The River Environments and their Management programme is so structured as to satisfy the requirements of both of these groups of potential students, the latter includes many International students who choose to retrain here in Birmingham.



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Weather and climate are integral parts of the Earth system. The monitoring of meteorological variables, together with the knowledge and modelling of underlying processes, are key to understanding our interaction with the natural environment. Read more

Weather and climate are integral parts of the Earth system. The monitoring of meteorological variables, together with the knowledge and modelling of underlying processes, are key to understanding our interaction with the natural environment.

This programme provides comprehensive training in understanding, modelling and prediction of atmospheric processes; as well as the collection, management, supply and application of atmospheric data for the needs of a variety of public and private sectors. The course also demonstrates how these create opportunities or pose problems for the successful operation of natural and human systems. Our aim is that upon graduation you will be able to compete for careers in Meteorology and Climatology.

Course details

This well-established programme was developed in response to industry and research institution requirements for applied meteorologists and climatologists. This demand continues, partially due to the growing attention of the society to climate change, its mitigation and adaptation to it.

Skills gained

The programme aims to:

  • Provide training in theoretical and applied aspects of atmospheric physics and dynamics, quantitative modelling techniques, weather forecasting, climate prediction and observation of atmospheric processes
  • Equip you with the skills of quantitative and statistical analysis with regards to atmospheric data processing and management
  • Enable you to apply theoretical concepts and analytical techniques to the resolution of environmental and socio-economic problems that have an atmospheric origin
  • Develop your independent research ability
  • Convert participants with non-environmental backgrounds to applied meteorologists and climatologists
  • Develop your communication skills using traditional and IT-based media

Learning and teaching

Taught modules involve lectures, practical classes and supporting tutorials. Modules are provided by staff, supported by seminars from invited experts. Vocational awareness is developed through a 'work experience' week in which course participants gain hands-on experience for instance in a commercial weather forecasting environment.

The programme has been accredited by the Royal Meteorological Society to provide training for Chartered Meteorologists (CMet). The RMS 'Chartered Meteorologist' accreditation scheme provides the highest level of professional qualification in meteorology and will satisfy clients and employers that individuals have reached a specified level of knowledge and experience in the subject equivalent to that of Chartered status in any other profession.

Employability

The MSc course in Applied Meteorology and Climatology was initiated in 1963/64. It was developed in response to industry and research institution requirements for applied meteorologists and climatologists. This demand still continues. For example, over the period of the last decade, about 45 percent of graduates from the course have entered employment directly related to applied meteorology and climatology, while 37 percent have taken up research posts in this area.



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