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MSc Environmental Psychology

Course Description

Designed to give you advanced knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice in environmental psychology.


As populations grow and competition for space and resources increases, society’s most pressing issues will need to be addressed by those who can work in collaboration with cognitive, occupational and social psychologists, as well as architects, educationalists, environmental scientists, engineers, landscape architects and planners.

Visit the website http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/environmental-psychology


How do individuals and groups react to different environmental situations (home, office, hospital, street, shop, and so on)? What psychological processes are triggered by our environment, and how do they affect our perception, attitude and actions? How can individuals and groups change their environment so that it provides a more stimulating, less stressful and more enabling setting in which to live? How are our identities tied up with place? How might sustainability in environmental policy be better informed by current research?

Our MSc Environmental Psychology programme will help you gain advanced knowledge and understanding of theory and practice in environmental psychology. You will also acquire a range of research skills that will give you the confidence and ability to undertake environmental psychology research in a professional setting.

While prior experience in this field is not essential, previous applicants have come from areas such as psychology, sociology, geography, architecture, planning, landscape architecture, interior design, transport, environmental policy and management. Experience of working with, or membership of, environmental groups may also be valuable.

Module Overview

- Programme Structure
The programme is modular and is offered in both full-time and part-time modes. One module (22 contact hours) provides 15 credits. You will be required to complete seven compulsory modules and (in Semester 1) one optional module, and to present a dissertation comprising a piece of empirical research within the area of environmental psychology.

Compulsory Modules

- Preparation for Academic Research in Psychology

This module aims to provide students with the basic skills of research design, data analysis, publishing and ethical conduct, and to prepare students with the skills they need to produce a dissertation report of publishable standard.

- Qualitative Research Methods

This module focuses on different qualitative research methods such as discourse analysis and multiple sorting tasks.

- Key Questions in Environmental Psychology

This module introduces you to the major theoretical formulations and models in the area of environmental psychology related to people and places, such as privacy, personal space, place attachment and environmental restoration.

- Inquiry and Design

This module attempts to integrate research training with the theories and findings of environmental psychology. The module will be organised around a series of case studies based on research that has been undertaken in the School, such as: ‘Assessing the visual impact of buildings’, ‘Crime and design’, ‘Conflict between different countryside user groups’ and ‘Learning in museums’.

- The Psychology of Sustainable Development

This module aims to provide you with an advanced knowledge and understanding of the methods, theory and practice of environment behaviour research as related to sustainability and quality of life issues. It includes factors such as environmental values and attitudes, consumer behaviour, attitude change and environmental education.

- Quantitative Research Methods

This module focuses on different quantitative research methods such as factor analysis, multiple regression and multidimensional scaling.

- Ergonomics and Human Factors

This module aims to provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of theory and practice in relation to ‘Human–Machine Interaction’ and ‘Design of Environments and Work: Health and Safety’. Through the knowledge and skills acquired in these areas, you will further your development as an evidence-based practitioner.

Optional Modules

- Conducting Health Psychology Research

This module provides you with advanced knowledge and understanding of methods, theory and practice in different types of assessment techniques used in Health Psychology research.

- Social Change and Influence

This module provides you with an advanced understanding of current theories and conceptualisations of social change and influence, including facilitators of and constraints on change.

- Maintaining Health Throughout the Lifespan

This module provides you with advanced knowledge and understanding of methods, theory and practice in developing and maintaining health throughout the life span.

- Psychological Neuroscience: Electrophysiology

This module gives you a good theoretical background on electrophysiological methods (electroencephalography EEG, transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS) and their usage in psychological research.

Teaching Hours

Lectures / forums: 12–14 hours per week in term time

Outside speaker seminars Between six and ten hours per term over the duration of the course

Supervision: Up to nine hours per term over the duration of the course

Self-study hours:
Approximately 130 hours per module across eight modules.

Career Prospects

Recent graduates have progressed into careers in central and local government, undertaking policy-oriented research on a variety of environment behaviour (E-B) issues. Many of our graduates have become practice consultants, using their E-B research skills. This could be a specialist E-B practice or an architecture, planning, design or engineering practice where graduates with a sensitivity to people-environment issues and a training in E-B research can provide an important and unique set of skills and expertise.

Those who have a background in architecture, landscape architecture, planning or design often return to their profession, but with an enhanced range of skills.

Some examples of careers that our students have progressed to include:

- Building Research Establishment, Watford – Environmental Psychologist
- Scottish Centre for Environmental Design and Research, Aberdeen – Researcher
- Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey – PhD student
- Andersen Consulting, London (Client Services) – Analyst
- Kingston University, Colour Design Research Centre – Research Officer
- Woods Bagot International architectural firm, Sydney – Analyst
- JMP Consultants – Transport Planning Consultant
- Transport Research Laboratory – Transport Planning Consultant

Find out how to apply here - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

Visit the MSc Environmental Psychology page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

Student Profiles

Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


Self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]


GREAT Surrey Scholarships India - 6 Awards

Funded by the University and the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign, up to six scholarships worth £5,000 (paid in the form of a fee discount) are being offered on postgraduate taught courses from the following subjects:- Chemical and Process Engineering
- Chemistry
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Environment and Sustainability
- Mathematics
- Mechanical Engineering Sciences
- PhysicsWHO CAN APPLY?You can apply for a GREAT Surrey Scholarship if:- You hold a high first-class degree from an Indian university (the minimum requirement is 65 per cent from a prestigious university or 70 per cent from a regional university).
- You hold an offer from Surrey to study any MSc course within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as listed above (you must hold an offer before submitting an application for a scholarship)

Value of Scholarship(s)



The GREAT Scholarship – India programme is aimed at high-calibre Indian students who want to study for a postgraduate programme in engineering.

Application Procedure

To apply, you will need to complete the online form - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/content/great-scholarships-india-2016

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A UK first or 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a social or design science discipline, understanding, experience or a passion for environmental, planning or architectural issues. We also accept students with a background in design disciplines, architecture or planning, as well as environmental engineering. Applicants without a degree, who have significant relevant experience, will also be considered. English language requirements: IELTS minimum overall: 6.5; IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

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