Introduction

The University of Aberdeen is following Scottish Government Guidelines in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to physical distancing measures to support a safe environment for our staff and students. Therefore, the programme structure and delivery method for September 2020 may differ slightly from that listed on this page. Find out more about September 2020 study with us.

This multidisciplinary MSc programme aims to train you to recognise and understand the threats and conflicts in the environment today and appreciate the steps required to develop solutions. This programme is also available as an MRes option.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MRes or MSc
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
September or January
Location of Study
Aberdeen

The systematic approach of this MSc programme enables you to deal with all scales of the environment. Throughout your studies you will have various opportunities to participate in work outdoors and apply your theoretical and field work knowledge to real life situations. You will also gain experience using a range of tools for biological, chemical and physical measurement as well as models and data handling methods. Most importantly, at Aberdeen you will be part of a community that will help improve your knowledge and awareness of environmental science.

The MSc is aimed at graduates looking to specialise, enhance their skills & knowledge or retrain in environmental science and also academics and Government employees looking to further their career, develop industry contacts and remain at the forefront of environmental science.

Please note, the January start date is only available as full-time study.

Available Programmes of Study

Environmental Science

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MRes 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
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 engage with stake holders from a number of different sectors;

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

View detailed information about this course
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.

View detailed information about this course
Optional 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 presentation on a particular soil that requires research akin to detective work, and a quiz on soil classification. We expect students to keep a detailed log of field trips to learn survey techniques and to consult for the quiz. An essay will also assessed.

View detailed information about this course
Plant Ecology (PL5001)

15 Credit Points

Integrated lectures, field trips, data exercises and discussions provide a broad overview of theoretical plant ecology and its practical applications. You will participate in data collection in sand dune, heathland and woodland habitats becoming familiar with a range of plant species. Key skills in vegetation survey, monitoring and research are taught. Class field data are used as the basis for understanding ecological processes and for learning vegetation analysis methods. You will practice writing skills in a data report and essay, supported by “clinics” and by individual help to students. Detailed feedback helps your writing in subsequent courses.

View detailed information about this course
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. Students are introduced to modelling of agricultural impacts on soils and the environment so that mitigation strategies can be assessed.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Environmental Science Research & Investigation (EV5512)

30 Credit Points

Provides training in managing all aspects of a research project from inception to delivery of a thesis;

It's an independent research project that can cover any area of environmental science, and may be computer, laboratory, greenhouse, or field based;

There's a requirement for close supervision and training through individual meetings and tuition with a supervisor;

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

View detailed information about this course
Applications of GIS (EV5517)

15 Credit Points

Many types of biological and environmental data have a spatial component. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provide the means to analyse data in their spatial context.

This course gives you an understanding of fundamental concepts in GIS, an appreciation of the ways in which GIS can be used in ecology and environmental sciences, and practical skills in using ArcGIS software to solve problems in a spatial context.

A flexible teaching and learning environment allows for individualised learning and enrichment for students with existing skills in GIS.

The course broadens your portfolio of research skills and enhance your employability.

View detailed information about this course
Land use and the Changing Environment (EV5803)

15 Credit Points

An introduction to landscape and associated conflicts by using the Cairngorm National Park as the setting. Visits to sporting estates, forests (plantation and semi-natural), farms, river management, ski centres and national nature reserves are used to exemplify the complex relationships between semi-natural and management environments and the people that occupy and use them.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses
Remediation Technology (SS5500)

15 Credit Points

A highly interactive course, that uses extensively e-learning platforms to enable students to better understand the assessment of contaminated land. Students will learn how to interpret and apply current risk assessment regulations and predict as well as model contaminant pathways. Students will gain valuable experience in using the latest computer software and incorporate real data in order to quantify risk. Very importantly, students will be able to forecast remediation options for a variety of situations and consider the implications and processes involved.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Analysis (EV5800)

15 Credit Points

The mixture of applied science and theoretical work places you in a valuable position for understanding the procedures and applications in modern environmental science. A number of laboratory classes allows you to familiarise yourself with the current analytical instrumentation in environmental science. The course uses examples of environmental issues allowing you to understand the problem, how the analysis was conducted and the implications of the results. The main assessment in this course is a practical write up that is written in the style of a scientific report giving you an opportunity to perfect this style of writing.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Impact Assessment (EK5804)

15 Credit Points

Lectures and seminars provide background information about the origins and development of EIA, and how EIAs are implemented in the UK and elsewhere. Visiting speakers and a field visit provide practitioner perspectives on the role of EIA in development decisions.

