Postgraduate study

Environmental Protection and Management MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Accreditation

Funding opportunities

It was one of the best academic years I have completed. I was immersed in such a wide range of environmental issues. I took my dissertation as an opportunity to do an internship with Scottish Power Energy Networks.

I now work for an international development NGO. In addition, I run the environmental platform "Less Waste Laura" on social media as an ethical influencer.

There is so much opportunity at Edinburgh, make sure to not let it skip you by!

Laura Young MSc Environmental Protection and Management
Laura Young               MSc Environmental Protection and Management

Your chance to play a vital role to protect and conserve the environment starts here.

Our actions have had and continue to have a significant impact on our planet:

  • the use of natural resources,
  • deforestation
  • soil erosion
  • the release of pollutants and pathogens
  • invasive species
  • the increase in greenhouse gases

These human impacts are all examples of pressures that have potentially severe consequences for humanity and other life on Earth.

The MSc Environmental Protection and Management will give you an in-depth understanding of natural resource management based on a scientific understanding of the issues but also linked across disciplines.

We will equip you with advanced skills and knowledge about the processes that give rise to environmental degradation and the strategies to affect sustainable change.

Reputation, relevance and employability

Our programme has been successfully delivered for over 25 years and continues to grow from strength to strength.

You will be taught by world-leading experts in key fields, as well as benefiting from our excellent relationships with industry and relevant employers.

The programme attracts students from a variety of backgrounds. Our diversity will give you exceptional opportunities to learn from one another and become part of a strong alumni network around the globe.

Scotland’s Rural College

This programme is delivered in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). You will benefit from being a fully enrolled student at the University of Edinburgh as well as access to all of the complementary staff, expertise, and resources at SRUC. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded your degree by the University of Edinburgh.

What’s it really like to study here?

Visit our blog, where students in the School of GeoSciences share their experiences of postgraduate study, living in Edinburgh and everything in-between.

Accreditation

The MSc Environmental Protection and Management is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), allowing students on this programme to become members.

The IES provides access to news about jobs and events, free journal access and free or reduced entry to IES events.

Upon completing our MSc programme, you can upgrade for free to become an Associate of the Institution.

This MSc programme comprises*:

  • compulsory and option courses
  • dissertation

Throughout your studies, we will work with you to prepare you for the dissertation project. This will be your opportunity to explore a topic of your choice in relation to the programme and prepare a dissertation that you can use to demonstrate your work to potential employers.

Part-time study

As we are committed to helping people into education while continuing to work or managing family and personal commitments, you may study this programme part-time.

How will I learn?

You will experience a range of learning styles while studying, depending on the subject matter and courses you are taking. You can view each relevant course for teaching and assessment methods through the ‘Programme Structure’ link under compulsory and option courses below.

Changes to teaching and learning We are committed to offering high-quality education to all our students. However, please be advised that there may be changes to course options and delivery, including due to Covid-19. Decisions are made to safeguard student, staff, and community health and safety and ensure we can maintain the highest standards for your educational experience.

Although we endeavour to provide a wide range of optional courses to choose from, these can be subject to change or cancellation at short notice. Places on optional courses can be limited due to course capacity and timetabling constraints. It may not be possible to guarantee every offer holder their top choice of optional courses.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative. We will continue to update you on the teaching you can expect throughout your application process.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

By studying the MSc Environmental Protection and Management, you will:

  • develop a scientific understanding of some of the major processes which influence the quality of land, air and water resources
  • acquire knowledge of the most effective methods of environmental protection and the sustainable management of resources
  • develop interdisciplinary skills through learning how other disciplines integrate with a scientific approach and understanding
  • have the opportunity to study the integrated protection and management of particular ecosystems or resources
  • be exposed to cutting-edge technology and data analysis tools
  • develop high-level core skills (such as communication, writing skills) that will be vital in the future job market

Our graduates have a strong record of finding employment in the environmental sector around the world.

Global climate change, our growing population and unprecedented consumption of finite resources are rising higher and higher on the political agenda across the world.

Graduates with the knowledge to apply the principles of effective management of limited resources with the protection of our fragile environment are in high demand to find answers and solutions to problems such as:

  • reducing environmental footprints
  • deforestation, pollution
  • soil erosion
  • natural resource management
  • and more.

