MSc Environmental Consultancy
This course is open for applications.
To apply for entry to this course in January 2021 please visit the 2020/21 course page.
Page last updated 13 October 2020
This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), and provides you with the flexibility to study how you want to.
MSc Environmental Consultancy is strongly interdisciplinary and practical, and draws on our wide-ranging and well-established links with environmental consultancies, industry, national and local government and the IES.
Your studies here at UWE Bristol (two-time winner of the International Green Gown Awards) will be academically rigorous and relevant to the professional skills of environmental consultants, and will equip you to make informed decisions in finding solutions to a range of environmental challenges.
You will learn how to make positive contributions to existing environmental consultancy practice, and respond to and initiate change in line with contemporary and emerging issues.
Students on this course come from a range of different backgrounds. You may be a recent graduate, or an experienced environmental consultant seeking advanced qualifications. This rich mix of students and the differing skills they bring, offer a unique and interesting learning environment for all.
Strong industry links
This course provides an excellent opportunity to gain industry experience with a placement which forms an integral part of your learning. As part of the learning is based in the workplace, the course is suited to people with previous work experience, but equally to those looking to embark on a new career.
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
The course is flexible and therefore suitable for part time and full time students. You will select two optional modules, complete a three-month placement and undertake a dissertation. The key taught areas include business skills for environmental management, environmental assessment and options in renewable energy, carbon management, air quality, water management and law, and GIS.
You will study:
- Environmental Business Skills covers the key topics and skills needed for successful environmental consultancy practice management.
- Environmental Assessment will enable you to understand how to do an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) within the framework of current best practice, through hands on case studies. Related areas such as Strategic Environmental Assessment will also be explored to consider how to build sustainability into the whole development lifecycle.
- Professional Practice in Environmental Sciences gives you the opportunity to complete at least 48 days of work/based learning in a placement at an environmental consultancy setting. This will give you an insight into the responsibilities of the profession and offer a real-world context to your learning.
- Dissertation (research project) - you will investigate, tackle and report on a specific issue in current environmental consultancy practice, with supervision from specialist subject tutors.
Plus, two optional modules from the list below, the nature and content of which is in line with current and future trends in environmental consultancy:
- Renewable Energy and Carbon Futures allows you to look at technologies and the ways in which they can be implemented that potentially provide the basis for a fundamental re-shaping of how society works. This is especially in the field of energy supply and use, through technologies such as biogas digesters, wind power, solar power and the opportunities for bio fuels and greater energy efficiency. It also examines carbon accounting and management, and emissions trading, and the code for sustainable homes.
- Introduction to Applied GIS introduces fundamental concepts related to GIS and its application, and develop the basic practical skills that are extended across the rest of the programme. The module covers the history of GIS, issues about GIS and society, an introduction to spatial data formats and a technical introduction to ArcGIS
- Water Management and the Law will introduce you to a range of topics relating to water management in a challenging future, including governing legal frameworks. The module considers the major political, economic, regulatory and policy issues facing water managers in two broadly conceived world regions: the Western capitalist world and the so-called "developing world". The module will include a series of lectures addressing these topics as well as invitations to attend relevant external events and presentations by visitors to the university.
- Air Quality Management covers an introduction to air quality management from UK and European perspectives, focusing on pollutants of concern, their sources and health effects. You will also study ways of monitoring and modelling air pollution and the implications of air quality assessment in development control, as well as mitigation strategies through Air Quality Action Planning.
Throughout the course, we review future projections in the environmental consultancy sector, take advice from the course's Steering Committee, and reference the Environmental Data Service's annual survey.
You will normally start your research project or dissertation alongside or following the professional practice element of the course. You may base the research project or dissertation on a problem identified through your placement.
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 across the course are designed to ensure you develop a range of valuable professional skills as well as subject expertise.
The learning approach is one of collaborative learning, where you will learn during traditional lectures as well as through practical sessions, small group tutorials and field trips.
See our full glossary of teaching and learning terms.
One year, starting in September. Full-time students normally begin the academic year with a three-month coursework block followed by a three-month professional practice placement, before finishing with a research project.
Up to three years, starting in September. The course is structured to allow a flexible approach to study for those with personal and professional commitments.
Part-time students can take modules in an order that suits their circumstances. As already mentioned, the research project can be based on a problem in your workplace. This is particularly attractive to employers sponsoring your studies.
We assess through coursework, project work - including group work and exams. You may also be assessed through viva voce.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
This course is accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).
You can apply for a free student membership to use the post-nominal StMIEnvSc.
This course is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
Developing your environmental professional practice is a central element of this course, and you'll spend at least 12 weeks in professional practice, through work placements, on short-term project work. Your placement allows you to apply theoretical principles to a real-world environment, and we will help and support you in finding a suitable work placement.
Working in partnership
We have strong links with a range of organisations to ensure this course remains up to date and relevant. Many of these companies have Bristol offices and may also provide professional practise work placements during your studies:
- Air Quality Consultants
- Ecus Ltd
- Eunomia Research and Consulting
- Green Unlimited
- JBA Bentley
- Peter Brett Associates (Stantec)
- T & P Regeneration Ltd
- Wood plc
"WSP is pleased to have a close association with this course. We have taken placement students every year since 2007 and many of them have secured permanent positions with us."
Ross Singleton, Director, WSP UK Ltd.
We have a range of well-equipped laboratories, each with specialist technicians supporting teaching and research. Our audiovisual facilities provide resources for photography, digital imaging, filming and sound recording.
Frenchay Campus library is the largest in the south west, with a huge range of resources for background reading and research. The library operates various systems that offer access to its resources at any time suitable to you.
Our Study Skills pages provide information on online help, workshops and individual support. Also, for international students or any student who uses English as an additional language, there is information on our English language pages.
For international and EU students we also strongly recommend taking this English Language and Academic Culture course which runs at UWE Bristol at the start of September 2020. This free two-week course is for students who have received an unconditional offer from UWE Bristol.
You are eligible to apply, if you:
- have been accepted on a UWE Bristol course
- have a valid UWE Bristol Welcome ID.
Watch our pre-sessional English Language film and hear students talk about the course and life in the UK.
Learn more about our facilities and resources.
Careers / Further study
There are many opportunities for environmental consultants. They're needed in a wide range of industries and sectors, including oil, chemical, energy, waste management, transport, water, construction, metal, engineering, agriculture, mining and quarrying. Central and local government, charitable organisations, retail, commerce and manufacturing sectors also employ environmental consultants.
Graduates from this course have gone into many interesting and exciting areas of work, and the course has an excellent employment record. While many have found roles with large multidisciplinary environmental consultancies, others have used their learning, skills development and contacts from the professional practice placement to become environmental campaign managers, waste managers, wind-farm planning specialists, protected species experts, planning and development consultants, and many other roles.
Here's what some of our former students said about the course:
"I liked the fact that curiosity and questions were encouraged and supported by staff throughout the course. The course gave me the academic background that related to the current environmental consultancy industry and prepared me to work in the industry by helping me get that practical experience through the placement module." Natasha
"This year on the Environmental Consultancy MSc course was really enjoyable. This was because everything that we learned was relevant and very interesting. Also I found that the lecturers and support staff in general went out of their way to make time for us. Finally, the course has been very good for building students' confidence so that they have the knowledge and skills to put themselves out there for employment. It has been a great year!" Katie
You can also read about one of our alumni.
We normally require an honours degree of 2:2 or above in a geographical, engineering, environmental or scientific subject.
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 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.
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.