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University of Strathclyde

Graduate School of Environmental Studies (GSES)
University of Strathclyde

About the Courses


MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science

The MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science has a worldwide reputation, securing graduates from East Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA. It is the only truly cross-disciplinary scientific-based postgraduate programme of its kind in Scotland.

Offered by GSES, there are contributions from the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Participation by two academic institutions and a key public sector agency ensures a wide access to practitioners’ knowledge, skills and understanding of the scientific processes, procedures and policies involved in the day-to-day management of the environment. It presents the fundamental concepts and scientific principles of the environmental sciences. Students gain a theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of the chemical, physical, biological and mathematical methods required to assess, monitor, manage and model the environment.

There is a global demand for scientists trained in the environmental sciences, and this programme has been designed to produce such individuals. The success of graduates is high and their destinations extensive – “85% of graduates find employment within 6 months of completion of the programme” (GSES Graduate destinations report)

The MSc and Diploma programmes run concurrently using a common instructional content that comprises eight compulsory and two elective classes, integrated seminars, and presentations by environmental practitioners. A variety of professional skills are covered throughout, and learning is supplemented by careers talks and field trips. Progress to the MSc depends on performance in the instructional classes and requires submission of a dissertation.

Compulsory Classes: Chemistry of the Natural Environment; Agriculture and the Environment; Ecology, Biodiversity and Sustainability; Biotechnology and the Environment; The Aquatic Environment; Air Pollution Control; Environmental Chemical Analysis; Research Project

Electives Classes: Spatial Query and Analysis using GIS; Water Pollution Project; Atmospheric Pollution Impact Assessment; UK and EU Environmental Law; Environmental Impact Assessment; Environmental Management Systems (EMS): Pollution & Rehabilitation of Degraded Ecosystems


MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies

This programme offers an innovative cross-disciplinary approach to the study of environmental management and policy, and sustainable development. It aims to develop an understanding of the theoretical perspectives associated with the decision tools used to apply sustainable development policy and management.

Candidates will gain an in-depth knowledge of the major environmental issues being investigated, monitored and controlled at global, national and local levels and an understanding of the methods and procedures with which environmental considerations are incorporated into development and planning decisions. The programme is open to all disciplinary backgrounds, and comprises 4 compulsory classes and 6 elective options.

The MSc and Diploma programmes run concurrently using a common instructional content with learning supplemented by careers talks and field trips. Progress to the MSc depends on performance in the instructional classes and requires submission of a dissertation

Compulsory Classes: Principles of Sustainable Development; Applied Strategic Environmental Assessment; Research Methods & Participatory Approaches; International Environmental Policy.

Electives Classes: Environmental Impact Assessment; Ecology, Biodiversity and Sustainability; Biotechnology and the Environment; Pollution and Rehabilitation of Degraded Ecosystems; Coastal Processes and Management; UK and EU Environmental Law; Environmental Economics; Environmental Education; River Basin Management Planning; Environmental Management Systems; Energy Resources and Policy; Environmental Modeling; Water and Environmental Management; Solid Waste Issues; Business Strategy and the Environment; Air Pollution Control; Atmospheric Pollution Impact Assessment; Pollution Control Policy; Spatial Query and Analysis using GIS; Transport, Development and Sustainability.

Open Access Study This study option offers the opportunity to undertake classes (compulsory and elective) on an individual basis. This will be of particular interest to professionals or those with family and other responsibilities, unable to undertake an entire postgraduate programme. The Diploma programme can be obtained via this study option if the required classes and credits are gained within the maximum part-time study period.

Attendance at class is required and if the assigned work is completed satisfactorily, the credits gained lead to the award of a University certificate. Time spent can also be put forward for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.


MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology and Sustainability

This programme examines the role of public policy in the application, development and management of science and technology to enhance social wellbeing, economic growth and environmental sustainability.

It is offered by GSES, in collaboration with the David Livingstone Institute for International Development (DLIID). Unique in Scotland, this highly innovative programme addresses questions such as how innovations occur in principle and in practice, and how they can be managed, combining technical study with the exploration of related policy implications.

