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MSc Managing the Environment

Course Description

"IBERS is a world class research and education centre at Aberystwyth University. It is an internationally recognized centre of excellence and students' first choice for the study of biological, environmental and rural sciences.”

This MSc programme was established at IBERS in 2005 and is regarded as one of the best vocational MSc courses in the country. It holds a significant international profile and attracts students from all over the world. The programme is concentrated into one year and involves a core of key management skills with the opportunity to specialise in one of four designated pathways which lead to a range of highly regarded employability prospects in the environmental sector. The pathways are; Environmental Sustainability, Marine and Freshwater Biology, Bioenergy and Environmental Change, and finally, Habitat Restoration and Conservation.

See the website http://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/managing-the-environment-masters/

Course detail

IBERS offers excellent core and specialist MSc training under the umbrella title of Managing the Environment. The unique pathway structure was developed to provide students with both a breadth and specialism of skills making them more competitive in the jobs market.

We benefit from our wonderful location. Aberystwyth is picturesque coastal town which lies between the Cambrian and Snowdonia mountain ranges in Wales. The course is taught by internationally recognised researchers, consultants and professionals. Aberystwyth has a strong research base, in the latest Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014) the university was placed in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. Altogether we provide our students with world class experience and ensure that students make those all important links and career networks both in the UK and abroad.


Students on the MSc automatically take the following COMMON CORE modules as part of this course:

- Professional Skills in Managing the environment
- EIA Theory and Practice
- Statistics for Experimental Scientists
- Frontiers in Biosciences
- Introduction to Environmental Law
- Critical Evaluation in Environmental Management

They next SPECIALISE by selecting a pathway:

- Habitat restoration and conservation pathway:
Students selecting this pathway would also take the following modules:
- Sampling Techniques in Practice
- Management in Practice –Coastal, Estuarine and Wetlands (based either at Abisko Scientific Research Station in Swedish Lapland or in Mid –Wales).
- Research Dissertation (four months)

Habitat Restoration and Conservation Pathway

Habitat destruction (via human development) represents the most serious threat to biodiversity on the planet. IBERS has a strong internationally recognised research background in Habitat Restoration and Conservation. We conduct research both in the UK and abroad and our MSc students are integrated into our research environment. This pathway offers the exciting option of undertaking up to three months study in Swedish Lapland (limited places for eligible students).

If you want to discuss this pathway further, please contact Dr John Scullion, or telephone +44(0)1970 622304

Environmental Sustainability Pathway

Students selecting this pathway would also take the following modules:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Sustainability in Practice
- Research Dissertation (over four months)

This pathway offers students vocational skills in sustainability analysis, environmental auditing plus environmental impact assessment. Our students interact with professional consultants and develop vocational skills that are directly transferable to a wide range of working environments. Students acquire practical, ‘field’ experience and develop skills targeted for employment in this Environmental sector:

If you want to discuss this pathway and course further, please contact Dr. Dylan Gwynn-Jones or Telephone +44(0)1970 622318


Marine and Freshwater Systems Pathway

Students selecting this pathway would also take the following modules:
- Sampling Techniques in Practice
- Management in Practice - Coastal, Estuarine and Wetlands
- Research Dissertation (over four months)

Marine and Freshwater habitats play an exceptionally important role in providing a multitude of ecosystem services; however these unique and complex habitats are vulnerable. Climate change, over exploitation, and increased pressure from recreational activities are just some of the treats facing these habitats. The Marine and Freshwater Systems pathway utilises the full range of aquatic habitats within the surrounding area and beyond to maximise the learning experience. Our students are provided with a range of vocational skills to enable them to enter professional employment in the marine and/or freshwater Environmental sector.

If you want to discuss this pathway and course further, please contact Dr. Helen Marshall () or Telephone +44(0)1970 628445

Bioenergy and Environmental Change Pathway

Students selecting this pathway would also take the following modules:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Bioenergy and Environmental Change in practice
- Research Dissertation

The Bioenergy and Environmental Change pathway was developed in direct response to the Energy sectors imminent and future need for graduates with Green energy skills. At IBERS we are world leaders in the green energy development sector and attract students from across the globe. This is a rapidly emerging area of employment and managing land for energy is a significant growth area as Governments throughout the world seek to meet their Sustainability and Climate Change targets. This pathway involves industrial case studies where you will interact with consultants and environmental professionals.

If you want to discuss this pathway and course further, please contact Dr Gordon Allison () or Telephone +44(0)1970 823205


- How We Help You Shape Your Career -

1. Provision of top quality internationally recognised MSc training in Environmental Management with the unique opportunity to become a specialist through one of the designated pathways.

2. Developing and expecting levels of professionalism and excellence in you so that you are able to enter and excel in the work environment.

3. Industrial and research experiences and interactions integrated into the course so that you are able to develop a “vocational network for future success”.

4. Your own personal tutor that will help you through the journey from learning to employment.

Find out how to apply here http://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/managing-the-environment-masters/#how-to-apply

Visit the MSc Managing the Environment page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!

(Student Profile)


20.png Jamie self funded his MSc via part‐time work. He joined the MSc because he was “serious and passionate about a career in the environmental sector”. This MSc gave him that “distinct advantage against BSc students”. He particularly liked how the course “integrated real/current environmental issues and research theory”. The transferable skills that Jamie took from the course to his work place included “time management, presentation, report writing and research skills, along with awareness of current environmental issues”. After completing the MSc Jamie worked as a research technician at Aberystwyth University and then as an Environmental GIS consultant for a local company. He then completed a PhD and now works as an Environmental consultant.

