MSc Environmental Assessment and Management

Key facts

(2014 Research Excellence Framework)

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Overview

There has been a rapid growth in Environmental Assessment (EA) requirements around the world, at both project and strategic levels, which has generated a need for additional personnel. In Europe thousands of environmental assessments are carried out annually, and new legislation has placed obligations on many organisations to carry out strategic environmental assessments of their plans and programmes without the trained personnel to do so.

EA places demands upon those involved in both planning and authorising development proposals. Scientists must use their technical expertise to provide inputs into EAs; lawyers must establish and operate the procedures; developers must formulate their proposals within the legislative framework; agencies must review the adequacy of EAs; and decision makers must learn how to respond to the increased breadth and depth of information on potential impacts.

The focus of environmental assessment has shifted from the project level, where the implications of individual project proposals are assessed, to the strategic level, where the implications of policies, plans and programmes are assessed. Strategic EA Practice varies around the world and at different levels of decision making. Some jurisdictions focus on environmental aspects only, whereas others undertake sustainability appraisal which balances the environmental impacts alongside social and economic (including health) impacts. Whatever the focus, there is a need to establish groundrules for the scope of the assessment, and a need to apply suitable assessment methods to fully understand the potential outcomes of policy, plan or programme development.

To meet the demand for skilled personnel in these areas, this is a vocational course designed to provide a rigorous and professional training in the broad range of skills required. It combines theory, much of which has been developed by internationally renowned staff based in the School, with practice through collaboration with local businesses.

Recent Dissertation Titles

  • Waste management in offices: a case study of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital
  • An evaluation of perceptions of barriers to the utilisation of crop biomass as a source of renewable energy
  • Determining significance in environmental impact assessment: A review of impacts upon the socio-economic and water environments

“My MSc was recognised as a big advantage when I was applying for my first job in Environmental Consultancy. Being taught in a specialist department meant I gained directly relevant knowledge and skills which are invaluable in my working life.”

Frances Kirwan Former Student.

Course Modules 2017/8

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

DISSERTATION

The dissertation is an individual research project under the guidance of an academic supervisor within one of the research groups in the School. In addition, for project placement opportunities with outside organisations there may also be guidance from an outside collaborator. Research undertaken normally involves the analysis and interpretation of data collected in the field, from measurements of a sample in the laboratory or from data gathered from other sources including the media, questionnaire surveys, interviews, etc. This module is reserved for MSc students and all students must have taken the Research Skills Module.

ENV-7120X

60

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT EFFECTIVENESS

BEFORE TAKING THIS MODULE YOU MUST HAVE TAKEN ENV-7020A Environmental Assessment is considered to be more effective when conducted at strategic levels of decision making, and is usually perceived to have a goal of achieving sustainable development. This module provides experience of conducting a particular form of strategic assessment, Sustainability Appraisal (SA), which incorporates environmental, social and economic considerations into plan making. Through practice of SA, a field course involving hands-on application of environmental assessment techniques, and consideration of effectiveness theory, this module will examine what makes assessment effective. Please note that there will be a charge for attending this field course (around GBP310) to cover attendance.

ENV-7021K

20

RESEARCH SKILLS

This module provides support and training for the dissertation to ensure that the necessary research is well planned in advance. Advices are given on how to make the best use of UEA library resources, how to undertake a literature review and the ethics procedures, and how to write a dissertation proposal. A substantial part of semester 1 is devoted to how to use statistics for the analysis of different types of projects. Supporting lectures and practicals in social science research skills are provided in semester 2. These include: social science research design; questionnaire survey design; interviewing techniques; focus groups methods; and techniques analysing qualitative data. This module must be taken before the Dissertation Module.

ENV-7119Y

20

THEORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Environmental assessment is a term used to describe procedures for evaluating the potential environmental consequences of policies, programmes, plans and projects. It is a well established tool for environmental policy integration, being routinely employed in more than 100 nations and by many international aid and funding agencies. This multidisciplinary module focuses on the theory and methods of environmental assessment and the decision-making contexts in which they are employed. It explains the procedural stages of, and selected methodologies for, environmental assessment and provides practical experience in applying them.

ENV-7020A

20

Students will select credits from the following modules:

Students will select 60 credits from the following modules. Students may also choose modules from other Schools, subject to their approval and to timetable compatibility, with the agreement of the Course Director and of the School concerned.