An internationally-renowned research centre, DLIIDS was established in recognition of the growing commitment of the University of Strathclyde to development studies and the application of science and technology to meet the socio-economic needs of developing countries on a sustainable basis. International bodies, including UNESCO, UNCTAD and the UNDP, and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable development, have consistently identified the need to develop and strengthen skills and policies to actively harness science and technology to contribute positively to sustainable development. This programme is designed to respond to this international concern.

Candidates will acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding to design, evaluate and manage science and technology policy in the wider context of national sustainable development programmes. The programme will be of particular interest to candidates and practitioners of policy analysis and decision-making.

The Diploma and MSc programmes run concurrently, involving a curriculum of five compulsory and five elective classes. Progress to the MSc depends on performance in the instructional component and requires submission of a dissertation.

Compulsory Classes: Principles of Sustainable Development; Science, Technology and Innovation Policy; Development and Management of Technology; International Environmental Policy; Research Methods and Participatory Approaches.

Elective Classes: Recent Trends in Technological Progress; Ecology, Biodiversity and Sustainability; UK and EU Environmental Law; Environmental Management Systems: Energy Resources and Policy; Water and Environmental Management; Spatial Query and Analysis using GIS; Transport, Development and Sustainability; Applied Strategic Environmental Assessment; Recycling Urban Land; Globalisation and International Technology Markets; Environmental Impact Assessment; Project Analysis; Biotechnology and the Environment; Environmental Economics; Pollution Control Policy; and Disaster Management.


About the Graduate School of Environmental Studies


GSES is a specialist postgraduate unit at the forefront of cross-disciplinary environmental research and teaching. Our expertise lies in Strategic Environmental Assessment, Environmental and Innovation Management, Science and Technology Policy, Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice.

Operating cross faculty, GSES provides a unique gateway to undertake a postgraduate programme which accesses the wealth of environmental expertise available in all faculties of the University: Business; Science; Education; Law, Arts & Social Sciences; and Engineering.

Career development is a crucial component of postgraduate education in GSES, with targeted provision given.

The department has 6 core staff, over 60 postgraduate students and researchers, and a varied visiting faculty. GSES is located in self-contained offices, with a specialist library, an audio-visual suite, lectures rooms and dedicated research facilities for PhD, MPhil students and visiting academics.

GSES has an active and diverse portfolio of theoretical fundamental, strategic and applied research, with the balance between these reflecting GSES’ commitment to innovative research activities.

Our research community has a rich national and international atmosphere with collaborative links in the UK and overseas, and attracts research income from Government, Regulatory Authorities, Research Councils, Business and Industry. Opportunities exist within the vibrant Research programme for full- and part-time study.

The portfolio is under pinned by three core themes, each with its own research focus and diverse range of projects under investigation.

Science and Technology Policy Issues
Science and technology policy research is concerned with international and national policies for scientific and technological development in support of sustainable development.

• Optimising Institutional Arrangements for Demand Driven Post-Harvest Technology Development in India
• Technology Assessment for Biotechnology in Ghana
• The commercialisation of biological diversity in southern Africa

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Project EIA and Environmental Justice
This research concentrates on the evaluation of data needs and scale issues in the environmental assessment of policies, plans and programmes. It explores how SEA can contribute to environmental justice, and the links between SEA and Project EIA. The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in enabling Environmental Assessment (both at strategic and project level) is also evaluated.

