Introduction

This interdisciplinary programme promotes an understanding of key environmental issues within sustainability and environmental management. This degree will give you the knowledge and understanding of current environmental issues at the local, regional and global context and how to critically appraise them.

This programme is studied on campus.

This MSc is ideally suited for students looking to gain a greater understanding of environmental science and environmental management. This degree aims to address environmental issues within the local, regional and global context.

Within the programme students will cover courses in environmental pollution, sustainable resource management, environmental management, catchment management and environmental impact assessments. During these courses they will develop key skills in environmental policy, legislation, risk assessment models and writing management plans. The students will gain a wide understanding of landscape science within a context that develops upon empirical details.

These skills will make the graduates ideal candidates for positions in environmental consultancies, regulators and NGOs.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Global Soil Geography (SS5008) - 15 Credit Points

Field based course that takes you across northeast Scotland exploring an ancient tropical rainforest, hill farming in action, survey techniques and soil formation.

A long tradition of soil science teaching at the University of Aberdeen assembled into lectures and field trips delivered by senior academics.

Your assessments are geared towards developing practical skills. This includes a field log book to teach survey techniques, a presentation on a particular soil that requires research akin to detective work, and a quiz on soil classification. An essay will also assessed.

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Core Skills in Environmental Science (EV5006) - 15 Credit Points

The course will provide the students with valuable skills required in developing their research and general study skills, essential for their progression during the MSc programme, as well as to the rest of their academic and professional careers. The course introduces basic statistical analysis, teaches data handling skills and exposes students to literature searching and reference styles. During the course, students will get experience in handling real-life, large data sets and will work together with the lecturer and demonstrators in analysing the data and presenting the results.

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Environmental Pollution (BI5301) - 15 Credit Points

Enables students to increase and enhance their understanding of atmospheric, aquatic and terrestrial environmental pollution issues;

Addresses the management, monitoring and control of environmental pollutants;

Allows students to engagement with stake holders from a number of different sectors;

Uses both qualitative and quantitative data to understand the impact of environmental pollutants.

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Applications of GIS (EV5403) - 7.5 Credit Points

Applications of GIS will provide you with the opportunities to become familiar with ArcGIS software and understand the application of GIS technologies to address environmental management and research questions.

· Provide increasingly important GIS skills on your CV

· Practical based course so you learn how to use GIS as well as getting the theory

· Range of real management and research examples used in environmental sciences

Guest speakers from relevant industry on application of GIS in their role

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Soils for Food Security (SS5305) - 15 Credit Points

This advanced soil science course provides additional teaching of physical, chemical and biological properties of soils in the context of food security. You will learn a variety of processes that affect soil productivity, accompanied by practical sessions that will teach relevant analytical methods. The wide range of soil processes taught will be brought together at the end of the course to provide a working knowledge of agronomy, including the interactions between crops and specific chemical or physical properties of soils.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Catchment Management (EK5511) - 15 Credit Points

Field visits to examine river systems and forested catchments provide context and opportunities to discuss a diverse set of environmental management problems with professionals working in the field.

Practical sessions provide structured activities focused on the identification of freshwater invertebrates and applications of GIS approaches for analysing data to support catchment management planning.

You apply theoretical and practical knowledge to a case study, demonstrating your capacity to evaluate site specific data and to interpret relevant legislation and regulation.

Working individually and with a group you will write and present a management plan for a location of your choosing.

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Environmental Management Plan (EV5801) - 15 Credit Points

​One week of field work in a multiple use forest followed by five weeks of data analysis, practical tasks and writing provides training required to construct a management plan.

Structured practical sessions provide experience with spreadsheets, ArcGIS and other technical software and increases your confidence with data handling and analysis.

The main assignment in the form of a management plan allows you to develop your skills to a professional standard.

The mixture of science and management offers you a unique range of skills required by employers.

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Environmental Impact Assessment (EK5804) - 15 Credit Points

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a process for providing information about likely effects of certain human activities on ‘the environment’, and for identifying ways of minimising adverse effects and enhancing any positive effects.

Case studies, workshops and field visits are used to encourage participative learning related to components of the EIA process.

Oral presentations and written reports provide opportunities to develop your communication skills and to master the theory, policy and implementation elements to EIA.

Visiting speakers from the local area provide practitioner perspectives on the role of EIA in development decisions.

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Land use and the Changing Environment on Deeside (SS5806)
Society and Environment (EV5516) - 15 Credit Points

You will be trained in broad environmental thinking required to understand the complex nature of contemporary environmental problems. The course aim is to work towards a sufficiently deep understanding of society's relationship with the environment to appraise and start to address so-called wicked problems.

The course follows a textbook to allow immersion in the author's ways of thinking. Key aspects of human-environment relationships will be developed through lectures and subsequent discussion. Also, you will engage in the co-production of knowledge by preparing and presenting worked out case studies themselves as starting point for debate on focal 'objects of concern'.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Project in Environmental Management (EV5906) - 60 Credit Points

Provides thorough training in managing all aspects of a research project from inception to delivery of a thesis in the format of a scientific manuscript;

It is an independent research project that can cover any area of environmental management, and which may be computer, laboratory, greenhouse, partner company or field based;

It may be done in the UK or internationally and requires close supervision and training through individual meetings and tuition with supervisor;

May use new technology and research or commercial deliverables to enhance the learning experience and skill base of the student.

