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Land Reclamation and Restoration (MSc/MTech/PgCert/PgDip)

Course Description

Land reclamation and restoration MSc is designed to meet the increasing demands to manage and restore greenfield and brownfield sites to the amenity, natural habitat or agricultural use engendered by UK Government and EU directives. This course aims to provide the knowledge and skills required to bridge the gap between damaged land and fully restored ecosystems. It provides the skills to assess, plan and implement strategies needed to restore, reclaim and remediate damaged land in the public and corporate sectors.

Why this course is unique?
- Course is designed to respond to the industry demands of highly-trained engineers and science based professionals able to implement appropriate, innovate and sustainable soil and land management strategies.

- Hands-on practices and visits to relevant land reclamation and ecological restoration sites form a major part of the programme.

- Close relations to industry, providing practical experience through group and individual projects in collaboration with relevant organisations.

- Outstanding learning environment with an access to market leading geospatial technologies and fist-class soil research laboratories.

- The part-time option will allow practitioners to enhance their professional development within their current employment.

Course overview

The course comprises eight taught modules, an integrated group project, and an individual thesis project. The modules include lectures and tutorials and are assessed through appropriate assignments or exams. There is an emphasis on analysis of real problems, with practical field work to reinforce learning. This provides the 'tools' required for the group and individual projects.

Group project

This project provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a commercially-orientated, consultancy-type project with a UK-based industrial partner, while working in teams under academic supervision. It involves survey design, data collection and analysis, and synthesis and presentation of results to the client.

The topic for the group project changes on an annual basis as appropriate. Previous groups projects have included:

2014/15 - Valuing & enhancing carbon sequestration 2014 Coal Authority Integrated Group project: Funded by the Coal Authority

2014/15 - Integrated Assessment of Quarry Restoration for Dene and Darlton, Derbyshire: Funded by Lafarge-Tarmac

2012/13 -Towards a framework for evaluation of the ecosystem services provided by Coal Authority passive treatment schemes: Funded by the Coal Authority

2012/13 – An integrated assessment of the Mancetter quarry restoration: Funded by Lafarge-Tarmac

2011/12 - Integrated Management Plan for Houghton Regis Chalk Pit for Wildlife Trust of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

2010/11 - Increasing the value of re-cycled products and ecological services of Naunton Quarry for Huntsmans Quarries Limited.

Individual Project

This project provides an opportunity to concentrate on a particular aspect of land reclamation and restoration. It also allows students to demonstrate their ability to research independently, to think and work in an original way, to contribute to knowledge, and to overcome genuine problems in this specialist area of land management. Many of the projects are supported by external organisations.


The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through written examinations and assignments. These provide the tools required for the group and individual projects.

Core -

Principles of Sustainability
Principles of Sustainability
GIS Fundamentals
Soil Plant Environment Science
Soil Engineering, Contaminant and Nutrient Management
Land Engineering and Water Management
Landscape Ecology
Soil Erosion Control for Catchment Management
Ecological Restoration


MSc taught modules 40%, group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), individual thesis project 40%.

Career opportunities

Takes you on to career opportunities in consultancy, research, education, public and private sector industry. Successful students go on to a wide-range of careers such as consulting engineers, conservationists, environmental and design planners/consultants, land and sustainability managers and advisors, researchers, and educationalists.

Employers include statutory agencies and ministries, conservation trusts, environmental companies, international development organisations, land and natural resource management businesses, large agri-food companies, local authorities, non-government organisations (NGOs), and research organisations. The Landscape Institute, which accredits the programme, also offers careers advice through its website - http://www.iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com/

Further Information

For further information on this course, please visit our course webpage - http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/land-reclamation-and-restoration.html

Visit the Land Reclamation and Restoration (MSc/MTech/PgCert/PgDip) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Mohammad Hashim Ghilzai

Why did you choose the course?
This course provides theoretical understanding and equips with practical skills. It enables students to demonstrate critical ability. The course I selected was a beautiful combination of theory and practice based on sustainable land management. World wide there is increased concern for environment, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management, I found that this course is designed to cover all these important aspects. In addition to training in sustainable land management, this course also provides a framework for personal development.

What skills did you acquire from postgraduate study?
It enhanced my understanding of natural resources and their management. This course enabled me to demonstrate critical ability. With this study I am in a better position to plan and execute natural resource management projects. It has improved my communication skills and now can communicate with confidence. Remote sensing and GIS skills are life time assets that I acquired from this course.

What was your individual project about?
It was about Land use change and ecosystem services, a case study of Bedfordshire

Would you recommend your course and why?
Definitely, I have already recommended it and would continue to do so as this is world class course which gives a practical insight into the affairs of Land Management and natural resource management

Do you have any advice for students considering postgraduate study?
Yes, go for and take postgraduate study as it is a milestone in academic qualification. Once taken then work hard in each module and activity. Always take field tours seriously as this is wonderful opportunity to put theory to practice.

Is there any advice you can offer for students coming from Pakistan coming to the UK to study?
Yes, my personal experience of studying at Cranfield is wonderful. I would motivate and encourage students for choosing UK for education as this great country is second to none in world class education and definitely suggest Cranfield University to any student going to UK for studies.

How has your Cranfield degree helped you to get where you are today?
In the provincial departmental hierarchy I’m number three from the top in the department having thousands of employees, three directorates general, one Cooperative Bank, One Agriculture College (Degree awarding). Due to My Cranfield qualification the provincial Government considered me for my current position.

(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

A first or second class UK Honours degree in a relevant science, engineering or related discipline such as engineering, agriculture, environmental science or physical geography, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

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