Postgraduate Course

Course details

Study options

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

UK fee

£9,450 for the full course* (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 for the full course (2024/25)

Course level




Start dates

September, January


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

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.

polluted water with rubbish and a factory in the background across the river

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, this programme is accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). CHES is the collective voice of the environmental sciences academic community and serves to enhance the quality of environmental education worldwide.

A programme accredited by CHES is assured to meet high standards, contain a strong component of practical, field and theoretical activities, and has excellent opportunities for training, work experience and links to the professional environmental sector. Students enrolled on CHES accredited programmes can apply for free Student Membership of the IES and for a fast-track route to membership once they graduate.

This programme is aligned with the academic requirements of Registered Environmental Practitioner (REnvP) and starts graduates on a route towards 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).

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How we're helping corals survive

Our Aquatic Research Facility is carrying out work with organisations across the globe to make coral reefs more resilient in the face of man-made afflictions.

Read more about how we're helping coralsRead more about how we're helping corals

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. 

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
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

Some optional modules are available in a distance learning format - if you choose one of these module you will study through distance learning and will access the module wholly online.

Please note: International students are able to take the online modules in the autumn and spring only.

  • 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 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’
  • Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies - This module aims to develop a sound understanding of the nature and causes of climate change. You'll develop an understanding of relationships between climate change, impacts and selection of appropriate adaptation strategies
  • Environmental Impact Assessment - 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
  • International Environmental Policy and Law - This module aims to develop a sound knowledge base and understanding of environmental law and its regulation towards the protection of the environment. Areas covered will range from international agreements, EU legislation, through to UK laws at national and local levels
  • Flood Risk Engineering Management - This module will introduce the concepts of flood risk analysis and management within the context of current UK policies and legislation. It will focus on river and urban flooding, including hydraulic modelling techniques, and is designed for anyone who requires an understanding of flood risk and its relevance to river management and development planning
  • Global Energy Challenges - Students will examine a range of energy sources considering mode of provision, financial cost and viability of current and future contributions to the global energy mix. Environmental, ecological and societal impacts and mitigation strategies will be assessed

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

Who will teach you

Dr Richard Pope
Programme leader

Richard is a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Derby.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

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

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)


£9,450 for the full course*

£1,050 per 20 credits


£14,900 for the full course


Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional costs and optional extras

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

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.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

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

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you 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. 

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

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, excellent 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.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

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