University of Edinburgh: Managing Environmental Change

InstitutionUniversity of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of GeoSciences
Study type Taught


The MSc in Managing Environmental Change offers an applied mix of applied natural and social environmental science. It provides strong connections to employers through the Centre for Sustainable Landscapes and Forests and includes a four month professional placement in policy, management, or research. Students will develop a wide range of skills including digital media, research synthesis, policy briefings, teamwork and leadership.

We inhabit the Anthropocene. Humans have changed the environment so profoundly that many scientists consider this a new epoch - the age of humans. This new MSc responds to anthropocene issues with core teaching including the natural and social science of environmental change and the policy and practice of managing these changes.

In particular, we focus on the ecology of planetary life support systems, and interactions between these systems and human wellbeing, and we examine the possibilities for human societies to develop in resilient and adaptive ways. In the second part of the programme we focus on how environmental change is, and should be, managed: with frequent opportunities for engagement with practitioners, policy makers and business, through both the core teaching, a field course, and a 3 month professional placement or project.

This MSc is particularly strong for the development of skills in interdisciplinary analysis at the interface of natural and social sciences, research skills, policy analysis and translating research into policy and practice. The programme also has a strong component of personal development, including leadership and group skills, analysis and decision-making techniques, and communication. Interdisciplinary expertise in this area is in great demand with these topical issues firmly rooted across government, the private sector and academic and non-governmental arenas.

The programme is designed to provide a Master’s level introduction to natural and social science, so you will need to be prepared to do extra reading in the area of science that you are less familiar with.

The programme is for you if you are looking to develop your expertise in the social and natural science of how the environment is changing, and how we can best manage these changes. The programme is available as a full time (1 year, Sept - Aug) course, but we also welcome part time students who can take the course over 2 or 3 years. The latter options entail either 1 or 2 half days of contact time per week during the semesters.

Master of Science - MSc (PG)

University of Edinburgh 


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