MSc Environmental Management


Program Description

This course was established over 30 years ago and is now widely recognised as an international leader in training environmental managers for work in both the public and private sectors. Environmental managers play a vital role in the protection and sustainable use of resources. Students learn to address issues such as adaptation to climate change, biodiversity and sustainable energy management. At the local level, Environmental Management focuses on conservation and protection of land and water resources and natural habitats.

Stirling’s graduates work for organisations such as the Environment Protection Agencies, major conservation bodies, local authorities and independent environmental consultancies, many in senior positions.

Degree pathways

All students will register for the MSc in Environmental Management in the first instance, their exit pathway will be determined by their choice of modules.

The following degree pathways are offered:

  • MSc Environmental Management
  • MSc Environmental Management (Conservation)
  • MSc Environmental Management (Energy)

Course objectives

Our course gives students:

  • An understanding of the scientific principles that underpin environmental management
  • An understanding of the economic, social, political and legal frameworks for environmental management
  • Sound training in relevant practical, investigative, research and generic skills that are the most sought after by employers.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants from other disciplines with a 2:1 or 1st but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 17

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score of 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

Structure and content

The basic structure is three modules in each of Semesters 1 and 2 followed by a dissertation, with each module worth 20 SCQF credits at level 11 and the dissertation worth 60 credits.

Students who meet the requirements of the taught course will qualify for the Diploma and may proceed to the MSc. This involves completion of a three-month Research Project, often in collaboration with an outside agency. Students frequently choose a topic complementary to their option selection, allowing them to develop a high level of competence in aspects of environmental management relevant to their future employment.

Delivery and assessment

The course is taught primarily by staff within Biological and Environmental Sciences, but also by staff from other departments of the University and visiting professionals from outside agencies.

Assessment is via coursework and examination and may include teamwork and presentations. Exams are held in December and May, and MSc research projects are submitted in early September.


The University of Stirling is a hub for environmental bodies in Scotland. Several environmental consultancies and NGOs have offices in or around the University, including RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology and The Conservation Volunteers, and we work closely with these organisations in conducting research. We have excellent links with government e.g. SEPA and have senior Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB staff among our Honorary professors.

Career opportunities

Students on our courses have an excellent record in gaining employment in the environmental sector and many of our former graduates now hold senior positions. Typical jobs include Environmental Consultant (e.g. Jacobs), Environmental Protection Officers and Scientific Advisers in environment agencies (EA, SEPA), Environmental Managers within local authorities, national industries (e.g. Northumbrian Water) and trusts (e.g. Tweed Forum).


Early on in this course, students take a residential field module and immediately begin to learn practical identification, surveying, measuring and sampling skills. Having learned how to collect data they are then taught how to analyse, report and present them through the modules Analysis of Environmental Data (using R), GIS and Remote Sensing. Transferable skills often required within Environmental agencies/consultancies include the ability to translate theory into practice, to work in a team and independently, plan and coordinate research, and engage with a variety of different users.

Industry connections

We have excellent links with many organisations, particularly in Scotland. Visiting speakers are invited, both for stand-alone seminars and as an integral part of some modules. We make full use of our alumni and industry and government research contacts to assemble a diverse and topical seminar programme.

We strive to keep the course in tune with the needs of employers and changes occurring in the field of environmental management and policy. A networking event is held annually when students can meet with local employers to discuss work placements and future job opportunities.

Fees - 2020/2021

  • Overseas £18,950
  • Home/EU £8,500
Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less