Workshop sessions focus on case studies to provide insight into issues that arise and provide an opportunity to develop transferable skills valued by employers, such as team-working, time-management, presentation and critical appraisal.

Through an EIA report you investigate a proposed development in depth to identify likely environmental effects, judge their significance, and propose how they should be assessed and mitigated.

View detailed information about this course
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.

View detailed information about this course
Ecology, Conservation and Society (EK5510)

15 Credit Points

Six themes that reflect current theory and practice in the interface between ecology, conservation and society are explored through structured in-class activities challenging you to consider problems and evidence from different perspectives.

Case studies drawn from different disciplinary perspectives (e.g., anthropology, economics, human geography, philosophy) increase capacity for self-reflection and awareness of ethical and moral issues embedded in problems often framed as ecological.

Four short discussion essays are required; you will get detailed feedback for improving your writing skills.

Weekly student-led discussions allow you to develop your capacity for attentive exchange, informed argument and reasoning, and skills in facilitating discussion.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Management Plan (EV5801)

15 Credit Points

Students examine why and how management plans are created for conservation and other sites. Field work in a multiple use site is followed by 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.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Project in Environmental Science (EV5902)

60 Credit Points

The three-month individual Research Project can cover any area of environmental science and is undertaken under the supervision of a member of staff who is an expert in your chosen field. Many projects are also done in collaboration with an external organisation. The project provides opportunities for you to develop your abilities and skills, generate hypotheses and design ways of testing them and to analyse, report and discuss your findings. You will learn to take responsibility for implementing your own plans and modifying them as necessary. The project is written up in the form of a scientific paper manuscript.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £21,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
MSc 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

The taught part of the MSc Environmental Science programme involves students taking eight courses over two terms. Course options are varied.


Compulsory Courses
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 engage with stake holders from a number of different sectors;

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

View detailed information about this course
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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses
Plant Ecology (PL5001)

15 Credit Points

Integrated lectures, field trips, data exercises and discussions provide a broad overview of theoretical plant ecology and its practical applications. You will participate in data collection in sand dune, heathland and woodland habitats becoming familiar with a range of plant species. Key skills in vegetation survey, monitoring and research are taught. Class field data are used as the basis for understanding ecological processes and for learning vegetation analysis methods. You will practice writing skills in a data report and essay, supported by “clinics” and by individual help to students. Detailed feedback helps your writing in subsequent courses.

View detailed information about this course
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 presentation on a particular soil that requires research akin to detective work, and a quiz on soil classification. We expect students to keep a detailed log of field trips to learn survey techniques and to consult for the quiz. An essay will also assessed.

View detailed information about this course
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. Students are introduced to modelling of agricultural impacts on soils and the environment so that mitigation strategies can be assessed.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Applications of GIS (EV5517)

15 Credit Points

Many types of biological and environmental data have a spatial component. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provide the means to analyse data in their spatial context.

This course gives you an understanding of fundamental concepts in GIS, an appreciation of the ways in which GIS can be used in ecology and environmental sciences, and practical skills in using ArcGIS software to solve problems in a spatial context.

A flexible teaching and learning environment allows for individualised learning and enrichment for students with existing skills in GIS.

The course broadens your portfolio of research skills and enhance your employability.

View detailed information about this course
Land use and the Changing Environment (EV5803)

15 Credit Points

An introduction to landscape and associated conflicts by using the Cairngorm National Park as the setting. Visits to sporting estates, forests (plantation and semi-natural), farms, river management, ski centres and national nature reserves are used to exemplify the complex relationships between semi-natural and management environments and the people that occupy and use them.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses
Remediation Technology (SS5500)

15 Credit Points

A highly interactive course, that uses extensively e-learning platforms to enable students to better understand the assessment of contaminated land. Students will learn how to interpret and apply current risk assessment regulations and predict as well as model contaminant pathways. Students will gain valuable experience in using the latest computer software and incorporate real data in order to quantify risk. Very importantly, students will be able to forecast remediation options for a variety of situations and consider the implications and processes involved.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Impact Assessment (EK5804)

15 Credit Points

Lectures and seminars provide background information about the origins and development of EIA, and how EIAs are implemented in the UK and elsewhere. Visiting speakers and a field visit provide practitioner perspectives on the role of EIA in development decisions.

