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Sustainability and Environmental Management MSc

Learn about the course below
September 2024
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£10,500 (UK) *
£16,800 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Christophe Viavattene

The UN Sustainable Development Goals, in parallel to other international agendas such as the Paris Agreement, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the UN-Habitat Programme call for urgent actions and positive societal tipping points in order to address two environmental issues: climate and biodiversity crises. Needs for support and expertise for government, authorities, businesses and NGOs aiming at becoming socially and environmentally responsible are rapidly increasing in this dynamic context.

This programme aims to prepare students for such roles in sustainability and environmental management. It instils a deep understanding of interconnected elements associated with the challenge of environmental management while meeting human needs and green economic recovery.

Why study MSc Sustainability and Environmental Management* at Middlesex University?

Sustainability is a growing field requiring highly-educated professionals able to tackle global environmental issues and urgent policy agenda. If you wish to act and embrace the challenge of “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, this course is for you.

Our Master's degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management offers you the opportunity to:

Gain critical knowledge in sustainability literacy and environmental sciences;

Develop interdisciplinary and problem-solving skills to tackle a range of environmental issues;

Evaluate and assess environmental issues, management practices and policies at a range of scales;

Develop a career in sustainability and environmental management;

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;

Explore and specialise in a range of disciplines such as Geography, Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Business studies.

Course highlights

  • Teaching and learning strategies based on constructivism, collaborative and inquiry-based learning
  • Options modules provides opportunities for specialisation including work professional experiences
  • Accreditation: Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES)
  • Teaching by specialist staff including practitioners and researchers from our research centres and their networks (Flood Hazard Research Centre, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Research, Urban Pollution Research Centre)
  • Opportunities to engage with outreach activities (e.g. air pollution monitoring, flood risk management, urban greening) and our MU Action integrating theme “Sustainability of Communities and the Environment”

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?

  • Key principles and concepts of sustainable development and environmental management and how these relate to current and future environmental, economic and social changes.
  • The role of institutions, organisations and other stakeholders in managing and regulating the human impacts on the environment from the local to the global scale.
  • Framework and methodologies commonly used to assess and manage environmental aspects.
  • Theories and practices used in sustainable decision making process.
  • A wide range of research methodologies associated with the design and conduct of research project in the field of sustainability and environmental management…

What skills will you gain?

You will be able to:

  • Select appropriate competencies, theories and framework to evaluate and develop innovative responses to environmental issues and sustainable development challenges.
  • Analyse complex systems using interdisciplinary approach.
  • Critically evaluate qualitative and quantitative data and environmental assessment techniques and methodologies.
  • Effectively learn both independently and collaboratively with a critical mind.
  • Communicate effectively complex sustainable development issues and strategies to different audiences.
  • Develop, plan and carry out task and research projects.
  • Reflect on professional practice, including consideration of ethical, societal and financial issues.


  • Modules

    • Sustainability in the Anthropocene (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims at to examining examine population growth, climate change and biodiversity crisis as drivers of contemporary changes to global environments, within the concept of sustainable development. This module seeks to explore the complexity of sustainability in a project-based learning case study subject to environmental challenges.

    • Sustainable Decision Making (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide the students with knowledge and skills to facilitate an informed complex decision-making process in the area of sustainability.

    • Environmental Law and Governance (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of environmental governance and the central theoretical approaches on which its principles are based.

    • Environmental Assessment and Management (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide critical insight into the role of environmental management within corporate responsibility, corporate sustainability and sustainable business. The module will provide knowledge and critical insight into sustainability practices of pollution prevention.

    • Research Methods (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide graduate students with relevant qualitative and quantitative research methods to carry out a MSc research project including exposure to data analysis software packages (e.g. Minitab, SPSS, Excel, Geographic Information System, Nvivo).

    • Research Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide an opportunity for the student to develop original and independent research investigations aimed at integrating theoretical knowledge and technical expertise to investigate a research problem in the field of sustainability and environmental sciences.

    • Professional Experience Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables students to formalise and integrate professional experience in the field of sustainability and environmental management. It aims to link academic learning to a professional organisation.

    • Business and Enterprise for Sustainable Prosperity (15 credits) - Optional

      This module provides students with an in-depth understanding of the new forms of enterprise and innovation needed to address pressing challenges around societal and environmental health and wellbeing in the 21st century.

    • Conservation Science (15 credits) - Optional

      This module provides an overview of the concepts and principles associated with conservation science.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information. 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.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we have learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

We aim to model a wide range of teaching strategies and approaches on the course which you can adapt to your own setting.

How is MSc Sustainability and Environmental Management taught?

Students gain knowledge and understanding through attendance in lectures, seminars; through a variety of directed and self-directed learning activities e.g. group projects, case study analysis, field visits, student presentations. Students learn cognitive skills through seminar discussions, group project work, the preparation of coursework and the dissertation.

Workshops, seminars and field visits will explore the interface between theory and practice. During these activities, students will learn self-criticism through group tutorials and individual feedback on coursework and project as well as post-session activities including reflection entries.

Data collection exercises, presentation preparations and project development will provide opportunities for peer and self-appraisal.

Electronic resources will be used to enhance student learning experiences. Students will be directed to explore a diverse range of learning materials such as e-books, reading lists and free online resources.


Students’ knowledge, understanding and skills are assessed by written essays, reports, presentations, case study analysis, reflection papers that focus on key principles, concepts and relating theory to practice. The dissertation assesses the student’s grasp of a narrow field of inquiry and of research methodology.

Teaching and learning from 2022

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year, and have resumed the majority of our teaching on campus.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our pre-pandemic teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2022/23

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

12 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

0 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

0 hours

This information is likely to change slightly for 2024/25 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We'll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online.
  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.


You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

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

On completion of this MSc there is the capability of continuing study to PhD level or pursue a further academic career in higher education in the UK. Employment levels are high for graduates of the programme. Graduates have successfully found employment in the business sector, consultancies, government ministries, non-governmental organisations (local and international) in addition to education. Example of sectors: water resource, pollution, disaster management, built environment, transports, conservation, economic development.

Dr Christophe Viavattene
Programme Leader, Associate Professor of Environmental Sustainability

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
Associate Professor of Environmental Governance

Dr Juntti's research focusses on environmental governance, with particular attention to representation of humans and nature, the interplay of expert and lay knowledge and the processes through which evidence is recruited into governance.

Dr Huw Jones
Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry

Dr Jones works in a range of environment and human health issues, specialising in applying his knowledge of chemistry and statistical analysis.

  • Middlesex staff profile

    Alumni student (2020)

    I was drawn to the potential of gaining real world knowledge through field trips to the New Forest, the Thames Barrier, … I found that the most beneficial aspect of the course was the encouragement of his lecturers and modules to explore topics I was interested in (such as seaweed aquaculture), and apply the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom to these topics. This was instrumental to my employability after completing his degree.

  • Middlesex staff profile

    Alumni student (2017)

    The course covered everything that I needed to know to be able to work in the field of sustainability. The field visit was the best part for me as it brought the whole subject of sustainability alive, helped my understanding of various sustainability concepts very clearly. The freedom to choose topics was also something that really worked best for me. I had a lot of encouragement and support from a sustainability professional supportive and approachable team of lecturers and professors. They went above and beyond, the knowledge and methods they shared have made a huge difference in the way I work as a sustainability professional. My work is still so relevant in the industry today.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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