Environmental Science (Integrated Masters)

MSci


Introduction

The world's growing population places great pressure on environmental resources. How do we meet our needs for food, clean air and water, energy and materials, whilst safeguarding resources for future generations?

Environmental Science as a discipline has grown out of increasing concern for the environment and the need for a scientific approach to the study of human impacts on natural resources. Today’s environmental scientists are challenged to find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as climate change, pollution, energy, loss of biodiversity and lack of food and clean water. Our course provides the necessary scientific grounding science and technical training to investigate these problems and find appropriate management solutions.

University of Stirling was one of the first universities to establish a degree course in Environmental Science in 1980 and we are still committed today to training graduates with the skills valued by employers. This focus has created genuine career opportunities with a wide range of organisations including water authorities, research institutes, conservation bodies, businesses, local authorities and government agencies. Previous graduates have gone on to enjoy successful careers in areas such as environmental consultancy, transport planning, waste management, education and ecotourism.

This is the first Environmental Science MSci to be offered in Scotland. The course leads directly to a postgraduate qualification and is designed specifically for students who want to pursue a career in the environment sector. The course offers an environmental placement and an industrial linked final year project, and equips students with the key knowledge, skills and career awareness they need to go on and forge successful and rewarding careers within the rapidly growing environment sector. 

For those students that don't have the grades to enter directly into the MSci programme, transferral onto the programme after the end of the 1st year of the BSc Environmental Science degree programme is also possible.

Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2017 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. EU students will also be eligible for tuition fee support from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

  • UCAS: F7S4
  • Qualification: MSci
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time, Campus based
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Clare Wilson
  • Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences
  • Location: Stirling Campus

Download undergraduate prospectus

Dr Clare Wilson

rms.stir.ac.uk/converis-stirling/person/11328

University of Stirling
Stirling
FK9 4LA
Scotland
UK

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Accreditation

The MSci Environmental Science programme is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Science (IES) and Committee Heads of Environmental Science (CHES). 

Accreditation demonstrates to potential employers that the teaching, learning and research is aligned to the high quality professional development of future environmental scientists.

What makes us different?

Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES) is a multi-disciplinary department within the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The principle focus of our research is at the interface between the environment and society. Within BES, staff conduct research in areas as diverse as the reconstruction of past landscapes, conservation, environmental impact and environmental management, evolutionary ecology of plants and animals, cellular biology and immunology. BES is a friendly, vibrant and dynamic place in which to learn and research with a great sense of belonging engendered in our students from their very first days at the University.

Research-led teaching is the key to deep learning and understanding. The academic staff in BES are typically world leaders in their respective fields, thus ensuring that research led teaching is at the core of all our courses. Many students work closely with academics throughout their time and benefit from actively participating in research programmes. We have strong contacts with external conservation and environmental organisations who also contribute to the undergraduate experience. This approach ensures that our students appreciate the transferable nature of a science degree and see how their learning can be applied to the real world. 

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

‌Standard entry onto the MSci programme is the equivalent of year 2 of the standard BSc programme. This requires ABB at advanced highers or A level to include one of biology, environmental science, geography or geology.

IB diploma 35 points.

Entry may also be possible with a HND in a Science based subject.

General entrance requirements apply.
Mathematics Standard Grade (2), National 5 (B), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent required.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Alternative routes

Entry into equivalent year via BSc Environmental Science programme is available from the end of year 1 until the end of year 3.

Fees and costs

Fees 2017/18

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 14,105.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years

Fees 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 14,460
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9,250.00

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

Information on possible sources of funding

Altijar Scholarships of £500 each are awarded annually to the two highest performing Environmental students in year 3 of the BSc / MSci programme.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Semesters 1-2

The first year of the programme gives students the basic knowledge and analytical skills in environmental science, geoscience, ecology and physical geography that underpin the degree. Students take three modules in each semester, two are core to the programme and the third will be chosen to best complement the skills and experience they bring with them.  

Semesters 3-4

In the second year students begin to take more specialised modules in environmental systems, environmental management and environmental technologies. They will also be offered more choice in their module selection to allow them to explore areas of personal interest. 

Semesters 5-8

This choice of advance modules continues in the third year with a wider range of subjects available. In addition there is an emphasis on career development and employability skills with core modules in professional development and a placement. The students also have to organise and present at a symposium on environmental careers for students in earlier years.

In year 4 the students undertake a significant piece of independent research in partnership with an environmental organisation and alongside this choose from a range of specialist environmental management modules that are focussed on the energy, conservation and environmental sectors.