Workshop sessions focus on case studies to provide insight into issues that arise and provide an opportunity to develop transferable skills valued by employers, such as team-working, time-management, presentation and critical appraisal.

Through an EIA report you investigate a proposed development in depth to identify likely environmental effects, judge their significance, and propose how they should be assessed and mitigated.

View detailed information about this course
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.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Analysis (EV5800)

15 Credit Points

The mixture of applied science and theoretical work places you in a valuable position for understanding the procedures and applications in modern environmental science. A number of laboratory classes allows you to familiarise yourself with the current analytical instrumentation in environmental science. The course uses examples of environmental issues allowing you to understand the problem, how the analysis was conducted and the implications of the results. The main assessment in this course is a practical write up that is written in the style of a scientific report giving you an opportunity to perfect this style of writing.

View detailed information about this course
Ecology, Conservation and Society (EK5510)

15 Credit Points

Six themes that reflect current theory and practice in the interface between ecology, conservation and society are explored through structured in-class activities challenging you to consider problems and evidence from different perspectives.

Case studies drawn from different disciplinary perspectives (e.g., anthropology, economics, human geography, philosophy) increase capacity for self-reflection and awareness of ethical and moral issues embedded in problems often framed as ecological.

Four short discussion essays are required; you will get detailed feedback for improving your writing skills.

Weekly student-led discussions allow you to develop your capacity for attentive exchange, informed argument and reasoning, and skills in facilitating discussion.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Management Plan (EV5801)

15 Credit Points

Students examine why and how management plans are created for conservation and other sites. Field work in a multiple use site is followed by 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.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

A module underpinned by a research theme within the discipline of environmental science. This could be in a range of different areas of environmental science including; environmental monitoring, risk assessment, remediation, climate change, pollution mitigation, analytical development or modelling. It could be terrestrial, freshwater, marine or atmospheric in outlook.


Compulsory Courses

Projects can be field, laboratory or desk based, or indeed a combination of these. Students may undertake this in Aberdeen or from an alternative national or international base.

Project in Environmental Science (EV5902)

60 Credit Points

The three-month individual Research Project can cover any area of environmental science and is undertaken under the supervision of a member of staff who is an expert in your chosen field. Many projects are also done in collaboration with an external organisation. The project provides opportunities for you to develop your abilities and skills, generate hypotheses and design ways of testing them and to analyse, report and discuss your findings. You will learn to take responsibility for implementing your own plans and modifying them as necessary. The project is written up in the form of a scientific paper manuscript.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £21,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
MSc 12 months On Campus Learning Full Time January Aberdeen View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses
Applications of GIS (EV5517)

15 Credit Points

Many types of biological and environmental data have a spatial component. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provide the means to analyse data in their spatial context.

This course gives you an understanding of fundamental concepts in GIS, an appreciation of the ways in which GIS can be used in ecology and environmental sciences, and practical skills in using ArcGIS software to solve problems in a spatial context.

A flexible teaching and learning environment allows for individualised learning and enrichment for students with existing skills in GIS.

The course broadens your portfolio of research skills and enhance your employability.

View detailed information about this course
Land use and the Changing Environment (EV5803)

15 Credit Points

An introduction to landscape and associated conflicts by using the Cairngorm National Park as the setting. Visits to sporting estates, forests (plantation and semi-natural), farms, river management, ski centres and national nature reserves are used to exemplify the complex relationships between semi-natural and management environments and the people that occupy and use them.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses
Remediation Technology (SS5500)

15 Credit Points

A highly interactive course, that uses extensively e-learning platforms to enable students to better understand the assessment of contaminated land. Students will learn how to interpret and apply current risk assessment regulations and predict as well as model contaminant pathways. Students will gain valuable experience in using the latest computer software and incorporate real data in order to quantify risk. Very importantly, students will be able to forecast remediation options for a variety of situations and consider the implications and processes involved.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Impact Assessment (EK5804)

15 Credit Points

Lectures and seminars provide background information about the origins and development of EIA, and how EIAs are implemented in the UK and elsewhere. Visiting speakers and a field visit provide practitioner perspectives on the role of EIA in development decisions.

