MSc/Postgraduate Diploma Environmental Health

Entry year
Course code
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
Full-time; part-time; starts September
Programme leader
Ellis Turner

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 29 April 2024


A professionally accredited, vocational postgraduate education in environmental health with strong links to public and private sector employers, and taught content that reflects current and predicted industry trends.

Our professionally-accredited, vocational master's in environmental health has strong links to public and private sector employers, and taught content that reflects current and predicted industry trends. This course is aimed at graduates who are keen to acquire the professional skills needed to identify, assess, evaluate and control environmental factors that affect health.

The course content will educate and support anyone pursuing public or private sector careers that promote and protect human health and welfare. Thanks to our strong industry links, you'll benefit from direct teaching input from employers across the South West, as well as excellent employment opportunities.

Direct routes to employment or career enhancement

The majority of our students go straight into related employment. With many securing positions before graduation, with employers such as national food and health, safety and environment organisations and consultancies, national retailers and the leisure/holiday sector, as well as local councils, or overseas with a growing international focus on environmental health issues. This is reflected in our increasing number of international applicants.

You'll have the knowledge and experience in decision-making needed to identify and tackle environmental health issues in a wide range of contexts. You'll also be ready to contribute significantly to existing environmental health practice, and to respond and initiate change in line with current and emerging public health issues.

On completing the course, you can continue your professional development by registering for the Chartered Practitioner Programme, delivered by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH). You will be then designated as having achieved the highest professional level and able to use the nominals CEnvH.



Studies focus on key current environmental health concerns, and cover public health, food safety, housing, health and safety at work, and pollution management. The core modules are:

  • Food Control - Developing an understanding of food safety situations along with the skills needed to assess and control them effectively. This is through a combination of teaching and practical sessions.
  • Health and Safety Management - How working environments can affect our health, safety and welfare and how we can minimise incidence and negative health effects through target-based interventions.
  • Health Promotion - Evaluating approaches to tackling health inequalities within communities.
  • Environmental Health Professional Practice - Integrates learning across the course and applies it to practice through investigating case studies.
  • Environmental Health Risk and Law - Underpinning knowledge related to key aspects of practice.  This sets foundations before moving to more specialist topics.
  • Environmental Protection and Sustainability - How contamination of water, land and air impacts on health. Exploring sustainable solutions.
  • Housing and Healthy Neighbourhoods - An understanding of how the fitness of dwelling places and communities impacts on the health of those who live in them. Interventions to address these inequalities.
  • Introduction to Environmental and Public Health - Underpinning knowledge to introduce the key themes and approaches to current thinking.
  • Research Methods - Developing a range of research method knowledge and skill, including Environmental Health Practice service evaluations.
  • Research Project - A substantial Environmental Health research project, including a publishable article as one of the research outputs.

Please note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied. However, the structure will differ.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course is supported fully by on-line material and library access, and comprises a careful balance of individual and group learning. Group sessions are designed to take advantage of the wide range of practical and professional skills and experience our students bring to the mix.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


The Master's degree requires an accumulation of 180 credits. Modules are mostly 15 credits, with one worth 30, and the dissertation at 45. 

Assessment is by written exams, oral presentation, poster display or practical sessions, depending on the module - and your Master's dissertation.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

To become a Chartered Practitioner you must complete the Chartered Practitioner Programme delivered by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Professional recognition and career enhancementThe course is currently in the process of gaining accreditation via the new CIEH Professional Standards Framework. On successful completion of the course you will have satisfied the Knowledge Block of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner programme and be eligible to register for the remaining elements of the course.

Study facilities

Take a Virtual Tour of the Social Work, Environmental and Public Health facilities and see what's on offer here for you.

Suggested pre-course reading

We recommend reading these books before the course, to give yourself essential background for the modules you'll study.

For Public Health and Health Promotion:

  • Naidoo, J. and Wills, J. (2016). Foundations for Health Promotion. Elsevier
  • Wilson F and Mabhala. (2012) Key Concepts in Public Health. Sage

For Environmental Professional Practice:*

  • Adams, J. (2007) Risk. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
  • Partington, P. (2010) Introduction to the English Legal System. Oxford.

* Find out more by visiting:

For Food Control:

  • Sprenger, R. (2017) 19th Edition Hygiene for Management. Highfield Publications.
  • Pennington, TH. (2003) When Food Kills: BSE, EColi and Disaster Science. OUP Oxford
  • Lang, T. (2021) Feeding Britain: Our Food Problems and How to Fix Them. Pelican Books.

For Pollution Management:

  • Hill, M. (2010) Understanding Environmental Pollution. Cambridge.
  • Wolf, S and Stanley, N (2014) 6th Edition Wolf and Stanley on Environmental Law. Routledge.

For Housing:

  • Marshall, D. (2006) The construction of Houses. Estates Gazette
  • Stewart, J and Lynch, Z (2018) 2nd Edition Environmental Health and Housing. Routledge.

This is aimed specifically at students and practitioners who require a broad understanding of building construction as part of a wider sphere of professional activity.

For Health and Safety Management:

  • Hughes and Ferrett. (2011) 5th Edition. Introduction to Health and Safety. Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Stranks, J. (2007) Health and Safety at Work. Kogan Page.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


A stunning city for student living with all the qualities to make you want to stay.

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Health and Wellbeing

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Campus and facilities

Discover our campuses and the wealth of facilities provided for our students.


Careers / Further study

There are more than 8,000 qualified Environmental Health Officers/Practitioners (EHOs/EHPs) in the UK and the employment opportunities are expanding. They are employed by both local government and industry, in a broad range of settings including food manufacturing, protecting the environment, safety at work and housing.  Employment prospects are good. Demand for EHPs in the public health sector is rising as are the number of opportunities for Environmental Consultants. EHPs are also employed by the Food Standards Agency, Public Health England and the Environment Agency.

You'll need to develop scientific and technological knowledge - as well as collaboration skills for working closely with other professionals and communities.

You may spend time inspecting premises and processes, giving technical advice and dealing with complaints. Practitioners also work to prevent future environmental problems with health protection and promotion programmes, and through involvement in the planning process. EHPs may also get involved in the legal side of things - for example, instigating enforcement procedures and appearing as witnesses in court.

Watch the CIEH's short film about a career in Environmental Health, which will show you the scope of employment opportunities for EHPs and give you a flavour of the diverse work situations you may find yourself in.

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information. 

Fees include all residential field courses, day field courses, and a practical food inspection.


Entry requirements

Entry is open to those who:

  • hold a first degree (minimum 2:2 honours) in a science based discipline; or
  • hold a first degree (minimum 2:2 honours) in another discipline and can demonstrate that they have attained equivalent to the science foundation necessary for the programme in such cases; or
  • have other qualifications and/or experience considered to be equivalent by the Programme Manager.

If you do not meet the above grade requirements but have at least 12 months relevant professional experience and/ or equivalent qualifications, we will consider you on an individual basis.

UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

How to apply

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information