Environmental Management

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How to Apply

Develop your knowledge and skills to meet the needs of industry, with this Environmental Management MSc.

  • Gain professional environmental skills for working in consultancy or industry.
  • Industry-sponsored prize for 'Environmental Manager of the Year'.
  • Taught by staff with academic and industry experience, plus industry-leading guest speakers.

“Bath Spa University enables individual development along your desired path. It has given me the ability and confidence to achieve things I never thought I could.”
–Rebecca Boulton, Environmental Management graduate

Why study Environmental Management?

This broad-based, flexible course prepares you for a range of environmental careers, from environmental specialist to a manager with an environmental remit.

Unusually, and possible uniquely, for an Environmental Management Masters you have the option to include Business and Management modules in your programme. In addition, through selecting particular modules and assessment options, the course can be tailored to suit your specialist interests and career aspirations. For example, this course will suit someone wishing to pursue a career in ecological consultancy, or a career in pollution control or environmental hazards and liabilities.

Course structure

You’ll review how environmental systems work and how human behaviour impacts on them. From this, you’ll explore contemporary environmental management principles, tools, and legislation that we can use to address such impacts. Through reviewing case studies and current practice you’ll develop your knowledge of Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Management Systems, sustainability concepts such as the circular economy, plus resource management, environmental hazards and ecosystem services.

You’ll develop key skills needed by professional environmental managers working in the field, including:

  • environmental risks and decision-making;
  • survey and monitoring;
  • sampling design;
  • data management and analysis;
  • change management;
  • behaviour change; and
  • reporting and communication.


  • Trimester 1 and 2
    We provide you with core knowledge and skills to work as an environmental professional, in particular environmental systems and management tools, instigating and managing change, data handling and reporting. You’ll study relevant and up-to-date material, benefitting from specialist inputs by speakers active in the environmental industry.
    Optional modules give you the opportunity to develop a greater depth of knowledge in several of these components, for example energy and wastes management, ecosystem services and sustainability principles.
  • Trimester 3
    The third Trimester is devoted to your independent research project where you’ll work with your supervisor or a topic of particular interest to you. This might be a project working with an industry partner and will allow you to demonstrate your environmental understanding in an area relevant to your interests and career; from biodiversity to business.

Course assessment

You’ll tackle a range of assessment types, all with a strong emphasis on applying the skills you learn during your course to workplace scenarios. These include writing technical reports, presentations and the use of electronic media, such as developing a specialist wiki. There are no written examinations.

Field trips

From October to May you’ll have opportunities to visit a materials recycling facility, sewage works, anaerobic digestion plant, the Environment Agency offices, and a local river system. Other field work will depend on your research project. There aren’t any additional charges for these visits.

Industry links

Our students work with guest speakers from a range of environmental consultancies and from companies in the waste, oil, quarry, construction and food industries. We also take you to a regional conference for a Professional Body such as the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management so you can network and gain careers advice from professionals in the field. All MSc students have free membership of the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Management (iema).

Business and Management

You can substitute up to 30 credits of Environmental Management modules with Business and Management modules. Environmental managers often need a range management skills, such as entrepreneurial skills to set up a business, marketing their environmental products, or the successful financial management of a project, department or company. Optional Business and Management modules provide you with an opportunity to develop some of these important management skills.


We encourage you to participate in research competitions such as the Quarry Life Award (Heidelberg Cement) and we have an annual prize for the Environmental Manager of the Year, sponsored by construction, property, residential and services company Kier Group plc.


Recent projects related to the Environmental Management course include:

  • Quarry Life Award 2014
  • International winners of the Biodiversity Enhancement Award for woodland enhancement at Whatley Quarry (Somerset)
  • Defra-Wessex Water
  • Paid Ecosystem Services Research Case Study for treating sewage treatment work effluent using a constructed wetland.

Teaching methods

Teaching comprises a mix of workshops, seminars, small tutor groups, practical/field work sessions and on-line/desk-based activities. We draw in industry professionals to address specific topics, share their expertise and enable opportunities for networking.

Newton Park offers a good range of teaching facilities including well equipped laboratories and on-site field work resources. In addition we use a network of field sites for developing skills and demonstrating case studies.

Staff / Tutors

  • Dr David Watson specialises in environmental assessment, wastes management and environmental management. His career prior to joining BSU included six years as a senior manager in an environmental consultancy, working in the UK and internationally on environmental impact assessment projects. Since joining BSU, he has led consultancy and research on pollution screens, habitat restoration and ecosystem services (DEFRA). David is Course Director for MSc Environmental Management.
  • Graham Smith Before joining BSU, Graham has experience as a senior manager in environmental consultancy and continues to provide consultancy services. He has a background in animal ecology and impact assessment, but now largely specialises in decision science and its application to environmental problem solving. Examples include: assessing risks to bat populations from new development, and selecting the best option (environmental, economic and social) for a proposed payment for ecosystems project.
  • Dr Richard Johnson is a physical geographer and joined BSU in May 2011 from an engineering consultancy (Halcrow Group Limited, Birmingham), where he was a Geomorphologist and Project Manager. He provides applied geomorphological services to national and international clients considering issues associated with rivers, landslides, coastal margins, and upland wind farms.
  • Dr Andrew Skellern teaches in the areas of Digital Cartography; Earth Observation; Climatology; Survey Practice; Geomatics and River Management. As well as his teaching commitments Andrew also works on consultancy projects, including setting up short courses in GIS and contract work. Current interests include the acquisition, processing and analysis of terrestrial laser scanning data for: river asset management and archaeological visualisation.

Application method

Application forms are available on the website and for any admissions enquiries please contact:

Telephone: +44 (0)1225 875624

Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For all enquiries please email postgraduate@bathspa.ac.uk

Course Director: Dr David Watson

Entry requirements

Normally an honours degree in an appropriate subject will be required, or a relevant professional qualification. Suitable degree subjects include biological sciences, geography, environmental science, natural resource management, forestry, geology/mining, agriculture, and business and management.

All applications are reviewed by course tutors and the Course Director and applicants who do not meet the academic entry standard, but who have relevant work experience will be considered on their individual merits. We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds and all previous experience and learning will be taken into consideration. Where appropriate Approved Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) can substitute for certain modules within the programme.

Career opportunities

The dependence of economic sustainability and social well being on a sustainable natural environment is now accepted, and through several international agreements, Governments across the world have acknowledged the urgent need to secure environmental sustainability.

The need for well-informed Environmental Managers has therefore never been greater. Managers who not only understand the environment, but also understand its importance to economic and social well-being.

This Masters will provide you with the expertise, practical skills and confidence to pursue specialist careers in environmental management, environmental consultancy, or ecology and provide crucial environmental understanding for successful careers in local government, the civil service, engineering, planning or business.