Skip header navigation

MSc Environmental Management

Our MSc Environmental Management is recognised as internationally leading in training environmental managers for careers in the public and private sector.

Environmental Management

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

Established 30 years ago, our Masters degree provides a solid grounding in the scientific principles that underpin environmental management. We cover topics including ecological, economic, social, political and legal aspects of environmental management, and 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 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 a work-related dissertation.

Our graduates work for organisations such as the Environment Protection Agencies, major conservation bodies, local authorities and independent environmental consultancies, many in senior positions.

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:

Watch our webinar

Find out more about our MSc Environmental Management course, as well as life at Stirling. Watch our webinar >>.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    Our 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
  • Work placements

    You may have the opportunity to carry out a work-based placement with the Making the Most of Masters scheme. Find out more about Making the Most of Masters.

  • 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

    Some of 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

    In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 60 percent of our research in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences was rated 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

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

    • Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
    • Environmental Systems, Change and Protection
  • Academic requirements

    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 have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 6.5 with 5.5 minimum in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 51 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
    • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language 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.

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.


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    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.

  • 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 and exams, which may include teamwork and presentations. Exams are held in December and May. MSc research projects are submitted in early September.

  • Classroom hours

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

  • Course director

    Professor Nigel Willby

    +44 (0) 1786 467805

    Nigel Willby is an aquatic ecologist with 20 years’ experience. He has worked on the ecology, assessment, conservation and management of rivers, canals, shallow lakes and wetlands throughout the UK and Europe. He has received funding from a wide variety of organisations including the Environment Agency, SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England, Broads Authority, NERC and EU. Over the past 10 years he has been closely involved with the development and testing of classification tools to support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, and with monitoring the ecological effects of beaver reintroductions.

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

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

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    EU and overseas 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

Our graduates have an excellent record in gaining employment in the environmental sector and many of our former graduates now hold senior positions. We have over 600 graduates from this long established course now working in environmental organisations in various parts of the world. Their roles include:

  • Environmental Consultant, Jacobs
  • Environmental Protection Officers and Scientific Advisers in environment agencies (EA, SEPA)
  • Environmental Managers within local authorities, national industries (e.g. Northumbrian Water) and trusts (e.g. Tweed Forum).
  • 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

96% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17)
Our career services is 1st in Scotland, top 5 in the UK and top 15 in the world (UK International Student Barometer (ISB) Benchmark and Global ISB Benchmark 2018)

  • 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 excellent links with government e.g. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and have senior Scottish Natural Heritage 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.

Hannah Limberger
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.
Hannah Limberger
MSc Environmental Management
Read full testimonial View more testimonials
Hannah Lasisi
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.
Hannah Lasisi
MSc Environmental Management
Read full testimonial View more testimonials
Calum Langdale
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.
Calum Langdale
Scotland MSc Environmental Management
Read full testimonial View more testimonials
Scroll back to the top

Which course would you like to apply for?

MSc Environmental Management

Search for another course