  • The case for scale guidelines in impact assessment
  • Developing the evidence base to advance Environmental “Fairness”
  • Decision-Making and Environmental assessment of Biodiversity Issues
  • How is data being presented in SEA?
  • How scale affects the determination of alternatives in the SEA of accessibility plans
  • The case for scale guidelines in impact assessment

    Sustainability Issues and Economics of the Environment
    The principle focus of this research theme is the adaptation of sustainability into policy and action. Broad ranging, examples of projects ongoing include the nature of Scottish and International environmental policy, applied species management, environmental performance of business in the UK and Nigeria, and the nature of community involvement in sustainability in Thailand

  • Sustainable Urban Development
  • Landscape Change and Assessment
  • Sustainability Awareness and Environmental Performance on the Nigerian Private Sector: insights, experiences and strategic issues for small and medium sized enterprises.
  • Conservation of European Bison in Contemporary Ecosystems
  • The Environmental Impact of Agro-Industrial Development in Africa
  • Modeling Sustainable Living Indicators in Thailand’s Cities and Communities


    About the University of Strathclyde


    Since receiving its Royal Charter in 1964, Strathclyde has become the third largest university in Scotland. It has 67 buildings over 500 acres of land. It teaches over 20,000 students in five faculties: Law, Arts & Social Sciences, Education, Engineering, Science and Strathclyde Business School. Taking account of distance learning, short course and continuing professional development and evening courses, Strathclyde provides courses for over 50,000 people each year, making it the UK's largest provider of postgraduate and professional education.

    The UK's top employers target our graduates, choosing to include Strathclyde in a very select schedule of recruitment visits. The University Careers Service does everything possible to help students make the most of their career potential.

    Strathclyde's location is unique. Our two campuses are in prime sites in Glasgow, yet still within easy reach of some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe. Strathclyde has its own campus village, right in the heart of the city. Over 1,440 students live there and a further 500 live in University accommodation within close walking distance, much of it in the fashionable Merchant City. The Jordanhill Campus has its own halls of residence on site.

    The University blends tradition with a dynamic, progressive approach to teaching and learning and aims to encourage students to develop transferable skills vital in today’s workplace.

    Glasgow is one of the liveliest and most cosmopolitan destinations in Europe. The city has been reborn as a centre of style and vitality set against a backdrop of outstanding Victorian architecture. Glasgow boasts world famous art collections, the best shopping in the United Kingdom outside London, and the most vibrant nightlife in Scotland. A must see is the Art Nouveau splendour of Scotland's best known architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose inimitable style adorns attractions such as The Lighthouse, Glasgow School of Art, and House for an Art Lover. However, if you wish to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city, then take to the glorious countryside with its mountains and lochs, and enjoy the plethora of outdoor pursuits.

    The University’s Union is one of the largest in the UK and this is our indispensable list of A- Z to help students enjoy their time at GSES, the University and in Glasgow.

    A…for Archaos to club the night away
    B… Burrel Collection – award-winning collection of 8,000 art objects
    C…for cinemas, the Odeon, UGC, GFT, IMAX to name but a few
    D…Dancing, whether disco, country or ceilidh,
    E…Environment…what you’ll be studying for the next year
    F…Football, which we Glaswegians are passionate about
    G…Glasgow Green, where 10, 000 pipers meet annually for the World Pipe Band Championships
    H…Horseshoe Bar– Glasgow’s most famous pub/restaurant
    I…Irn Bru – Scotland second national drink
    J…Jogging, the Britannica ‘Ladies only’ 10K run through Bellahouston Park
    K…Kelvingrove Art Gallery – the most popular free visitor attraction in Scotland
    L…Learning, what you have to do
    M…Mackintosh, as in Charles Rennie, - who made Glasgow the Barcelona of Scotland
    N…November, when degrees are conferred and graduations held
    O…Overseas, where a large contingency of our students are from
    P…Pubs, enough said !
    Q…Quigleys, just one of the 100s of restaurants available
    R…Record Stores, Virgin, HMV and Fopp
    S…Shopping – Glasgow is the second best place in the UK, after London
    T… The List (www.list.co.uk) – to find out what is happening in Glasgow
    U…The Union
    V…Variety, as our modules highlight
    W…Whisky – Scotland’s first national drink
    X…marks the spot at the University of Strathclyde
    Y…Yoga, just one of the many classes offered at the Sports Centre
    Z….zero – how often you will run out of things to do and see in Glasgow

