Study an Environment MSc at Cranfield

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 part of this review, the decision has been taken to remove Atmospheric Emission Technology MSc from our portfolio for 2019/20 registration. We are confident that we can offer a suitable and exciting replacement and believe that the MSc in Environmental Engineering is most closely aligned to this course.

Improving air quality through the control of pollutant emissions is a high priority and global challenge. To control, monitor and model atmospheric emissions requires in-depth understanding of the sources of emission, atmospheric chemistry, dispersion modelling and emissions technology. Cranfield's strong links with industry provide outstanding opportunities to secure successful careers in this area. Why study Environment at Cranfield? - hear from Tim Brewer.


  • Start dateFull-time: October
  • DurationOne year full-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules: 40%, Group projects: 20%, Individual project: 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

The MSc in Atmospheric Emission Technology course is designed to provide up-to-date knowledge focusing on international and industrial emission monitoring and control technologies. The latest atmospheric and air quality policy and modelling developments will be introduced to prepare you for a career as air quality monitoring and emissions technology experts within industry, environmental consultancies or regulators.

Your career

We aim to develop this course as a recognised and sought-after qualification within the professional environmental field in the UK and abroad. Successful students will develop diverse and rewarding careers in environmental regulation, public sector organisations (e.g. Defra and Environmental Agency), environmental and business consultancies and process industries in private sectors.

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. 

Cranfield Careers Service
Our Careers Service can help you find the job you want after leaving Cranfield. We will work with you to identify suitable opportunities and support you in the job application process for up to three years after graduation.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.

Why this course?

Currently there is a scarcity of higher education courses in topics that are relevant to air quality management. This course will provide a future generation of professionals in the air quality and air pollution control sectors, with comprehensive understanding of sources and dispersion of atmospheric pollutants linked with key industrial processes and vehicle/aircraft emission.

Informed by Industry

The course offers unique practical experience in the NERC/Met Office Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement (FAAM) base in the Centre for Atmospheric Informatics and Emissions Technology at Cranfield.

Many academics in the teaching team have significantly experience working in close collaboration with environmental consultancies, the emission monitoring and control industry, and regulators.

Course details

The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project.

Group project

The group projects are founded on group-based research programmes typically undertaken between February and April. The projects are designed to integrate knowledge, understanding and skills from the taught modules in a real-life situation.

Individual project

The thesis project, typically delivered between May and September, further develops research and project management skills that provide the ability to think and work in an original way; contribute to knowledge; overcome genuine problems; and communicate through a thesis and oral exam. Each student is allocated a supervisor who will guide and assess the student's work.


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


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 compulsory modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2018–2019. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2019 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Air pollution and monitoring methods

    To provide specialist understanding of major air pollutants, their detection and monitoring techniques. The module will cover principal air pollution issues such as bioaerosols, odours, dust and particulates, noise and radiations. The module will include: risks and regulations, sampling techniques, analytical methods and data analysis for indoor and outdoor air monitoring.
    • Air Quality Parameters indoor and outdoor, pollution sources, their impact and regulation (UK and EU)
    • Air sampling and sampling strategies. Sample preparation and preservation
    • Gas emissions, sampling strategy, sampling methods, samples preservation
    • Gas analysis (NOx, SOx, O3, radicals, VOC emissions)
    • Advanced Data Analysis and dispersion modelling.  Signal processing.  Chemometric methods.  Pattern recognition.  Neural networks.  Noise, interference and selectivity
    • Dust and particulates. Sample preparation and preservation
    • Noise detection and monitoring techniques
    • Radiation detection and measurement techniques
    • Bioaerosols. Sampling methods (accumulative, reactive, continuous and sequential, grab). Microbiological Sampling- size and replicates.  Collection methods – filters, impingers, impaction onto culture media.  Enumeration – spore counts, colony counts, plaque forming units

Intended learning outcomes
  • On successful completion of this module a student should be able to
  • Appraise the extent, impact and implications of air pollution
  • Understand the practical requirements for air quality monitoring: design appropriate sampling strategies, select sample locations, take samples correctly, conduct standard tests and evaluate the results
  • Understand and apply the most common traditional analytical techniques used in air monitoring
  • Understand the fundamental basis of noise measurement techniques for environmental purposes
  • Understand the fundamental basis of radiation measurement techniques for environmental purposes
  • Understand the fundamental basis of bioaerosols formation and measurement techniques for environmental purposes
  • 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

