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Environmental Management for Business MSc/PgDip/PgCert


The concept of sustainable development, which aims to harmonise the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development strategy, is now a key feature of policy-making by governments throughout the world. A major challenge is to change patterns of production and consumption to achieve sustainable development objectives without compromising the future viability of natural and human systems.

Businesses will need to develop strategies that further improve products and processes in response to both consumer demand and the needs of the environment. A new breed of professional is required with insight, skills, knowledge and ability to appreciate all sides of the debate in order to get results.

  • Course overview

    The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project.  The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through practical work, written examinations, case studies, essays, presentations and tests. These provide the tools required for the group and individual projects.

  • Group project

    The group project is an applied multi-disciplinary team-based activity. It provides students with the opportunity, whilst working in teams under academic supervision, to take responsibility for an industrially-orientated consultancy-type project. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities and working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. Industrially-orientated projects have support from industry and other external organisations.

  • Individual project

    A key benefit of the Cranfield MSc is that individual projects are often backed by leading organisations. This means you have the opportunity to develop solutions to real problems - either undertaking the project within the company or working here at Cranfield - using the University's equipment and facilities. 

  • Modules

    This course comprises eight modules, an individual project and a group project.


    • Environmental Management in Practice
      Module LeaderDr Gill Drew - Lecturer in Environmental Management

      The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the practical issues associated with implementing Environmental Management Systems (EMS) into organisations. This requires a thorough understanding of the concept of an EMS, as well as the most commonly used frameworks, namely the ISO 14000 series of standards. In addition, knowledge of the potential barriers and pitfalls during implementation and the practical measures that can be implemented is required.  

      • Introduction to the International Standards associated with EMS
      • Developing the business case for EMS
      • Barriers to implementation of EMS
      • Introduction to organisation behaviour and culture
      • Management of organisation change
      • Waste technology and prevention measures
      • Energy technology and monitoring
      • Water use and technology.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Understand and critique the ISO standards
      • Differentiate between voluntary requirements and legal or regulatory requirements of EMS
      • Evaluate the likely environmental aspects of an organisation, in terms of energy, waste, water and pollution, and the appropriate control mechanisms
      • Analyse the potential barriers to implementation of EMSs within specific organisational contexts.
    • Environmental Policy and Risk Governance

      A critical application of environmental risk management is in the development and appraisal of Policy in Central Government. Policies are developed to manage environmental risks and selection of policy options must be informed by risk based tools and techniques. Doing so demands a comprehension of the technical, organisational and human elements of governing environmental risks – that is, of the communication, analysis, management and delivery of sound risk governance. This module draws these themes together by introducing core concepts and then illustrating these concepts with case studies and finally application via a group exercise. Core lectures and supporting material are supported by a Master class in environmental risk management and policy development with time allowed for group discussion.

      • 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
      • 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
      • 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
      • Apply their knowledge through a group exercise, developing and appraising policy options to manage environmental risk.
    • Environmental Valuation

      In the search for methods that combine economic analysis and environmental assessments to achieve the goal of sustainable development, the measurement of environmental costs and benefits is an increasingly important element of the appraisal of policies and projects. This module explores economic concepts and techniques that can be used for the valuation of the environment, how these support decisions regarding the optimal allocation of resources and the design of policy interventions.

      • 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
      • Stakeholder analysis
      • Environmental accounting at sector and national levels
      • Case study examples of application.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will 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.
    • Evaluating Sustainability
      Module LeaderDr Adrian Williams - Principal Research Fellow

      To provide specialist understanding of the frameworks and techniques available to evaluate process performance of an organisation or cohesive system in terms of sustainability.

      • Sustainability performance evaluators:definitions, indicators, indicator selection and analysis assessing information against performance criteria
      • Frameworks and techniques: environmental management systems, life cycle assessment, strategic and environmental impact assessments carbon and water foot-printing.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Select and evaluate accepted frameworks to assess the performance of processes and/or systems in terms of sustainability
      • Identify and implement appropriate techniques to assess the environmental performance of an organisation or product or process
      • Critically evaluate the outcomes of environmental assessment techniques.
    • Financial and Economic Appraisal for Environmental Management
      Module LeaderDr Paul Burgess - Senior Lecturer

      Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a decision-making process used to compare the comparative efficiency of competing projects over their lifetime.  Projects are judged in terms of their relative monetised net benefits, (total benefits minus total costs), including environmental impacts or enhancement; the project with the largest benefit:cost ratio is considered to deliver the most social benefits from the options under consideration.  This module explains the principles of CBA and students will acquire the knowledge and skills in the application of CBA to environmental projects.  