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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

The programme comprises a combination of taught modules, each of which will involve lectures/seminars and practical work. There is a one week residential field course (at Ballater, Aberdeenshire) plus several day-long field trips from Aberdeen. Emphasis throughout is on active participation in class discussions, presentations and group work. The individual research project is devised by the student in consultation with a supervisor (a member of the School of Biological Sciences) and often with an external collaborator.

A range of teaching methods are used at Aberdeen to ensure that you are able to learn in a way that suits your learning style and enables you to achieve the best possible outcome. Our class sizes are small and we have a low tutor to student ratio, meaning you will have the full support of your group tutors.

The teaching of our MSc Environmental Management programme is mainly lecture based with self-directed learning and tutorials to support the lecture material. The lecture material is supported by a number of field trips and laboratory classes.

The MSc also provides students with ample opportunity to learn outside the classroom so you can apply both theory and practice to real life situations.

The dedicated research project you will undertake as part of the MSc provides training in technical skills, recording results and observations and analysing results.

Learning Methods

  • Field Trips
  • Field Work
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

The programme is assessed entirely by continuous assessment. There are no exams. The assessments have been developed to provide training in key transferable skills as well as assessments applied assessments in courses such as environmental pollution, environmental impact assessment, and environmental management plan. The final assessment is your project report submitted in the form of a manuscript.

Why Study Environmental Management?

  • Aberdeen provides you with a unique learning environment with unrivalled access to coastal, mountain and freshwater habitats for both fieldwork and recreation. You will carry out field work in various different locations, including the North Sea, the agricultural and forested areas of NE Scotland, National Nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
  • The University has an international reputation for excellence in inter-disciplinary research in terrestrial, aquatic and marine environments.
  • The programme is skills-based, meaning that as well as learning theory, you will also have the opportunity to gain experience of applying your knowledge to real life and environmental situations.
  • The University has a long tradition and excellent reputation for teaching and research in Environmental and Ecological sciences and is home to one of the largest and most vibrant groups of academics in this subject area in Britain.
  • The programme is skills-based, meaning that as well as learning theory you will be continually applying that knowledge to real world tasks and situations.
  • Award winning Climate Change research was carried out by the University's Professor Pete Smith winner of the British Ecological Society Marsh Award 2014.
  • Dr Jon Hillier and his team at the University developed the award winning ‘Cool Farm Tool’ a greenhouse calculator used by Unilever, Marks & Spencer’s, Costco and Heinz.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A minimum of a UK 2.2 honours degree (or non-UK equivalent) in a biological, environmental or physical science, geography, or other relevant subject. We also consider applicants with degrees in other disciplines who are clearly motivated by the programme and have some relevant work experience.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English language requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the 'Postgraduate Standard' level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English language requirements webpages.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.

CV
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £7,800
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £16,900
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The following options are available to support your studies. Please click the links for full details and eligibility criteria.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

The programme focuses on providing training in state-of-the-art methods that will be invaluable both for careers in academic research and outside of academia. This programme brings together a range of courses that will equip you with the knowledge and skills suited for the environmental sector.

In addition to acquiring discipline-specific skills, the course work activities within our programme are designed to provide you with ample opportunity to develop generic skills required by employers including critical thinking, time management, problem-solving, team work, presenting work both as written reports and as oral presentations.

On graduating you will have several career options available to you, some of which include:

  • Further study (PhD)
  • Academic jobs in university settings, e.g. researcher
  • Careers in the environmental science industry in roles such as Environmental Consultant, Nature Conservation Officer, Water Quality Tester, and Eco-toxicologist

Industry Links

University of Aberdeen environmental scientists work closely with colleagues in research institutions all over the world and have active involvement with local, national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations including, for example, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Marine Scotland, Forestry Commission and Forest Research, and International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

Our Experts

Programme Coordinator
Dr Gareth Norton

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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Top in Scotland for Environmental Science

Source: National Student Survey 2016

Facilities

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Cruickshank Botanic Garden

Cruickshank Botanic Garden

The Cruickshank Botanic Garden is situated on our King's College campus. It is used to support both our teaching and research; existing to promote the diversity and importance of plants and their role in the natural world.

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Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

Find out more
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Laboratory Facilities

Laboratory Facilities

Our laboratory facilities include advanced analytical equipment to study soil chemical, physical and biological properties. Students have the opportunity to access state-of-the-art facilities such as mass spectroscopy, GC-MS and XRay CT imaging.

School of Biological Sciences Showcase

Our showcase film highlights the benefits for students who choose to study here, the breadth of research carried out at the School and the superb facilities on offer.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
College of Life Sciences and Medicine Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Polwarth Building
Foresterhill
Aberdeen
AB25 2ZD