Studying in autumn 2020 during coronavirus
Section navigation
Main Baner Image

Sustainability and Environmental Management MSc

Learn about the course below
October 2020
EU/INT induction: September 2020
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£9,700 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Sally Priest
Dr Christophe Viavattene

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning for the first few months of the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting with us in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, check back for more detail on arrangements for this course in July and August, and see our current plans for teaching and learning.

The need for environmental sustainability is increasingly acknowledged in policy areas throughout the developed and developing world. For this reason, our course is designed for those looking to gain a high-level qualification in the theory and practical application of sustainable environmental management.

Why study MSc Sustainability and Environmental Management at Middlesex University?

Our Master's degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management (suited to those with science and technical experience) offers insight into the causes and solutions to a range of environmental issues. You will develop the ability to evaluate the constraints and opportunities facing a variety of institutions and acquire the skills required to implement sustainable policies. You will exercise problem solving scenarios, develop analytical skills and critically evaluate environmental management policies.

You will study alongside students from a range of cultural backgrounds offering you the chance to learn in an international arena and share ideas on a global scale. You will also take part in a field trip to southern Spain with our teaching staff including researchers from our world-renowned Flood Hazard Research Centre, who have conducted research into desertification processes, management and policy solutions.

Course highlights

  • You will have the opportunity to take part in an innovative field trip to southern Spain will support learning about management and policy solutions for sustainability through practical experiences.
  • Our teachers are actively linked to variety of non-governmental organisations across the EU, Central America and Africa as well as to major international institutions such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and UN Regional Centres of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development.
  • This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences.
  • Teaching by specialist staff including practitioners and researchers from our world-renowned Flood Hazard Research Centre inspires our students and in turn, expands their ambitions.
  • We provide an exciting and motivating programme of guest speakers, seminars, field visits, external visits and day conferences to other universities.
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the MSc Sustainability and Environmental Management?

This MSc course is aimed at students with an interest in the application of sustainable environmental management principles in practice. It focuses on sustainability issues and the development of tools and techniques to envision change and bring about practical solutions to real world cases.

You will gain an in-depth understanding of the scientific basis of the most significant global environmental issues confronting private and public sector decision makers and they will master a variety of analytical approaches to aid the design, evaluation and application of management options based on law, policy and best practice.

  • Modules

    • Global Sustainability Issues and Practice (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module sets the ethos of the programme orienting students towards the sustainability issues across the three core domains of sustainability – the environmental domain, social domain and economic domain. It presents the theory, drivers, experience and challenges across various spheres of experience and practice including the natural environment, communities and business. It also presents the approaches used to influence these contexts.

    • Applied Sustainability Case Study (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module seeks to explore the current nature and history of the environmental, social and economic sustainability challenges in a case study environment subject to sustainability challenges. The field case study involves field exposure to a practical case study environment, which has challenged stakeholders and the practice of sustainability. Through meeting local stakeholders, experts and relevant academics relating to the case study, and with the supply of published literature and material in relation to the field area, students will experience and learn that there are various tensions and conflicts relating to sustainability which represent a balancing act.  This allows students to develop a deeper understanding of contemporary challenges of Sustainability and Environmental Management than is possible otherwise. The opportunity to understand the area in the context of policy and legislation brings a practical perspective and critical focus to learning from other modules.

      The case study is experienced through the field trip in late March with a week long visit to various locations in Almeria in Spain, with context and theoretical applications being explored in some introductory lectures. There is an alternative largely self-led UK-based case study for students in situations where travelling abroad is not possible due to personal issues.

    • Environmental Law and Governance (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module grounds student learning in the policy, legal and governance relating to sustainability from local to international level. It provides key principles of policy and law, and their application to key domains of concern.

    • Environmental Assessment and Management (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module equips students with the practical tools and approaches to successful environmental assessment and management in organisations through a focus on the environmental management systems approach and application to varying industry sectors.

    • Research Methods (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module prepares students with the philosophical and practical methodological approaches to research through lectures and workshops which prepare the student not only with knowledge but practical experience of working with the tools and computer packages including Minitab and NVivo.

    • Dissertation Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides for independent research completion by the student to completion of MSc level dissertation supported by a dedicated supervisor.

    • Professional Experience Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      This module provides students with the preparatory skills for undertaking a work experience placement in a relevant field. Supported by the Middlesex University Employability Office, students are given the opportunity to undertake a work placement.

    • Factors affecting risk and strategic risk intervention (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide you with an overview of the theory and application of risk management as it is applied at a strategic level from a multi-disciplinary, science-led perspective and explore frameworks that can be used to relate the functions of risk management and the actors that perform them in order to enable you to better understand the process of decision making and the factors which influence it.

