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Environmental Sciences×

Imperial College London, Full Time MSc Degrees in Environmental Sciences

We have 19 Imperial College London, Full Time MSc Degrees in Environmental Sciences

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The MSc in Environmental Technology has been running for over 40 years and provides the highest standard of knowledge and skills development for environmental and sustainability specialists. Read more

The MSc in Environmental Technology has been running for over 40 years and provides the highest standard of knowledge and skills development for environmental and sustainability specialists. Through the course students acquire a diverse range of discipline-specific problem-solving skills for tackling contemporary sustainability issues. A major emphasis of the course is on the way that environments function and on the compatible tools, alternative technologies and policies for sustainable environmental management.

Our course combines the natural and social sciences, engineering and business in a truly interdisciplinary manner, providing a foundation for graduates to demonstrate their ability to identify and resolve environmental and sustainability issues in a holistic way. This broad training is followed by an in-depth education in many specialised areas, maintaining the course's interdisciplinary nature. The specialist options in the second term are designed to cater for a variety of individual interests and career requirements. 

The course provides students with different options to build on their undergraduate degree, by allowing them to specialise in an area of particular interest, convert undergraduate knowledge to a different setting, differentiate for the job market and learn specific techniques and tools for research and management.

MSc candidates learn to appreciate that successful projects depend, at least in part, on belonging to a network of experts aiming to advance personal and collective environmental goals. We emphasise a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Building on Imperial’s environmental world-class research portfolio, dedicated teaching staff coordinate the interdisciplinary nature of our course and very strong links with industry, business and regulators. We pride ourselves on the quality of the service we provide to students, science and the society, and our excellence in delivering the valuable interaction between scientific/technological training and industrial experience.

Course Structure

First term – Core Course

The Core Course emphasises contemporary policy debates through a number of cross-cutting themes: climate change and energy, international development, sustainability and health, and biodiversity. This is delivered through the following modules:

Second term – specialist Options

Student elect to specialise in one of nine Options in the second term. A strong case study approach is employed with emphasis on working in teams, decision-making, strong analytical skills and report writing and delivery. The nine specialist options currently offered on the course include:

Third Term – Individual Research Project

The research project term, running from April to September, aims to provide graduates with valuable research and practical experience and give them the ability to address individual sustainability and environmental problems with confidence. It provides the opportunity to undertake rigorous independent research; to apply knowledge and understanding of sustainability and environmental disciplines to practical problems; and to develop and demonstrate interdisciplinary, transferable skills with specific emphasis on project management and oral and written presentation skills. 

The research project normally follows from the specialist Option and may involve any combination of desk-, laboratory- or fieldwork. It may be set up and carried out in conjunction with an outside organisation thereby providing practical experience which greatly enhances employment prospects, and may be carried out in the UK or abroad.

Learning Approach

The programme aims to: 

• Provide the highest standard of training for environmental scientists and managers, who will become leaders in their fields, whether in academia, consultancy, research, government bodies, non-governmental organisations or industry and commerce, both nationally and internationally

• Deliver an holistic understanding of the interdisciplinary complexities underlying environmental issues integrating science, technology, law, economics, policy and management, with in-depth education in the more specific areas addressed by the eight specialist options

• Attract highly motivated students, both from within the UK and from overseas

 The expected learning outcomes are:

  • to understand the fundamental mechanisms operating in the environment and the principles underlying the tools for sustainable environmental management
  • to specialise in particular chosen areas
  • to develop the ability to conduct independent rigorous research into environmental problems with confidence
  • to be able to employ a knowledge from range of subjects necessary to understand and resolve practical sustainability and environmental problems
  • to develop interpersonal and transferable skills, quantitative and qualitative skills

Links with Industry

The MSc in Environmental Technology has developed very strong links with employers and research organisations, and maintains strong links with our large alumni body. All Options benefit from industry and alumni teaching into the course, actively complementing the academic teaching delivered by staff members. Collaborative frameworks are in place aim to deliver outputs beneficial to both organisations and the students in our course.



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The MSc in Environmental Technology provides the highest . standard of knowledge and skills development.  for environmental specialists. Read more

The MSc in Environmental Technology provides the highest standard of knowledge and skills development for environmental specialists. Through the course students acquire a diverse range of discipline-specific problem-solving frameworks for tackling contemporary environmental issues. A major emphasis of the course is on the way that environments function and on the compatible tools, alternative technologies and policies for sustainable environmental management. MSc Candidates also learn to appreciate that successful projects depend, at least in part, on belonging to a network of experts aiming to advance personal and collective environmental goals. We emphasise a friendly and supportive learning environment.  

