Economics for Natural Resource and Environmental Management MSc/PgCert/PgDip

Full-time/Part-time

Economics for Natural Resource and Environmental Management

The current emphasis on sustainable management across the globe is a consequence of a growing awareness of the impact of modern society on the environment. Such concerns are clearly evident in recent high profile studies such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

As a result, there is a pressing international need for people with the ability to apply economic principles and techniques to support decision making for the effective and efficient management of natural resources and the environment.

This course provides graduates with an understanding of the complex relationship between environmental issues and the impact of economic decision making. Students critically appraise alternative environmental measures and develop the ability to identify and recommend suitable solutions for effective environmental management.



Course overview

The course comprises eight one-week assessed modules, an introductory module, a group project and an individual research project. Students undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) complete eight modules, the introductory module and the group project. Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) students complete six modules.

Group project

The group project is an applied team based activity, in which students apply their knowledge of natural resource and environmental economics to address real-world problems. Success depends on the integration of various activities in relation to agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. Students submit a project report and present their findings to representatives from the public sector and/or industry.

Individual Project

Students select an individual project in consultation with the Course Director. It provides students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate independent research ability, working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. Part-time students usually undertake their individual project at their place of work.

Modules

The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through written examinations and assignments. These provide the knowledge of theory and techniques required for the group and individual projects.

Core

  • Principles of Sustainability
    Module LeaderDr Paul Burgess - Reader
    Syllabus
    • Moving from an “Empty World” to a “Full World”
    • The Ecosystem Service Approach (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and UK National Ecosystem Assessment)
    • Ecosystem processes and succession; the role of energy; feedback systems; biodiversity and system restoration
    • Using an ecosystem approach: quantifying trade-offs and synergies; improving water and nutrient management, reducing greenhouse gases emissions, enhancing stability, resistance and resilience
    • Introduction to the circular economy: opportunities for businesses; opportunities for consumers
    • How design, manufacturing practice and management can contribute to a circular economy
    • Case study: trade-offs, synergies, and opportunities to enhance well-being and ecosystem service provision in terms of energy, food, feed and wood for a case study area.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

    • Critique the “ecosystem services”, “circular economy”, and “per capita energy use” approaches
    • Critique associated terms such as “human well-being”, “sustainability”, and “biodiversity”
    • Explain the role of energy and feed-back systems in natural systems
    • Explain how an ecosystem service approach can help society to identify and make decisions regarding the use of ecological resources, with a focus on biodiversity, greenhouse gases, nutrient loss, and water use.
    • Explain how we can enhance the stability, resistance and resilience of natural systems.
    • Explain how the “circular economy” provides commercial opportunities
    • Explain how industrial activities such as design and manufacturing can promote a circular economy
    • Use a per capita approach to explore the synergies between food, feed, wood, and renewable energy production to guide decision making and identify opportunities in the context of a case-study.
  • Environmental Valuation
    Module LeaderDr Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan - Senior Lecturer in Environmental/Energy Economics
    Syllabus
    • Techniques for non-market valuation: cost and income based approaches, demand estimation methods - expressed and revealed preference, choice modelling: examples of applications
    • Multi-criteria analysis
    • Environmental accounting for business
    • Environmental accounting at sector and national levels
    • Case study examples of application
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this study the student should be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding and ability to apply different approaches and techniques to determining environmental value and demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of economic valuation and accounting
    • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of methods to incorporate them into decision making techniques, especially extended cost benefit analysis, risk assessment and multi criteria analysis  
    • Critically appraise the contribution of economic valuation and economic mechanisms to environmental policy
    • Demonstrate an appreciation of the purpose and methods of environmental accounting at sector and national level
  • Financial and Economic Appraisal for Environmental Management
    Module LeaderDr Paul Burgess - Reader
    Syllabus
    • Welfare economics and pareto-efficiency; compensation principle and the role of equity.
    • Market failures and the role of cost benefit analysis
    • Principles and practice of financial and economic appraisal
    • Case study application for an afforestation project in a spreadsheet environment
    • Efficient provision of environmental goods and services.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of economic efficiency and equity, and its role in decision making
    • Understand the difference between financial and economic appraisal
    • Critically evaluate different financial and economic appraisal metrics such as benefit: cost ratio, net present value, equivalent annual value, and internal rate of return.
    • Critically evaluate the choice of an appropriate discount rate
    • Undertake a financial and an economic appraisal in a spreadsheet environment
    • Use techniques such as sensitivity analysis and Monte Carlo simulation.
  • Energy Economics
    Module LeaderDr Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan - Senior Lecturer in Environmental/Energy Economics
    Syllabus
    • Key concepts and main approaches in economic analysis of energy systems
    • Different approaches to economic modelling of energy and environment interactions
    • Energy efficiency and renewable energy policies, depletable resources
    • Regulation and governance.
    Intended learning outcomesOn successful completion of this study the student should be able to
    • Demonstrate how economic principles govern the energy markets
    • Evaluate the approaches for energy market regulation
    • Explain the economics of energy supply and forecasting of prices
    • Critically evaluate different approaches for the modelling of energy and environment interactions
    • Identify and evaluate the key issues facing the energy sector (i.e. smart technologies, energy security).
  • Environmental Policy and Risk Governance
    Module LeaderDr Simon Jude - Lecturer
    Syllabus
    • Risk governance
    • Problem definition
    • Environmental risk analysis and management
    • Implementation within organisations
    • Environmental policy development and appraisal
    • Policy instruments.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this study the student should be able to:

    • Define the technical, organisational and human features of good environmental risk governance
    • Understand the environmental policy cycle of implementation and the basics of policy development and appraisal
    • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the range of policy instruments, namely regulation, economic, voluntary and other measures
    • Understand the role of environmental risk management in policy development and appraisal
    • Compare and contrast environmental risk management techniques, selecting tools appropriate the character of the risk in question
    • Identify the requirements of risk management maturity and the pre-requisites of good corporate risk governance
    • Contextualise their knowledge in case studies of environmental policy and risk governance
    • Apply their knowledge through a group exercise, developing and appraising policy options to manage environmental risk. 
  • Environmental Econometrics
    Module LeaderDr Monica Rivas Casado - Lecturer in Applied Env Statistics
    Syllabus
    • Introduction to quantitative methods for economic analysis applied to natural resource and environmental management: describing, explaining and predicting
    • Data management procedures
    • Modelling and testing relationships: parametric and non parametric methods, regression analysis and multivariate techniques
    • Spatial interpretation of results using Geographical Information Systems
    • Implementation of the learned theory to real cases studies on travel cost and hedonic pricing.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of and apply the methods of data management for econometric analysis
    • Critically evaluate the contribution and suitability of econometric methods for natural resource and environmental management, including the advantages and limitations of alternative methods
    • Use major types of econometric techniques to support decision making in natural resource and environmental management, using appropriate software.
  • Natural Resource Economics
    Module LeaderDr Anil Graves - Senior Lecturer - Land Use Systems
    Syllabus
    • Introduction: sustainable development, natural capital and ecosystems services
    • Theoretical frameworks for economically optimal use of non-renewable and renewable resources
    • Theory into practice: Economic dimensions of the management of natural resources: land and soils, energy, minerals, water, biodiversity, marine fisheries, forestry
    • Implications for natural resource and environmental policy.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of stocks and flows applied to natural resources and related ecosystems and the role of economic theory in resource allocation decisions
    • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of and apply methods of economic analysis to support practical decision making for the management of natural resources, consistent with the concept of sustainable development.
  • Technology, Environment and Society
    Module LeaderDr Philip Longhurst - Reader
    Syllabus
    • Ecological Modernisation, definition, key aspects, objectives and methodology
    • Development of associated policy frameworks, market failure, the role of governments, policies and mechanisms to address this
    • Innovation: Technology Development, transfer, adoption and diffusion
    • Innovation and sustainability, utility which process offers in this context, drivers and barriers
    • Integrated Sustainable Technology Assessment in context
    • Clusters, technology road-maps and the development of sustainable technologies: Renewable energy.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

    • Identify and understand theories of technological change, e.g. linear, induced, path-dependent, evolutionary.
    • Appreciate the role of technological change in economic development, environmental protection and transitions to ecological modernisation
    • Understand the role of technological change in achieving transition to a low carbon economy
    • Give examples and explain technology options and policy initiatives to stimulate transitions, e.g. to a low carbon economy
    • Propose and concisely justify a proposal for a low-carbon initiative.

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), individual thesis project 40%.

Start date, duration and location

Start date: Full-time: October. Part-time: throughout the year.

Duration: Full-time MSc - one year, Part-time MSc - up to three years, Full-time PgCert - one year, Part-time PgCert - two years, Full-time PgDip - one year, Part-time PgDip - two years

Teaching location: Cranfield

Accreditation and partnerships

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

Informed by industry

Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. These include:

  • P A Consulting
  • Joint Research Centre, Ispra
  • Adas
  • Cresswell Associates
  • Chartered Institute of Waste Management
  • Geospatial Insight
  • Oakdene Hollins
  • Golder
  • Astrium Geo-information Services
  • Unilever
  • Landscape Science Consultancy
  • WRc PLC
  • FWAG
  • RSPB
  • ERM
  • GIGL
  • WRG
  • Environment Agency
  • Chartered Institute of Water and Environment Management
  • Enviros
  • Health Protection Agency
  • Neales Waste
  • Natural England
  • National Trust
  • Trucost
  • SLR Consulting
  • Highview Power Storage
  • Nomura Code Securities

Your teaching team

You will be taught by a wide-range of experts from the academic staff at Cranfield as well as professional economists from the public and private sectors. To ensure the programme is aligned to industry needs, the course is directed by its own Industrial Advisory Committee.

Entry Requirements

Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered. Suitable for graduates with natural, physical, engineering science and business-related degrees keen to align their careers toward natural resource and environmental economics, or graduates with a degree in economics seeking to develop a specialist knowledge of natural resource and environmental economics.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

IELTS - 6.5

TOEFL - 92 

Pearson PTE Academic - 65

Cambridge English Scale - 180

Cambridge English: Advanced - C

Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.


Fees

Home EU Student Fees

MSc Full-time - £9,000

MSc Part-time - £1,500 *

PgDip Full-time - £7,200

PgDip Part-time - £1,500 *

PgCert Full-time - £3,600

PgCert Part-time - £1,500 *

Overseas Fees

MSc Full-time - £17,500

MSc Part-time - £17,500 **

PgDip Full-time - £14,000

PgDip Part-time - £14,000 **

PgCert Full-time - £7,000

PgCert Part-time - £10,800 **

*

The annual registration fee is quoted above. An additional fee of £1,300 per module is also payable.

**

Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or to pay in four equal instalments at six month intervals (i.e. the full fee to be paid over the first two years of their registration). 

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

Funding

To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.

Prestige Scholarship

The Prestige Scholarship provides funding of up to £11,000 to cover up to £9k fees and a potential contribution to living expenses. This scholarship has been designed to attract exceptional candidates to Cranfield University so we welcome applications from UK or EU graduates with a first-class honours undergraduate degree. Prestige Scholarships are available for all MSc courses in the Energy, Environment and Agrifood themes.

Merit MSc Bursary

The Merit MSc Bursary provides funding of up to £5,000 towards tuition fees. Applicants should be UK or EU graduates with a first class honours, 2:1 honours or in exceptional circumstances 2:2 honours undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. Merit MSc Bursaries are available for all MSc courses in the Energy, Environment and Agrifood themes.

International MSc Bursary

The International MSc Bursary provides funding of up to £5,000 towards tuition fees. Applicants should be from outside the EU with a first class honours or upper second class honours undergraduate degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. International MSc Bursaries are available for all MSc courses in the Energy, Environment and Agrifood themes.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)

The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia)

Cranfield offers competitive scholarships for Mexican students in conjunction with Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) in science, technology and engineering.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for Master’s study, jointly supported by UK universities.

Application Process

Online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at that time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

Career opportunities

Takes you on to a wide-range of careers as professional economists in the public and private sectors.

The Cranfield Experience - A Student Perspective

What is the postgraduate student experience like at Cranfield University? What is it like to do an Environment programme MSc at Cranfield? Some of our students made this video to help answer such questions. Enjoy!




Environment Management