Environmental Management

    Full appreciation of the human impact on the environment and updated knowledge of pollution control equipment and environmental management systems and tools
    • Environmental pollution - an introduction: Pollution. Main ecological concepts. Ecosystem processes. The human dimension. Environmental gradients, tolerance and adaptation.  Major biogeochemical cycles.
    • Atmospheric pollution: Sources, sinks and concentration trends for atmospheric pollutants.
    • Environmental impacts of atmospheric pollution: Global issues (global warming; ozone-layer depletion). Regional issues (acid deposition; the Arctic haze). Urban air pollution (urban growth patterns; urban air pollutants; atmospheric pollution and human health; effects of atmospheric pollution on plants).
    • Dispersal of atmospheric pollutants: Air pollution and meteorology (lapse rate and atmospheric stability; Temperature inversions; Atmospheric mixing height and ventilation coefficient). Dispersion modelling (plume rise; The Gaussian plume dispersion model).
    • Control of atmospheric pollution: Particulate pollutants (gravity settling chambers; Centrifugal separators; Electrostatic precipitators; Filters and scrubbers). VOCs (Adsorption; Condensation; Absorption; Thermal oxidation; Bio-oxidation). SO2 (Removal of SO2 from rich waste gases; Sulphuric acid plants; Removal of SO2 from lean waste gases; Scrubbers; Dry systems; Wet-dry systems). NOx (Selective catalytic reduction; Selective non-catalytic reduction; Non-selective catalytic reduction). CO2 (Industrial emissions; The Kyoto Protocol; CO2 capture from flue-gas streams of fossil fuel-fired power plants; CO2 storage; CO2 utilisation).
    • Water pollutants and basic treatment principles: Water contaminants. Overview of drinking water treatment processes. Regulatory requirements for drinking water in Europe.
    • Wastewater pollutants and basic treatment principles: Rationalization of wastewater quality including the origin, abundance and classification of pollutants. Pollution measurement. Overview of regulations.  Brief description of common wastewater treatment processes and main principles.
    • Water flowsheet exercise: Exploration of the logical sequence of treatment processes required to achieve water/wastewater treatment.
    • Solid waste management: Solid waste generation. Options for management of the waste. Waste recycling. Composting. Anaerobic digestion. Gasification. Pyrolysis. Refuse-derived fuels. Waste incineration. Waste disposal. Integrated solid waste management.  
    • Overview of environmental law and legislation.
    • Introduction to environmental impact assessment.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Recognise the complexity of environmental issues facing industrial organisations
  • Identify  the emissions  of atmospheric and water pollutants from an industrial activity and assess their environmental impacts
  • Appraise critically available pollution control technology/equipment in order to make a successful selection of the most appropriate and viable option for a given application
  • Make sound judgement in the absence of complete data and communicate effectively conclusions obtained
  • Continue to advance their knowledge and assimilate new future technologies

Process Emission and Control

Module Leader
  • Dr Iq Mead

    The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the major air pollutants emitted by key industrial processes, the associated regulatory frameworks and monitoring and control techniques.  A further element of this module is for students to gain an in-depth knowledge of emission control strategies currently applied by industry, e.g. processes modification and implementation of appropriate control mechanisms.  

    • Air Quality Parameters, pollution sources, their impact and regulation (UK and EU).
    • Bioaerosol emissions monitoring and sampling strategies.
    • Advanced data analysis and dispersion modelling.
    • Carbon capture and storage
    • Specific pollutants: particulates, odour, bioaerosols and biogas
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Explain the extent, impact and implications of emissions from industrial processes.
  • Describe the linkage between major emissions that contribute to air pollution to their related industrial processes
  • Discuss emission abatement strategies currently applied in industry and design principles for each of the strategy
  • Analyse a specific emission control scenario and apply the design principles to design an appropriate emission control systems.
  • Critically evaluate the efficiency of emission control systems based on operational and design parameters through case examples.

Energy Production Emissions Control, Carbon Capture and Transport

Module Leader
  • Dr Kumar Patchigolla

    Energy supply involves the integration of electricity and heat generation technologies (along with nuclear and renewable options) combined with the transmission and distribution to customers. This module provides a basic understanding of current and future systems, the technologies required for compliance with current environmental legislation and the developments to meet future restrictions on the emission of greenhouse gases, primarily CO2. CO2 capture and storage represent a viable near-term option to reduce CO2 emissions from current and future electricity and other industrial plants to avoid locking in CO2 emissions from these plants as countries strive to meet ever tighter greenhouse gas emissions regulations. Over 90% of the industrial infrastructure in the world relies on the burning of fossil fuels in air with the resulting flue gas typically containing low concentrations of CO2. This module focuses on approaches currently used or being developed to separate CO2 (and other pollutants from these flue gases), its transportation and long-term storage.  

    • General understanding of electricity/heat generation technologies and their integration into energy systems
    • The large point sources of CO2 emissions, fossil fuel plants such as power stations, oil refineries, petrochemical and gas plants, steel and large cement plants.
    • Emission control options for NOx, SOx, particulates and trace metals
    • The main approaches to capturing CO2 , covering pre-combustion, post-combustion, oxy-combustion, chemical looping, etc
    • CO2 transport by land via pipelines and tankers (rail, road and barge), or by sea using ships
    • Different CO2 storage options, including the difference between value added and non-value added storage options
    • The role of CO2 capture and storage within utilities company: Electricity /Gas /CO2 /Grid
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Critically evaluate technologies used in electricity and heat generation and their current status of development, analyse impact of energy supply on global climate change
  • Discuss and critically analyse emissions control technologies developed for energy industry, including their advantages, disadvantages and commercial readiness
  • Critically evaluate greenhouse gas emission control technologies and design/propose appropriate CO2 capture, transport and storage strategy to be integrated into energy systems
  • Critically evaluate CO2 capture, compression, transport and storage technologies and their integration into power plants and assess main operating issues associated to the technologies
  • Analyse and determine the best options for the control of emissions and other residues from plants using different fuels

Vehicle and Air Transport Emission and Control

    The aim of this module is to provide students an advanced understanding of emissions from a variety of vehicle and aircraft engines, current technologies for improving engine efficiency and reducing emissions, emission legislations, emission test protocols and the environmental impacts of vehicle and air transport emission
    Delivery of the course will involve the extensive use of “hands-on” learning with Lectures backed up with practical engine demonstrations and engine hardware strip-down.

    The module includes a systems view of engine technology including:

    • European legislation on engine performance and emissions targets
    • Basic Powertrain architectural options for electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
    • Combustion thermochemistry
    • Engine layouts & thermodynamic cycles
    • Combustion in petrol and diesel engines
    • Emissions in relation to fuel types and properties
    • Exhaust after-treatment
    • Engine emissions modelling
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Identify and critically assess different powertrain systems for automotive and air transport applications
  • Critically assess the main factors that result in global emissions from powertrain systems
  • Evaluate and critically assess global legislation of automotive emissions
  • Evaluate the contribution of hybrid electric vehicles within a Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legislative and Environmental framework
  • Evaluate and critically assess the methods of emissions abatement for vehicles

Atmospheric Emissions Theory and Modelling

    This module provides basic understanding of the physical mechanisms underlying the dispersion of pollutants in atmosphere, and the mathematical models used to predict it.
    • Introduction to Modleing
    • Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics; Definition of Continuum; Conservation of Mass; Conservation of Momentum; Conservation of Energy; Boundary Conditions
    • Fundamentals of CFD; Introduction to ICEM-CFD; Introduction to FLUENT; Laminar Urban Boundary Layer
    • Fundamentals of Turbulence; Closure Problem; RANS modelling; Algebraic models; One Equation Models; Two Equations Models; Turbulent Urban Boundary Layer
    • Mixture Modelling; Passive Scalar Transport Equation; Molecular Diffusivity; Reactions Modeling; Emission in Urban Area
    • Jet Modeling; Self-Similarity; Planar Jet; Cylindrical Jet; Simplified Solutions
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of fluid dynamics fundamentals
  • Evaluate critically the appropriate model for a given scenario
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of pllutants in jets
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the software ICEM-CFD
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the software FLUENT

Carbon Capture Technologies

Module Leader
  • Professor Vasilije Manovic
    To familiarise the student with various CO2 capture approaches and CO2 capture technologies for different power plants.