Our course combines the natural and social sciences in a truly interdisciplinary manner, providing a foundation for graduates to demonstrate their ability to identify and resolve environmental and sustainability issues in a holistic way. This broad training is followed by an in-depth education in many specialised areas, maintaining the course's interdisciplinary nature. The specialist options in the second term are designed to cater for a variety of individual interests and career requirements. 

The course provides students with different options to build on their undergraduate degree, by allowing them to specialise in an area of particular interest, convert undergraduate knowledge to a different setting, differentiate for the job market and learn specific techniques and tools for research and management. 

Building on Imperial’s environmental world-class research portfolio, dedicated teaching staff to coordinate the interdisciplinary nature of our course and very strong links with industry, business and regulators. We pride ourselves on the quality of the service we provide to students, science and the society, and our excellence in delivering the valuable interaction between scientific/technological training and industrial experience.

Director of the course is Dr Mike Tennant 

Business and the Environment

Contemporary “business-as-usual” solutions are not sufficient for achieving meaningful change in a resource-constrained and inequitable world. Students taking the Business and the Environment Option (B&E) will develop a critical understanding of how businesses currently tackle the challenges of sustainability in the broadest of senses. They will use creative thinking to develop proactive businesses models that go beyond contemporary levels of sustainability performance.

The B&E Option provides students with an understanding of opportunities and risks that businesses face in the light of growing environmental and sustainability constraints and social inequality. It gives them the critical thinking skills required to develop entrepreneurial solutions that maximise those opportunities. Students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to deal with the complex choices that business must face in order to function as responsible members of society.

The Option benefits from the input of leading companies and strategists in the fields of sustainability, environment, finance, retail and emerging markets, and students are exposed to a wide variety of industry and academic perspectives. There is a strong emphasis on problem-solving , taking a learning-by-doing approach and going beyond the norm to develop solutions to difficult problems using systemic, innovative thinking coupled with sound business and organisational management strategies.

Teaching is supported with case study sessions, which give students the skills and confidence to rigorously analysis sustainable business problems. Extensive practical work serves to both reinforce learning and to give students exposure to real-world problems. A group-based consultancy project is carried out in conjunction with leading UK-based companies, whilst a business modelling exercise gives students the opportunity to develop their own ideas of what a responsible company should look like by creating robust business ideas that have positive environmental and social impacts.

Key elements of the Option include:

  • understanding sustainability challenges across a company’s complete supply chain
  • innovation and sustainability
  • problem-solving using life cycle and systems thinking
  • effective stakeholder engagement, corporate reporting and marketing
  • business ethics and responsibility
  • basic accounting for business
  • creativity and business modelling

Expected learning outcomes for the B&E Option are:

  • to understand, interpret and creatively apply good practice in sustainable business strategy and operations to contemporary business problems
  • to interpret and evaluate complex, inter-disciplinary and future-oriented sustainability concepts and apply them to create entrepreneurial business ideas
  • to effectively engage peers and professionals in generative conversations
  •  to effectively use a range of technical and transferrable skills

Careers

Graduates of the B&E Option normally go on to careers in a wider variety of organizations, including sustainability and general consultancy, in-house sustainability units and start-up companies.



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visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017. Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. Read more

Open Day

visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017.

Course Overview

Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. These fields are rapidly changing through new digital and molecular technologies. There is ever greater urgency for species identification and monitoring in virtually all the environmental sciences, and evolutionary ‘tree thinking’ is now applied widely in most areas of the life sciences.

This course provides in-depth training in the study of biodiversity based on the principles of phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, palaeobiology and taxonomy. The emphasis is on quantitative approaches and current methods in DNA-based phylogenetics, bioinformatics, and the use of digital collections.

Location

This course is a collaboration of Imperial College London (Silwood Park) with the Natural History Museum. This provides an exciting scientific environment of two institutions at the forefront of taxonomic and evolutionary research.

The MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity comprises two terms of taught modules, mostly based at the Natural History Museum, and covers core areas in biodiversity, palaeobiology, phylogenetics, molecular systematics, phylogenomics and taxonomic principles. This is followed by a 16-week laboratory or field-based research project at the NHM or Imperial College’s Silwood Park or South Kensington campuses.

