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Postgraduate study

Course overview

If you are seeking to develop the skills and confidence to address the critical global challenges of climate change and diminishing natural resources, this environmental management programme is for you. Clean energy, water supply, and the effects of anthropogenic changes are crucial issues facing society today and are the fundamental themes in this programme.

In a rapidly changing world environmental management has an important role to play in modern society. Fundamentally it is a multi-disciplinary area of study, one which has huge potential to unite disparate areas of knowledge and research, and address key challenges for the earth and human society. The solutions to our problems already exist – how can we make them the mainstream reality? You will explore the world’s dependency on hydrocarbon-based resources, together with strategies and technologies to decarbonise national economies. This course examines the evidence for climate change and the means to communicate it. There is a module devoted to water resources, and you will address the problems of conservation of the natural world as well as the sustainability of our increasingly urbanised society against a background of growing population. The programme develops the problem-solvers and communicators needed to face the enormous challenges of the 21st century - those who can play key roles in driving environmental policies, and in formulating forward-looking strategies in environmental management at corporate, national and global scales.


Course details

For an MSc award you must successfully complete the 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project. 

The structure of the course reflects the core themes of environmental management, considering both the natural processes that shape our changing environment, and the anthropogenic causes of environmental change. As well as introducing you to the fundamental theories and arguments of environmental science, the course exposes you to a wide range of fieldwork and laboratory activities. These activities develop skills in teamwork, planning, data collection and analysis, and presentation, linking theoretical ideas and concepts to tangible processes, environments, and situations. You develop a rounded understanding and experience of the diverse scope of environmental management, gradually building up layers of knowledge, skills, and experiences. These culminate in the personal research project, an opportunity for you to research a topic aligned with your interests, demonstrating the knowledge and skills acquired during the course.

You are encouraged to take up opportunities of voluntary placements with local industries to conduct real-world research projects. These placements are assessed in line with the assessment criteria and learning outcomes of the Project module. 

Examples of past MSc research projects

  • A feasibility study of the application of zero-carbon retrofit technologies in building communal areas
  • Assessment of the climate change impacts of the Tees Valley
  • Carbon trading opportunities for renewable energy projects in developing countries
  • Demand and supply potential of solar panel installations
  • Energy recovery from abandoned oil wells through geothermal processes
  • Exploring the links between carbon disclosure and carbon performance
  • Exploring the potential for wind energy in Libya
  • Hydrothermal carbonisation of waste biomass
  • Potential for biochar utilisation in developing rural economies
  • Wind energy potential in Thailand
  • Waste management in Yaounde, Cameroon

Course structure

Core modules

Climate Change

Climate change is an urgent challenge facing humanity and this module will provide the scientific knowledge and understanding needed to address this challenge. You explore how the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, cryosphere and biosphere interact to shape earth’s climate, a dynamic system on both temporal and spatial scales. Global climate is changing in a manner that is unprecedented over the past 800,000 years. The evidence that human activity since the onset of the Industrial Era has significantly perturbed the earth’s natural climate state is all too clear from the palaeoclimate and instrumental record. Rising global temperatures, warming oceans, retreating ice sheets, declining Arctic sea ice, sea level rise, weather extremes, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, are all lines of evidence that climate change is occurring.


This module develops topical themes from the wider field of conservation science for you to gain an overview understanding of a range of conservation actions and the latest thinking. There will be a focus on the science and thinking that underpin conservation, using a multidisciplinary approach straddling, bioscience, ecology and geoscience. Key topics include, but will not be restricted to, global change biology, invasion and disease ecology and rewilding conservation strategies.

Environmental Management

This is a multidisciplinary activity which aims to ensure maximum human benefit from the natural world whilst minimising degradation to natural habitats and ecosystems. You addresse key issues for the professional environmental manager including:

• identification of appropriate social, financial, environmental and technical outcomes from a human-environmental interaction
• selection, operationalisation, recording and reporting of appropriate measures of environmental conditions and potential impacts from an activity
• consideration of the regulatory environment
• the Environmental Impact Assessment, the Environmental Statement, and the Environmental Audit, ISO14000.

