You are viewing information for England.  Change country or region.
Wind turbine

MSc in Environmental Management

Expand your knowledge and skills needed for effective, informed and creative environmental management. You’ll examine current local and global concerns in areas such as environmental protection, legislation and policy, and natural resource management. Develop your skills in analysing the issues and improving environmental performance in all sectors.

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


  • 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.
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.

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses.

Request your copy today

Course details


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

Stage 1 (120 credits)

60 credits from:

Module Credits Next start
Making environmental decisions (T891)

This module teaches you to use a systems framework to integrate environment with other considerations when making decisions in complex environmental management situations.

See full description

30 01 Nov 2022
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

30 01 May 2022 FINAL
Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T863

30 credits from:

Module Credits Next start
Environmental monitoring and protection (T868)

This engaging online module will equip you with information on monitoring, modelling, and preventive technologies for water, noise, air, and wastes pollution.

See full description

30 01 Nov 2022
Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules T878 and TD866

30 credits from:

Module Credits Next start
Advance your independent learning  (YXM830)

This innovative module allows you to take a topic of your choosing and focus on it in depth while developing your postgraduate study skills.

See full description

30 01 Oct 2022
Environmental science challenges (S831) PLANNED 30 Oct 2022
Making strategy through systems thinking in practice (TB871)

TB871 builds capability for making strategy within your own chosen area of (professional) practice using ideas and tools from five traditions of systems thinking.

See full description

30 01 May 2022
Managing change with systems thinking in practice (TB872)

This module is about effecting whole-system change, equipping you with skills to shape the nature and direction of change.

See full description

30 01 Nov 2022
Project management (M815)

This APM accredited module is ideal for aspiring project managers and practising project managers who wish to develop their knowledge and skills of managing technological projects.

See full description

30 01 May 2022
Technology innovation management (TB801)

This module examines innovation from a management perspective, enabling you to develop an understanding of how to contribute to the process and management of technological innovation.

See full description

30 01 May 2022
Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules D837, S825, T848, T869, T878, T889, TU811, TU812, TD866, TU870 and TUXX870

Stage 2 (60 credits)

You’ll choose either:

  • a research route
  • a professional route

Research route

60 credits from:

Module Credits Next start
Research project (T802)

This research module is the final part of an MSc; you’ll design your own research and submit a dissertation.

See full description

60 01 Oct 2022

Professional route

60 credits from:

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

This intensive research module is the final part of an MSc; you’ll design, conduct, analyse and report on a project of your choice.

See full description

30 01 Nov 2022
Plus another 30 credits from the Stage 1 modules 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).

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 successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Master of Science in Environmental Management. You’ll be entitled to use the letters MSc Env Mgmt (Open) after your name.

If your masters degree is awardable with a distinction or a merit, the qualification regulations explain how you can achieve these.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.


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. 

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 17 March 2021.

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a bachelors degree in a science or engineering discipline from a UK university, or the equivalent.

If you do not have a technical degree you will need to be adequately prepared for postgraduate study in this area. You will be required to write technical essays and reports at a high level, carry out calculations using logarithms and the exponential function, analyse numerical data, and understand and apply scientific principles in relation to chemical reactions, biological processes and energy conversion.

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

The minimum time to complete is 3 years. The maximum time to complete is 8 years.

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.


Environmental Management accredititation

Both institutions offer student membership to those registered on the MSc in Environmental Management or the Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management.