student looking at a map in a field

MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate

Environmental Management

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Geography and Environmental Management
One year full-time, or three years part-time
September start, full-time, part-time
Programme leader:
Dr Jo Barnes
Key fact:
The flexibility of this course gives you the chance to specialise in a particular area of environmental management, and develop the skills to prepare you for your chosen career.

Page last updated 21 March 2018


Environmental and sustainability issues are at the forefront of global concerns. Consequently, globally there is increasing demand for competent, qualified environmental managers. Managing the environment is of increasing importance to governments and industry by choosing to study this course at UWE Bristol (two-time winner of the International Green Gown Awards) you will develop expertise in key areas which will enhance your employability.

Developing skills for wide-ranging applications

The MSc Environmental Management is an opportunity to study a professionally focused course in line with your own interests and ambitions. On completion, you'll be ready to take on a number of roles, for example, working in the environmental arm of a large private company, or with a public sector body such as the Environment Agency. You'll find possibilities across the world in areas as diverse as civil engineering, sustainable development, water security, or research. You may find yourself developing policy or getting involved in major projects.

Be at the forefront of helping solve some of the world's biggest environmental and sustainability issues, including climate change, air pollution, biodiversity loss, food and water security, sanitation and safe water access. Your expertise could help shape the future of our planet, and really make a difference.

Accreditations and partnerships:



The Masters in Environmental Management has been designed to allow you maximum flexibility regarding themes, focus and study mode: full time or part time.

You will be able to shape your own degree by selecting from a mix of water, GIS and sustainable development modules. These should build on your existing knowledge or be relevant to your own professional ambitions. You will also specialise through your choice of Masters project. This could allow you to specialise in an aspect of the environment that interests you, while also developing a range of professional skills (such as GIS).

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Managing the Environment will allow you to step back from the process of doing environmental management to consider more fundamental ideas and questions that must be addressed in order to shape our approach to the environment, such as; Why care for the environment? and How should we respond to the challenges of modern technologies such as GM crops or nuclear power?
  • Master's Project

You will then select seven optional modules.

In addition to the MSc Environmental Management, you may chose to specialise in one of our three pathways. The pathways require you to focus your studies around the named discipline by studying the modules outlined below and completing an appropriately focused Master's project.

Applied GIS

  • Introduction to Applied GIS introduces fundamental concepts related to GIS and its application. It also develops the basic practical skills that are extended across the rest of the programme. The module covers the history of GIS, its issues within society, an introduction to spatial data formats and a technical introduction to ArcGIS.
  • Spatial Analytical Methods focuses on developing an understanding of the underlying principles and applications of different methods of GIS analysis. This module covers topics such as vector analytical methods, raster analysis and fuzzy logic, remote sensing, spatial statistics, network analysis and dealing with error and uncertainty in spatial analysis.
  • Cartography and Visualisation explores the elements and characteristics of the effective communication of geospatial information. During this module, you will learn about the history of cartography, cartographic transformations, semiotics, map design, temporal data display and 3D mapping and visualisation.


  • Sustainable Development: Principles and Practice explores the fundamental nature, causes and consequences of sustainable and unsustainable development. Practical exercises and projects give you first-hand experience of putting key concepts, frameworks and tools for implementing sustainable development into practice.
  • Creating Sustainable Behaviour Change uses case studies and examples to explore a range of different theoretical and practical approaches to understanding and influencing pro-sustainable behaviour.
  • The Sustainable Organisation: Vision into Practice examines the vision of a sustainable business operating in a complex ecosystem with resource constraints and compares this with the reality of contemporary business. Case studies and project work provide an insight into the knowledge and skills necessary to help organisations achieve sustainable strategies and operations.

Water Management

  • Water Management: Challenges for the 21st Century will give you a better understanding of the role of freshwater resources and their management in the contemporary world. The module considers the major political, economic and policy issues facing water managers in two broadly conceived world regions: the Western capitalist world and the so-called 'developing world'.
  • Water Policy and Law provides an introduction to the legal framework and context within which water management operates.

You will also choose one of the following options:

  • Catchment Hydrology will provide you with a good understanding of the components of the hydrological cycle, from precipitation through to interception, evaporation, infiltration into the soil and movement within the soil and groundwater zones, leading to runoff observed in rivers. The module will also equip you with the fundamental analytical skills of the hydrologist, including the preparation of flow duration curves and calculation of flood frequencies. 
  • Catchment Management provides an opportunity to apply your knowledge to the practical challenges in catchment management. Having selected a catchment near you, and on the basis of fieldwork and available spatial datasets, you will investigate and document catchment issues, problems, threats and assets. You will then formulate a catchment management plan to protect and enhance the assets and address the priority problems and threats in a structured manner.    

Please also 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 teaching and learning methods used across the course are designed to ensure you develop a range of valuable professional skills as well as subject expertise. You learn collaboratively through practical sessions, small group tutorials and placements, and we encourage you to form independent study groups and support one another this ensures you benefit from each other's experiences as well as the taught content.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


We want you to realise your full potential. So we expect you to participate in debates and discussions, prepare professional reports and presentations, and write traditional academic essays. There is a strong emphasis on reflective learning, which will allow you to monitor, assess and evaluate your progress. There will be plenty of opportunities for feedback before your work is assessed more formally.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). CHES is the collective voice of the environmental sciences academic community and serves to enhance the quality of environmental education worldwide. A course accredited by CHES is assured to meet high standards, contain a strong component of practical, field and theoretical activities, and has excellent opportunities for training, work experience and links to the professional environmental sector. Students enrolled on CHES accredited course can apply for free Student Membership of the IES and for a fast-track route to membership once they graduate, starting you on a route towards becoming a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist.


The course offers opportunities for professional placements or work-based learning. We provide support for finding placements, but we expect you to be a proactive partner in finding and pursuing opportunities.

A good example of our industry links is the International Water Security Network, a global research network led by UWE Bristol and funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation.

Study facilities

UWE Bristol has world-class teaching rooms, labs and computer facilities, and has invested heavily in computer-based resources to support your learning. You'll have access to computer rooms that run a range of professional industry-standard software, supported by large-format printers and scanners, and a team of expert and friendly technical support staff who can provide specific help if needed.

We also have a range of well-equipped laboratories for concrete and environmental services, environmental change, environmental physics, environmental biology, earth sciences and surveying technology each with specialist technicians. We also have photography, digital imaging, video and sound recording resources.

The UWE Bristol library is the largest in the south west and is open 24 hours a day as are many of our computer labs.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.


Careers / Further study

Environmental Management issues are high on many international political agendas. For example, the Indian government and the World Bank have declared environmental management a priority. As a result there is a global demand for highly skilled environmental managers. The environmental employment sector in the UK and Europe is significant, with the UK environmental economy expected to grow at an average of 5% a year.

In addition to preparing you for an exciting career in a growing industry, your studies will also prepare you to pursue a PhD, if you choose.

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.


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee7000
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)583
International-Full Time-Award Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1042
Offshore-Full Time-Award Fee12500
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1042

Part time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)583
Offshore-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1042

Supplementary fee information

We offer a number of scholarships to eligible students enrolled on the MSc Environmental Management (Water) pathway, covering £3500 of tuition fees. For further information about this scholarship, please email Chad Staddon at

More information on fees can be found on our tuition fees pages.

For funding options, please see our funding and scholarships information.


Entry requirements

We normally require an honours degree of 2.2 or above. This course is generally suitable for graduates of degrees from any academic background, but particularly social sciences, geography and planning.

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. You may also wish to give us a portfolio or sample of your professional output that you think is relevant; we may ask you to attend an interview.

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 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 further information

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