MSc  Applied Ecology and Environmental Management

Year of entry

The MSc in Applied Ecology and Environmental Management, MSc - 2019/20 programme provides students with an extensive applied and practical experience.  We want to fully utilise your skills and expertise, and provide you with further opportunities whilst studying on this programme. 


The Section of Life Sciences therefore has allocated a minimum of 200 hours of paid work that will be delivered by MSc students that are studying on this programme. 

The aim of this work is to support the activities of the Section, and will enhance your profile and experiences whilst studying with us at CCCU. If you wish to be considered for this work, once registered there will be an ‘expression of interest’ request, followed by a selection process which will require you to indicate your skills and attributes that would be useful to the Section.

The world is experiencing important ecological and environmental challenges. To address them we need to expand and link scientific knowledge with practice, for example in the areas of environmental consultancy, policy implementation and development, and fundamental ecological and environmental research.

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

The MSc in Applied Ecology and Environmental Management incorporates topics in ecology, environmental sciences and environmental management to explore the relationship between the natural world and society. You will explore, within a scientific and an ecological framework, the impact of human activities on the environment, and will obtain a thorough understanding of environmental management and sustainability issues, including policy and legislation, with the development of practical skills.

Our programme aims to develop and challenge you at a postgraduate level to develop a deeper and applied understanding of environmental biology and science, its relevance to the impact of human activities on environmental systems, as well as the mitigation of those impacts, and the regulatory, political and scientific parameters that frame practice and research in the environmental sciences. We have experienced and research active staff who will be able to convey their enthusiasm for their disciplines, and our facilities will allow you to carry out your studies and projects.

Through this MSc, you will have the opportunity to expand and link conceptual scientific knowledge while also applying it to the practice and application of research as it serves public and private stakeholders, for example in the areas of environmental consultancy, policy implementation and development, and fundamental research.

The programme is suited for those interested in the applied aspects of ecology and environmental sciences for environmental management and consultancy, or for those interested in delivering user defined integrative solutions via research, management and consultancy within the areas of animal behaviour, welfare and conservation, human and physical geography, crop protection, and applied ecology and environmental management.

The modules in this programme are designed to allow you to learn the theoretical framework, practical skills and transferrable skills that are required for developing a career in ecological and environmental research with an applied focus, and in environmental assessment and consultancy.

You will develop the employability skills needed for working in governmental and non­governmental organisations and in private companies, or for pursuing further studies, for example if you are interested in pursuing a PhD in ecology or in environmental sciences.

The core of the programme consists of several compulsory modules which will provide you with the specialist knowledge in various aspects of environmental science and management, including topics relating to landscape ecology, population ecology, agricultural and other environments under the direct management or impact of humans, as well as issues relating to environmental policy. In addition, the modules will present and expand your skills in research methods (quantitative and qualitative), statistical analysis, literature review and other postgraduate skills related to the analysis, evaluation and communication of scientific data to a range of audiences.

Finally, these modules include teaching of practical and applied skills in the field and laboratory that are essential for assessing natural environments, their vulnerability to change and human impacts and developing recommendations for management based on the data obtained.

This MSc covers several main themes which make the core modules, including:

Environmental Management and Sustainability, where you will develop a thorough understanding of environmental management and sustainability issues focusing on legislation and policy for environmental management and ecosystem assessment and pollution monitoring.

Environmental Science, where you will explore many aspects of the planetary environment and the environmental systems using diagnostic techniques. You will also develop practical skills relevant to contemporary environmental sciences.

Applied Ecology and Conservation, where you will revise fundamental concepts and practical skills in ecology, evolution and conservation allowing you to develop postgraduate competence in these fields for the implementation of ecological tools, biological conservation and sustainable practices.

Research Methods, which will give you a better understanding of how the scientific method and statistical theory are applied to critically evaluate and carry out scientific research. This module is delivered jointly across the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences, giving you the opportunity to interact with students and academics from various backgrounds within the broader university community.

Applied Skills in Ecology, Environmental Management and Research, where you will apply skills and knowledge acquired through the programme for the assessment of a habitat and generate research­informed recommendations for environmental management.


Subject to availability, you can also choose one of two optional modules that will give you the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills in an area of importance in applied environmental management:

Understanding Landscapes, where through an integrative approach of human and physical geography, geographic information systems GIS), remote sensing and geovisualisation, and ecological and environmental sciences, you will examine ecological and resource management issues and the concept of sustainability at a landscape and regional level.

Agro­ecology, where the major challenges facing agriculture in the 21st century will be used as examples for critical discussions and for the development of potential solutions within the areas of agricultural research and consultancy using holistic and sustainable approaches.


The final step of your study will be to carry out a project, with supervision, in the form of a dissertation.

The dissertation is an individual study project that will allow you to investigate, build and complete a significant piece of scholarly work, relevant to ecology or in environmental sciences, with a clear applied or management context.

