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MSc in Environmental Management

Course Description


This course was established over 25 years ago and is now widely recognised as an international leader in training environmental managers for work in both the public and private sectors. Environmental managers play a vital role in the protection and sustainable use of resources. Students learn to address issues such as adaptation to climate change, biodiversity and sustainable energy management. At the local level Environmental Management focuses on conservation and protection of land and water resources and natural habitats.
Stirling’s graduates work for organisations such as the Environment Protection Agencies, major conservation bodies, local authorities and independent environmental consultancies, many in senior positions.

Key information

- Degree type: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc
- Study methods: Campus based, Full-time, Part-time, Stand-alone modules
- Duration: MSc 1 year PG Dip 9 months PG Cert 4 months
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Nigel Willby

Course objectives

Our course gives students:
- An understanding of the scientific principles that underpin environmental management
- An understanding of the economic, social, political and legal frameworks for environmental management
- A sound training in relevant practical, investigative, research and generic skills that are the most sought after by employers.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.5 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Delivery and assessment

The course is taught primarily by staff within Biological and Environmental Sciences, but also by staff from other departments of the University and visiting professionals from outside agencies.
Assessment is via coursework and examination, and may include teamwork and presentations. Exams are held in December and May, and MSc research projects are submitted in early September.

Why Stirling?

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

- Rating
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 40 percent of research in Biological & Environmental Sciences at Stirling was graded as 'Internationally Excellent' or 'World Class' and a further 50 percent 'Internationally Recognised'.

- Strengths
The University of Stirling is a hub for environmental bodies in Scotland. Several environmental consultancies and NGOs have offices in or around the University, including RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology and The Conservation Volunteers, and we work closely with these organisations in conducting research. We have excellent links with government e.g. SEPA, and have senior Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB staff among our Honorary professors.

Careers and employability

- Career opportunities
Students on our courses have an excellent record in gaining employment in the environmental sector and many of our former graduates now hold senior positions. Typical jobs include: Environmental Consultant (e.g. Jacobs), Environmental Protection Officers and Scientific Advisers in environment agencies (EA, SEPA), Environmental Managers within local authorities, national industries (e.g. Northumbrian Water) and trusts (e.g. Tweed Forum).

- Industry connections
We have excellent links with many organisations, particularly in Scotland. Visiting speakers are invited, both for stand-alone seminars and as an integral part of some modules. We make full use of our alumni and industry and government research contacts to assemble a diverse and topical seminar programme.
We strive to keep the course in tune with the needs of employers and changes occurring in the field of environmental management and policy. A networking event is held annually when students can meet with local employers to discuss work placements and future job opportunities.

Visit the MSc in Environmental Management page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Chris Ward

144.jpg "I was offered a job as a researcher with the Composting Association just as I finished my MSc course. I spent two years there, initially developing a standardised protocol for the sampling of airborne micro-organisms from around large-scale composting facilities, and going on to do policy development and consultancy. I worked on the Scottish Composting Development Group, which fed in to the (then) new Scottish National Waste Strategy.
I was then offered the post of Composting Project Manager at the Aberdeen University Centre for Organic Agriculture (AUCOA). My role was to develop a scientific approach to the preparation and use of compost in organic agriculture and horticulture. One of my first projects involved a complete analysis of the mineral nutrient and heavy metal contents of composts over time, using exactly the same techniques that I learned whilst working on my project at Stirling. My research focus then moved to the disease suppressive properties of composts and, in particular, the use of compost to re-colonize soils following steam sterilization.

I then went on to set up my own waste management consultancy. I ran this successfully for 8 years, producing a number of publications and reports for SEPA, local authorities and WRAP. This work involved processing lots of information, from lots of different sources and distilling the key points into reports, with recommendations for further work - a lot like preparing the written work for the MSc! I really enjoyed the challenge of taking pure research and applying it to real world problems.

I'm now working in New Zealand, developing policy for a local authority, and enjoying the lifestyle immensely. I still have strong, fond memories of the course at Stirling; of tight deadlines for work but with a strong feeling of camaraderie with my colleagues - the same conditions that I've found in the real world. My favourite option was sustainable development, as the principles we learned about then are still so relevant to life and work now.
Most useful course was Information Technology as I seem to spend all my time at the keyboard, and best party of the nineties was definitely the 70's Disco! I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of the course, and there is no doubt that my decision to study at Stirling was one of the best of my life".

