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Environmental Risk Management (MSc/PgCert/PgDip)

Course Description

Course Description

This MSc programme provides graduates with an in-depth understanding of the key tools, techniques and management concepts to expertly inform and influence environmental risk decisions on a local and strategic/national level. Students benefit from access to expertise within Cranfield's £3.5m Risk Centre, a specialist centre for research and education in strategic environmental risk appraisal, supported by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Course overview

The MSc course comprises eight one-week assessed modules, a group project, and an individual research project. The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) comprises eight modules and the group project. Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) students complete five modules and a design project.

Group project

The group project experience is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. It provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project, working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. For part-time students a dissertation can replace the group project.

Individual Project

The individual project, usually in collaboration with an external organisation, provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems.


The modules include lectures and tutorials and are assessed through written examinations and assignments. There is an emphasis on addressing real problems, with practical case studies. This provides the tools required for the group and individual projects.

Core -

Environmental Risks - Hazard, Assessment and Management
GIS Fundamentals
Risk, Communication and Perception
Risk, toxicology, exposure and health
Environmental Policy and Risk Governance
Pollution Prevention and Remediation Technologies
Modelling Environmental Processes
Evaluating Sustainability


Taught modules MSc 40%, PgDip 66.6%, PgCert 100%. Group project (dissertation for part-time students) MSc 20%, PgDip 33.3%. Individual project MSc 40%.


Funding opportunities exist, including industrial sponsorship, School bursaries and a number of general external schemes. For the majority of part-time students sponsorship is organised by their employers. We recommend you discuss this with your company in the first instance.

Career opportunities

Takes you on to diverse and rewarding careers as environmental risk practitioners and managers in local or national government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), environmental protection agencies or within the energy, manufacturing or water sectors. Part-time students develop business relevant skills throughout the course that can be immediately applied into their employer or sponsoring company.

Further Information

For further information on this course, please visit our course webpage - http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/environmental-risk-management.html

Visit the Environmental Risk Management (MSc/PgCert/PgDip) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Alex Massie

Why did you choose your postgraduate course?
I had volunteered overseas before, but wanted to obtain a job in the field. In development and disaster relief it is now necessary to have an appropriate Masters qualification before you can be considered for the job and so I decided to take the course.

Describe your experience of postgraduate study at Cranfield
People who you are learning from are experienced and knowledgeable about the subject particularly with regards to the course director. The modules themselves were well designed and evidently based upon years of honing the content. I enjoyed the flexibility afforded by many of the learning tasks, and the week of practical work was excellent, though all too brief. The facilities at our disposal for study were generally excellent.

What skills are you acquiring from the study?
Whilst I had a significant understanding of the engineering elements in advance of the course, the social aspects and implications were something I had not addressed fully. Through the course I have learnt about the issues regarding communities and development, problems to look out for and methods of addressing this in the field.

What was your individual thesis project about?
My thesis was about the hygiene beliefs and practices of the Batwa tribe of central Africa, specifically in south west Uganda. I funded it entirely myself, though the major costs are air travel as living in country is usually very cheap. I was partnered with an NGO that I contacted at my own instigation as I proposed my own project. Proposing my own project gave me the flexibility to do what I wished, though it meant that I had to do all the groundwork myself.

Would you recommend the course? Why?
Yes, the experience of the lecturers and course director in particular. The extensive overseas experience of those running the course is vital for the vibrancy, success and relevance of the course and I was lucky to be able to learn from such people. I would urge anyone considering a similar course anywhere to look at the overseas experience of those running the course as well as the reputation among NGOs.

What do you most like about Cranfield?
Besides the course, the thing that attracted me to Cranfield was that it is a postgraduate only institution which means that mature students are the norm, not the exception. This means socialising is perhaps easier than in a university dominated by undergraduates.


Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - 20+ Awards

Cranfield University is now able to offer you a more affordable way to study an MSc with loans managed by Prodigy Finance.With a Cranfield Postgraduate Loan it is possible for you to take up your MSc studies with no repayments while you study. This will leave you free to concentrate on your course and enhance your career prospects.Launched in February 2014, the scheme is designed to support UK and EU students entering postgraduate study and is intended to attract those who may not otherwise progress to this level because of financial constraints.Loans of up to £15,000 are available (dependent on the tuition fees for your chosen course).If you are a UK student, loans are available for tuition fees and maintenance. EU students can apply for a loan covering only tuition fees.
Loans are repaid over a seven year period and repayments start six months after you complete your degree. As a not-for-profit scheme, funded by Cranfield and HEFCE, the loans are competitively priced (6.92% APR representative) and considerably more affordable than a standard career development loan.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Loans of up to £15,000 total


You can apply for a loan if you:• are domiciled in the UK or EU and qualify for ‘Home/EU’ fees and
• have an admissions offer to a Cranfield full-time, taught MSc course in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics) subject

Application Procedure

If you already have an applicable course offer you can apply online through Prodigy Finance. You will need to provide Prodigy Finance with details of your offer from Cranfield. Your loan application will be considered and responded to within a few days.If you are yet to secure an offer of a place you can register your interest in the scheme and we will keep you up-to-date.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a First or Second class UK Honours degree in a relevant discipline such as business, management or natural, environmental, physical or social sciences, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

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