Modules

• Taxonomy of major groups and the Tree-of-Life: An introduction of major branches of the Tree, including identification exercises, presented by NHM experts
• Statistics and Computing: A two-week intensive course at Silwood Park
• Field course: trapping and collecting techniques for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
• Phylogenetic Reconstruction: the principles of building phylogenetic trees
• Molecular Systematics: generating and analysing molecular data; model-based phylogenetics
• Phylogenomics: Genomic techniques for studying evolutionary processes and biodiversity
• Biodiversity (Concepts): speciation, radiation, macroevolution
•Biodiversity (Applied): Measuring biodiversity, geospatial analysis, collection management and biodiversity informatics
• Palaeobiology: Studying the fossil record and what we can learn for biodiversity

Post Study

Students on the course will become the new generation of taxonomists in the broadest sense. They will be familiar with these new tools, as well as the wider concepts of biodiversity science, evolutionary biology and genomics. Most importantly, students gain the abilities to work as an independent scientist and researcher, to be able to solve questions about the future of biodiversity and to communicate them to peers and the public.
Students have many options for future employment in evolutionary and ecological research labs in industry, government and non-governmental organisations, conservation, and scientific publishing and the media. The courses are an excellent starting point for PhD level careers, feeding into various Doctoral Training Programmes available at NHM and Imperial, or elsewhere.

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MSc in Hydrology and Water Resources Management. MSc in Hydrology and Business Management. MSc in Hydrology and Sustainable Development. Read more
MSc in Hydrology and Water Resources Management

MSc in Hydrology and Business Management

MSc in Hydrology and Sustainable Development

Hydrology is concerned with assessment of the natural distribution of water in time and space, and with evaluating the impact of manmade changes on the distribution and quality of this water.

Applied hydrology has been traditionally concerned with floods and water resources.

However, hydrologists are focusing increasingly on the problems of pollutant transport in surface water, soils and groundwaters, and wider issues such as the effects of land use and climate change.

Hydrology is strongly multidisciplinary, and the course includes a basic treatment of relevant physical and life sciences, mathematical sciences, and systems analysis.

All of our MSc courses are career-orientated and cover both theoretical background and practical design considerations.

Lectures are given mainly by full-time staff but important contributions are made by visiting professors and guest lecturers who are eminent industrialists.

Many of our students continue their studies to undertake research towards a PhD.

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This course provides broad research training in ecology, evolution and conservation, focusing on fundamental concepts and theory, and their application to conservation and biodiversity science. Read more
This course provides broad research training in ecology, evolution and conservation, focusing on fundamental concepts and theory, and their application to conservation and biodiversity science.

Based at Silwood Park Campus, an internationally renowned centre of excellence for ecological research, the taught course covers a range of topics, each taught by a leading researcher in that field.

You also complete a five-month research project on a topic of your choice.

The course will be suitable for those interested in a career in applied ecology or conservation, or in preparing for a PhD.

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MSc in Environmental Engineering. MSc in Environmental Engineering and Business Management. MSc in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development. Read more
MSc in Environmental Engineering

MSc in Environmental Engineering and Business Management

MSc in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development

This course provides training in all aspects of the supply of clean water, the control of pollution and the protection of public health, waste water treatment, air pollution control and solid waste management.

The problems of both industrialised and less developed countries are addressed in detail.

A close collaboration exists with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Water Research Centre.

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management meets regularly at the College, and students are encouraged to attend these meetings.

All of our MSc courses are career-orientated and cover both theoretical background and practical design considerations.

Lectures are given mainly by full-time staff but important contributions are made by visiting professors and guest lecturers who are eminent industrialists.

Many of our students continue their studies to undertake research towards a PhD.

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MSc in Soil Mechanics. MSc in Soil Mechanics & Business Management. MSc in Soil Mechanics & Sustainable Development. MSc in Soil Mechanics & Engineering Seismology. Read more
MSc in Soil Mechanics

MSc in Soil Mechanics & Business Management

MSc in Soil Mechanics & Sustainable Development

MSc in Soil Mechanics & Engineering Seismology

MSc in Soil Mechanics & Environmental Geotechnics

These five MSc courses explore the properties of soils and soft rocks in relation to civil engineering, the theory of geomechanics and practical geotechnical engineering.

All our MSc courses are career-oriented and cover both theoretical background and practical design considerations.

Lectures are given mainly by full-time staff but important contributions are made by visiting professors and guest lecturers who are eminent industrialists.

Many of our students continue their studies to undertake research towards a PhD.

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This unique course will give you the skills required for success in the highly competitive field of international conservation. It is taught in partnership with three of the most high-profile conservation practitioners in the UK. Read more
This unique course will give you the skills required for success in the highly competitive field of international conservation.

