MSc Sustainable Land Management under Global Change

Writtle College

Program Description

MSc Sustainable Land Management under Global Change

Writtle College

It is widely recognised that there is a need to protect and enhance the environment in a rapidly changing world. Ecosystems provide many benefits but through human intervention, have declined more rapidly and extensively in recent times than previously. The direct drivers for changes include habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, invasive species, and pollution, which themselves are underpinned by indirect drivers, notably demographic, economic, socio-political, science and technological, and cultural and religious factors. Increased degradation of the natural environment and the associated ecosystem services requires innovative and adaptive management strategies.

Sustainable land management is a challenging multi-disciplinary field, and an effective manager requires a good knowledge and understanding of the scientific, policy and legislative frameworks as well as sound people and project management skills.

Postgraduate study programme

The MSc Sustainable Land Management under Global Change course provides the opportunity to embed a shared, more holistic and integrative philosophy of environmental sustainability. It embraces the principles and values presented in both global and national policy and guidelines and takes on board the concept of “think globally, act locally”. Students learn how to critically evaluate complex scientific and policy-based issues involved in sustainable land management as well as develop expertise in designing, planning and carrying out appropriate research and management projects. Option modules allow students to focus on selected issues such as food security and sustainable agriculture in greater depth.

The College is set in its own 220 hectare estate which has been the focus of continuing environmental work and is an excellent educational resource. The estate includes a wide variety of habitats ranging from wetland to chalk grassland. There are also wildflower meadows and an ongoing strategy to increase and improve woodland habitats. Students also undertake live projects locally with landowners and organisations such as the Wilderness Foundation and National Trust. There is also an opportunity to participate in a study tour to the Carpathian Biosphere in Ukraine and to undertake collaborative work with students from Eberswalde University in Germany.

Research programmes

The course is supported by active staff research including collaborative programmes on protected area management and climate change, wild forest fire ecology in Northern Finland and Portugal and Environmental Certification schemes for palm oil production in Borneo. The College has extensive links with the landscape and environment sectors both in this country and abroad through its active consultancy work.

Who is the Course for

The course is designed for those people with a strong motivation to influence the future of our environment and to ensure that resources are managed sustainably.

This course is for students who have achieved an Honours degree at 2.2 or above in conservation, horticulture, agricultural, environmental science, landscape design or management, biology, ecology, geography, or a related discipline in an environmental subject. Consideration will be given to applicants with qualifications outside the stipulated guidelines if they are able to demonstrate significant industrial experience.

Delivery and Assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, workshops, seminars, tutorials, visits, case studies and student managed learning.

There will be opportunities for collaborative projects with industry or other institutions. The postgraduate assessment programme is designed to test a wide range of skills and competencies, particularly in the application of science and complex theory to sustainable land management practices using evidence and examples from the sector. Assessment methods include oral presentations, time-constrained exercises, essays and written reports which may include management plans, ecosystem services assessments and landscape assessments for a specific area. The Masters dissertation is a written submission of between 12000 to 15000 words and provides an opportunity to undertake specialist research in specific areas and can include research projects linked to industry. The project is supervised by a member of the academic staff, and takes place over a 20-week period during the summer.

Key Features

  • Creating sustainable solutions to environmental problems
  • A strong sector-based learning experience underpinned by applied collaborative research
  • Working on national and international live case studies
  • Opportunities to carry out research abroad with partner institutes
  • Joint field trip to the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, Ukraine with masters students from our partner Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development in Germany
  • Opportunities to undertake the Writtle Skills programme in Project Planning and Leadership
This school offers programs in:
  • English


Upon successful completion of this course, graduates will be able to go into positions such as a Land Management and Planning Officer, Biosphere Development Officer, Community Projects Officer, Environmental Consultant, Environmental Design and Planning, Land Use Policy Officer, Green Infrastructure/Open Spaces Strategy Manager, Sustainability Education Officer or Land Management Consultant.

Cost & Fees

  • UK/EU (Home) Student Fees £5,500
  • Non-EU (International) Student Fees: £11,500

Last updated September 29, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
5,500 GBP
United Kingdom - Chelmsford, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Chelmsford, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
International fee (Non-EU): £11500