      • Pareto optimality in a market economy
      • The compensation principle and the social welfare function
      • Principles and practice of cost-benefit analysis
      • Financial appraisal
      • Extended cost-benefit analysis
      • Risk and uncertainty
      • Case study applications of cost-benefit analysis.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Demonstrate an understanding of and differences between equity and efficiency
      • Demonstrate an understanding of the role that equity and efficiency play in policy making and the trade-offs involved
      • Critically evaluate different measures of welfare changes with respect to the environment
      • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of cost-benefit analysis
      • Demonstrate an understanding of cost-benefit analysis through the application of the principles to an case study application.
    • Principles of Sustainability
      Module LeaderDr Paul Burgess - Senior Lecturer

      Sustainability is concerned with how society and businesses can best meet social and economic development objectives without compromising the future viability of natural and human systems. The 'Ecosystem service framework', popularised by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, provides one method by which society can categorise the different benefits we obtain from processes such as energy transfer, climate regulation, soil formation, and carbon, water and nutrient cycling. The approach also emphasises the importance of biodiversity and the complexity of ecological feedback loops. The module also examines how economics, legislation and stakeholder engagement can help society and businesses make sustainable decisions. Methods for applying sustainability principles and the ecosystem service approach are illustrated through case studies.  

      • Definitions and models of sustainability, and the role of stability, resistance and resilience
      • Human well-being and ecosystem services; the development of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the UK National Ecosystem Assessment
      • Ecosystem processes and services: energy transfer; climate; geomorphology and soil formation; carbon, nutrient and oxygen cycles; water supply and quality; the link between processes and services
      • The role of biodiversity, population regulation and dampening and amplifying feedback loops; the Gaia hypothesis
      • Approaches to address complex processes such as the role of economics, legislation and stakeholder engagement.  Methods for identifying appropriate stakeholders
      • Case studies of the application of the framework in practice: renewable energy, management of wetlands, and management of montane forests in Tanzania.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Critique the concept of sustainability
      • Explain the development and use of the Ecosystem Service Approach in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
      • Explain how human well-being depends on ecosystem processes and services
      • Explain the key ecosystem processes of energy transfer, climate regulation, soil formation, and carbon, oxygen, nutrient and water cycling
      • Critique the role of biodiversity, population levels and feedback loops in ecosystem service provision
      • Explain methods for describing sustainability including stability, resistance, and resilience
      • Explain how economics, legislation and stakeholder engagement can be used to help optimise resource use and allocation
      • Explain how the ecosystem service approach can be applied in practice.
    • Risk, Communication and Perception
      Module LeaderDr Sophie Rocks - Lecturer in Nanotoxicology

      The aim of this module is for the student to fully understand the importance of individual and group attitudes towards the perception of risk and how this may influence views, conduct and actions in the face of a range of risks. To understand and be able to develop communication of information on risk to a range of audiences.

      • What is meant by the perception of risk and how it varies with context
      • Attitudes towards risk based on psychological, cultural and other dimensions
      • The role of various societal groups (the media, NGOs, etc) in risk issues
      • Models of the amplification and attenuation of risk
      • Understanding the “fright factors” in risk perception
      • Developing trust in societal groups
      • Horizon scanning and scenario building tools for communicating future risk to individuals and organisations
      • Communicating risk messages to individuals, groups and society at large
      • What can go wrong in risk communication
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Describe the "non-science" influences in risk assessment and management using sociological and psychological theories relating to risk perception, attitudes and communication
      • Identify and describe drivers that may influence individual or group perceptions and attitudes towards risk in specific scenarios
      • Participate in the discourse on the roles in society of different stakeholders (e.g. the media, NGOs, academics, government) with respect to risk assessment issues and to be able to describe to others why they have the beliefs they hold
      • Demonstrate skills in listening to concerns from different individuals/groups towards risks and the ability to enter into dialogue with such groups
      • Communicate clearly to a range of audiences the impacts of future risks drawing upon the concepts of horizon scanning and using foresight tools, demonstrating the underlying principles and tensions within such techniques
      • Develop effective means of communication to suit specific or general situations and how to demonstrate its effectiveness, and critique methods based on theories and evidence.
    • Technology, Environment and Society
      Module LeaderDr Philip Longhurst - Senior Lecturer in Environmental Technology

      While technological change is seen as the root cause of many environmental problems, it is simultaneously viewed as the means of solving such problems. This module explores technological change as part of positive sum strategies put forward by ecological modernisers. Theories of technological change are reviewed such as evolutionary, path dependent and long wave and used to formulate technology policy to achieve transition to a low carbon economy.

      • 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
      • Clusters and the development of sustainable technologies: Renewable energy.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Understand Ecological Modernisation and key aspects and challenges of its application
      • Identify and understand theories of technological change, eg. linear, induced, pathdendent, evolutionary
      • Appreciate the role of technlogical 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
      • Identify technology policy to stimulate transitions, eg. to a low carbon economy.
  • Assessment

