The MSc portfolio within our Environment programme has recently been reviewed. This is to ensure that our courses are attractive to prospective students and to make sure that the courses titles and student learning outcomes are relevant to future employers. As a result of the review we are launching new course titles, reorganising and renaming some courses and withdrawing others.

As part of this review, the decision has been taken to remove Integrated Landscape Ecology from our portfolio for 2017/18 registration. We are confident that we can offer a suitable and exciting replacement and believe that the MSc in Geographical Information Management or Land Restoration and Reclamation are most closely aligned to this course. Below are links to the other MSc’s in our Environmental programme:

Environmental Engineering

Environmental Management for Business

Alternatively if you would like to discuss your options further please email enquiries@cranfield.ac.uk.

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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 MSc 40%, PgDip 66.6%. Group project (dissertation for part-time students) MSc 20%, PgDip 33.3%. Individual project MSc 40%.
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

Who is it for?

Worldwide, 90% of ecosystems are managed by humans and now international attention is focusing on landscape level strategies to address the integration between biodiversity and natural capital for the provision of ecosystem services. 

Suitable for graduates who wish to work in areas related to natural resources management including agriculture, conservation, biodiversity and the integration of natural processes in the landscape. 

New technological capabilities such as geospatial technologies and spatial models provide a strong quantitative and spatial background that, combined with an integrated view of the environment, will provide students with the opportunity to think across disciplines and offer integrated solutions to current environmental problems. The integrated view of the environment includes an understanding of ecological conservation and natural resource management issues in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

The MSc course will be taught in three sections: taught modules (40%), a group project (20%), and an individual research project (40%).

Why this course?

As a result of the National Ecosystem Assessment in the UK, there is new demand for land management professionals with quantitative and integrative landscape capabilities. This course will provide students with the opportunity to think across disciplines and offer integrated solutions to current environmental problems.

We have been successfully delivering environmental management courses since 1976. Currently the focus of this MSc is unique in the United Kingdom and with the knowledge we have, we are in a unique position to offer an MSc with an exceptional and distinctive brand as well as a novel and attractive course to the environmental sector. 

We have a very strong worldwide reputation in the delivery of applied science. The Department of Environmental Science and Technology, with over 150 academics, has world-class teaching, research and consultancy facilities that deliver integrated solutions to the environmental sector not only in the United Kingdom and Europe, but worldwide. There are 25 places available.

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
  • Chartered Institute of Water and Environment Management
  • Geospatial Insight
  • Oakdene Hollins
  • Health Protection Agency
  • Astrium Geo-information Services
  • Unilever
  • Landscape Science Consultancy
  • WRc PLC
  • Highview Power Storage
  • Nomura Code Securities
  • Environment Agency
  • FWAG
  • RSPB
  • ERM
  • GIGL
  • WRG
  • Enviros
  • Golder
  • Neales Waste
  • Natural England
  • National Trust
  • Trucost
  • SLR Consulting
  • Tarmac
  • The Coal Authority.

Your teaching team

You will be taught by a vibrant group of internationally renowned research and academic staff with strong geospatial capabilities, solid ecological and natural resources backgrounds and an integrated vision of sustainability that meets the new market demands both at the national and international level.


Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) and the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE).

IAgrE logo

Landscape institute logo

Course details

This comprises of eight modules, a group project and an individual project. The MSc course will be taught in three sections: taught modules (40%), a group project (20%), and an individual research project (40%). 


The taught modules are typically delivered in one-week blocks between October and February. The teaching methods include debates, practical sessions, field visits, lectures, seminars, and presentations. The Group Project is a group-based activity typically undertaken between February and April. The project is designed to integrate knowledge, understanding and skills from the taught modules in a real-life situation. For the individual research project, each student is allocated a supervisor. Guidance sessions are provided as to what is required from the thesis and oral presentation. 

Group project

The group project provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project, while working under academic supervision. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities and working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. The themes of the group project will focus on a quantitative and integrative approach to think across disciplines and provide integrated solutions to current environmental problems.

Individual project

Students select the individual project in consultation with the Course Tutor. The individual project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems in the environmental sector.

Assessment

Taught modules MSc 40%, PgDip 66.6%. Group project (dissertation for part-time students) MSc 20%, PgDip 33.3%. Individual project MSc 40%.