(Student Profile)


Jenny self-funded her MSc, she took a year working following her BSc. She felt that “the MSc was a fantastic way to gain a good grounding in a range of environmental matters". During the course she learnt about "environmental law, EIA as well as practical skills in survey and lab work“. Jenny loved Aberystwyth - "it is great coastal location and everyone is so friendly". She also enjoyed the travel associated with the course - "I particularly liked my period spent in Sweden, it was a great place to do part of my study". The transferable skills that Jenny took from the course to her work place included “critical analysis skills and evaluating information and dissemination to a range of users”.
Immediately after leaving the course Jenny got a job at the University of Bedfordshire in their Quality Assurance office. She then joined the Open University on a European wide public outreach project.

(Student Profile)


Natalie was fortunate to have her MSc tuition fees paud for by the James Panytfedwen Foundation. Remaining costs were self‐funded and supported by a part‐time job. Natalie felt that the MSc helped her "improve knowledge and understanding of a wide range of environmental issues and learn how to apply them". At the same benefitting from "improved analytical ability and team work skills as well as independent study skills”. She loved Aberysywyth, "the community and location and being so close to the sea and mountains". The transferable skills that Natlie took from the course to her work place included “initiative, team working skills, analytical skills, time management and organisational skills”.

Following completion of the MSc Natalie was appointed by the RSPB as an Information Assistant at a Peregrine viewing site at Symonds Yat Rock in Gloucestershire. She then moved to Newport City Council where she is their
Biodiversity in Schools Officer.

(Student Profile)


Rowan self-funded his MSc via part time work and his photography. Rowan decided to take the MSc because "there are so many BSc graduates out there - you need the edge on them if you are to be competitive in securing work in the Environmental sector“. He particularly appreciated the “support form staff on the course, dissertation support, the local area and atmosphere. Overall it was all very professional”. The transferable skills that Rowan took from the course to his work place included “working and learning about different environments. I am a marine biologist who now works in a forest and climate change”. After completing the MSc, Rowan secured a position "managing a small team of six persons working on fragment forest European research programme with one of the largest banks in the world HSBC and the NGO Earthwatch".

(Student Profile)


Kirsten too the MSc because she "realised that her career would benefit from advanced study skills". She wanted to "develop theoretical knowledge of the marine environment and practical experience”. She funded her MSc via summer work and note‐taking at the University. She was also lucky to gain some support from Countryside Council for Wales (now NRW). Kirsten believed that the MSc was "a very adaptable course that secured interviews for good positions within my field". She thoroughly enjoyed the study and "the chance to work with great people and projects. The work, although hard was satisfying and enjoyable (with a large proportion outside!). Aberystwyth is a great town full of friendly people, things to do with an amazing coastline”. Transferable skills that Kirsten took from her course to the workplace include “a range of practical sampling techniques, thorough research skills and flexibility in terms of responding to others”.

After completing the MSc she went to several interviews and secured a seasonal warden position with NRW then a position as Communications Officer with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. She is now Living Seas Manager (North Sea) at the Wildlife Trusts.

(Student Profile)


After leaving Aberystwyth I spent 3 months doing voluntary work with Middlemarch Environmental Ltd and was subsequently offered a position as a full time member of staff in January 2008. After spending a year with the company I was promoted from an Ecological Project Officer to an Ecological Consultant. I now specialise in conducting environmental surveys for BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes Assessments as well as a number of protected species surveys including great crested newt, bat and badger.


Marshal Papworth Scholarship for Environmental Studies - 4 Awards

Aberystwyth University is pleased to be able to offer a number of Scholarships within our world class Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences.Programmes available under scholarship:- MSc Food and Water Security
- MSc Livestock Science
- MSc Animal Science
- MSc Managing the Environment
- MSc Green Biotechnology and InnovationEach student obtaining a scholarship must intend to return to their own country to utilise their skills for the benefit of their own countrymen.Contact Dr Mina Davies- Morrel for more details - [email protected]

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full Fees & on average £8000 living costs


See Marshal Papworth for Scholarship application details and country eligibility. http://www.marshalpapworth.com/applications/application-process.htmlCriteria judged on - qualifications, work and job related experiences and the standard of the application form.

Application Procedure

See Marshal Papworth for Scholarship application details. http://www.marshalpapworth.com/applications/application-process.htmlSee Aberystwyth University for course and application details.


International Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship - 20+ Awards

The scholarships will be awarded for academic excellence (minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree or the equivalent award, either already achieved or predicted by the candidate’s awarding university).In order to be considered for one of these awards, an application for a place on a taught Masters degree at Aberystwyth University must be received by 31st August 2015.Up to 72 scholarships worth £2500 towards tuition fees for full-time non-EU students on taught Masters courses are available for students who commence their studies in September 2015 on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Up to 72 scholarships, each worth £2,500 towards tuition fees will be available for non-UK/EU students commencing full-time Taught Masters courses in September 2015.

Application Procedure

Separate application forms are not required. Therefore it is essential that the application for a place be received by the AU Postgraduate Admissions Office by 31st August 2015 at the very latest. Selection will be on the basis of academic excellence and the applicant’s suitability for their proposed course. A minimum (UK) 2.i Honours (or equivalent) is required for an award. Information on the comparability of non-UK degrees is available at http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/before-you-apply/comparability/.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Physical Geography or closely related discipline. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

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