Global Energy Resources

The oncoming climate catastrophe is the biggest existential threat to humanity today. Emissions of greenhouse gases are mostly due to energy generation; and where we are and how we have got here through fossil fuels will be discussed. Methods to decarbonise energy will be explored as will the possible routes to a cooler, greener future in which there is more worldwide social equality, without sacrificing lifestyles or the environment.

Global Water Resources

Water as a global resource is introduced in this module and you develop skills in exploring competing perspectives on water resource usage and management through the construction and presentation of evidence-based argument. Through interactive lecture sessions, you learn about global water circulations, both natural and anthropogenic; the competing nature of rivers as major resources of fresh water as well as potential environmental hazards; current and emerging pressures on the earths freshwater resource; and approaches being adopted to sustainably manage this previous resource.

Research Project

This module will provide an appropriate environment for an in-depth investigation of a subject relevant to the programme chosen and the continued development of cognitive, professional and transferable skills. It aims to unify your understanding and awareness of engineering or science as developed in the programme, with individual and independent research and analysis on a selected topic within the discipline. It also aims to expose you to the management of a significant project and to enable you to apply research methods relevant to your specific field and related discipline. It further aims to allow you to investigate problems which involve the consideration of relevant legal, social, ethical, environmental and other professional issues.

You will be expected to develop and practice a professional approach to the presentation, delivery and appraisal of your written and oral presentations.?

Sustainability and Society

Sustainability is more than just maintaining a balance between economic, social, and environmental matters – it is about the critical appraisal of how humans use the planet, and the harm this is causing. You critically investigate the relationship between sustainability and society by approaching sustainability, in a context of climate breakdown, as a vital concern for society, studying it through key theoretical, conceptual and empirical studies. By encouraging interdisciplinary thinking across scientific, socio-cultural, and environmental perspectives, you develop a stronger and more critical understanding of sustainability and how it can be achieved.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (through lectures, tutorials, projects, assignments), but you are also expected to spend time on your own, called self-study time, to review lecture notes, prepare course work assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments. For example, each 20-credit module typically has around 200 hours of learning time. 

In most cases, around 60 hours are spent in lectures, tutorials and in practical exercises. The remaining learning time is for you to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 180 credits; during one year of full-time study you can expect to have 1,800 hours of learning and assessment.

How you are assessed

Modules are assessed by a variety of methods including examination and in-course assessment with some utilising other approaches such as group work or verbal/poster presentations.


Entry requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have at least a lower second class (2.2) UK honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in a subject related to science, technology, engineering or business/management. 

In addition, international students normally need at least 6.0 with no component below 5.5 in the International Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Work placement

There may be short-term placement opportunities for some students, particularly during the project phase of the course. This University is also in the process of seeking accreditation for the Waste Management module from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

Career opportunities

Successful graduates from this course are well placed to find employment. As an energy and environmental manager, you might find yourself in a role responsible for overseeing the energy and environmental performance of private, public and voluntary sector organisations, as well as in a wide range of engineering industries.
Energy and environmental managers examine corporate activities to establish where improvements can be made and ensure compliance with environmental legislation across the organisation. You might be responsible for reviewing the whole operation, carrying out energy and environmental audits and assessments, identifying and resolving energy and environmental problems and acting as agents of change. Your role could include the training of the workforce to develop the ability to recognise their own contributions to improved energy and environmental performance.

Your role may also include the development, implementation and monitoring of energy and environmental strategies, policies and programmes that promote sustainable development at corporate, national or global levels.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£6,500 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: September enrolment: 1 year, January enrolment: 16 months, including a summer break
  • Enrolment date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply online (full-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students



2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£722 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: September enrolment: 2 years, including a summer break, January enrolment: 28 months, including two summer breaks
  • Attendance: Typically one day a week
  • Enrolment date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students


Choose Teesside


Stand out from other job applicants with your higher level qualification, specialist knowledge and expanded networks.



Improve your project management, critical thinking, research skills, time management, presentation skills and teamwork.



The median salary for working-age (16-64) postgraduates in 2018 was £6,000 more than graduates
(DoE Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018,



Study in our friendly town-centre campus with over £270m recently invested and another £300m over the next 10 years.


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