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Environmental Pollution (MSc)

Course Description

The MSc at Reading is highly regarded and long-standing. The programme provides you with a thorough understanding of the key principles of environmental science that underpin the assessment and management of contaminated and polluted environments. Environmental pollution is an ever present problem and this programme provides skills widely applicable to vocational specialisations in environmental assessment, protection and management. The course is ideal for those wishing to bridge the gap between a first degree and working in the environmental sector. It provides the intellectual tools required by professionals in environmental consultancy, contaminated land management and land remediation. There is also the option to study this course as a PG Diploma or Post-Experience Certificate.

See the website http://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-study/study/subject-area/geography-and-environmental-science-pg/msc-environmental-pollution.aspx

Why Reading?

You will be joining a friendly and lively department on a programme taught by academics with an international reputation in their field of expertise. In the 2008 national Research Assessment Exercise, 90% of our research was rated as of international quality. Our research in Agricultural Science was also ranked eighth in the world in the latest Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators; the only UK university to be ranked in the global top 20.

An International Community

The student body on our MSc is extremely diverse, drawing from a range of different backgrounds and offering an enriched shared learning environment as a consequence. In recent years, overseas students have come to us from as far afield as Belarus, Bhutan, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Iran, Italy, Japan, Nigeria and Spain. Many come straight from completing undergraduate degrees, some have worked in industry and are updating their skills for career development, others wish to retrain and move into the environmental sector. In our latest Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) we scored 96% for the quality of our teaching and 100% satisfaction for staff support and teaching methods, and intellectually stimulating modules. 97% of our current Masters student agreed on the high quality of our dissertation support with 100% satisfaction in individual support from supervisors. 100% agreed the programme helped them develop their research skills.

Programme Structure

At Reading we recognise that environment pollution requires an applied and interdisciplinary approach. Therefore as a student you gain an underpinning knowledge of the scientific principles from academic experts while industry and regulatory practitioners give lectures on applied aspects of the programme to ensure the relevance and timeliness of your learning. Throughout the course there are practical classes as well as a week-long study tour to reinforce lecture material and support the 'hands on' approach of this MSc programme. There are site visits so you can see first-hand the working of the environmental pollution sector.

After completion of the taught modules, you have the opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt in a research dissertation lasting approximately four months. This is your chance to specialise, work with industry or to carry out a preliminary study to prepare for a PhD.

The programme structure consists of a mixture of core taught modules (120 credits worth) reflecting the highly vocational nature of the programme, and an independent research project (60 credits worth). Together these components comprise a total of 180 credits that students are required to take at MSc level. Our current modules are:

Core Modules

Pollutant Behaviour in the Environment
Environmental and Pollution Microbiology
Laboratory analysis of Soils and Pollutants
Air Pollution: Effects and Control
Quantitative Analysis of Environmental Data
Practical Site Investigation and Assessment
Waste and Environmental Management
Field Class
Research Skills and Career Learning
Research Project

Career Prospects

Over 97% of our students are in employment or undertaking further study (as at six months after graduation) according to the latest data collected independently for the Higher Education Statistics Agency. Our graduates work for: Environment Agency; Natural England; National Trust; Komex; WSP Environmental; RPS consultancy; HFL Risk Services; ERM; LK Group, Clancy Docwra, Tim O’Hare Associates, Thames Water; Forestry Commission; RSPB; CL Associates; Environ UK Ltd and Peter Brett Associates. Graduates also go on to study for PhDs.

Our students emerge well educated and skilled. Graduates go on to work in a wide variety of academic and research posts as well as in public and private sector organisations within the UK and internationally. Graduates will be highly employable in the growing market for environmental managers and consultants. Our courses also provide in-service training for those already working within the profession.

Visit the Environmental Pollution (MSc) page on the University of Reading website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Olivier Humphrey

"The University of Reading is one of the top universities in the UK for studying environmental sciences. The way the university encourages international students, and involvement from around the world in its research, is something that drew me to study here. After finishing my Masters, I hope to go onto study for my PhD at Reading. This course enabled me to engage in a well-balanced program of practical and theoretical based learning. Throughout my studies there has been a focus on developing a wide range of skills, and the high standards of teaching have helped enhance this experience"


SAGES International Scholarship - 5 Awards

The School (SAGES) are offering International Postgraduate Scholarships worth £5000 to the strongest international applicants and the first recipients will be selected in April 2016. Scholarships are made in the form of a fee reduction.

Value of Scholarship(s)



• Applicants must hold an offer of a place from the School
• Awards are made based on merit demonstrated by the application
• Awards are available to part-time students as a one-off award of £5000
• Awards are not available for PGCert or PGDip
• Recipients of the award are required to accept their place within two-weeks of the offer
• The Overseas Deposit must normally be paid by the deadline set by the University, or the award will be revoked
• Students in receipt of the Scholarship may be asked to contribute to the School while at Reading

Application Procedure

Please register your interest in being considered for a Scholarship on your application.

Entry Requirements

A good Honours degree in any related field, e.g. Environmental Science, Earth/Geoscience, Chemistry, Biology, Geography and Agriculture (or equivalent from a university outside the UK). Applications from those with no first degree but who have previous experience will also be considered.

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