Delivery and assessment

Our teaching methods are diverse and include lectures, field and laboratory practical exercises, tutorials, seminars and group projects, a placement and individual research project. Most modules include both lectures and practical work and are assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations. Many of the assessments are designed to give experience in the work-related procedures and practices. 

A wide range of natural and human-modified landscapes in the Stirling area are used in our field teaching. Residential field classes are currently held in Year 1 in the Scottish Highlands and in Year 2 in southern Spain or Iceland.

Modules

Year 1

Autumn Semester

  • Lochgoil Environmental Science Field Trip
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Choice from:
    • Building Planet Earth
    • People and the Environment
    • Laboratory Skills

Spring Semester

  • Biosphere
  • Statistical Data Analysis
  • Choice from:
    • Landscape Evolution
    • Global Environmental Issues
    • Field Skills
    • Our Hungry Planet 

Year 2

  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Environmental Analysis and Applications
  • Either, Iceland or Spain Field Trip
  • Choice of 2-4 from:
    • Advanced Analytical Skills
    • Soil Quality and Management
    • Glacial Landscapes
    • Palaeoecology
    • Geoarchaeology
    • Drainage Basins
    • Environmental Hazards
    • Agriculture and Food Security
    • Environmental Pathology and Human Health
    • Remote Sensing.

Year 3

  • Professional Development for the Environment Sector
  • Environment Sector Placement
  • Choice of 4-8 from:
    • Sustainable Energy Management
    • Sustainable Water Management
    • Soil Quality and Management
    • Glacial Landscapes
    • Palaeoecology
    • Geoarchaeology
    • Restoration Ecology
    • Community and Population Ecology
    • Conservation Biology and Management
    • Environmental Science Review Essay
    • Statistics using R
    • Drainage Basins
    • Environmental Hazards
    • Agriculture and Food Security
    • Environmental Pathology and Human Health
    • Remote Sensing
    • Tropical Ecology

Year 4

  • Environment Partnership Dissertation
  • Choice of 3 from:
    • Field Techniques for Environmental Managers
    • Conserving Biodiversity
    • Environmental Geomatics
    • Environmental Economics
    • Analysis of Environmental Data
    • Environmental Law and Management Systems
    • Ecosystem Services
    • Environmental Impact Assessment
    • Environmental impacts of Energy Production
    • Economics of Climate Change
    • Energy Markets and Policy.

Combined degrees

This course is not available as a combined degree.

Learn more about studying these subjects

Related degrees

Modes of study

Full-time (3 modules per semester)

Part-time (1 or 2 modules per semester)

Why Stirling?

REF2014

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.

Study abroad opportunities

As well as the exchange opportunities available to all Stirling students, Environmental Science has a well established programme with the University of Guelph in Canada. Other popular study abroad options include Alaska, Washington, California, Sydney. You can spend either one or two semesters there during your third year, studying courses equivalent to those taken at Stirling and have the opportunity to broaden your environmental and cultural experience.

We also offer Erasmus exchanges to Sweden and Germany.‌

Strengths

We were one of the first universities to offer UK degrees in Environmental Science and we are the first in Scotland to offer an integrated Masters programme in Environmental Science: our teaching gives a solid grounding in science disciplines and integrates subject-specific and transferable skills. This focus creates genuine career opportunities with a wide range of organisations including water authorities, research institutes, conservation bodies, businesses, local authorities and government agencies.

Our students

Our staff

Clare Wilson: BSc (Aberystwyth), MSc (Sheffield), PhD (Stirling) has been a lecturer at University of Stirling for the past eight years. Clare is a SAGES (Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society) lecturer with research programmes in soil science and geoarchaeology. Recent and current research projects have included investigating the role of soil minerals in sequestering carbon, a study of the effect commercial forestry operations have on soil disturbance, the development of novel techniques for archaeological prospection and in-situ monitoring of buried archaeological sites. 

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

This programme is directly aimed at students that want to gain employment in the environmental sector whether that is in research institutes, environmental consultancies, environmental protection agencies, water authorities, or conservation bodies. Others may go on to further their careers through postgraduate research culminating in the award of a PhD.

We place great importance on teaching subject-specific and transferable skills that enhance your employability. Regular careers sessions and professional development skills are embedded into our core teaching. The placement module allows students to gain experience and all important contacts within the environmental sector and this will be built on during their dissertation, which is undertaken as an industry partnership.

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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