University Disclaimer

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the core modules and some optional modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2016–2017. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Core modules

Aerial Photography and Digital Photogrammetry

Module Leader
  • Tim Brewer
Aim

    Deriving digital elevation models and orthoimagery is an important application of remote sensing data. This subject introduces techniques for the extraction of topographic information from remotely sensed data using softcopy photogrammetry techniques. Image interpretation is a vital skill required in many image based mapping projects. The concepts and techniques of image interpretation will be introduced and practised.

Syllabus
    • Topographic maps and remote sensing images: map scale and content, image sources and interpretation methods, accuracy issues
    • Aerial photography in the context of other remote sensing systems. Physics of light: principles of recording the image. Stereoscopy and parallax. Geometry: scale variation, relief displacement, tilts
    • Geometry of vertical aerial photographs: geometry, co-ordinate axes, scale, measurement
    • Softcopy photogrammetry.  Digital elevation models
    • Satellite photogrammetry
    • Air photo mosaics and orthophotos
    • Interpretation: principles and factors. Applied interpretation: geology, geomorphology, vegetation, soils, urban structures. Flight planning. API project management and implementation
    • Recent developments - digital aerial photographs, scanning existing photography.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Explain the geometry and spectral properties of vertical aerial photographs
  • Explain the basic principles of softcopy photogrammetry
  • Use aerial photographs in the interpretation of the physical and human environments
  • Extract elevation data from stereo pairs
  • Derive orthophotography from standard frame aerial photography.

GIS Fundamentals

Module Leader
  • Tim Brewer
Aim

    Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is an important technology for handling geographic data and has wide application for studies of the environment. GIS is used widely by students in other modules and their personal projects, and therefore this module provides the opportunity to develop GIS skills that will be of use within a student's course and in later employment.

Syllabus
    • GIS theory: data structures; data formats; data storage; data standards; spatial and non-spatial data; spatial querying; analysis techniques – reclassification, overlay, proximity, mensuration, visualisation, map algebra; hardware and software; system specification; projections; datums; spheriods
    • ArcGIS: overview of ArcGIS, ArcMap, ArcCatalog; ArcToolbox, Spatial Analyst.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Describe the functional components of a GIS
  • Define system specifications including projections, data and process modelling
  • Organise, using appropriate data structures, geographic data within a GIS
  • Analyse data and prepare digital databases using GIS software
  • Summarise, using maps and tables, the results of GIS based analyses.

Aquatic Ecosystems in the Landscape

Module Leader
  • Gill, Dr Andrew A.B.
Aim

    Fundamental features of the landscape are water bodies, which are classed according to water movement (i.e. running, slow moving rivers, streams and canals; still water lakes and ponds) and salinity (i.e. freshwater, estuarine and coastal waters). The influence of the surrounding terrestrial environment is crucial for the ecological processes and the communities of organisms that are associated with the water bodies. There are also internal processes and patterns created by the interaction of the hydrological, morphological and biological attributes that determine the ecological features evident at different scales within the aquatic landscape. The aquatic environment also has important influences on the landscape that it is a part of. Understanding the links and the causes and consequences of changes that occur spatially and through time both naturally and through human activity are fundamental to an integrated approach to landscape ecology. The module specifically considers the basis for understanding how the landscape and the aquatic system interact. It covers topics related to ecological processes, species distribution and community structure, function and how they can change and it provides the necessary understanding of the appropriate methods to quantify aquatic ecological attributes.

Syllabus
    • Fundamentals of lentic (still water) and lotic (running water) ecosystems
    • Aquatic ecosystem elements within the landscape (e.g. rivers, lakes, floodplains, estuaries and coastal zones)
    • Spatial and temporal scale in aquatic systems
    • Energy movement through the ecosystem (e.g. food web and trophic dynamics)
    • Methods to quantify aquatic systems and their attributes (e.g. river hydromorphology; lake community structure)
    • How humans influence lentic and lotic ecosystems
    • Field sampling techniques and design of survey/monitoring programmes for aquatic ecosystem status.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Explain the key elements of aquatic ecosystems in the landscape
  • Understand the linkage between biological, chemical and hydro-morphological attributes of a water body
  • Discuss the ecological and hydromorphological processes that determine the ecological status of a water body
  • Understand how spatial and temporal scale influence aquatic ecosystem connectivity in the landscape
  • Explain how aquatic organism occurrence, distribution and movement are determined by the aquatic landscape
  • Select the appropriate methods to determine ecological attributes at the relevant scales.

Image Processing and Analysis

Module Leader
  • Dr Toby Waine
Aim

    Image processing and analysis is one of the fundamental tools of applied remote sensing. It is the means by which information can be extracted from raw digital data to produce and manipulate images from airborne and space sensors.

Syllabus
    • Principles of optical and radar image formation, image characteristics, statistics and visualisation. Sensors and platforms.
    • Radiometric, spectral and spatial image enhancement. Contrast stretching (linear, bilinear, gaussian, histogram equalisation and manual), digital filtering in the spatial domain (low-pass, high-pass, highboost, median and directional).
    • Geometric correction: map projections, selection of ground control points, transform equations, resampling methods (nearest neighbour, bilinear interpolation, cubic convolution).
    • Supervised and unsupervised image classification: parametric and nonparametric techniques, clustering, segmentation, pixel and object based approaches and validation (accuracy assessment).
    • Post processing, processing chains, change detection and applications.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Identify a wide range of image processing techniques
  • Explain the purpose of each process and the underlying mathematical principles
  • Select appropriate image processing sequences to achieve predetermined objectives
  • Operate and manage an image processing system
  • Integrate image processing techniques into applications of remote sensing.

Land Resource Planning

Module Leader
  • Brewer, Mr Tim T.R.
Aim

    Land planning and its "human dimension" are fundamental aspects of managing the physical and human environments.  Knowledge of and correct application of land planning methodologies and solutions is vital for sustainable management of what are often limited resources.  Management of the landscape requires evaluation of potentially many options. Constraints and opportunities are provided by the physical and human environment and this module will highlight different methods that can be used to provide land resource planners with the data required to formulate sustainable plans. Often a range of options are possible and techniques to select optimum solutions will be covered.

Syllabus
    • Planning context for land resource planning
    • Ecosystem services as part of land resource planning
    • Land classification systems: Land capability classification, land suitability classification, Agricultural Land Classification, parametric methods, landscape assessment.
    • Erosion survey and risk assessment
    • Incorporating a modelling approach: soil erosion modelling.
    • Resource optimisation methods to inform planning options
    • Horizon scanning for future land resource planning.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Assess the planning context (including the legal framework) within which land planning will operate
  • Design surveys to address land planning issues
  • Practise techniques designed to provide data for land planning
  • Evaluate classification systems to identify appropriateness for issues of interest
  • Formulate land planning recommendations, adopting standard practice
  • Select optimum use of resources within the context of landscape management
  • Demonstrate teamwork to fulfil assignment objectives and practice oral presentation (as part of the module).

Landscape Ecology

Module Leader
  • Dr Ronald Corstanje
Aim

    Landscape ecology emphasises the interactions between spatial patterns and ecological processes, that is, the causes and consequences of spatial heterogeneity in a range of scales” (Turner et al. 2001). Landscape ecology provides a foundational framework for problem solving, decision making and planning in land restoration, ecological conservation and natural resources management. It covers topics related to structure, function and change and it provides the necessary tools to select the appropriate methods to test spatial hypothesis and solve problems at multiple scales. This module is designed to introduce students to a variety of tools that measure and quantify landscape components at different scales and to understand them in the context of their field of expertise priorities and regulations.

Syllabus
    • Introduction to landscape ecology
    • Landscape elements (e.g. mosaics, corridor and patches) landscape metrics (e.g. spatial pattern metrics)
    • Landscape fragmentation, connectivity, scale and hierarchy
    • Species population and sampling, and National vegetation classification
    • Introduction to point pattern analysis: Ripley’s K Function
    • Spatial aggregation.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Explain the key elements of a landscape
  • Discuss the importance of scale in landscape ecology related questions
  • Design strategies to quantify spatial patterns, spatial structures, and species at the relevant scales
  • Select the appropriate quantitative methods to test spatial hypotheses, solve problems, inform monitoring programs, and interpret the findings in the context of conservation priorities and conservation law
  • Evaluate monitoring data to guide decision making in ecosystem management.

Environmental Resource Survey

Module Leader
  • Dr Timothy Farewell
Aim

    Environmental resource surveys are required to obtain the data used in environmental information management.

Syllabus
    • Introduction to geographical resource survey. Why, when, where and how? Understanding constraints
    • Survey strategies for environmental resources: census with thematic mapping, ground sampling, sampling with property mapping, integrated ground sampling and property mapping
    • Development of classification schemes – user requirements, data availability, class definitions
    • Sampling and rapid estimates for plant communities, water and soil quality – biomass, cover and species assessment, count plot methods, plotless sample technique, soil and water survey techniques
    • Assessment of existing data quality and use in survey design
    • Statistical design and analysis for environmental resource surveys: area frames, point samples, bulk samples, area samples, sampling at global scales, multi-scale sampling
    • Quality assessment of environmental data – accuracy measures, effect of bias, quality measures and statistics, error and uncertainty sources and measures
    • Introduction to interpolation methods, generating maps from point survey data
    • Integration data sources and types (data fusion) and statistical models with survey data (model data fusion) to increase survey cost effectiveness
    • Review of example surveys.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • To identify the objective of a survey of the environment;
  • To determine the appropriate survey method to undertake an assessment of environmental resources;
  • To evaluate existing information and models which complement the survey method;
  • To design and conduct field surveys for data collection and verification;
  • To select and carry out appropriate modelling and statistical analyses;
  • To assess the accuracy of results;
  • To summarise and present results of a survey for users effectively.

Ecological Restoration

Module Leader
  • Professor Jim Harris
Aim
    Successful ecological restoration requires an integrated understanding of the ecological parameters of a site, together with the physical, chemical, and biotic factors that may influence desired outcomes. However, restoration objectives also need appreciation of the historical context of the site as well as possible social considerations that may limit the desired outcomes. In short ecological restoration is frequently ‘the art of balancing the possible’. This module covers the breadth of considerations required for ecological restoration and gives the opportunity to undertake analysis of management planning at both site and landscape scales.
Syllabus
    • The principles of ecological restoration
    • Abiotic and biotic controls on community composition
    • Practical techniques for effective habitat creation and restoration
    • Habitat management for faunal conservation
    • Effects of changes in climate and land use on conservation practices
    • Habitat case studies; for example wetland, grassland, woodland, heathland, riparian buffer strips
    • Contaminated land and remediation technologies
    • Contaminated land issues and market size
    • Importance of scale for reconstruction of habitats.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Understand the principles underlying restoration ecology and ecological restoration in local, national and global contexts
  • Identify the environmental and biological controls on plant community composition and ecosystem structure
  • Describe the mechanisms underlying natural successional patterns in vegetation communities, as well as human-induced changes in habitat-type
  • Evaluate suitable technologies for the remediation of different types of contaminated land
  • Relate habitat management to ecosystem function
  • At different scales, plan ecosystem creation or restoration based on the biotic and abiotic context of the area
  • Design and assess the feasibility and appropriateness of a habitat restoration scheme.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year and the 2018 to 2019 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (21 April 2017).

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 find and secure appropriate funding we have created a tool which allows you to search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.

Future Finance Scholarship

All students starting a full-time Masters course in 2017/18 can apply for the Future Finance Scholarship worth £5,000 toward course tuition fees.

The Cranfield Scholarship

We have a limited number of scholarships available for candidates from around the world applying for the 2017 intake. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who show both aptitude and ability for the subject they are applying. Find out more about the Cranfield Scholarship

Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England

A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK

Santander MSc Scholarship

The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £5,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. Check the scholarship page to find out if you are from an eligible Santander Universities programme country.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Future Finance Student Loans

Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.

Erasmus+ Student Loans

This new loan scheme for EU students is offered by Future Finance and European Investment Fund and provides smart, flexible loans of up to £9,300.

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.

Marshal Papworth Scholarships

Marshal Papworth provide opportunities for students from developing countries to gain the agricultural and horticultural skills needed to achieve a sustainable future for themselves and their communities.

Entry requirements

Suitable for graduates who wish to work in areas related to natural resources management including agriculture, conservation, biodiversity and the integration of natural processes in the landscape. The part-time option allows practitioners to extend their professional development within their current employment. A first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent; in a science or engineering subject. Candidates with other qualifications will be considered according to 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. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

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.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

Your career

Takes you on to a wide range of exciting career possibilities in the UK and overseas with government and international organisations working in the areas of conservation of biodiversity, provision of ecosystem services, natural resource management and sustainability of rural livelihoods. This course also provides an ideal grounding for research positions and PhD programmes.

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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