Address Information

Address Graduate School of Environmental Studies,
University of Strathclyde,
Level 6, Graham Hills Building,
50 Richmond St, Glasgow G1 1XN
Tel. No. +44 (0) 141 548 4078
Fax No. +44 (0) 141 548 3489
E-mail address g.s.e.s@strath.ac.uk
Course Titles MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology and Sustainability
Type and length of courses Environmental Science – MSc 12 months FT, 24 Months PT / PG Diploma 9 months FT, 21 months PT
Environmental Studies – MSc 12 months FT, 24 Months PT / PG Diploma 9 months FT, 21 months PT Open Access (OA) – no time restrictions.
Science, Technology & Sustainability – MSc 12 months FT, 24 Months PT / PG Dip 9 months FT, 21 months PT
Date of commencement MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science – Each September
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies – FT & PT start each September / OA starts Sept or Jan each year
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology and Sustainability – FT & PT start each September
Class size MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science: 12 – 15 students per annum
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies: 30 – 35 students per annum
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology and Sustainability: New course beginning in 2005/06
Accommodation Accommodation (on & off campus) is available to all International students. Home & EU students may be eligible. Contact the Accommodation Office for further information
Fees MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science – FT Home & EU £3160 / FT International £10735,
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies – FT Home & EU £3160 / FT International £8465, PT Home & EU £1580 per annum
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology & Sustainability – FT Home & EU £3160 / FT International £8465, PT Home& EU £1580 per annum
Student grants / Financial assistance MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science:
British Gas scholarships (country dependent) - Internationals only
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies:
British Gas scholarships (country dependent) – Internationals only;
Scottish Executive Awards - Scottish Nationals only
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology & Sustainability:
No scholarships available
Admission requirements For all 3 Programmes: MSc - At least a second-class Honours degree in any discipline or equivalent and two supportive academic references
PG Dip: A wider range of qualifications will be considered.
In all cases for all 3 programmes, for candidates whose first language is not English, minimum standards of written and spoken English are a TOEFL score of 600 a TOEFL computer score of 250 or an IELTS score of 6.5.
Top recruiters of our graduates Private Sector -
Environmental consultants,
Regulatory Authorities (SEPA),
Local and National Governments (Planning, Economic Regeneration and Environment departments),
Utilities,
Pharmaceutical Companies,
Government Agencies (Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds etc),
Non-government agencies,
Ranger Services and National Park authorities.
Specific Graduate destination information is available by contacting GSES.
Exchange Partner Schools / Programmes MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science – Collaborative teaching with University of Glasgow and the national environmental regulatory authority (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency - SEPA)
Student profile 1.Countries of origin (number)
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science: 35
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies: 28
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology & Sustainability: Figures not available

2. Ratio Men: Women
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science: 40 : 60 Men : Women
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies: 50 : 50 Men : Women
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology & Sustainability: Figures not available

3. Age Range
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science: 22 – 65 years
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies: 22 – 45 years
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology & Sustainability: Figures not available

4. Average Age
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science: 25
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies: 24
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology & Sustainability: Figures not available

5. Average Work Experience
GSES endeavours to find placements for students on all 3 instructional programmes. However, this is dependent upon the availability of appropriate research projects each year. Placement organisations have included Ciba-Geigy Pigments, Scottish Water, Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Scottish Executive, Glenmorangie Whisky Distillers, Highland Spring, EnviroCentre Consultancy and SEPA.
Course Directors MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Science: Mr Peter Booth
MSc / PG Diploma in Environmental Studies: Mr Peter Booth
MSc / PG Diploma in Science, Technology & Sustainability: Dr Kathy Stokes
Contact person for application For information on all 3 MSc/PG Diploma programmes contact the GSES Admissions Officer, Mrs Morag Gordon
GSES, University of Strathclyde, Level 6, Graham Hills Building, 50 Richmond St, Glasgow G1 1XN


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