Available for January start

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£850 per 20 credits* (2019/20)

International fee

£14,250 for the full programme (2019/20)

Course level




Start dates

January, September


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Our innovative MSc focuses on how to prevent and control the contamination of land and freshwater. With its strong emphasis on applying scientific knowledge to real-world problems, it offers you the chance to specialise in an increasingly important environmental field.

Institute of Environmental Sciences Accreditation Logo

The MSc Environmental Assessment and Control gives you insights and skills in addressing land and water contamination problems both strategically and creatively.

Build specialist expertise

This is a multidisciplinary MSc bringing together expertise in areas such as conservation, biology, environmental health and ecosystems. In response to the needs of employers, it also takes an integrated approach to land and water management. Our teaching is underpinned by latest research and we place an emphasis on linking theory to live case studies.

You will explore aspects of contaminated land including legislation and regulation, identification of environmental issues, analysis and remediation, and human health exposure assessment. You will also focus on the environmental monitoring and assessment of freshwater, prevention and control of contamination, drinking water quality and flood defence.

A focus on practical experience

We have joined forces with a range of organisations – local authorities, government agencies, industries and environmental consultancies – to develop the MSc.

Workplace experience is a cornerstone of the programme. Our external partnerships enable you to enhance your practical skills via field and laboratory work and to undertake practitioner training through work placements. While on placement, you will be supported by work-based learning mentors.

Throughout the course, you will gain insights into problem-solving, decision-making and how environmental sampling and analytical techniques are applied in the workplace. Case studies, guest lectures and fieldtrips will bring an extra dimension to this ‘real-world learning’ approach.  

Professional recognition

Lending further credibility to your qualification, our MSc has been accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). CHES acts as the voice of the environmental sciences academic community and works to improve the quality of environmental education worldwide.

CHES-accredited programmes meet high standards, combine vital elements of practical, field and theoretical activities, offer excellent opportunities for training and work experience, and boast strong links to the professional environmental sector.

When you enrol, you can apply for free student membership of the IES which puts you on the fast track to full membership once you graduate. A CHES-accredited programme also sets you on the route to becoming a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist.

Our research-active team

You’ll be supported by a highly qualified team renowned for their research and consultancy work in the field of environmental assessment. They publish influential papers, speak at global conferences and serve on the editorial boards of scientific journals. The team includes specialists with high professional standing, such as Chartered Scientist, Chartered Environmentalist, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and full member of the Institution of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

an iceberg

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC)

Specialising in securing clean environments, nature recovery, and resilience to natural hazards, we work collaboratively to safeguard our planet for future generations.

Learn more about our research Learn more about our research

Skills to take you far

We place great emphasis on helping you plan for your personal, educational and career development. At every stage of the course, you will be encouraged to reflect on your own learning, performance and achievement.

Alongside your practical skills and professional knowledge, we equip you with broader attributes and qualities to meet the expectations of employers today. These include leadership, management, communication and teamworking skills – especially important because environmental assessment is usually undertaken by collaborative and multi-disciplinary teams. 

What you will study

  • Contaminated Land and Remediation - You’ll gain an understanding of the sources and effects of contaminants in land, and strategies to prevent, control and manage contamination towards a sustainable environment
  • Freshwater Management - Investigate the sources and effects of contaminants and management of water quality in freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, groundwater and drinking water
  • Independent Scholarly Activity in Biosciences – In this triple module, you will plan, conduct and present a piece of original research on a topic of your choice within the area of environmental contamination and remediation

Optional modules:

  • Practical Training-Based Placement - Provides links between theory and problem-solving through practical applications. You’ll investigate current environmental aspects through a work placement in a range of areas such as environmental contamination and remediation, human interaction and exposure assessment, environmental management, biodiversity, conservation, and flood defence
  • Ecological Surveying - You’ll explore different approaches to surveys for ecology and conservation, including Phase 1 habitat survey, GPS surveying, GIS mapping, and the analysis and classification of freshwater and terrestrial habitats
  • Analytical Methods for Ecologists - You’ll become confident and proficient at applying basic univariate statistical analyses and basic multivariate visualisation and analysis methods. The module will also introduce you to the widely-used analysis software ‘R’
  • Habitat Management - Through this module you will research the management of a habitat that is being protected for its biodiversity and evaluate techniques and methods relevant to the maintenance, enhancement and restoration of a range of natural and semi-natural habitats
  • Environmental Management: Critical Perspectives - In this module, you will review the application of environmental management systems to businesses through the use of case studies, and how this differs between countries. You’ll visit a major transport hub to view their environmental management system, and will conduct an impact assessment at a local site
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (online module) - This module aims to develop a sound appreciation of the importance of conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); an understanding of the techniques used; and an appreciation of what is happening globally in relation to EIA
  • Global Resource Management
  • Conservation Biology in Principle and Practice
  • International Environmental Policy and Law
  • Tools for Delivering Sustainable Solutions to Environmental Problems

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Learn from an expert teaching team

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for UK students: You will usually need either an honours degree in a related scientific subject (at least second class) or equivalent experience

Entry requirements for EU/international students: International students should have the above or an international equivalent. If English is not your first language, you will need to hold IELTS 6.0 or above.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees (August 2019 - July 2020)


£850 per 20 credits*

£850 per 20 credits*


£14,250 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarship

We're offering a £2,000 scholarship for all eligible international students studying a full-time postgraduate taught programme (PGT). Terms and conditions apply.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply


This course paves the way to careers with government bodies like the Environment Agency and DEFRA, international organisations such as the UN, local authorities, environmental consultancies, water companies and in a wide range of industries where environmental assessment and control is vital. If you are already in employment, it will enhance your promotion prospects and confidence in applying for more senior roles.

The MSc also represents a valuable qualification for professionals working in allied areas who want to broaden their skills. If you are an environmental consultant, for example, you may wish to gain more specialist knowledge of issues like land remediation.

In addition, your studies will give you a firm basis for higher-level qualifications including MPhil/PhD research degrees.

Coupled with relevant experience, the MSc could also put you on the pathway to full membership of professional accreditation bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) or the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). Longer term, you could achieve professional status such as Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). Gaining this recognition will open up new employment opportunities for you and enable you to keep up to date with latest developments in the field. 

Programme leader

Dr Richard Pope

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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