MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Environmental Health (Distance Learning)

Entry year
Course code
Health and Social Sciences
One full-time; two years part-time, September start
Full-time; Part-time
Programme leader
Sian Buckley

Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants. If you would like information about our alternative course, please visit the MSc Environmental Health course page.

Page last updated 21 January 2020


Ideal for anyone looking to acquire an accredited qualification that confirms professional skills associated with the identifying, assessing, evaluating and controlling factors in the environment that affect health - plus an in-depth understanding of the overarching legal and policy context.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Environmental health professionals play a key role in developing strategies to protect the environment and human health from the effects of unsustainable levels of global economic development.

The MSc Environmental Health Distance Learning programme has been designed specifically for those with an interest in developing an expertise in environmental health issues.

Aimed at graduates, or those looking to make a career change, who have a desire to acquire the professional skills associated with identifying, assessing, evaluating and controlling environmental factors that affect health.

In addition to developing your ability to critically evaluate a full range of sustainable interventions which benefit human health and wellbeing.

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 to and initiate change in line with current and emerging public health issues.

Professional recognition and career enhancement

The course has been accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and on completing the course, the professional practical training and assessment set by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), you'll be eligible for registration with the Environmental Health Registration Board, CIEH, and will be able to enter into practice as an Environmental Health Practitioner.

Innovation and inclusiveness

The course has been designed to maximise interaction amongst students and academic staff, through webinars, blogs, discussion boards and interactive group activities.

You also get to participate in a forum that debates contemporary environmental health issues and share experiences with students from all over the world. 



All modules are compulsory for the MSc Environmental Health, with the exception highlighted below. Modules are also available as stand-alone Continuous Professional Development (CPD) units.

If you wish to go on and register as an Environmental Health Practitioner with the CIEH, you must complete the Professional Food Practice Assessment, which is part of the Food Control Module. For this assessment, you attend a two-day course and exam at the Frenchay Campus UWE, Bristol.

If you do not take this module, or cannot attend campus, you will complete the Food Risk and Society Module for the award of MSc Environmental Health Studies. You can register with the CIEH at a later date, if you wish, having taken the food practical examination at UWE Bristol or another CIEH-accredited university or facility.

Core modules:

  • Introduction to Environmental and Public Health (15 credits) - Learning how to critically analyse what determines health and illness in social, environmental and political contexts.
  • Environmental Health Risk and Law (15 credits) - A critical understanding of environmental health legal systems, regulatory agenda and risk assessment
  • Housing and Healthy Neighbourhoods (15 credits) - Looking closely at the relationship between housing, communities and health, and the risks associated with housing deficiencies.
  • Food Control (15 credits) - Critical understanding of the food supply chain and evaluating the interventions required to control the risks to public health.  This Module contains the Professional Food Practice Assessment OR
  • Food, Risk and Society (15 Credits) - Looks the relationship between food and health with a critical understanding of the food supply chain and how risks are managed.
  • Environmental Protection and Sustainability (15 credits ) - Learning to understand the links between the environment, health and sustainability through the evaluation, mitigation and/or management of human activity that may cause environmental contamination of air, land and water.
  • Health and Safety Management (15 credits) - Understanding how working environments may affect our health, safety and welfare and how we can minimise incidents and negative impacts through focused interventions.
  • Health Promotion (15 credits) - Learning how to devise and evaluate approaches to address health inequalities within communities.
  • Quantitative Health Research (15 credits) - Critical analysis and interpretation of epidemiological studies, in preparation for the research aspect of the course dissertation.
  • Environmental Health Professional Practice (15 credits) - Critical application of environmental theory into practice through case studies
  • Dissertation (45 credits) - Design and execute a planned research study based on relevant methodology within an appropriate research framework.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

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

This course uses a wide range of innovative teaching approaches to fit a range of learning needs. Our blended online learning approach uses, directed learning activities and supported collaborations and is a particularly distinctive and popular feature of the programme.

Directed learning activities include lectures, reading, quizzes, videos, blogs and taking part in discussion boards. Collaborative approaches include webinars, online tutorials and discussion groups, and encourage active participation and engagement with the learning process. 

The interactive nature of the course means you can share and develop your experiences and ideas with students from around the world, creating the sense of 'community' we aim to foster on our programme.

Minimum IT requirements

You will need regular internet access and appropriate IT equipment and software for accessing learning materials through Blackboard, our secure virtual learning environment. You will also store and submit work through Blackboard.

Find out more about what IT system requirements you will need.

You will also need a computer-compatible headset with microphone, and a webcam to take part in interactive group activities and webinars.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


The Master's degree requires an accumulation of 180 credits. All modules are 15 credits with the exception of the Dissertation which is 45 credits

We use a variety of assessment methods, according to each module's requirements, but they include reflective blogs, e-portfolios, online presentations and examinations, and written assignments. The methods used will vary for each module.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health's (CIEH) 2011 curriculum.

Study facilities

You will have access to 24 hour online library support.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Experienced Practitioners and Professionals

You'll benefit from teaching and guidance by our team of environmental and public health practitioners and professionals. Our experience and research in this subject area mean that all course content is relevant and topical, looking at current trends within the environmental public health arena.

The wider 'public health' agenda

An integrated approach to environmental health which is framed within the broader public health agenda.  Benefit from a multifaceted education delivered by leaders in the fields of environmental health and public health.

Study Options

This course is also offered as a full-time or part-time taught route see the MSc Environmental Health for further details.


Careers / Further study

A career in environmental health suits people who wish to have a positive influence on peoples' lives by reducing health inequalities that exist in communities.  Career options are diverse and reflective of the environmental and public health challenges the world faces; this means the scope for employability is good.  UWE alumni have been successful in securing employment in a wide range of sectors and specialities, including:

Public Sector

  • Environmental Health Practitioners in local government
  • Environmental regulator's in government agencies
  • Policy advisors in central government departments
  • Academia.

Private sector

  • Health, Safety and Environment advisors with media broadcasters, luxury hotels and travel  companies
  • Trading law / regulatory compliance managers with multinational food companies
  • Environmental health consultants.

Third sector

  • International development roles with NGOs and development consultants
  • Housing Officers employed by Housing Associations.

To find out more about where your Environmental Health career can take you, watch this short film from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information.


We are pleased to confirm that our New students webpages are now available for students starting this course in September 2020. Here you can find links to useful information about registering, course start dates, arriving on campus what to expect before and when you arrive.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your Preparing to Study information is available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages.

Entry requirements

We normally require an honours degree of 2.2 or above.

We can consider applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirement, but who do have relevant professional experience or qualifications. In your application, you should describe in detail your professional experience and qualifications.

English Language Requirement

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For this course, in the British Council International English Language Test (IELTS) we normally require an overall score of 6.5 and not less than 6.5 in each component.

For more information see our English language requirements pages.

For further information