This course was established 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.
Our course aims to give 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. More information.
A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (5.5 in all bands).
This course is supported with loans from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). For details for your year of entry visit: www.saas.org.uk
Other scholarships may also be available: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/scholarships/
Modes of study
Full-time: one year
Part-time: 27 months
Course start date
Structure and content
The basic structure is four modules in each of Semesters 1 and 2 followed by a dissertation, with each module worth 15 SCQF credits at level 11.
In Semester 1 students normally take:
- Field Techniques for Environmental Managers
- Analysis of Environmental Data
- Environmental Economics
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Environmental Policy and Management
In Semester 2 students take:
and a choice of three, typically from:
- Conserving Biodiversity
- Environmental Geomatics
- Economics of Climate Change
- Environmental Law and Management Systems
- Soil and Water Management
- Environmental Costs of Energy Production
Students who meet the requirements of the taught course will qualify for the Diploma and may proceed to the MSc. This involves completion of a three-month Research Project, often in collaboration with an outside agency. Students frequently choose a topic complementary to their option selection, allowing them to develop a high level of competence in aspects of environmental management relevant to their future employment.
Delivery and assessment
The course is taught primarily by Biological and Environmental Sciences, 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 external examiners may interview students at the end of the spring semester. MSc research projects are submitted in early September.
Glasson et al (2012), Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
Full-time students are expected to be at the University most days of the week. Part-time students should be able to dedicate two or three days per week.
There is a compulsory six-day residential field course in Cairngorm in early October.
Dr Nigel Willby
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'.
The University of Stirling is a hub for environmental bodies in Scotland. Several enviromental 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 also have good links with government e.g. SEPA, and have senior Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB staff among our honorary professors.
We have over 600 graduates from this long established programme now working in environmental organisations in various parts of the world. Examples are:
GIS consultant in Norway, Researcher in Madagascar, Adviser for Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Greece, Environmental Consultant, Swaziland, consultant for Earth Systems in Melbourne, and many employed throughout Britain in governmental and non-governmental agencies, and private consultancies.
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 protection agencies (EPA, SEPA), environmental managers within local authorities, national industries (e.g. Northumbrian Water) and trusts (e.g. Tweed Forum).
The course is assessed and its content regularly reviewed in consultation with academic staff, environmental consultants and senior personnel from organisations such as the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. The aim is to keep the course relevant to the needs of employers and up-to-date with changes occurring in the field of environmental management.