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MSc in Environmental Management

From improving a company’s competitive edge and complying with environmental legislation to addressing the global challenges of climate change and energy conservation, environmental management affects us all. This qualification is designed to expand your knowledge of environmental management and develop the skills to participate in more effective, informed and creative environmental decision making – whether you’re already a specialist working in the field or planning to get involved, professionally or personally. You will examine current concerns of environmental protection, natural resource management and rapidly changing environmental legislation and policy, in local and global contexts. You’ll also develop the skills you need to unpack the issues and participate creatively in the process of improving environmental performance in all sectors of society.

Key features of the course

  • Develops essential skills for successfully addressing environmental issues
  • A choice of professional or research routes
  • Provides a rigorous approach to solving complex real world problems.

Masters degree

Course code
F65
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
180
How long it takes
Minimum – 3 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details

Modules

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

Stage 1

You can study the modules in any order. The alternative modules Environmental monitoring and protection (T868)1 or Capacities for managing development (T878)2 focus on scientific or social aspects of environmental management (you can also study both to gain an all-round understanding):

  • In Environmental monitoring and protection (T868)1 you will work with numerical data in the quantitative assessment of environmental impacts and develop technological solutions to reducing environmental pollution.
  • Capacities for managing development (T878)2 introduces the subject of development and teaches a range of management skills that are useful in all disciplines, strategic thinking, research, advocacy, planning and policy making.
Compulsory modules Credits Next start
Making environmental decisions (T891)

Defining environment to include biophysical, social, political, economic factors, this module uses a systems framework to integrate environment with other elements in environmental decision-making situations.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Managing for sustainability (T867)

This module will increase your understanding of delivering and supporting sustainability management in your workplace or support your personal interest in this subject.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Or subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T863

Plus

30 credits from List A:

List A: optional modules Credits Next start
Capacities for managing development (T878) 2

This module builds the competence and confidence to manage development, local and global, more effectively, and bring about greater social equality and justice. 

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) 1

This online module equips you with the skills necessary to undertake environmental assessment work, interpret the results and suggest appropriate remedial measures.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module TD866

Plus

30 credits from List B:

List B: optional modules Credits Next start
Capacities for managing development (T878) 2

This module builds the competence and confidence to manage development, local and global, more effectively, and bring about greater social equality and justice. 

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) 1

This online module equips you with the skills necessary to undertake environmental assessment work, interpret the results and suggest appropriate remedial measures.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction (TU812)

Develop your understanding of systemic inquiry, systemic action research and social learning in order to extend your skills of project, programme and change management.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Managing technological innovation (T848)

This module explores the processes that underpin technological innovation an understanding of which is crucial whether you are a user or producer of technological innovation.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Project management (M815)

In this online module you’ll explore the whole life cycle of projects, from initiation, through to planning, scheduling, execution, handover and review.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2019 FINAL
Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811)

Improve your management skills by exploring different approaches to engaging with complex situations and by developing your understanding of how cognitive processing shapes practice.

See full description

Register
30 01 May 2019 FINAL
Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules D837, T869, T889, TD866, TU870

1Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) will be a compulsory module after November 2020.

2Capacities for managing development (T878) will no longer be an option after November 2020.

Completion of Stage 1 will entitle you to claim the Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management (E79).

Plus

Stage 2

This MSc offers a choice of routes after you have completed Stage 1; a research route or a professional route.

  • If you need a more professionally-oriented qualification, you can take the 30-credit module The MSc professional project (T847) and complete your qualification with a module from a short list of relevant options.
  • If you prefer a more research-oriented MSc, you can take the 60-credit Research project (T802). The longer research project allows more in-depth study and further develops your academic research skills.

Both modules provide an excellent platform for further research studies.

60 credits from either the Research route or the Professional route:

Research route

Compulsory module Credits Next start
Research project (T802)

This research module enables you to gain an MSc by building on the postgraduate diploma that you already hold. You’ll develop and submit a dissertation.

See full description

Register
60 01 Oct 2018

Professional route

Compulsory module Credits Next start
The MSc professional project (T847)

This highly intensive research based module enables you to design, conduct, analyse and report on a research project of your own choosing.

See full description

Register
30 01 Nov 2018
Plus 30 credits from optional modules in List A or List B in Stage 1 above 30  

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you. Note, in particular, you can only count the credit from one of the following modules towards a single qualification: Research project (T802) or The MSc professional project (T847).


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 8th June 2018.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.


On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded an MSc in Environmental Management entitling you to use the letters MSc Env Mgmt (Open) after your name. Your degree will be classified: distinction, merit or pass. The classification will be based on specified modules that must include your project module.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university, or the equivalent.

If you do not have a degree you will need to be adequately prepared for postgraduate study. You will be required to write essays and reports at a high level, to undertake work with numerical data, and to understand and apply scientific principles.

If you are unsure whether your previous study or experience will sufficiently prepare you for this qualification, please contact us for advice.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

Detailed advice about entry and preparation is given in the individual module descriptions.

Our badged open course, Succeeding in postgraduate study, will introduce you to the nature of Master's level study. It offers essential preparation for pursuing your learning at this level – and is free.

How long it takes

Most students take three to five years to complete this qualification. Because of the demands that study will make, we recommend that you study no more than 60 credits a year. The minimum time to complete is three years. There is no maximum time limit but we cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available. Modules can count towards this MSc for a maximum of eight years after we have stopped presenting them.

Career relevance

Our environmental management programme is for people who are interested in designing, managing and participating in more effective environmental decision-making processes. For example, if you are involved in setting up or responding to environmental or integrated management systems, planning new development projects or are trying to understand or manage sustainability. Students are drawn from industry, commerce, local and national governments, consultancies, non-governmental organisations and communities. They include people already involved in environmental management and those who wish to be – both personally and professionally.

The professional route, where you take the MSc professional project as your final module, is particularly suitable if you want to develop your career in industry, commerce, the public sector or the third sector. The research route is more applicable if you intend to develop a career in research or go on to undertake study leading to a PhD or other research degree.

Whichever route you follow, this qualification will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in this expanding sector.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Accreditation

Environmental Management accredititation