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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental SciencePostgraduate study

MSc Environmental Pollution Control

Our MSc Environmental Pollution Control course provides excellent training for careers in air, water and waste pollution management. Students explore the scientific basis of pollution and practical approaches to its control. Through the optional modules you will also have the opportunity to learn about the legal and business framework and the many environments affected by pollution.

Introducing your course

The ability to accurately monitor emissions to the environment and mitigate their harmful impacts sits at the heart of this diverse Environmental Science masters degree, which focuses on developing the professional skills required for a rewarding career as an environmental pollution scientist.

Through this postgraduate degree course you will explore the scientific basis of pollution and the practical approaches to its control. In your first semester, you will study the science behind pollutants and their effect on the environment. You will measure and monitor air, water and waste pollution, remediate problems and examine the latest technologies in the field. You will also study modules in Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Resource Management, developing critical skills sets for students aiming to pursue a career as an environmental scientist.

In the second semester, we develop your practical skills. You will learn to apply innovative research techniques, present arguments and understand how research funding works. You will study a module in Environmental Law and Management which will enable you to apply your understanding of environmental pollution to the legal and policy mechanisms that control harmful emissions to protect and enhance our environment.

Each semester, you have the option to specialise in modules related to your interests and career aspirations, from Water and Wastewater Engineering to Coastal Flood Defence to Energy Resources & Engineering. Throughout the course we aim to equip you with a diverse range of professional and transferable skills.

The final part of the year will focus on your individual research work. You will complete an advanced research project and be encouraged to work with industry to apply your newly-developed knowledge.

This course develops the professional skills required for rewarding careers as an environmental scientist in air, water and waste pollution management.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

To Apply

You can apply for this course through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background and detailed information, visit how to apply.

The deadline for applications is the 31st July each year.

Programme Structure

The academic year for students on the MSc course is divided into three parts: two semesters of taught modules (which are a mix of compulsory and optional topics) followed by a period of self-directed study for the Advanced Research Project over the summer. We encourage you to conduct your research projects with external organisations and potential employers. You are not required to submit a dissertation but instead write a research article (7,000 words maximum) in the style of a peer-reviewed journal for submission in September. This article contributes one-third of the marks towards your MSc degree and is therefore a key component of your studies.

Exit Points

The taught component of the MSc course is assessed independently of the research project component. Progression to the research project depends on successful completion of the taught component. The MSc award depends on passing the examinations and on successful completion of a dissertation on the project. The possible exit points are:

  • PG Certificate (60 Credit Points)
  • PG Diploma (120 Credit Points)
  • MSc (180 Credit Points)

We only accept applications to the 180 Credit MSc course. The PG Diploma and PG Certificate are exit points only and are not standalone qualifications.

Key Facts

  • Course provides excellent training for careers in air, water and waste pollution management following graduation
  • Includes training in a range of practical, transferable skills
  • This degree is designed for your future career an environmental pollution scientist
Waste research
Waste research
Photo of Darsha Joshi
Having the opportunity to work with different companies through the course has definitely been a highlight. I’ve done lots of projects with about different companies, including Ordnance Survey, Marwell Zoo and Southampton Airport, so I’ve had a lot of hands on experience.
Darsha Joshi

Typical entry requirements

General requirements

An upper second-class honours degree in Environmental Sciences, Geography, Zoology, Oceanography, Biology, Geology or Physics or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

A first class honours degree or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University and/or interview are normally required for applicants with an Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering or Mathematics degree.

Applications are assessed on an individual basis and we encourage candidates with alternative qualifications plus relevant experience in the environmental sector to apply. Students holding qualifications in non-Science or non-Engineering based subjects areas are normally only eligible to apply for the MSc Integrated Environmental Studies (from the five Environmental Science MSc courses available).

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate that they have sufficient command of English to undertake the course, for example, through an overall IELTS test score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in every component) or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Selection process

Intake: 30-35 across all Environmental Management pathways

Average applications per place: 6

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy. The University of Southampton welcomes applications from disabled students. We have extensive experience of supporting students with a wide range of disabilities and health conditions including sensory loss, mobility issues, mental health needs, long terms health conditions, autistic spectrum disorders and any specific learning difficulty.

Applications from disabled applicants will be considered in the same way as any other application and a decision will be made that is based upon the candidate's academic merit and potential.

If you have a disability or health condition and would like to discuss your requirements please contact Enabling Services to discuss your academic and other support needs.

Email: or tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7726.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

In the first semester, you are required to complete three compulsory modules, and select one other from a wide range of choices. In the second semester, you take two compulsory modules, and select two further optional modules. The range of modules available in both semester is broad and can be tailored to suit your specific interests within this area of expertise. You will also be required to complete the MSc Research Project.

Year 1

Semester One
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Environmental Pollution ControlMSc 2020Full-time£9,250£23,136
Environmental Pollution ControlMSc 2020Part-time£4,625£11,568
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentDesign equipment and materials: Standard construction/modelling materials will be provided where appropriate, unless otherwise specified in a module profile. For customisation of designs/models calling for material other than standard construction/ modelling materials, students will bear the costs of such alternatives.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
Printing and copyingIn some cases, coursework and/or projects may be submitted electronically. Where it is not possible to submit electronically students will be liable for printing costs, which are detailed in the individual module profile.
OtherOptional visits: Some modules may include additional optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Knowledge and understanding

On completing the course, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  1. The importance of environmental concepts, terms, principles and methods, and the need for multi- and interdisciplinary approaches
  2. The value of a holistic approach to environmental science by using techniques and ideas in different subject disciplines
  3. The socio-economic context of environmental issues and the legal framework through which environmental regulation is facilitated
  4. Current issues, paradigms and approaches within a specialist subject area of the environmental sciences
  5. The contribution of science, engineering or communication to the identification, understanding and, where appropriate, resolution of environmental issues and concerns
  6. The human causes and consequences of environmental impacts, and responses to such impacts
  7. General environmental concerns, which may include: biodiversity; environmental limits to economic or population growth; demand for, and consequences of, water resource utilization; energy and material production and use, including alternatives; air, land and water pollution; climate change; environmental change.

Teaching and learning methods

Acquisition of core knowledge and understanding is through lectures, seminars, field and laboratory classes, workshops and independent research. You are expected to supplement and consolidate your understanding and knowledge by independent study. Strong emphasis is also placed on the importance of using the flexibility of the course to provide you with the opportunity to build an individual portfolio of knowledge and skills which reflects your particular interest(s) in the environment.

Skills training

We recognise that students come from diverse backgrounds and have very varied levels of experience in scientific methods. All students therefore participate in team work, with team members drawn from different backgrounds, which provides an opportunity to share experiences. Training is also provided on data collection, data handling and analysis to help prepare you for project work and future employment.


Knowledge is assessed throughout the course through a combination of formative methods (to provide you with constructive feedback to help you develop your skills and understanding) and summative methods (to assess your performance).

Formative assessment takes the form of feedback on essays, reports, presentations and the research project, and is stressed from the beginning of the course. Formative assessment is delivered in part through informal assessment of work that does not contribute directly to your results (e.g. class debriefings on oral presentations).

Summative assessment takes the form of unseen and open-book examinations and tests, presentations, project work and coursework.

Course Director

Simon Kemp

Study locations

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

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