(Student Profile)

Johanna McKenzie

148.jpg I had a first degree in Applied Chemistry and then studied for the Masters in Environmental Management at Stirling University. Gaining the Masters has enabled me to further develop skills that have become so valuable to my current career. A month after completing the course I started work as a field engineer for an oilfield services company and have been able to apply many of the skills and information gained from the MSc course. During the course there was an opportunity to combine practical techniques with theoretical teaching and this is particularly relevant in my work now.. I am able to use the skills of more independent learning and troubleshooting. There is a lot of room for personal growth at Stirling as the course is not just spoon fed; there are opportunities to develop ideas, and apply the information in real life situations. All the staff and support staff were more than helpful, and were very encouraging and supportive, both during my time there and since. I can use and apply my knowledge from my time at Stirling into various aspects of my job both currently and in the future as I will progress through to QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety and Environment) I understand the impacts of such an industry and can offer ideas to reduce these impacts and voice ideas to change procedures in the field, e.g. recycling of waste, segregation and discarding of spills to name a few. I became far more aware and conscious of the World and its resources during the course and how we have the power to make changes/differences. It's in our hands to help sustain the World's resources for the generations to come. The course will provide you with tools and information that can be used throughout life, both for career and everyday living .
I loved my time at Stirling and would recommend it to everyone!

(Student Profile)

Holly Wilson

149.jpg I completed my Honours degree in Zoology from Swansea University in 2006. After a year of work and travel I decided to apply to study for the Masters in Environmental Management at Stirling University, in the hope that it would improve my chances of finding permanent employment within the environmental sector.

The course offered a variety of modules throughout the year covering a wide range of topics. The first semester covered techniques that would be required throughout the remainder of the year including statistics, GIS, current environmental policies, and understanding environmental processes. The second semester then allowed us to study and specialise within 4 modules of our own choosing.

Despite all the hard work, I thoroughly enjoyed studying this course. I found the lecturers to be very approachable and my course-mates were what really made the experience so much fun. There were people of all ages and all backgrounds, therefore group discussions and projects were very interesting. The highlight of the course had to be the trip to Spain – we worked hard and played hard and I have some life-long memories from that trip!

Gaining this qualification has meant that I have been offered employment with Keep Scotland Beautiful as Development Officer for the Climate Challenge Fund team. I am due to start work in January 2009 and I am thrilled to be joining such an amazing project. I was told that 1 of the main reasons I was offered the position was due to my environmental knowledge gained through the MSc course at Stirling.

My job will include supporting communities in their applications to the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund, as well as monitoring projects all over Scotland that have already received funding. I am very glad I studied this course as it has opened so many doors for me and introduced me to some fantastic people.

(Student Profile)

Alison McManus

151.jpg After completing an Honours Degree in Geography I decided to embark upon the MSc in Environmental Management at Stirling University in order to enhance my career prospects.

The course offers a wide rage of interesting modules, which are extremely relevant to the needs of environmental sector employers. The excellent course content coupled with professional delivery allowed me to develop my knowledge of topics such as environmental legislation and relevant conservation and environmental issues. In addition, the course provided excellent training and education in the use of GIS and statistics, and gave me the opportunity to develop my presentation skills.

In the second semester of the course students are given the choice to study the modules of most interest to them, and the final part of the course involves an individual research project, which allowed me to take on a detailed and focused piece of work in the particular field that interested me most. This project involved the analysis of stream chemistry and macroinvertebrate populations in the Loch Katrine catchment, which mirrors the type of work I now carry out in my current role.

Shortly after graduating in 2006 and without any previous industry experience I successfully secured a post with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) as an Assistant Ecologist, based solely on the skills and experience gained on the MSc course. At interviews, I was told that the modules I covered on the course at Stirling were extremely relevant to the work done at SEPA and that my research project was massively significant to the post I was applying for. In my role as Assistant Ecologist I carry out many types of freshwater monitoring and analysis. The role mainly involves the surveying and analysis of freshwater macrophytes and macroinvertebrates in southwest Scotland, as well as carrying out surveys of river morphology. A large part of the monitoring carried out by SEPA is done to meet the needs of the Water Framework Directive, a topic that is extensively covered on the MSc course.

