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Environmental Systems Engineering - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

The global challenge of environmental sustainability highlights the need for holistic design and management of complex environmental and technological systems. This interdisciplinary Master's programme presents environmental issues and technologies within a systems engineering context. Graduates will understand interactions between the natural environment, people, processes and technologies to develop sustainable solutions.

Degree information

Students will develop an understanding of systems engineering and environmental engineering. Environmental engineering is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering concerned with devising, implementing and managing solutions to protect and restore the environment within an overall framework of sustainable development. Systems engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the development and management of large complex systems.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), a collaborative environmental systems project (30 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and an individual environmental systems dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Core modules
-Collaborative Environmental Systems Project
-Environmental Systems
-Systems Engineering and Management
-Systems Society and Sustainability
-Environmental Modelling

Optional modules - options may include the following:
-Urban Flooding and Drainage
-Coastal Engineering
-Water and Wastewater Treatment
-Natural Environmental Disasters
-The Control of Noise
-Industrial Symbiosis
-Environmental Masterplanning
-Energy Systems Modelling
-Smart Energy Systems
-Low Carbon Energy Supply System Design for Buildings and Neighbourhoods
-Energy Systems & Sustainability
-Politics of Climate Change
-Natural Environmental Disasters
-Engineering and International Development
-Waste and Resource Efficiency
-Project Management for Engineers

All MSc students undertake an independent research project addressing a problem of systems research, design or analysis, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and projects. The individual and group projects in the synthesis element involve interaction with industrial partners, giving students real-life experience and contacts for the future. Assessment is through written examination, coursework, presentations, and group and individual projects.


Career paths for environmental systems engineers are diverse, expanding and challenging, with the pressures of increasing population, desire for improved standards of living and the need to protect the environmental systems. There are local UK and international opportunities in all areas of industry: in government planning and regulation, with regional and municipal authorities, consultants and contracting engineers, research and development organisations, and in education and technology transfer. Example of recent career destinations include Ford, KPMG, EDF Energy, Brookfield Multiplex, and the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Environmental Specialist, BHP Billiton
-Project Engineer, Alberta WaterSMART
-Project Manager, Veolia Environmental Services
-MSc Business Management, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College
-PhD Environmental Research, Imperial College London

The discipline of environmental systems engineering is growing rapidly with international demand for multi-skilled, solutions-focussed professionals who can take an integrated approach to complex problems.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The discipline of environmental systems engineering is growing rapidly with an international demand for multi-skilled professionals who can take an integrated approach to solving complex environmental problems (e.g. urban water systems, technologies to minimise industrial pollution). Environmental engineers work closely with a range of other environmental professionals, and the community.

Skills may be used to:
-Design, construct and operate urban water systems.
-Develop and implement cleaner production technologies to minimise industrial pollution.
-Recycle waste materials into new products and generate energy.
-Evaluate and minimise the environmental impact of engineering projects.
-Develop and implement sound environmental management strategies and procedures.

UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering is an energetic and exciting environment in which to explore environmental systems engineering. Students have the advantages of studying in a multi-faculty institution with a long tradition of excellence in teaching and research, situated at the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.

Visit the Environmental Systems Engineering - MSc/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a cognate subject or related discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is usually required. Extensive work experience covering related areas will be considered.

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