In particular, addressing such issues requires graduates who can take a holistic and flexible approach to problem-solving, often working with or across other disciplines.

You could be working in roles such as:

  • environmental protection officer
  • lecturer
  • policy officer
  • planning consultant
  • scientific publisher
  • catchment management officer
  • ecological/environmental consultant

There are also many consultancy opportunities with environmental regulators, governments, non-government organisations (NGOs) and private environmental consultancies.

You can also progress to further research and academia.

Recent PhD subjects pursued include:

  • carbon sequestration by agriculture
  • air pollution modelling
  • human-wildlife conflicts
  • use of UAV (drones) in environmental monitoring
  • Arctic ocean circulation systems

Our graduates

Examples of the organisations our graduates have gained employment with include:

  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Talisman Energy
  • Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation
  • Vegware
  • Tearfund
  • Global Green Growth Institute
  • Water Witness International
  • IUCN
  • Veolia UK

During my dissertation I managed to secure a position at the Environment Agency in Water Resources, basing my application around skills I was able to develop during this MSc. Since then I have progressed into Integrated Environmental Planning working on the River Basin Management plan and with water companies on catchment nutrient balancing projects. Mike Garland, MSc Environmental Protection and Management

Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience at the University, providing:

  • tailored advice
  • individual guidance and personal assistance
  • internships and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
  • access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network

We invest in your future beyond the end of your degree. Studying at the University of Edinburgh will lay the foundations for your future success, whatever shape that takes.

Field trips are an excellent way to explore the factors and forces that shape our world and enable you to put valuable skills into practice.

You will have a unique opportunity to participate in a residential field trip* as part of this programme. This will enable you to refresh the skills you have learned as well as develop new tools and techniques for your dissertation and future career.

On recent trips, students learned a range of field and data collection and analysis techniques, covering topics such as:

  • water quality and biodiversity
  • UAV (drone) surveying and flood modelling
  • carbon footprinting of local agriculture
  • evaluating tourist and local community attitudes to sustainable tourism
  • soils, land use and biodiversity
  • air quality monitoring

You may also take part in a short field tour during induction week to give you a chance to get to know your fellow students and staff.

There are no additional charges for compulsory field trips.

Changes to field trips Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including due to Covid-19. Where suitable, fieldwork will be relocated or rescheduled. We will also look at alternative arrangements that will ensure you achieve the quality learning outcomes of your degree.

Changes will be made to safeguard the health and safety of our students, staff and communities, and to ensure we can maintain the highest standards for your educational experience. We will announce any changes as soon as possible.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in biological science, environmental science, physical science, geography, engineering, economics or other relevant subject.

We may also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with relevant industry experience.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Deposit

If you receive an offer of admission you will need to pay a deposit to secure your place.

  • £1,500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Field trips and field courses

We do not charge extra fees for compulsory field trips or field courses. The programme fees will cover costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence on compulsory field trips. However, you must pay for incidental or personal expenses.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MSc3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

School of GeoSciences scholarships

Scholarships and student funding

You can find funding opportunities, tuition fees and costs of living for prospective UK and international postgraduate students on the University website.

You are also encouraged to undertake your own research into the range of potential scholarships and other funding outside the University for which you may be eligible.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) alumni discount

The SRUC alumni discount aims to encourage SRUC graduates to take up opportunities to study taught masters (MSc). SRUC may provide a financial contribution towards tuition fees for eligible applicants for SRUC programmes delivered in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh.

SRUC will notify you if you are eligible to receive the discount on tuition fees during the application and admissions process. Please tell us on your application if you are a SRUC graduate, as this will help speed up the process. For further information, please get in touch with the Programme Administrator.

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)
  • Peter Wilson Building
  • West Mains Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JG

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines.

We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline.

We aim to make the majority of decisions within six weeks of the selection deadline.

If we have not made you an offer by a specific selection deadline this means one of two things:

  • your application has been unsuccessful, in which case we will contact you to let you know, or
  • your application is still being considered, will be carried forward for consideration in the next selection deadline and we’ll be in touch once a decision is made

Selection Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Decisions made or applications rolled to next deadline
1 31 January 15 March
2 31 March 15 May
3 31 May 15 July

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)
  • Peter Wilson Building
  • West Mains Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JG