Workshop sessions focus on case studies to provide insight into issues that arise and provide an opportunity to develop transferable skills valued by employers, such as team-working, time-management, presentation and critical appraisal.

Through an EIA report you investigate a proposed development in depth to identify likely environmental effects, judge their significance, and propose how they should be assessed and mitigated.

View detailed information about this course
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.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Analysis (EV5800)

15 Credit Points

The mixture of applied science and theoretical work places you in a valuable position for understanding the procedures and applications in modern environmental science. A number of laboratory classes allows you to familiarise yourself with the current analytical instrumentation in environmental science. The course uses examples of environmental issues allowing you to understand the problem, how the analysis was conducted and the implications of the results. The main assessment in this course is a practical write up that is written in the style of a scientific report giving you an opportunity to perfect this style of writing.

View detailed information about this course
Ecology, Conservation and Society (EK5510)

15 Credit Points

Six themes that reflect current theory and practice in the interface between ecology, conservation and society are explored through structured in-class activities challenging you to consider problems and evidence from different perspectives.

Case studies drawn from different disciplinary perspectives (e.g., anthropology, economics, human geography, philosophy) increase capacity for self-reflection and awareness of ethical and moral issues embedded in problems often framed as ecological.

Four short discussion essays are required; you will get detailed feedback for improving your writing skills.

Weekly student-led discussions allow you to develop your capacity for attentive exchange, informed argument and reasoning, and skills in facilitating discussion.

View detailed information about this course
Environmental Management Plan (EV5801)

15 Credit Points

Students examine why and how management plans are created for conservation and other sites. Field work in a multiple use site is followed by 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.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Project in Environmental Science (EV5902)

60 Credit Points

The three-month individual Research Project can cover any area of environmental science and is undertaken under the supervision of a member of staff who is an expert in your chosen field. Many projects are also done in collaboration with an external organisation. The project provides opportunities for you to develop your abilities and skills, generate hypotheses and design ways of testing them and to analyse, report and discuss your findings. You will learn to take responsibility for implementing your own plans and modifying them as necessary. The project is written up in the form of a scientific paper manuscript.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
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 engage with stake holders from a number of different sectors;

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

View detailed information about this course
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.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses
Plant Ecology (PL5001)

15 Credit Points

Integrated lectures, field trips, data exercises and discussions provide a broad overview of theoretical plant ecology and its practical applications. You will participate in data collection in sand dune, heathland and woodland habitats becoming familiar with a range of plant species. Key skills in vegetation survey, monitoring and research are taught. Class field data are used as the basis for understanding ecological processes and for learning vegetation analysis methods. You will practice writing skills in a data report and essay, supported by “clinics” and by individual help to students. Detailed feedback helps your writing in subsequent courses.

View detailed information about this course
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 presentation on a particular soil that requires research akin to detective work, and a quiz on soil classification. We expect students to keep a detailed log of field trips to learn survey techniques and to consult for the quiz. An essay will also assessed.

View detailed information about this course
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. Students are introduced to modelling of agricultural impacts on soils and the environment so that mitigation strategies can be assessed.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
International Students £21,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £10,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

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

A wide 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 student to tutor ratio, meaning you will have the full support of your group tutors.

Our great diversity in teaching methods is coupled by the use of latest digital technology to ensure course content is accessible to all students through a wide range of electronic formats.

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 majority of courses regularly extend activities and learning to outdoor field work, visits by industry experts and insights into real-life situations and problem-solving. The MSc programme includes, without additional cost, a one week residential field course (at Ballater, Aberdeenshire) plus several day-long field trips from Aberdeen.

The dedicated research project you will undertake as part of your MSc provides training in study design, technical skills, recording results and observations and analysing results. Great flexibility is available in project selection; projects can be chosen from a list of developed by the students themselves in collaboration with supervisors. Projects can be field, lab and/or computer based and flexible to fit the student’s interests, aspirations and skill set.

Learning Methods

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

Assessment Methods

The degree programme is assessed on the basis of performance in the research project and continuous assessment of coursework.

Why Study Environmental Science?

  • Aberdeen provides you with a unique learning environment that cannot be found elsewhere. 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.
  • We are ranked number 1 in the UK in terms of overall research excellence in the fields of earth systems and environmental sciences (REF 2014).
  • 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.
  • You will be taught by people who are internationally renowned researchers and experts in their field.
  • You will learn essential research skills that will better prepare you, should you choose to progress to PhD level.