    • Energy Policy and Future Energy System: review of UK and international low carbon energy scenarios, Uncertainty in technology development such as oxy-fuel plan
    • CO2 Sources: coal-fired power plants, gas-fired power plants, subcritical vs supercritical, oxy-fuel power plant, other industrial sources such as steel making, refinery and cement industries
    • Use of captured CO2: enhanced oil recovery (EOR), use of CO2 for methanol production, use of CO2 for Urea production
    • CO2 Capture Approaches: post-combustion CO2 capture, pre-combustion CO2 capture, oxyfuel process with CO2 capture, hybrid process with CO2 capture
    • CO2 Separation Technologies: physical absorption, chemical absorption, adsorption, membrane separation, cryogenic separation
    • CO2 capture Performance index: energy consumption (or efficiency penalty), dynamics, operation flexibility
    • Carbon Capture Economics: initial investment, capital cost, operating cost, carbon credit
    • Chemical Absorption: principles, packed columns, pilot plant studies, modelling and simulation, various solvents (MEA, ammonia etc.), solvent degradation, process intensification, process scale-up.
    • Physical Absorption: principle
    • Adsorption: Principle, adsorption with lime as adsorbent, membrane for adsorption, regeneration of adsorbent (pressure swing adsorption, temperature swing adsorption)
    • Oxyfuel process with CO2 capture: principle, refrigeration
    • Chemical looping: principle
    • Case Study: selection of the operating conditions for post-combustion CO2 capture considering CO2 capture level, energy consumption, operation flexibility and water balance.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this study you should be able to:

  • Explain different CO2 capture approaches and CO2 separation technologies
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of post-combustion CO2 capture with chemical absorption
  • Evaluate critically the advantages and limitations of various CO2 capture approaches and separation technologies
  • Demonstrate the ability to select different CO2 separation technologies for different scenario of power plants based on performance index.

Process Measurement Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr Liyun Lao

    To introduce a systematic approach to the design of measurement systems for process applications.


    Principles of Measurement System

    • Process monitoring requirements: operating conditions, range, static performance, dynamic performance 
    • Sensor technologies: resistive, capacitive, electromagnetic, ultrasonic, radiation, resonance
    • Signal conditioning and conversion: amplifiers, filters, bridges, load effects, sampling theory, quantisation theory, A/D, D/A
    • Data transmission and telemetry: analogue signal transmission, digital transmission, communication media, coding, modulation, multiplexing, communication strategies, communication topologies, communication standards, HART, Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus
    • Smart and intelligent instrumentation
    • Soft sensors. Measurement error and uncertainty: systematic and random errors, estimating the uncertainty, effect of each uncertainty, combining uncertainties, use of Monte Carlo methods
    • Calibration: importance of standards, traceability
    • Safety aspects: intrinsic safety, zone definitions, isolation barriers
    • Selection and maintenance of instrumentation

    Principles of Process Measurement

    • Flow measurement: flow meter performance, flow profile, flow meter calibration; differential pressure flow meters, positive displacement flow meters, turbine, ultrasonic, electromagnetic, vortex, Coriolis flow meters
    • Pressure measurement: pressure standards, Bourdon tubes, diaphragm gauges, bellows, strain gauges, capacitance, resonant gauges
    • Temperature measurement: liquid-in-glass, liquid-in-metal, gas filled, thermocouple, resistance temperature detector, thermistor
    • Level measurement: conductivity methods, capacitance methods, float switches, ultrasonic, microwave, radiation method
    • Multiphase flow measurement: general features of vertical and horizontal multiphase flow, definition of parameters in multiphase flow, multiphase flow measurement strategies, water cut and composition measurement, velocity measurement, commercial multiphase flow meters, developments in multiphase flow metering
    • Density and viscosity measurement
    • Case study I: flow assurance instrumentation
    • Case study II: environmental measurement
    • Case study III: measurement issues and challenges in CO2 transportation.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the factors affecting the operation of a process sensor and a familiarity with the types and technologies of modern process sensors
  • Recognise the factors which have to be considered when designing a process measurement system
  • Propose the most appropriate measurement system for a given process application.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in 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 £10,250
PgDip Full-time £8,200
PgCert Full-time £4,510

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • 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.
  • 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.

MSc Full-time £20,500
PgDip Full-time £16,605
PgCert Full-time £8,300

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

GREAT China Scholarship
The GREAT Cranfield University Scholarship China is jointly funded by Cranfield University and the British Council. Two scholarships of £11,000 each for Chinese students are available.

The Cranfield Scholarship

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

Masters Loan from Student Finance England

A Masters 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 Scholarship

The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £4,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. The scholarship is open to female students from the UK.

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

Cranfield University has partnered with Future Finance as an alternative source of funding for our students with loans of up to £40,000 available.

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.

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 Masters courses.

Scottish Power Masters Scholarship
The scholarship covers tuition fees and living costs for postgraduate students in engineering, renewable energy, environmental science, cyber security and related fields.