It is taught in partnership with three of the most high-profile conservation practitioners in the UK:

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
The Institute of Zoology, the research division of the Zoological Society of London
The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

You will be immersed in the ongoing conservation work of these organisations, and will be able to choose six-month research project topics linked to their conservation programmes, ensuring that your project contributes to real-world conservation.

The course provides a strong quantitative basis for conservation work, including decision theory, conservation planning, statistical computing and modelling.

By learning to collect, analyse and use both socioeconomic and biological information, you will gain a truly interdisciplinary understanding of the theory and practice of conservation.

By the end of the course you will not only have developed an ability to analyse conservation issues, but you will also know how to put this understanding into action, implementing successful conservation projects.

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Over the past 10–20 years, biology has become increasingly quantitative, and mathematical sciences have in turn been increasingly influenced by biology. Read more
Over the past 10–20 years, biology has become increasingly quantitative, and mathematical sciences have in turn been increasingly influenced by biology.

In this unique course we teach quantitative methods and biological concepts together, through application of the methods to cutting-edge biological research problems.

This course is suitable for:

Life scientists wishing to expand their quantitative skills in light of the increasingly quantitative nature of modern biology
Physical scientists (mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, computer scientists) with a strong interest in biology
The course serves as ideal preparation for either PhD studies or employment in fields of applied quantitative biology, such as resource management and conservation.

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This course provides both theoretical and hands on training in the application of ecological and evolutionary science to planning, monitoring, management and control. Read more
This course provides both theoretical and hands on training in the application of ecological and evolutionary science to planning, monitoring, management and control.

Based at Silwood Park Campus, an internationally renowned centre of excellence for ecological research, the course is run with outside partners such as:

The Biological Records Centre
The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
CABI
Syngenta
Surrey Wildlife Trust
Natural England
Thomson Ecology

This makes it of direct relevance to current applied research.

Each module is taught by a leading researcher in that field, focusing on the practical, quantitative and analytical skills desired by ecological employers in industry, the public sector and NGOs, or in preparing for a PhD in applied ecology.

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MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance. is a challenging programme based on the increasing range of issues faced by business leaders. Read more

MSc Climate Change, Management & Finance is a challenging programme based on the increasing range of issues faced by business leaders. The programme focuses on the area of climate change and sustainability, such as energy efficiency, risk management and insurance, financing future ventures and innovation or reducing carbon emissions.

You will gain technical expertise in finance, economics, innovation, management, marketing and strategy to help you develop an understanding of the challenges and opportunities raised by climate change and the interrelations between these two areas. Armed with deep quantitative and technical knowledge, you will be an asset for successful organisations from a wide variety of sectors, whether large corporations or SMEs, established industrial firms or technological ventures, either in sustainability focused roles or broader business management roles.

The Programme

The programme comprises core modules from a range of subject areas. Given the need to understand the relationship between its two components, the programme has been designed to embed within each module both the business and the sustainability/climate change/ carbon aspect of a topic.

These core modules include:

• Business Economics, Climate Change and the Environment

• Change Management and Leadership

• Clean Tech Innovation and Investment

• Climate Change and Governance

• Climate Finance

• Corporate Finance and Carbon Finance

• Energy Economics and Strategy

• Financial and Carbon Accounting and Reporting

• Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change

• Marketing and Sustainability

• Mitigating Climate Change

• Quantitative Methods

• Risk Management and Climate Change

• Sustainable Strategic Management

• The Science of Climate Change

These modules are taught over three academic terms, and you will benefit from a balance between teaching and learning through a mix of lectures, seminars, external speakers, discussions group exercises and case studies. Assessment will combine examination, group and individual reports and presentations.

In addition to the core modules, you will have the choice during the summer to undertake either a Group Consultancy Project for a real client or a Work Placement. In both cases, you may also choose to do your project or work placement abroad.

Your final assessment will consist of a 5,000 word Capstone Individual Report. This report will help you put the theory taught in the programme modules into practice, linking your experience on the Group Consulting Project or Work Placement.



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Water is vital. Drought, floods and water footprint are crucial topics across the globe. Read more

Water is vital. Drought, floods and water footprint are crucial topics across the globe.

The Water Management Option was one of the original options of our MSc Environmental Technology course first offered in 1977, and remains at the cutting edge today, with research into the balance between water treatment, energy use, climate change and legislation being the focus of intense interest.

