About this course
Our MSc Environmental Monitoring and Assessment master’s degree develops the professional skills required for a rewarding career as an environmental scientist in a fast-growing and rapidly-changing industry.
Highly skilled environmental scientists are critical for the safe and responsible governance of our environment. This environmental management degree will give you the ability to carry out environmental assessments and audits, handle environmental information and work with geospatial data.
On completing the course, you’ll be able to show your knowledge and understanding of:
- the importance of environmental concepts, terms, principles and methods
- the value of using techniques and ideas in different subject disciplines
- the socio-economic context of environmental issues and the legal framework for environmental regulation
- the contribution of science, engineering or communication to the identification and resolution of environmental issues
- the human causes and consequences of environmental impacts
- general environmental concerns, including biodiversity, environmental limits to economic or population growth
You’ll also have opportunities to work with environmental organisations and visit leading environmental and sustainability initiatives such as infrastructure projects.
If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
- a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader is a data scientist and spatial analyst with research interests in how patterns in environmental factors affect human wellbeing and biodiversity. Visit Dr Patrick Osborne’s staff profile to learn more about his work.
“I chose to study here because of the modules that I could take. Southampton was the only university where I could study the mix of Environmental Impact Assessments, Environmental Management Systems and Geographic Information Systems that I wanted to”
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in a relevant subject.
We assess all applications on an individual basis.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
We encourage candidates with alternative qualifications and experience in the environmental sector to apply. We will assess all applications on an individual basis.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, from September to the following September.
In the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2) you’ll study the taught part of your course. This is made up of modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options.
For the last 4 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently on your Advanced Research Project. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress. We encourage you to conduct your project with external organisations and potential employers.
Semester 1 overview
In your first semester, you’ll do practical work such as developing an environmental management system for a real-life client organisation. As this manual will meet the requirements of the international standard ISO14001, you will graduate with unique skills that make you more employable as an environmental professional.
You’ll also learn about environmental impact assessment and sustainable resource management, developing the expertise needed to pursue a career as an environmental scientist.
Semester 2 overview
In your second semester, you will learn to interpret environmental data and apply innovative research techniques. You’ll study environmental law and management, and how to apply your knowledge of environmental data, processes and impacts to legal and policy mechanisms.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2021-22
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
We are now in the era of “big data”. In the environmental context, this usually means messy and complex datasets that don't follow the rules of traditional statistical techniques and yet have the potential to shed light on the challenges faced by enviro...
This module examines the process of assessing the potential impacts of major developments on the environment- known worldwide as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This is seen globally as major tool to help deliver sustainable development. The mod...
Within the context of your programme of study, you will undertake independent, original and critical research on a relevant topic. You will then communicate the research aims, objectives, methodology, analysis, results and conclusions effectively through ...
You must also choose from the following modules:
Almost all environmental phenomena vary over space and time. Some examples would be the spread of a pollutant from a point source, the occurrence of an infectious disease, the global threats from earthquakes, and the incidence of elephant poaching. One of...
This module strives to enable students to address climatic building design and develop the sustainable urban concepts required to achieve the significant carbon reductions required in the future. Only students enrolled on programme codes: 3081 MSc Ener...
This module will introduce you to the range of skills needed in the determination of design requirements and conditions, planning, and the design of coastal structures. These skills comprise the determination of wave conditions, the determination and anal...
This module gives an overview of the policy issues, various planning aids and assessment methods available to quantify energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings. Students will be able to use different tools to investigate building energy performan...
This module will enable students to apply their understanding of environmental problems and assess potential solutions through the application of law, policy, and management. The lecture sessions will introduce and analyse the theoretical development and ...
What is the likely impact of coastal erosion on local residents? Where is the most suitable location for a solar farm? How will sea-level rise impact protected habitats? Understanding the spatial context in which environmental processes occur improves the...
GEOG6098 is a multidisciplinary unit designed for students with an interest in sustainable development, sustainability, green growth, complex socio-ecological systems, and resilient development. Over the term we will explore the key issues and debates aro...
The emphasis is on processing and application of data collected in the optical and thermal regions using passive and active sensors.
The module will look at the basic theory and practical application of remote sensing for monitoring the terrestrial environment.
The Sustainability Professional is a high-level skills practical module delivered in partnership with a range of contributors from local and regional environmental and sustainability consultancies and other organisations. This module aims to provide stude...
An understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes involved during contamination of water is essential if society is going to effectively monitor and control the effects of pollution using modern technology and engineering practices. A hu...
Learning and assessment
We teach through a variety of:
- case studies
- field exercises
- group exercises
- activities with external organisations
Depending on the modules you choose, we’ll assess you through a combination of:
- policy briefs
- impact statements
- environmental management (iso14001) audits
- literature reviews
- journal articles
- practical and written exams
In the final part of the year, you’ll focus on your individual research work. You’ll complete an advanced research project and we’ll encourage you to work with industry and potential employers to apply your newly developed knowledge.
You don’t have to submit a dissertation but will instead write a research article of up to 7,000 words in the style of a peer-reviewed journal, for submission in September. This article contributes one-third of the marks towards your MSc degree.
You’ll have access to:
- introductory sessions for your programme
- research seminars and invited lectures from external speakers
- a personal academic tutor to help you with any personal problems and advise on academic issues
- module leaders to discuss your current modules
- module handbooks and outlines including information about learning outcomes, assessment methods, relevant background material and reading lists
- admin support from your Student Office, which deals with student records and general queries about your degree
With this degree you'll have great career potential in local government, the private sector, national and international organisations, as well as research institutions (public and private).
Our graduates have the skills to manage complex problems, work with diverse stakeholders, and understand the challenges of interdisciplinary working. They are sought after for roles in:
- environmental monitoring
- water resource management
- pollution control
- carbon management
- sustainable waste management
- sustainable energy
- wildlife conservation
- ecological management
As well as broader sectors such as the food, buildings, energy, telecoms and water industries.
All of these sectors need to think about environmental sustainability either through choice or through legislation. Employers look for environmental master's graduates with interdisciplinary cross-cutting skills in communication, problem- solving, leadership, and team working, which is why they form a core part of our assessment process.
If you’re interested in PhD study, our master’s programmes will prepare you for continued postgraduate studies in environmental or sustainability topics.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £24,400.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
You must submit your application by the end of the day on 31 July 2021. You must supply all supporting documentation at least 2 weeks before starting your course.
We cannot guarantee you'll be able to start your course if you do not meet these deadlines.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for any postgraduate taught course that starts in or after September 2021.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you're applying for a Master of Research (MRes) degree, you will not need to pay the fee. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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