MSc Environmental Management

Our MSc Environmental Management is internationally recognised for developing careers in environmental management, conservation, informatics and energy.

Environmental Management

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Start date September 2024, January 2025
  • Application notes Applications will close on 19 July 2024 to new international postgraduate applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus

Overview

Our Masters degree will give you a solid grounding in the scientific principles that underpin Environmental Management. We cover topics including the ecological, economic, social, political and legal aspects of environmental management. We give comprehensive training in quantitative, theoretical, analytical and practical skills. 

Environmental managers play a vital role in the protection and sustainable use of resources. You’ll learn to address issues such as adaptation to climate change, biodiversity and sustainable energy management. At the local level, Environmental Management focuses on the conservation and protection of land and water resources and natural habitats.  

You’ll also benefit from employability skills training, a residential field skills course and the chance to carry out an environmental management-related dissertation project which may include working collaboratively with a business.

Flexible degree pathways

You can work towards our core Masters degree, the MSc Environmental Management, or opt to specialise in one of the following pathways of study:

Top reasons to study with us

Course objectives

Our MSc course will give you:

  • 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.

MSc Environmental Management (Conservation) pathway

This course pathway will give you:

  • an understanding of the scientific principles that underpin environmental management;
  • an understanding of the ecological, economic, social, political and legal frameworks for environmental conservation;
  • a sound training in the relevant practical, investigative, research and all-encompassing skills that are the most sought after by employers.

MSc Environmental Management (Energy) pathway

On this course pathway you’ll gain:

  • an understanding of the scientific principles (atmospheric, hydrological, geomorphological and ecological) that underpin current environmental issues related to energy production and energy management;
  • an understanding of the economic, political, social and legal frameworks for managing the environment;
  • a sound training in relevant practical, investigative, research and all-encompassing skills that managers in the energy and environment sector need.

MSc Environmental Management (Informatics) pathway

This course pathway will give you:

  • an understanding of the scientific principles that underpin environmental science and management;
  • new skills in the collection, analysis and interpretation of environmental data using widely adopted, as well as cutting-edge, methodologies and technologies;
  • the ability to apply knowledge and skills in data science to deliver innovative insights and intelligence on the state of our environment.

Work placements

You may have the opportunity to conduct a work-based dissertation within a relevant business or organisation.

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Faculty facilities

Our key facilities include:

  • 11 specialist laboratories supporting a wide range of research interests from ecology to analytical chemistry to thin section and micromorphology.
  • Stirling Controlled Environment Facility: a world-class experimental facility for conducting experimental research investigating the impacts of climate and climate change.

Research overview

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), 100% of our research was rated as having either outstanding or very considerable impact – ranking us joint 12th in the UK for Geography and Environmental Studies research.

Our research and impact positions us as leaders in the area of Environmental Protection and Biological Conservation. We are organised into six research groups:

MSc Environmental Management (Conservation) pathway

We specialise in studies of human interactions with the environment, and conservation science and sustainability is one of our core strengths. We have leading researchers working on various aspects of evidence-based conservation, including:

  • habitat management and restoration,
  • population genetics of endangered species,
  • tropical community ecology and impacts of invasive species.

Our areas of research include:

  • conservation conflict,
  • forest management (pine marten),
  • urban ecology (bats),
  • the reintroduction of species (beavers).

We also work on a diverse range of study systems such as African and South American forests, bushmeat and local livelihoods across Africa.

MSc Environmental Management (Energy) pathway

We have long-established links with regulators, consultancy and the energy industry. Leading researchers working on various aspects of energy and environmental management including:

  • environmental impact assessment,
  • carbon trading,
  • planning and the impacts of wind, hydro and nuclear power.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree (upper second-class preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject, such as biology, ecology, conservation and geography, geology, forestry, zoology, botany, or urban and regional planning.

Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Other routes of entry

If you don't currently meet our academic requirements, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need to progress onto some of our courses. Explore INTO University of Stirling to see the pathway and pre-masters routes available.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

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 Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with a minimum of 60 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

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.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

You’ll take three modules in each semester followed by a dissertation. Each module is worth 20 SCQF credits at level 11 and the dissertation is worth 60 credits.

If you meet the requirements of the taught course you’ll 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.

Flexible degree pathways

You can work towards our core Masters degree, the MSc Environmental Sciences, or opt to specialise in one of the following pathways of study.

MSc Environmental Management (Conservation)

This Masters pathway in conservation is relevant to graduates who are seeking a career in environmental conservation and management, either in governmental or non-governmental organisations.

You’ll have the flexibility to specialise in areas such as:

  • ecosystem services
  • environmental economics
  • conservation conflicts
  • habitat and biodiversity management
  • application of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing

Graduates from this Masters course are knowledgeable in the broad field of conservation science. You will have skills in collecting and analysing relevant data for sustainable decision-making, as well as transferable skills relevant to your future employment at national and international level.

MSc Environmental Management (Energy)

We need to understand the various environmental costs associated with 21st-century energy technologies, whether renewable or non-renewable, and how these costs can be evaluated, managed and mitigated.

This MSc pathway in energy draws on our existing expertise and research strengths in environmental impact assessment, carbon trading, planning and impacts of wind, hydro and nuclear power, as well as our expertise in energy management and environmental economics.

The division of Biological and Environmental Sciences, which runs this course, specialises in studies of human interactions with the environment. Their key strengths are in environmental assessment and management.

MSc Environmental Management (Informatics)

Our ability to tackle some of the world’s most intractable environmental challenges is reliant on policy and decision makers having timely access to actionable intelligence.

This Masters pathway mixes Environmental Management with cutting-edge geographical information systems, data science and analytics, and high performance computing.