What Our Students Say

Ama Abrafi Acheampong

Ama Abrafi Acheampong

Ama Abrafi Acheampong

“I love the fact that lecturers are very helpful and they do their best to make learning very easy. The practicality of some of the courses is also something I find quite helpful."

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

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

MRes

A UK 2:1 honours degree (or international equivalent), in a biological, environmental or physical science, geography, or other relevant subject is required.

MSc

A UK 2:1 honours degree (or international equivalent), in a biological, environmental or physical science, geography, or other relevant subject; applicants with a 2ii (or equivalent), particularly with some relevant experience, may also be considered. We also consider individuals with degrees in a wider range of disciplines who are clearly motivated by the programme and have some relevant experience.

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

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

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. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

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

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • 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.

  • MSc Environmental Science - applications are invited to the Robert Grant Memorial Trust for the 2020/21 academic year. The award will cover UK/EU tuition fees and students from Morayshire or Aberdeenshire are eligible to apply. Closing date is 1st July 2020.
  • MSc Environmental Science - applications are invited for the James Henry Scott Scholarship, starting in either September 2020 or January 2021. Students must be commencing a one-year full-time Master of Science degree (MSc) and students from the People's Republic of China or Hong Kong only are eligible to apply. Please note that applicants currently domiciled in the UK will not be considered. Closing date is 1st of June 2020.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Careers

Completing the MSc programme will give you the essential skills required to pursue a career in environmental science. You will be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and practical experience to take the necessary action in resolving environmental conflicts.

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

Many graduates pursue careers in the private sector to work for environmental and agricultural consultancies. Others move into Government associated work such as with the Scottish Government, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), or regulatory bodies like the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Environment Agency (EA). A proportion of graduates use the skills learned to continue in research either at universities or institutes.

Career Opportunities

  • Doctoral Researcher
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Research Associate

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 & non-governmental organisations including:

  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Marine Scotland Science
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • British Trust for Ornithology
  • Forestry Commission and Forest Research
  • International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

Accreditation

Both the MSc Environmental Science and MSc Environmental Management are IEMA approved programmes. This means graduates from these programmes automatically qualify for GradIEMA professional status – showing you are part of the next generation of leaders in sustainability. You can also fast-track an application to PIEMA (Practitioner Status) once you have gained enough experience to complete a work-based competence assessment. IEMA Student Membership is also free on approved programmes, underpinning your studies with an invaluable toolkit of resources.

This degree holds accreditation from

Programme Overview

Professor Graeme Paton describes the key features of our multidisciplinary MSc programme

Watch video

1st in Scotland for Environment and Ecology

We are ranked 1st in Scotland for Environment/Ecology (US News & World Report of Best Global Universities Rankings 2020)

What our Alumni Say

Ka Yan Yip

Ka Yan Yip

Ka Yan Yip

Job Details
Project Environmental Consultant
Graduated 2016

With the Master’s degree I earned in Environmental Science, I was able to embark on the journey to become an environmental specialist. I made life-long friends with classmates and we are still in touch after graduation, despite living half a world away. I enjoyed field trips in Global Soil Geography during which I got to see magnificent soil profiles.

Shi Heliang

Shi Heliang

Shi Heliang

Job Details
Capitalization Manager
Graduated 2018

During my studies at the University of Aberdeen, I was impressed with the way the School organised our learning programme, class teaching and field trips. I got the chance to learn in a tangible way whilst having the opportunity to travel to different parts of Scotland and enjoy its spectacular landscapes. The University of Aberdeen is full of brilliant people and places. Use every chance you get to make connections, explore every corner of the city, you will cherish it in the future.

Our Experts

The programme will be delivered by a multidisciplinary team of world renowned and vastly experienced researchers in environmental science with each course having its own specialised co-ordinator(s).

Other Experts
Professor Graeme Paton
Professor Paul Hallett
Dr Sarah Woodin
Dr Lenka Mbadugha
Professor Pete Smith
Dr Gareth Norton
Dr Philip Smith
Programme Coordinator
Dr Vasilis Louca

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.

Facilities

Image for Cruickshank Botanic Garden
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.

Image for Sir Duncan Rice Library
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
Image for Laboratory Facilities
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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX