Study an Environment MSc at Cranfield

There is a growing need for environmental engineers who understand the technologies for pollution control and the commercial opportunities for business. This course equips students with the knowledge and skills to solve a wide range of environmental engineering challenges.

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At a glance

  • Start dateFull-time: October. Part-time: throughout the year
  • DurationOne year full-time, two-three years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), individual project 40%.
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

Who is it for?

Suitable for graduate scientists and engineers concerned with the protection and enhancement of human life through the improvement and protection of environmental quality at both local and global scales. 

The MSc course comprises eight assessed modules, an integrated group project and an individual project. Students undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) complete the eight modules and the group project. Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) students are required to complete six of the eight modules.

Why this course?

This course equips students with the knowledge and skills to solve a wide range of environmental engineering challenges. The course covers municipal and hazardous waste management, process emissions, contaminated land, water, wastewater and waste disposal. The programme also addresses energy and resource recovery from waste materials.

The course will provide you with:

  • An advanced theoretical and specialist understanding of processes and practices central to environmental engineering
  • An ability to select and apply appropriate existing and emerging technologies that can achieve lower environmental impact via an integrated and cross-disciplinary approach
  • Scientific, technical and engineering principles, economic consequences and risks of environmental management options as best practice
  • Capacity to undertake successful technical research projects using appropriate methods of critical analysis.

Informed by Industry

This course was developed by the team through engagement with a number of industrial contacts. Industry practitioners contribute directly to the course by teaching alongside academics from Cranfield. This does not only provide evidence of the relevance of the programme but allows students to understand the practical implications of their learning. Sixty percent of the course is focused on applied research projects including group projects (20%) and an individual thesis project (40%); both also supported by industry and environmental sector organisations.

Your teaching team

You will be taught by industry-active research academics at Cranfield with an established track record, supported by visiting lecturers from industry. To ensure the programme is aligned to industry needs, the course is directed by its own Industrial Advisory Committee:

Accreditation

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

Course details

The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through examinations and assignments. There is an emphasis on analysis of real problems. Students undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) complete the seven modules and the group project. Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) students are required to complete six of the eight modules.

Group project

The group project experience is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. It provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project, working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. For part-time students a dissertation or projects portfolio can replace the group project.

Individual project

The individual thesis project, usually in collaboration with an external organisation, offers students the opportunity to develop their research capability and understanding of the subject and their ability to provide solutions to real problems in environmental engineering.

Assessment

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

Core modules

Water and Wastewater Treatment Principles

Module Leader
  • MacAdam Sproat, Dr Jitka J.
Aim

    To acquire general knowledge of the conventional unit operations employed in water and wastewater treatment, including the scientific engineering principles on which they are based.

Syllabus
    • Classification, significance and concentration ranges of impurities in water and wastewater, including: suspended and dissolved solids, organic and inorganic compounds, trace contaminants and pathogens
    • Physical methods for removing particulates, including: screening and grit removal, sedimentation and filtration
    • Chemical dosing, including: precipitation; coagulation and flocculation processes (including basic concepts from colloid science); disinfection and chemical oxidation
    • Adsorption and ion exchange
    • Biological processes for wastewater treatment, both aerobic and anaerobic. Activated sludge, trickling filters and sludge digestion
    • Pumping and process control systems and strategies
    • Examples of flow sheets and unit operations used in treatment plants.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Examine the nature of impurities in waters and wastewaters, their concentrations and significance.
  • Explain the basic principles of conventional treatment processes.
  • Select appropriate processes, depending on the nature of the impurities to be removed and the intended use of the treated water or effluent.
  • Design a flow-sheet showing how unit processes are selected based on incoming water quality.

Circular Waste Management: Recycle, Recover and Dispose

Module Leader
  • Villa, Dr Raffaella R.
Aim

    The aim of this module is to provide specialist understanding of the major processes used for municipal waste management and their role within an integrated – circular - waste management system. In particular the module will focus on the bottom three points of the waste hierarchy: recycle, recover and dispose.

Syllabus
    • Integrated waste management: appraisal of national and international legislation and policy
    • Waste properties and characterisation: Mechanical biological treatment, pre-treatment, biodegradable wastes, coupled technologies, technology performance and managing environmental impacts
    • Landfill: biochemistry, leachate and gas production
    • Biowaste technologies: composting and AD
    • Thermal treatment: incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, combined heat and power, waste to energy, solid recovered fuel.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Appraise the role of waste treatment technologies under the circular management agenda - drivers, selection, pre-requisites requirements, waste types treated
  • Understand the properties (physical, chemical, and biological) commonly associated with Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and integrate them into waste management calculations
  • Critically understand how to assess the performance of treatment processes including how wastes are analysed and data interpreted
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the biological processes treating organic waste. Apply the concepts and principles to the waste degradation context and evaluate and calculate energy potential
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of why and how to control, collect and treat landfill gas (LFG). Appraise the parameters contributing to LFG production and composition, the risks and production controls and calculate their potential impact
  • Evaluate specific process parameters critical to the design of non-landfill treatment processes (e.g. thermal destruction efficiencies; flue gas desulphurisation requirements)
  • Apply process science and engineering (PSE) knowledge in describing key issues regarding emissions, treatment and performance of non-landfill technologies.

Risk Management and Reliability Engineering

Module Leader
  • MacAdam Sproat, Dr Jitka J.
Aim

    Risk management has become the central function of a utility manager. Utilities provide essential public health and environmental protection services to society and those working in the sector need to be versed with the context, tools and requirements of good risk governance. This module then aims to equip technologists with the skills to commission, appraise and review risk assessments within the utility sector, specifically for water, wastewater and solid waste unit processes and assets to introduce the management and governance of risk within the utility sector technical, managerial and human factors.

Syllabus

    This module explores risks from the strategic to operational level and both quantitative and qualitative
    tools and techniques. It does this by exploring:

    • Drivers for risk management in the utility sector - why manage risk?
    • Corporate risk management structures, tools and techniques
    • Basic probability and statistics
    • The reliability, availability and maintenance of unit processes
    • Risk analysis tools and techniques
    • Assets, risk management and public health protection
    • Regulatory risk assessments in support of environmental permits
    • Communicating risk, building stakeholder confidence
    • Risk governance in the utility sector towards high reliability organisations.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Summarise the context of risk governance in the utility sector and explain organisational structures for risk management; relate these to corporate objectives, e.g. licence to operate
  • Exemplify strategic, tactical and operational risk in the water, wastewater or waste sector
  • Identify and select from key risk analysis tools and techniques appropriate to a range risk problem under study; be confident about the rules for selecting risk techniques
  • Undertake reliability analysis calculations, understanding and calculating mean times to failure
  • Identify critical control points and devise risk management strategies for managing risks to and from engineered systems; relate these to the development of water safety plans 
  • Devise risk governance structures and debate key risk management competencies for individuals, organisations and specialists; recognise core features of a risk mature organisation
  • Scope out and critically evaluate environmental risk assessments in the context of regulatory permitting sitting, operations and discharge.

Land Engineering and Water Management

Module Leader
  • Deeks, Dr Lynda L.K.
Aim
    Improvement of land quality and the reclamation of degraded land are needed to ensure the sustainable delivery of ecosystem goods and services. Landscapes can be engineered to deliver these services by application of a base understanding of fundamental environmental properties and interrelationships of soil, vegetation and water. This understanding is grounded in basic soil physics, hydrology, hydraulics, geotechnics and agronomy. Land managers and engineers can design and implement appropriate land, water and vegetation management through interventions such as drainage, soil conservation, slope stabilisation and irrigation. This understanding and skills set are also the basis for management of projects involving land forming, reclamation, restoration and protection, which require selection, design, engineering and maintenance of appropriate structures.
Syllabus
    • Managing plant and soil water status through estimates of crop water requirements; development of field water budget. Evapotranspiration, drainage, runoff, seepage, soil water storage, and capillary rise
    • Concept of land capability and land quality, criteria used for assessing land capability and its classification. USDA scheme, Canadian Land Inventory.
    • Slope stability; mechanisms of slope failure. The stability of shallow slope failures, Taylor’s stability numbers.
    • Landscape design, land forming, earth moving and landscape modification. Top and sub soil management and vegetation establishment. Design of earth embankment storage dams.
    • Hydrology; peak and catchment yield, design of runoff
    • Hydraulics calculation of channel discharge capacity using Manning‟s Equation (and others). The design of channels, waterways weirs, spillways, culverts and control structures
    • Drainage; drainage machinery selection and performance, types of drainage problems and their recognition. Design for water table control: use of Hooghoudt and Glover Dumm equations and the Ernst equation for sub irrigation design; the Miers approach; practical issues of drainage design: selection of materials, drainage maintenance, pipe surround, backfill and pipe sizing
    • Managing plant and soil water status through estimates of crop water requirements; development of field water budget. Evapotranspiration, drainage, runoff, seepage, soil water storage, and capillary rise
    • Crop responses to salinity and sodicity; management of saline and sodic soils; the leaching process.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Explain the concept of land capability and carry out land capability classification.
  • Calculate the stability of slopes and design of simple support
  • Design, specify, handling soil and set out earthworks for landforming, landscaping and water storage.
  • Calculate runoff and yield for catchment
  • Design channels/ waterways and simple hydraulic structures.
  • Design appropriate water table control systems for drainage and sub irrigation
  • Specify appropriate machinery and mechanisation for drainage installation and maintenance
  • Irrigation design and estimation of crop water requirements and soil water deficits in different environments
  • Calculate leaching requirements for saline and sodic soil conditions.

Process Emissions and Control

Module Leader
  • Dr Iq Mead
Aim

    The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the major air pollutants, the associated regulatory frameworks and detection and monitoring techniques. The module will cover principal air pollutants associated with industrial processes such as bioaerosols, odours, dust and particulates, noise and radiations.

Syllabus
    • Air Quality Parameters indoor and outdoor, pollution sources, their impact and regulation (UK and EU)
    • Air sampling and sampling strategies
    • Advanced data analysis and dispersion modelling
    • Specific pollutants: dust and particulates, odour, bioaerosols and biogas.
Intended learning outcomes

After this module the student should be able to:

  • Explain the extent, impact and implications of air pollution from industrial processes
  • Describe the practical requirements for air quality monitoring: including designing appropriate sampling strategies, selecting sample locations, applying sampling methods correctly, conducting standard tests and evaluating the results
  • Understand the most common traditional analytical techniques used in air monitoring
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the critical issues affecting these analytical techniques and be able to recognise the relative strengths and weaknesses of the techniques covered and how these relate to the quality of the data acquired.

Soil Erosion Control for Catchment Management

Module Leader
  • Simmons, Dr Robert R.W.
Aim

    The control of water pollution and sedimentation needs to be based on the correct identification of source areas of sediment, a knowledge of the processes by which water and sediment are moved over the land surface, and an understanding of how these processes are affected by the physical environment and socio-economic factors. Soil conservation can be achieved through catchment management by targeting erosion control measures at critical locations in the landscape, producing appropriate designs and gaining the support of interested groups and organisations for their implementation.

Syllabus
    • Run-off and sediment production in drainage basins; erosion processes - mechanics of raindrop splash, overland flow, rill flow, gully erosion; sediment delivery to water bodies; strategies for erosion control
    • Rainfall erosivity
    • Soil erodibility
    • Soil loss prediction: USLE; Modified MMF; SERAM-DST
    • Land use planning
    • Soil conservation planning integrating technical and consultation-based multi-stakeholder approaches
    • Soil erosion control by engineering structures (terraces and waterways), agronomic methods on arable and grassland, soil management, including conservation tillage techniques; agroforestry; gully erosion control.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Describe the processes of soil erosion, and of sediment transport and deposition.
  • Define the environmental impacts of soil erosion, and the need for erosion control and soil conservation.
  • Evaluate erosion risk in a catchment and identify potential sources and sinks of sediment.
  • Make appropriate decisions on erosion control, based on a fundamental understanding of the processes.
  • Select appropriate input parameter values to apply erosion models to predict current erosion status and evaluate different conservation measures.
  • Design an erosion control strategy for an individual farm, taking account of its location within a catchment and socio-economic conditions.
  • Gain experience of managing a soil conservation project, set by an external client, which requires, using problem solving techniques, writing a consultancy-style report and meeting deadlines set.

Pollution Prevention and Remediation Technologies

Module Leader
  • Coulon, Dr Frederic F.
Aim
    The module introduces the extent and consequences of pollution in the environment, identifies and evaluates technologies for prevention and remediation and exposes students in using decision support tool and modelling to deal with pollution prevention and remediation.
Syllabus
    • Environmental pollution and prevention technology
    • Contaminated land issues and market size
    • Soil and groundwater remediation technologies
    • Sustainable remediation practices
    • Monitoring and modelling contaminants
    • Hazard appraisal and risk assessment
    • Decision support tools.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Understand and evaluate the key issues related to environmental pollution prevention and remediation
  • Critically appraise the range of remediation technologies for soil and groundwater
  • Understand and appraise the key indicators for sustainable remediation approach
  • Select and evaluate accepted decision tools to assess remediation performance and end-points.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support.

Please see the UK Government’s Department of Education press release for more information

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MSc Full-time £7,800
MSc Part-time £1,500 *
PgDip Full-time £6,000
PgDip Part-time £1,500 *
PgCert Full-time £3,000
PgCert Part-time £1,500 *
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,230 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice. 
  • ** Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • 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.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

MSc Full-time £17,500
MSc Part-time £17,500 **
PgDip Full-time £14,500
PgDip Part-time £14,500 **
PgCert Full-time £10,380
PgCert Part-time £7,000 **
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,230 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice. 
  • ** Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • 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.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

Funding Opportunities

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 Water, Energy and Environment 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 Water, Energy and Environment 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 Water, Energy and Environment 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.

Delta Foundation Chevening Scholarships Taiwan

The Chevening/Delta Environmental Scholarship Scheme is designed to promote environmental awareness and increase future activity to tackle environmental issues, in particular climate change, by offering two joint scholarships for students from Taiwan.

Entry requirements

Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a first or second class UK Honours degree in a relevant engineering or science-based discipline, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications together with industrial experience may be considered.

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.

Your career

On completion of this MSc, graduates have a broader network of global contacts, increased opportunities for individual specialism and a wide range of careers as professional scientists and engineers in the environment sector.

Rosie Chalker

I couldn’t think of a better place to develop academic skills alongside exposure to industry leaders

Rosie Chalker, Risk Manager

Applying

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

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