The application of theoretical aspects of this programme and the practical skills developed throughout the modules can enhance your employability prospects; the emphasis on generic transferable graduate skills is particularly prevalent in the programme. More specifically, you can develop the following transferable skills which are crucial for employability: critical analysis and critical thinking skills, the use of IT and traditional academic research methods to interrogate and present theoretical and empirical material, communication skills (verbal and written), and practical engagement.

The programme has been developed to address the skills and knowledge gaps in ecological and environmental research and management. The modules in this programme are designed to allow students to learn the theoretical framework, practical skills and transferrable skills that are required for developing a career in ecological and environmental research with an applied focus, and in environmental assessment and consultancy. Employability is promoted and embedded across individual modules within the programme and you will gain a broad range of skills to enhance your employability.

The academic year starts in September and finishes in August one year later (for full­time students) or two years later (for part­time students).

We use a variety of teaching methods that provide support and guidance within a participative learning environment, including:

  • Interactive lectures (students and lecturers or speakers),
  • Practical sessions (field and laboratory),
  • Seminars and workshops,
  • Virtual learning environments,
  • Problem­based learning as individuals and groups,
  • Tutorials with supervisors.

Most modules are delivered in two­hour blocks, combining lectures and workshops/practicals, and consist of 40 hours of academic direction and 160 hours of practice learning & independent study. Some field or laboratory sessions may need more hours to be delivered.

Our modules will allow you to develop communication skills (both written and oral) that will help you explain complex scientific issues and research findings to specialist and general audiences. This is of particular importance for client/stakeholder­facing careers in consultancy, policy­making etc. The dissertation is an exercise in original research and aims to consolidate individual research skills in a larger piece of independent research and to familiarise students with the practicalities of applied research in ecology, environmental science and environmental management.

Throughout the course, beyond engaging with the disciplinary content of your pathway, you will be supported in developing widely transferrable skills (i.e. comprehension, analysis, critical thinking, and use of software) by engaging with a variety of learning tools and strategies and diverse assignments.

Some modules will ask you to work as a team and engage directly with your fellow students as well as your tutors. The teaching also promotes reflection and critical self­evaluation and will encourage you to expand your horizons and ways of thinking.

You will receive detailed feedback on essays, reports, presentations and all other forms of assessment. The feedback will help you learn the importance of developing a coherent argument supported by relevant evidence.

The members of staff responsible for delivering this course are Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Readers and/or Professors in relevant disciplines (e.g. Biosciences, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geography, Human biology, Conservation, Agronomy, etc.) with extensive ecological and environmental research and/or environmental management experience. Our PhD students and partners from governmental and non­governmental organisations may contribute to the modules, making it a more diverse and exiting programme.

This programme is assessed through coursework only, including essays, mock grant proposals and consultancy reports and portfolios consisting of desk­studies, critical reviews, reports, data presentation and analysis as well as literature reviews and other pieces of scientific writing.

All assessments are aimed at providing you with the opportunity to acquire in­depth knowledge and understanding of the relevant topic, but also develop your transferrable practical and critical skills, such as scientific writing and data analysis. All assessments are linked to specific learning outcomes to evidence your proficiency in the respective learning outcome(s).

The full programme is worth 180 credits.

The largest part of the assessment will be based on your dissertation (60 credits). You must pass this component of the module to receive the award of MSc. The dissertation must be submitted within one year from date of entry (full­ time) or two years from entry (part­ time).



2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time £7,700 £12,420
Part-time £3,850 N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2019/20 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can  email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Application deadline: TBC

Applications for this course can be completed online.

For further information, please  read our guidance on how to apply online .

Application process

Selection of candidates will be made based on previous qualifications and/or relevant experience, and the completion of the forms, including personal statement and referee’s comment. If you have questions regarding the completion of the forms or if you are unsure whether your qualifications are appropriate, please contact us directly:

The University normally accepts non-UK qualifications equivalent to those outlined above. If your first language is not English you will be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English. Usually, this is through a IELTs score of at least 6.5. Other requirements for non-UK and overseas students may apply. If you need further information you may contact us directly:

For more information about general entry requirements see:

There is a focus on field work and practical skills and on the application of these skills to real­world situations.

The MSc is linked to the Ecology Research Group which has a 20­-year history of research and consultancy work in ecology and environmental science. This group has longstanding and established links to Natural England, Kent Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency. In addition to this, recent work of this group has been with Thanet Earth, and with agricultural and horticultural partners who are associated with Rural Kent PLC.

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time


  • September

Typical contact hours per week

  • 10-14 hours per week

Entry requirements

  • Undergraduate honours degree at 2.2 or above from a recognised institute of higher education, preferably in a relevant subject within the Life or Environmental Sciences.

    The University normally accepts non-UK qualifications equivalent to those outlined above. If your first language is not English, you will be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English. Usually, this is through a IELTs score of at least 6.5. Other requirements for non-UK and overseas students may apply.

    Students without previous qualifications but with relevant experience may be accepted as part of this process.



Last edited 01/05/2019 12:43:00

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Last edited: 01/05/2019 12:43:00