You’ll have the knowledge and skills required to manage, analyse, and visualise environmental datasets so that you can communicate key messages to a variety of stakeholders and audiences.

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details

Teaching

Research-led teaching is at the core of your learning as our staff conduct world-leading research. The course is taught primarily by staff within Biological and Environmental Sciences, but also by staff from other departments of the University and visiting professionals from outside agencies.

Our teaching makes use of both our campus-based teaching facilities and online learning environment. Teaching methods include lectures, on-line materials, practical classes, seminars, and individual and group projects, workshop sessions, field excursions, student-led debates and oral presentations.

Fieldwork

You’ll take a residential field module and immediately begin to learn practical identification, surveying, measuring and sampling skills.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed via coursework which may include teamwork and presentations. MSc research projects are submitted in early September or December, depending upon when you start the course. Coursework is designed to have real world relevance. 

Classroom hours

Contact hours in all modules will be 27 to 30 hours with three modules taken per semester for full-time students or 1 or 2 modules taken per semester for part-time students.

There is a six-day residential field course in Cairngorm National Park in early October.

Course director

MSc Environmental Management

Professor David Copplestone

Professor David Copplestone has over 20 years’ experience directing, leading research and modelling the fate, behaviour and impact of radionuclides in the environment. He is particularly interested in understanding how ecological systems adapt to environmental change.

+44 (0) 1786 467852

david.copplestone@stir.ac.uk

MSc Environmental Management (Conservation)

Professor Nils Bunnefeld

+44 (0) 1786 467804

nils.bunnefeld@stir.ac.uk

MSc Environmental Management (Energy)

Professor David Copplestone

+44 (0) 1786 467852

+44 (0) 1786 467852

david.copplestone@stir.ac.uk

MSc Environmental Management (Informatics)

Dr Peter Hunter

+44 (0) 1786 466538

p.d.hunter@stir.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

2023/242024/25
Students from the UK and Republic of Ireland£10,350£10,900
International (including EU) students£21,845£22,900

University of Stirling alumni will automatically be awarded a fee waiver for the first year of Masters studies through our  Stirling Alumni Scholarship.

Applicants from the UK or Republic of Ireland who hold a first-class honours degree or equivalent will automatically be awarded a £2,000 scholarship through our Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course. 

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees. 

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry. 

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Eligible students could receive a scholarship worth between £4,000-£7,000. See our range of generous scholarships for international postgraduate students.

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course. 

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees. 

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry. 

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

Funding 

Eligible international students could receive a scholarship worth between £4,000-£7,000. See our range of generous scholarships for international postgraduate students.

University of Stirling alumni will automatically be awarded a fee waiver for the first year of Masters studies through our Stirling Alumni Scholarship.

Applicants from the UK or Republic of Ireland who hold a first-class honours degree or equivalent will automatically be awarded a £2,000 scholarship through our Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £11,500 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £12,167 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,770 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

Our graduates have an excellent record in gaining employment in the conservation and environmental sector, and many of our former graduates now hold senior positions in various parts of the world.

Their roles include:

  • Environmental Consultant, Jacobs
  • Environmental Protection Officers and Scientific Advisers in environment agencies (Environment Agency in England, Scottish Environment Protection Agency)
  • Environmental Managers within local authorities, national industries (e.g. Northumbrian Water) and trusts (e.g. Tweed Forum).
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) consultant in Norway
  • Researcher in Madagascar
  • Adviser for Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Greece
  • Environmental Consultant, eSwatini
  • Consultant for Earth Systems in Melbourne

It is expected that growth will continue in the commercial sector as a potential source of employment, especially in relation to energy-based projects.

96% of our graduates were in employment or further study 15 months after graduation (Graduate Outcomes 2020/21, HESA).

Employability skills

Early on in this course you’ll take a residential field module and immediately begin to learn practical identification, surveying, measuring and sampling skills. Having learned how to collect data you’re then taught how to analyse, report and present data through the modules, Analysis of Environmental Data (using R), GIS and Remote Sensing. You’ll gain the transferable skills often required within environmental agencies/consultancies, including the ability to translate theory into practice, to work in a team and independently, to plan and coordinate research, and to engage with a variety of different users.

We strive to keep the course in tune with the needs of employers and changes occurring in the field of environmental management and policy. A networking event is held annually when students can meet with local employers to discuss work placements and future job opportunities.

Companies we work with

The University of Stirling is a hub for environmental bodies in Scotland. Several environmental consultancies and NGOs have offices in or around the University, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), British Trust for Ornithology and The Conservation Volunteers. We work closely with these organisations in conducting research.

We have long established links with regulators, consultancy and the energy industry. We work closely with a variety of relevant organisations including SEPA, Environment Agency, the nuclear industry, Scottish Coal and Scottish Renewables.

We also have senior NatureScot and RSPB staff among our Honorary professors.

Visiting speakers are invited, both for stand-alone seminars and as an integral part of some modules. We make full use of our alumni and industry and government research contacts to assemble a diverse and topical seminar programme.

What our students said

Hannah Limberger
Hannah Limberger
England
MSc Environmental Management
My course has provided me with the knowledge and experience I need to pursue a career in environmental management. Thanks to my lecturers, I have been able to build a network of contacts and have found my preferred specialism for the future.
Read Hannah's story
Hannah Lasisi
Hannah Lasisi
Nigeria
MSc Environmental Management
I chose Stirling because of the global relevance and richness of the course modules. The seminars held by visiting professionals and representatives of government agencies assures me that the course I am pursuing is important in the outside world.
Read Hannah's story
Calum Langdale
Calum Langdale
Scotland
MSc Environmental Management
The course is well established and many people within the industry appreciate the quality of the course on offer. When applying for jobs, the rate of interview to applications has definitely increased even before I have finished studying.
Read Calum's story

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