Name Code Credits

CLIMATE CHANGE: PHYSICAL SCIENCE BASIS

Climate change and variability have played a major role in shaping human history, and the prospect of a warming world as a result of human activities (principally via changing atmospheric composition) is a pressing challenge for society. This module covers the science of climate change and our current understanding of anthropogenic effects on climate. It provides details about the approaches, methods and techniques for understanding the history of climate change and for developing climate projections for the next 100 years, supporting further study of the scientific or policy aspects of the subject in either an academic or applied context.

ENV-7014A

20

ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

This module examines energy transitions for climate change mitigation from a range of perspectives. It considers how current energy resources, technologies and services produce greenhouse gas emissions. It then draws on both historical evidence and theories of change to explore prospects and potentials for transforming the energy system.

ENV-7029B

20

ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION - SCIENCE, POLICY AND MANAGEMENT

This module aims to engage students in understanding complex interdisciplinary challenges associated with environmental pollution management via detailed studies of selected pollution issues. Students will develop skills in quantifying and analysing problems and developing and presenting effective policy responses.

ENV-7030B

20

EVIDENCE-BASED GLOBAL CONSERVATION

This inter-disciplinary module focuses on the critical evaluation of scientific evidence as a basis for effective biodiversity conservation policy, strategy and interventions, in a world challenged by climate change, population growth and the need for socio-economic development and environmental justice. Students attend an initial block of lectures examining socio-economic drivers of biodiversity loss and motivations for conservation, challenging common assumptions and outlining conceptual frameworks for conservation interventions. A series of seminars by global conservation practitioners provide insights to implementation and employability. Coursework assessments designed to develop skills of evaluating, synthesising and communicating scientific evidence, are supported by feed-forward formative exercises.

ENV-7041A

20

GEOENGINEERING THE CLIMATE: SCIENCE AND POLICY

This module studies a set of different proposed techniques, called geoengineering, that seek to modify the Earth's climate by reducing the degree of anthropogenic radiative forcing, either by reflecting more sunlight back to space or by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is a complex, controversial and highly uncertain area of science that requires a strongly interdisciplinary approach. The potential role of geoengineering techniques as a complement to mitigation and adaptation in tackling future climate change raises a number of important questions, not least for international policy making.

ENV-7031A

20

GIS AND ITS APPLICATIONS FOR MODELLING ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

This module will provide essential GIS tools and principles that will be applied to modelling ecological responses to environmental change. Core GIS skills will be delivered. These include field data collection and extraction of data from national and global databases. It will include the manipulation of such files and particular attention will be paid to understanding the uncertainties associated with such analyses. These skills are important in many areas of ecological research, but are particularly useful for the creation of variables needed for modelling environmental change. There will be extensive emphasis on practical GIS skills delivered using the ArcGIS software.

ENV-7034A

20

MODELLING ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES

The aim of the module is to show how environmental problems may be solved from the initial problem, to mathematical formulation and numerical solution. Problems will be described conceptually, then defined mathematically, then solved numerically via computer programming. The module consists of lectures on numerical methods and computing practicals (using Matlab); the practicals being designed to illustrate the solution of problems using the methods covered in lectures. The module will guide students through the solution of a model of an environmental process of their own choosing. The skills developed in this module are highly valued by prospective employers.

ENV-7003A

20

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

This module introduces some key principles of economics for students who have not studied the subject previously. It then explores how these principles can be applied to address a number of economy-environment problems including air pollution and over-fishing. The framework of cost-benefit analysis as a framework for decision-making is also introduced.

ENV-7116B

20

OIL AND GAS ENGINEERING

The aim of this module is to expose students to the technical and commercial realities of production and supply of oil and gas including both upstream and downstream aspects. An overview of the subject leads to a number of specific case studies provided by practising engineers. A number of assessment techniques are used, from numerical analysis to research for a briefing document and debates. There will be some team-based elements. What follows is indicative because each year the case studies will reflect the expertise of the visiting practising engineers.

ENG-7012A

20

RESEARCH TOPICS IN EARTH SCIENCE

The module allows engagement in Earth science topics at an advanced level and involves advanced study skills. The module will be strongly research lead and based around student-centred learning. It will involve a) engagement with appropriate research seminars in the School of Environmental Sciences and b) directed research on key topics with discussions and student seminars. The topics included vary from year to year but they are likely to include topics in sedimentology, palaeoclimate, geological hazards, Earth history, the Earth system. The module will develop students' research and communication skills in addition to imparting specialist knowledge.