I am extremely happy that I have secured a job which I have a genuine interest in and that I really enjoy. The course at Stirling definitely helped me get my job at SEPA and the skills and knowledge that I learned while on the course formed the foundations that I have since built upon and have proved invaluable in the work I do as an ecologist.

(Student Profile)

Ellie Slee

Having taken a first degree in Geography I chose to study the Environmental Management course at Stirling University. The course was recommended to me by a former student and, having now completed the course myself, I would certainly recommend it to others.
Shortly after completing the course I was very fortunate to be offered a position as an Environmental Advisor with Morrison Construction Ltd, working with Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors on the Forth Replacement Crossing project. I believe that the course not only helped me in securing this position, but that it has also greatly helped me in my day to day role as an Environmental Advisor. The course allowed the development of a wide knowledge base due to the range of modules offered and, in particular, knowledge gained on the Environmental Law and Environmental Policy modules has been very applicable to my current career. The practical fieldwork aspect of the course was also excellent and the skills gained during this have also been valuable in my career so far, as one of my roles is to undertake environmental monitoring across the site. Additionally, the course aided and encouraged the development of skills such as written and oral communication, team work, and independent study and time management skills, which are all invaluable in day to day life.
I am so glad that I was able to study on the Environmental Management course at Stirling as the course offered a fantastic opportunity to develop my environmental knowledge and skills. I am particularly grateful to the staff and fellow students for making the course a thoroughly enjoyable and valuable experience.


SAAS loan - 10 Awards

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland funds these loans for certain post graduate courses.
No new courses are eligible for support in 2012/13.
This means that loans are only available in Biological and Environmental Sciences for the MSc in Environmental Management. We hope that in future years other courses may become eligible.EU students are also eligible for nomination for these awards.:

Value of Scholarship(s)



Students should be normally resident in Scotland (and not solely for the purpose of education).
EU students (from outside the UK) are also eligible

Application Procedure

See guidance from SAAS - webpage indicated below.

Further Information



Postgraduate Merit Scholarship - 10 Awards

Postgraduate Merit Scholarship
The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree a £2,000 Scholarship to study full-time on any taught postgraduate course or £1,000 for part-time study.This Scholarship will be awarded in two instalments at the end of each of Semester.To find out more on how to apply, please contact: [email protected]
Please note that award of this Scholarship cannot be combined with any other Scholarship or fee waiver awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2000 for f/t and £1000 for p/t


Open to any UK or European Student with a first class honours degree

Application Procedure

email [email protected]

Further Information



Scottish Funding Council - 5 Awards

This new scheme, offered by the Scottish Funding Council, is to attract high achieving students into postgraduate courses which will equip them with the skills required for future employment in this sector. A skills shortage has been identified in several sectors and Energy and Environmental Concerns are among these.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full tuition fees


This funding is restricted to students taking our MSc's in Environmental Management and Energy and the Envirionment. Students must be either normally resident in Scotland, or EU nationals (but not rest of UK).

Application Procedure

Students should apply for the course in the usual manner: starting here:
http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/programme-information/Students should indicate in their personal statement their interest in being considered for this funding. It is expected that these places will be highly sought after, so early application is advised.

Further Information



Santander Scholarships - 6 Awards

The University of Stirling is pleased to offer five £5,000 and one 5000€ taught postgraduate scholarships funded by the Santander Universities scheme. The Scholarship is open to those students wishing to study any full time taught Masters programme at the University of Stirling and are available for one year only
Scholarships are paid by a reduction in tuition fee.

10 June 2014

Value of Scholarship(s)

£5,000 and $5,000


Eligibility: Applicants who are permanently resident in the following countries may apply: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Russia, UK, Uruguay, USA.

Candidates must have, or expect to obtain the international equivalent of a UK upper second class degree at undergraduate level.Recipients of this scholarship cannot be in receipt of any other University of Stirling scholarship
Financial need cannot be taken into consideration.

Application Procedure

All eligible applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer will automatically be considered for these awards. To be considered for the award you must have accepted an offer for a place on any University of Stirling Masters programme by 10 June 2014.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants from other disciplines with a 2:1 or 1st but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU £6,000; Overseas £13,500

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