Aims

The aim of the option is to produce graduates who understand the challenges posed by water supply and water resources management, and who meet the demands of organisations concerned with the water environment and water technology. These include water companies, regulators, consultancies and research organisations. Changing priorities in these organisations mean there is an increasing emphasis on management in addition to the traditional broad foundation in the basic concepts of water technology and the water environment. As a result, the Water Management Option spotlights and develops management techniques, with two extended consultancy-style projects, one run in conjunction with Hounslow London Borough Council and the other with Anglian Water plc. In addition to lectures and tutorials the students develop their research and presentation skills in a dynamic, cooperative and competitive environment.

At the end of the course, the student will understand the basic concepts of water technology and the water environment both locally and globally, and be able to:

  • apply this understanding to water management issues
  • select and use a range of appropriate management techniques
  •  communicate effectively with others concerned with water management issues, (for example environmental engineers)
  •  apply this knowledge and skill to water management issues in both the developed and developing world
  • work professionally within an organisation, cooperating with others and communicating ideas in oral and written form.

Content

The Option comprises a number of modules designed to introduce the student to the broad range of scientific, environmental and management issues relevant to man’s effects on the Earth’s most precious resource. In addition to lectures, delivered by a of leading practitioners from regulators, water companies, consultancies, research and other environmental organisations, there are seminars and practical coursework assessments that provide experience of contaminated land remediation and strategic investment planning for water supply and wastewater treatment.

Module Aims and Learning Outcomes

Environment and Health

  • To give the student a foundation in science and policy basics to understand aspects of environmental management and technology and its impact on health.
  • Be able to explain the main chemical and biological processes important in the physical environment, the parameters that define environmental quality and its effect on health.

Water Technology and Management

  • To introduce the student to the various unit processes used in water treatment, including underlying theory and technology.
  • Be able to describe the basic concepts of water treatment technology and the selection of unit treatment processes.

Environmental Policy and Resource Management

  • To provide students with an introduction to the legal, technical and practical issues involved in contaminated land and resources management.
  • Be able to appreciate the challenges for the management of contaminated land and be able to describe the basic concepts in relation to resources and waste management.

Environmental Decision Making and Tools

  • To introduce students to some of the most important policy tools and techniques to assist them in decision-making.
  • Be able to select and use various management techniques and policy tools to support decision- making in environmental and water management and policy.

Integrated Land and Water Management

  • To provide students with an overview of problems, potential remedies and possible outcomes involved in holistic management of the environment.
  • Be able to assess environmental problems and environmental relationships in order to propose holistic solutions that maximise overall benefits and minimise adverse impacts.

Environmental Pollution and Assessment

  • To enhance students' understanding of the pollution pathways in the environment from source to receptor.
  • Be able to describe water recycling technologies and assess the physical and chemical processes involved in the progress of pollutants from source to receptor.

Finally, a four-day study tour incorporating a programme of visits gives operational insight into many aspects taught on the option. Visits to sites concerned with water and environmental resource management and related environmental conservation projects are complemented by visits designed to give an understanding of the technology used for water and wastewater treatment.

Careers

Graduates from our course have a very high success rate in achieving well paid employment. This is commonly in environmental consultancies and to a lesser extent in water utility companies, the Environment Agency, Defra and other regulators, and water charities in the UK, in the European Union and overseas.

Graduates from recent years have taken up positions and careers in the following companies:

  • Anglian Water
  • Arcadis Geraghty Miller
  • CH2M Hill
  • Dames and Moore
  • Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
  • Environment Agency
  • ERM
  • Mott MacDonald
  •  Parsons Engineering Science
  •  Posford Duvivier
  • Thames Water

Fieldwork

Students undertake two assessed pieces of coursework over the option term. One piece of coursework is in collaboration with a water company, Anglian Water and in addition to team research with other option members it involves a visit to the Anglian Water premises in East Anglia. The other piece of coursework is conducted in collaboration with the Hounslow London Borough Council. It builds on the theme of integrated land and water management and incorporates a day of water and soil sampling on Hounslow Heath in London (working alongside another of the MSc Options – Environmental Analysis & Assessment).

Anglian Water Placement

The opportunity exists for one student to carry out the MSc Environmental Technology Course Water Management Option over two years, which includes a 16 month industrial placement with Anglian Water. The programme provides the chosen candidate with an Anglian Water-financed bursary and payment of tuition fees (at UK/EU rate).  Please visit the website to find out more.



