Postgraduate study

Environmental Protection and Management MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

I chose this MSc to help in a career change from teaching. 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

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. Human impacts such as the use of natural resources, deforestation, soil erosion, the release of pollutants and pathogens, invasive species, and the increase in greenhouse gases are all examples of pressures that have potentially serious consequences for humanity and other life on Earth.

Through this MSc, you will gain an in-depth understanding of natural resource management based on a scientific understanding of the issues, but also linked across disciplines. It will equip you with advanced skills and knowledge about the processes that give rise to environmental degradation and pollution problems, and the strategies to affect sustainable change.

The programme has been successfully delivered for over 20 years, and continues to grow from strength to strength. You will be taught by world-leading experts in key fields, as well as benefitting from our excellent relationships with industry and relevant employers. The programme attracts students from a variety of backgrounds which gives you exceptional opportunities to learn from one another, and become part of a strong alumni network around the globe.

This programme is delivered in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). You will not only benefit from being a fully matriculated student at The University of Edinburgh, but also access to all of complementary staff, expertise, and resources at SRUC. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded your degree by The University of Edinburgh.

This MSc programme is comprised of:

  • 3 Compulsory courses
  • 3 Option courses
  • Field trip
  • Dissertation

Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

You will experience a range of teaching styles while you are studying, depending on the subject matter and courses you are taking. Courses can be delivered through a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, practicals, laboratory work, short field trips and longer field courses.

Part-time study

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

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
MScEnvironmental Protection and Management1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScEnvironmental Protection and Management2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
MScEnvironmental Protection and Management3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Students 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
  • develop expertise in the design and implementation of programmes of environmental protection
  • have the opportunity to study the integrated protection and management of particular ecosystems or resources

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 and protection of our fragile environment are in high demand to find answers and solutions to problems such as deforestation, pollution, soil erosion and more. In particular, addressing such issues needs graduates that can take a holistic and flexible approach to problem-solving, often also working with or across other disciplines.

Our graduates have a strong record in finding employment in the environmental sector around the world. Recent graduates are working in roles such as environmental protection officer, coral reef fieldwork leader, planning consultant, scientific publisher, and ecological consultancy.

Examples of the organisations our graduates have gained employment include Scottish Environmental and Protection Agency (SEPA), Talisman Energy, and the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation. There are also many consultancy opportunities with environmental regulators, governments, NGO’s, and private environmental consultancies.

You can also progress to further research and academia. Recent PhD subjects pursued include deer management, air pollution modelling, human-wildlife conflicts, use of UAV (drones) in environmental monitoring, and Arctic ocean circulation systems.

Field trips are an excellent way in which 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 take part in a residential field trip as part of this programme, enabling you to refresh skills you have learned as well as develop new tools and techniques for your dissertation and future career. Previous trips have included Greece, Portugal, Israel and France.

Recent trips have been to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, where students learned a range of field and data analysis techniques, covering topics such as:

  • Water quality, biodiversity 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

Students also enjoyed opportunities to experience the local culture.

You may also take part in a short field tour during induction week, to you a chance to get to know your fellow students and staff. In recent years, our students have taken part in a two day trip with accommodation provided at a SRUC research farm in the southern highlands of Scotland.

  • We are pleased to advise that we do not charge extra fees for compulsory field trips. Travel and accommodation costs are covered by your programme.
  • Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons. In any given academic year, the main destination of the field course will be announced as soon as possible.

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.

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 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • 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, PTE Academic 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:

Tuition fee deposit

If you receive an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, you will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 to secure your place on the programme.

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. Costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence on compulsory field trips will be covered by the programme fees. However incidental/ personal expenses are to be met by the student.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScEnvironmental Protection and Management1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEnvironmental Protection and Management2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEnvironmental Protection and Management3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

SRUC bursary

Students undertaking the MSc Environmental Protection and Management may be eligible for a SRUC bursary. Applicants will be sent information with guidance on eligibility and how to apply. Contact the Programme Administrator for more information.

SRUC alumni discount

The SRUC alumni discount aims to encourage SRUC graduates to take up opportunities to study on taught masters (MSc) degree programmes run by SRUC in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh by providing a financial contribution towards the programme tuition fees to eligible applicants.

We will inform 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 contact the Programme Administrator.

School of GeoSciences Scholarships

Browse funding opportunities

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

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

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

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