    • Flood Risk Management (15 credits) - Optional

      Flooding is widely recognised globally as one of the most common natural catastrophes and with climate change the frequency and severity of flood disasters is expected to increase. The aim of this module is to introduce how and why floods occur and for you to investigate and evaluate the core principles and concepts of flood risk management. The module will introduce the complex issue of flood risk and examines how it is understood in different contexts by different cultures and communities; the impacts (both positive and negative) will be considered. You will be introduced to practical ways of managing flood risk and case studies will be used to demonstrate differing management approaches and options applied in different settings. Also, the module will introduce you to the three key dimensions of flood risk management relating to the physical basis of flood generation and flood frequency in the context of changing climatic and societal ‘futures’; the social, environmental and economic impacts of flooding; and solutions, challenges and approaches: delivering flood risk management to societies in a range of socio-economic and physical contexts.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is MSc Sustainability and Environmental Management taught?

Lectures will introduce you to core material and concepts; seminars will allow you to develop and discuss ideas; and interactive workshops will improve your research, data collection and other practical skills. You will work on group projects and will also attend conferences and group tutorials. You will submit your own dissertation and research report – there is a specific module on research skills to help you with this.

The course includes a field trip in late March with a week-long visit to various locations in Almeria in Spain. There is an alternative largely self-led UK-based case study for students in situations where travelling abroad is not possible due to personal issues.


Assessment is entirely through coursework. As well as your dissertation and research project, you will be assessed through essays, papers, reports, group and individual presentations, case study analyses, policy analysis reports and bibliographic exercises. Students will give feedback on each other’s work, and you will also be asked to evaluate your own work.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc Sustainability and Environmental Management support your career?

This course will equip you with the skills and expertise you need to work in a wide range of roles and sectors. Recent graduates have gone onto such diverse roles as government official in a Ministry for Tourism in Africa, and Head of Operations in an Environmental Business Consultancy in the UK.

You might also wish to explore your options in research or academia, or even complete further study at doctoral level.

There are many opportunities available in a variety of sectors including consultant agencies, government ministries, non-governmental organisations (local and international) and education.

Dr Sally Priest
Programme leader

Dr Priest is the Head of the Flood Hazard Research Centre. Her research interests focus on the application of social science across a range of areas of flood risk management.

Dr Christophe Viavattene
Programme leader

Dr Viavattene's research with the Flood Hazard Research Centre is mainly focused on understanding how society can better manage the environment through the lens of the water resources and their associated risks (e.g. flood, drought, pollution).

Dr Meri Juntti
Module leader

Dr Juntti's work involves investigation of environmental governance approaches, actors, and policy instruments. Her research interests include integration of environmental standards and values into rural and agricultural EU policies and planning, power, networks and policy implementation.

  • Middlesex staff profile

    Becky Armstrong

    MSc in Sustainable Environment Management graduate

    The course modules available [on the MSc in Sustainable Environment Management] held a lot of interest for me, particularly the opportunity to gain work experience through the internship module.

    I definitely think the internship helped me to get my job, as the experience I gained during it (in particular taking part in environmental audits on site visits) was something I discussed a lot in job applications and was asked about specifically during interview. The understanding I gained throughout the internship showed during my interview and this, combined with my knowledge developed during the masters, boosted my confidence in both applying for jobs and at the interview stage.

    I'm really enjoying working in the sustainability sector after a couple of years of failed attempts before the master's and I'm really pleased to have found a job with such a well-established company in sustainability.

  • Middlesex staff profile

    Suzanne Worzella

    Energy Analyst | MSc Sustainable Environmental Management graduate

    Suzanne Worzella graduated in MSc Sustainable Environmental Management in 2010. She chose Middlesex because of the comprehensive and interactive programme for environmental management, and also its strong focus on fieldwork and practical learning. Suzanne found the diversity at Middlesex to be a huge asset to her degree, valuing the different perspectives and experiences of the students in her class. She also felt the passion and experience of the tutors greatly cemented her desire to learn.

    Having graduated, Suzanne now works for a company that focuses on helping large and multi-site organisations lower their energy consumption. Her role is as an Energy Analyst, but primarily as an Administrator in Business Development. As an Energy Analyst she diagnoses problems through several levels of data analysis. As a Business Development Administrator she focuses on expanding the business through reaching out to potential clients like universities and federal agencies. She is also helping her business be more sustainable and environmentally focused through revamping their marketing and business strategies to focus on their contribution to energy.

Other courses

Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Management MSc/PGDip

Start: January 2021, October 2021, September 2021 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGB92A

Environmental Health MSc

Start: January 2021, October 2021, September 2021 (EU/INT induction)

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGB919

Ambient Assisted Living MSc by Research

Start: October 2020, January 2020

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGY000

Back to top