    Taught modules: 40% Group projects: 20%* Individual project: 40%

  • Start date, duration and location

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

    Duration: Full-time one year, part-time two-five years

    Teaching location: Cranfield

  • Overview


    • Employment prospects – Cranfield’s reputation and links with employers ensure outstanding opportunities to secure excellent positions.
    • Flexibility – a wide choice of topics for your personal project means that you can choose your own specialisation. The course is available on a full-time or part-time basis.
    • Excellence in teaching – in the last Teaching Quality Assessment our courses were rated as “excellent”. 80% of the staff are members of the Registered Practitioners with the Higher Education Academy.
    • Track record – Cranfield University has been providing Masters-level training for over 20 years.
    • Professional recognition – We regularly consult with senior representatives of key industries on questions of course and curriculum design, to ensure that the programme continues to reflect the changing needs of the various sectors in which our students aim to work. The course is accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
    • Postgraduate level – Cranfield University is entirely postgraduate. Many of the students on the course have considerable professional experience.
    • Expert staff – the course is designed and delivered by experts in the field of environmental management.
    • Practical focus – We believe in giving you as much ‘hands on’ work as possible, so that you are learning by doing.
  • Accreditation and partnerships

    This degree has been 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

    Students who have excelled have their performances recognised through course awards. The awards are provided by high profile organisations and individuals, and are often sponsored by our industrial partners. Awards are presented on Graduation Day. View the 2014 Prize Winners booklet.

  • Your teaching team

    In the last Teaching Quality Assessment, our courses were rated as “excellent”. The course is designed and delivered by experts in the field of environmental management and 80% of the staff are members of the Registered Practitioners with the Higher Education Academy. The teaching team comprises:

    Dr Phil Longhurst
    Mark Kibblewhite
    Dr Gillian Drew
    Dr Anil Graves
    Dr Paul Burgess
    Dr Sophie Rocks

  • Facilities and resources

    The Environmental Science and Technology Department operates a wide range of facilities, many of which are unique to Cranfield, to support both our students and our industrial partners.

    Dedicated facilities include:

    • Water Science's laboratories
    • Pilot plant hall
    • State-of-the art corrosion laboratories and diving tanks
    • Our record-breaking hyperbaric chamber for deep weld simulation
    • The Automotive Technology Centre facilities, including those based within Cranfield Impact Centre (CIC)
    • Our Off Road Dynamics Facility, the only centre of its type in the UK to study the relationship between machines and the soil environment in controlled conditions.
    • Soil Lane and Bin
    • Soil Laboratory
    • Soil Erosion and Conservation Laboratory
    • Soil Dynamics Laboratory
    • Off-Road Dynamics Facility is the only 
    • Our own own experimental farm, which is used primarily for field scientific trials and engineering research investigations.

    Additional facilities and equipment are available for research into the playability and management of natural sports surfaces. We also operate remote sensing laboratories.

  • Entry Requirements

    This course is suitable for graduates with science, engineering, social science or business related degrees keen to pursue careers in resource management; or graduates currently working in industry keen to extend their qualifications; or individuals with other qualifications who possess considerable relevant experience.

    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 (Important: this test is not currently accepted by the UK Home Office for Tier 4 (General) visa applications)

    TOEIC - 800 (Important: this test is not currently accepted by the UK Home Office for Tier 4 (General) visa applications)

    Pearson PTE Academic - 65

    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 if 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 will also need to meet the UKBA Tier 4 General Visa English language requirements.  The UK Home Office are not currently accepting TOEFL or TOEIC tests for Tier 4 (General) visa applications. Other restrictions from the UK Home Office may apply from time to time and we will advise applicants of these restrictions where appropriate.

  • Fees

    Home/EU student

    MSc Full-time - £6,800


    The annual registration fee is quoted above. An additional fee of £1,080 per module is also payable.

    MSc Part-time - £1,070 *

    PgDip Full-time - £5,000

    PgDip Part-time - £1,070 *

    PgCert Full-time - £2,500

    PgCert Part-time - £1,070 *

    Overseas student

    MSc Full-time - £16,250

    MSc Part-time - £8,500

    PgDip Full-time - £12,000

    PgDip Part-time - £6,250

    PgCert Full-time - £6,000

    PgCert Part-time - £4,500

    Fee notes:

    • Fees are payable annually for each year of study unless otherwise indicated.
    • The fees outlined here apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015 and the University reserves the right to amend fees without notice.
    • All students pay the annual tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
    • Additional fees for extensions to registration may be charged.
    • 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 the Isle of Man) pay international fees.
  • Funding

    Funding opportunities exist, including industrial sponsorship, School bursaries and a number of general external schemes.  For the majority of part-time students sponsorship is organised by their employers. We recommend you discuss this with your company in the first instance.

  • 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

    Successful students develop diverse and rewarding careers in government ministries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), environmental and business consultancies, public sector organisations, such as environmental protection agencies, and the manufacturing and service industries in the private sector. 

    The international nature of the course means that career opportunities are not restricted to the UK. Cranfield graduates develop careers around the world. 

    We have been providing Masters level training for over 20 years. Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers. The increasing interest in sustainability and corporate and social responsibility has also enhanced the career prospects of our graduates. 

    Cranfield's applied approach and close links with industry mean 93% of our graduates find jobs relevant to their degree or go on to further study within six months of graduation. Our careers team support you while you are studying and following graduation with workshops, careers fairs, vacancy information and one-to-one support.