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The Pollution Management option focuses on the interface and interaction between science, technology, and policy in the environment. There is an emphasis on local issues, but these are inescapably set within the context of regional and global developments. Read more

The Pollution Management option focuses on the interface and interaction between science, technology, and policy in the environment. There is an emphasis on local issues, but these are inescapably set within the context of regional and global developments. We draw on best practice in the UK and Western Europe, applied not only here but also in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

Aims

In Western Europe and North America, many short-range pollution problems of past decades have been solved, but business and industry find themselves operating in an environment where the public and government demand ever more stringent environmental standards. Other parts of the world might be seen as following some way behind this trend and learning from it, including where examples of acute local and regional pollution remain in a context of a pressing need for rapid socio-economic development. Globalisation is an additional, external source of pressure on every nation to meet the highest environmental standards that are increasingly prevalent elsewhere. In many cases, however, developing countries have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. In particular, the trend of the past was for environmental protection to be an expensive luxury. Today, it is possible to find a different and more efficient path to a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future, by protecting the environment in a way that leads simultaneously to an increase in economic prosperity. There is therefore continued growth in demand for graduates with expertise in pollution management:

  • Within the UK and European Union
  • Working from the UK but exporting expertise to other parts of the world
  • World-wide, especially in the rapidly developing economies of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and in Eastern European and Mediterranean regions having increasing levels of trade and political interaction with the European Union.

Responses to pollution at least must reassure the public it is safe, or allow adaptation to or protection from its effects. A better approach is to control concentrations of a pollutant in the environment, but the best solution is to prevent its formation in the first place.

Integrated Pollution, Prevention and Control is a major development in this area, pioneered in the UK and now led by the European Union, bringing together management, planning, and communication as well as end-of-pipe technological solutions. But this needs to mesh with other kinds of regulatory and voluntary initiatives, especially where non-industrial sources of pollution including transport and agriculture make an important contribution, in more and less developed countries alike.

Content

The Option is divided into six modules, covering all the major areas of environmental concern, and there is a significant interdisciplinary element throughout, reflecting the philosophy of the MSc as a whole. They should not be considered as stand-alone, but should be seen as a closely integrated whole:

Module Aims and Learning Outcomes

Environment and Health

  • To give the student a foundation in chemistry, microbiology and policy basics to understand aspects of environmental management and technology and their impact on health.
  • Describe the main chemical and biological processes important in the physical environment and environmental technology and parameters that define environmental quality.

Air Pollution and Climate Control

  • To familiarise students with how our incomplete but expanding scientific understanding of pollution is translated into policy and practice for Air Pollution & Climate Control management.
  • Be able to integrate understanding of atmospheric chemistry and physics together with biological implications and pollution control technology, with the application of Air Pollution modelling and monitoring for review and assessment of air quality & Climate.

Waste and Resource Management

  • To provide students with an introduction to policies that aim to manage human activities with a focus on waste management to prevent, reduce, or mitigate harmful effects on nature and natural resources.
  • Be able to understand the principal features of UK and EC environmental policies and appreciate from a management point of view the principal waste and resouce related problems today.

Environmental Decision Making and Tools

  • To introduce students to some of the most important policy tools and techniques to assist them in decision-making.
  • Be able to select and use certain management techniques and policy tools to support decision- making in environmental management and policy.

Environmental Pollution and Assessment

  • To enhance students' understanding of the pathways in the environment followed by pollutants from source to receptor
  • Be able to assess the physical and chemical processes involved in the progress of pollutants from source to receptor, and manage the impacts the pollutants may have on a range of receptors.

Water Technology and Pollution

  • To introduce the student to the various unit processes used in water and wastewater treatment, including underlying pollution theory and treatment technology.
  • Be able to describe the basic concepts of polluted water treatment technology and the selection of unit treatment processes.

Careers

The majority of the graduates enter environmental consultancy both in the UK and abroad usually within the risk assessment and contaminated land areas. A second path of graduates is to regulatory agencies/government bodies such as the Environment Agency of England & Wales and the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Other paths have included further study, the retail sector and banking. To date, the Option has had an excellent track record of employment with over 90% of graduates employed within 12 months of completing the MSc.

 • PhD, Technical University of Athens

• Projects Manager, British Council, Brazil

• Environmental Health Officer, London Borough of Newham

• Assistant Director, Science & Technology Division, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment Malaysia

• Field Engineer, Schlumberger (Angola)

• Senior Consultant, Arthur D. Little

• General Director, Environmental Management, Environment Ministry, Mexico

• Partner and Director of UK Environmental Services, Price Waterhouse Coopers

• Technical Director, Stanger Science & Technology

• Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University

• Quality Control Engineer, Chiyoda Corporation, Doha, Qatar

• Head of Environmental Audit, Body Shop International

• Head of Solid Waste Control, Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department



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From air pollution to the spread of vector-borne diseases, changes in our environment can have profound repercussions for human health. Read more

From air pollution to the spread of vector-borne diseases, changes in our environment can have profound repercussions for human health.