ENV-7018A

20

SCIENCE, SOCIETY AND SUSTAINABILITY

This module explores relationships between science, policy and society and how they can be improved in responding to sustainability challenges like climate change, energy transitions and natural hazards. The module provides students with an advanced introduction to the field of science and technology studies and its links with geography and environmental science. It is taught through lectures, seminars, practical exercises and in class discussions and debates in three sections: Part 1: Science and its relations with society; Part 2. Public engagement with science and technology; and Part 3: Governing science and sustainability.

ENV-7038B

20

STABLE ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY

From supernovae and the early condensation of the solar system, through the climate history of the planet and on to modern stratospheric chemistry, studies using stable isotopes have made a significant contribution to our understanding of the processes that shape the Earth. In this module we look at the theory and practice of isotope geochemistry, covering analytical methods and mass spectrometry, fractionation processes, and isotope behaviour in chemical cycles in the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. The course consists of lectures, practicals, including hands-on experience in the stable isotope laboratory, and student led seminars.

ENV-7024A

20

STATISTICS AND MODELLING FOR SCIENTISTS USING R

R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics that has rapidly gained popularity among scientists and is now the most commonly used software tool in several environmental sciences. R provides a variety of statistical techniques (including general and generalised linear models, classical hypothesis testing, time-series analysis, community analysis, etc.). One of R's strengths is the capacity to produce publication-quality figures, including mathematical symbols and formulae. Using the R software as a platform will equip students with a flexible statistical and modelling tool, and the "R way of statistics" greatly facilitates the understanding of modelling and statistics.

ENV-7033B

20

SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION

This module investigates the impacts of societies' consumption on social, economic and environmental systems, and how these impacts might be reduced. It presents key theories and debates around sustainable consumption, and critically examines a range of strategies for achieving it, covering governmental, business, community and individual actors. A 'green growth' policy approach to sustainable consumption is contrasted with a radical 'de-growth' model, and we examine a range of perspectives on what drives consumption patterns. Using award-winning innovative teaching methods and participative workshops we apply these theories to real world examples, providing engaging, experiential, active learning opportunities.

ENV-7025A

20

TEAM ENERGY PROJECT

This module recreates the industrial process of working in a multi-disciplinary consultancy, competing for the work from a client. Industrial partners offer a new real life project each year, with previous examples including designing a CHP facility to integrate anaerobic digestion and improving the industrial efficiency of a sugar manufacturer. Over the first semester each team responds to the brief from the conceptual stage through to a working scheme,. In the second semester the team delivers a final report and presentation and each team member focuses on a small element of the process to complete an individual design element.

ENG-7010Y

40

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject This programme is open to students with a first degree in a related discipline and/or relevant work experience. Related disciplines cross the sciences, social sciences and arts.
  • Degree Classification Good first degree (minimum 2.1 or equivalent)
  • Alternative Qualifications Please contact us if you are unsure about the suitability of your background.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees for 2017/18:

  • Home/EU:

     Full-time £7,300, Part-time £3,650

     If you choose to study part-time, please assume a pro-rata fee for the credits you are taking, or 50% of the equivalent fee per year if you are taking a full-time course on a part-time basis.  

  • Overseas:

      Full-time £14,800

      If you are classed as an 'overseas' student and are coming to UEA on a student or visitor's visa, UK visa rules won't normally allow you to study on a part-time course. You should always check with the UKVI for the latest requirement.

Scholarships

50% Final Year Undergraduate Continuation Scholarship

Current final year UEA undergraduate students who gain a First class degree and progress onto a postgraduate course in September 2017 will receive a 50% fee reduction scholarship. Who do not gain a First class degree will be eligible for the 10% UEA Alumni Scholarship outlined below. Terms and conditions apply.

 

UEA Alumni 10% Scholarship

A scholarship of 10% fee reduction is available to UEA Alumni looking to return for postgraduate study at UEA in September 2017. Terms and conditions apply.

 

Simon Wharmby Scholarship

  • Value: £3,000
  • Eligibility: Home, EU and Overseas applicants who have applied for an MSc course in the School of Environmental Sciences and been offered a place to begin in September 2017
  • How to apply: Any student who has received an offer for the course will automatically be considered for the scholarship. Please refer to our postgraduate scholarship pages for further information. 
  • Application deadline: 15th May 2017.  Applicants wishing to be considered must have submitted a complete application by this date.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515