The Health and the Global Environment Option of the MSc Environmental Technology is offered in collaboration with a highly qualified network of practitioners encompassing Imperial’s Centre for Environmental Policy, School of Public Health, the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, and the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment. The option focusses on building students’ knowledge and understanding of the key issues that link human and environmental health.  

This is a highly dynamic and stimulating environment in which to study, where you will interact with a range of academics, staff scientists and policy analysts working on the most pressing environmental and health issues both locally and globally. 

Context

Human health is fundamentally linked to our environment. Environmental factors contribute significantly to the global disease burden, with an estimated 25% of death and disease globally linked to environmental hazards. In developing contexts, this figure can be much higher, reaching 35% in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.

Crucially, many of these hazards are created or exacerbated by human activities, so managing health for the environment and the environment for health is a growing priority on the environment, public and global health agendas.

Content

The Health and the Global Environment Option is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the key issues in environment and health. The emphasis throughout the course is on the understanding of the principles of exposure assessment, epidemiology, toxicology, health risk assessment and health protection, and their application in the field of environment and health, including:

  • field sampling and laboratory analysis for direct determination of contaminants within environmental systems;
  • practical experience of the use of key methods to assess environmental impacts on health;
  • exposure to major global public health challenges, and the stakeholders involved in tackling these issues.

The Option content covers four main themes:

Theme 1: Managing the Environment for Health

Considers the causes of environmental perturbation, its impacts on health, and approaches to resource management that may benefit health in a global context.

Theme 2: Environmental Decision-Making and Tools

Introduces important policy tools and techniques to assist in robust and transparent decision-making.

Theme 3: Quantifying Exposure and Health Impacts

Develops understanding of the principles and tools for qualitatively and/or quantitatively characterising health risks and impacts related to environmental sources.

Theme 4: Health and the Global Environment

Introduces key concepts in global health and global environmental change, their interactions and impacts, and identifies opportunities for co-management.


Fieldwork

Students complete two assessed pieces of coursework. The first is undertaken in collaboration with the Environmental Analysis & Assessment and Water Management options of the MSc, and provides a "real-world" case study looking at contaminated land and water on Hounslow Heath, near Heathrow Airport, in close collaboration with the London Borough of Hounslow Council.

The other is a client-based case study specific to the Health and Global Environment option, and provides the opportunity for students to apply their developing knowledge to an emerging problem within the field of health and the global environment. These projects vary from year to year, with past topics and clients including:

  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Health (International Solid Waste Association)
  • Public health and environmental issues associated with shale gas extraction (Public Health England)
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of current heat wave interventions (Committee on Climate Change)

Careers

The ultimate aim of the Health and Global Environment option is to prepare students for employment in consultancies, regulatory agencies, industry, research or non-governmental organisations where a systems-based understanding of environment and health issues is vital. Our alumni have found employment in government departments, consultancies, universities and NGOs.

“The experience I gained while studying the Health and Global Environment option really advantaged me in my career as a Health Impact Assessment consultant. Understanding the key concepts relating to topics covered such as epidemiology and exposure assessment is vital when linking health with planning. Although my focus is in the UK, one of the major benefits of the option is that it covers public health issues and management techniques in both the developed and developing world, giving students the opportunity to work anywhere.” Tara Barratt, Assistant Consultant, RPS Planning & Development

"The main strength of the health option is the opportunity to meet people from a wide variety of professions who lecture on different topics within the course. This brings the real world into the class room, giving the theory a more practical element. I am now a research associate in Occupational Health at the University of Birmingham and my knowledge of the industry from talking to visiting lecturers gives me extra confidence when talking to others at company meetings." Joanna Pope, University of Birmingham

"The whole health option course provided me with a sound knowledge of the broad area of health and the environment. Specifically, the training I received in the principles of exposure assessment, toxicology and epidemiology served me excellently in my summer project, which I undertook in Romania. The generic project skills which I learnt throughout the duration of the course have given me the resources to draw upon as a freelance environmental consultant." James Grellier, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Ltd



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The Global Environmental Change and Policy course focuses on 4 key questions. What are the nature and causes of global environmental change (GEC)?. Read more

The Global Environmental Change and Policy course focuses on 4 key questions:

  • What are the nature and causes of global environmental change (GEC)?
  • What do we know and not know about GEC - and why?
  • What are the biological, physico-chemical and human implications of GEC?
  • What can and should be done about mitigating and adapting to GEC?

Structure and Objectives

By addressing those four questions the overall aim of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive and broad understanding of the scientific, legal and policy concerns informing the GEC field, and to guide students towards applying, independently, the necessary tools to address GEC questions, analytically and critically. This is done through small group seminars, lectures and case studies arranged into four main strands:

Strand I - Climate Change Science, Environmental and Health Impacts and Adaptation 

This strand explores the analysis and prediction of change in the earth's physical and chemical systems and their impact based on scientific evidence. Sessions include analysis, prediction and impact of changes such as climate change and acidification in the atmosphere, oceans, the water cycle and global land cover and use. In light of the projections of scientific bodies such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), students become acquainted with different global warming scenarios and their likely impact on water management, vegetation, soil, health and other relevant sectors, and the correlated adaptation policies required in different parts of the globe in order to manage environmental change. It also addresses specific adaptation policies necessary in areas that are most likely to be affected by climate change, such as in Africa.

Strand II – Climate Change Mitigation, Business Strategies and Innovation

This strand focuses on climate change mitigation (non-LULUCF) and related business strategies and the development of technologies in the transition towards a low-carbon economy. A number of greenhouse gas mitigation and alternative energy policies – including renewable energy deployment and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) - are selected for analysis. It examines the social and economic causes of the environmental changes with respect to population, urbanisation, energy policy, and pollution and addresses the policy options to mitigate climate change. It includes a study of international and regional schemes, carbon markets and alternative policies such as carbon or fuel taxes. In addition, this strand assesses the broader question of quantifying the costs and benefits of mitigation and adaptation in light of the developmental priorities of different regions of the globe, as well as possible business solutions towards low carbon economic growth.

Strand III – Biodiversity, Land Use Change and Forestry, and Conservation Strategies

This strand explores biodiversity loss, conservation strategies, the monitoring and prediction of change in the earth's ecosystems and their response to a range of environmental changes including climate change, and the impact of these changes on humans, ecosystems and the management of natural resources. The different mechanisms proposed or already applied to protect biodiversity broadly and in relation to climate change are covered in this part of the course. Among other things, we may critique mitigation policies applicable to the agricultural sector and look at the sustainability of biofuels as cleaner sources of energy.

Strand IV – Law and Governance 

The strand draws together some of the issues outlined above. The role of international law and policy in developing innovative solutions for global environmental problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, is emphasised. It addresses the law and politics behind the negotiation of, inter alia, global climate change agreements, the international framework for climate change, environmental governance, examines the role of compliance and monitoring, asks bigger philosophical questions related to rights, equity and justice in an environmental context and looks at the fundamental principles and norms of the international environmental law regime and their utility in going forwards. 

Learning and Teaching

The course structure, individual seminars and activities are designed to enable each student to attain the following:

Understanding of:

  • the current state of knowledge about GEC and the uncertainties surrounding it;
  • the similarities and differences between the problems raised by GEC and other environmental problems;
  • the key processes, drivers and interrelationships involved;
  • the principal impacts of GEC on natural and human systems; and the principal ethical, legal and socio-economic issues raised;
  • particular problems faced by developing countries;
  • interregional and regional institutional mechanisms and scientific organisations;
  • the social, economic and environmental objectives for the global environment.

Skills in:

  • the analysis of the global dimension of environmental problems, and the extent to which GEC raises distinctive challenges;
  • the location, handling, critical evaluation, interpretation and analysis of GECP information;
  • the application and appraisal of selected analytical techniques;
  • the design and execution of a GEC-related project; communicating clear, unambiguous information, evidence or advice.

Capabilities in:

  • applying global perspectives to complex environmental problems; 
  • analysing the key drivers of GEC and their interrelationships;
  • developing independent judgement in relation to GEC-related issues and evidence;
  • participating in the formulation, implementation or evaluation of GEC-related policies;
  • participating effectively in competent consultancy or advisory work.

Coursework

Understanding, skills and capabilities are developed and assessed through active participation in coursework which comprises research and presentation, negotiation and conflict management and a panel group exercise. Panel Meetings run throughout the option term. The aims of these sessions are to establish and coordinate research, discussion, presentation and negotiation in respect of selected global environmental change issues, leading ultimately to the formal conclusion or agreed policy and scientific statement on one or more aspects of GECP.

Examples of GECP Student Destinations

  • UK Department for Business, Energy and Innovation
  • Greenstone
  • Royal Borough of Greenwich
  •  Natural Capital Partners
  • ERM
  • ShareAction
  • Ricardo Energy & Environment
  • UK Department for Transport
  • PwC


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