Postgraduate Diploma, Master of Science
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.
This established course combines environmental management practice and theory with proven excellence in distance learning.
Environmental Management techniques are integral to conservation, agriculture, forestry, industry and countryside planning. This online programme is designed both for new graduates who lack professional experience in environment management and, for professionals in the environment sector who wish to develop their careers, updating their knowledge and skills. It aims to satisfy an industrial and public sector demand for environmental scientists.
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The programme has been developed to set environmental management tools into the context how ecosystems are structured, how ecosystems /function and the legislative/policy framework for environmental planning.The flexible nature of this course makes it especially suited to people in full-time employment.
The principles and practice of Environmental Management are covered, with specific objectives being to:
• Understand the importance of an evidence-based approach in developing management strategies
• Apply quantitative techniques to assess the effects of environmental management
• Produce environmental impact statements and advise on implementing environmental management systems
• Apply structured planning principles to site biodiversity management and ecosystem restoration
• Monitor pollution and assess its environmental effects
To take this course, you will need access to a computer with a fast internet connection. The course uses the Blackboard learning environment and the modules are delivered using online lectures, including practical and tutorial material. Students and staff interact via email, discussion boards, online chat and telephone. You will find that this course is much more flexible than traditional on-campus university courses as you can study using your own computer and the internet, at your own pace, any place and any time (within given timeframes).
Fully online - part-time by distance learning. You do not need to visit Ulster at any stage to successfully complete this course.
The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) Environmental Management and the Master of Science (MSc) Environmental Management are linked courses. You must successfully complete the PgDip (120 credit points) before transferring to the MSc (a further 60 credit points), i.e. to get the full MSc you complete 180 credit points in total.
The PgDip takes two years part-time (4 semesters) as one module is taken each semester. Modules are available on a two year rotational basis so the order in which they are studied is dependent upon when you start the course.
For the MSc an additional two semesters are required to complete the project module i.e. three years in total part-time. (6 semesters).
Assessment is 100% by course work (no sessional examinations); a mixture of methods including practical reports, problem analysis, projects, literature reviews and essays, class tests, group work and a research project.
Students are able to use the University's extensive online resources of electronic journals, books and databases.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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This module introduces the concepts and requirements of environmental impact assessment, the methodology of planning and carrying out an environmental audit and the use of environmental management systems.
Biodiversity managers make decisions based on understanding ecosystems and by applying ecological principles to achieve their objectives. This module covers key scientific topics, which are crucial for developing effective biodiversity management plans in different ecosystems. It exemplifies how ecological-social-economic factors interact to influence our ability to conserve and manage biodiversity.
This module will provide new and synthesise existing knowledge and skills necessary to understand and analyse environmental data. Statistics, environmental modelling, geographical information systems and presentation skills will all be taught and demonstrated. The students will put this knowledge into action in the form of worked examples and assessments. Knowledge and evaluation techniques are provided in lectures, skills developed during worked examples and demonstrated by assessments.
This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of research in an area of particular interest to the student. The student will be assessed on their project plan, a literature review, a poster/presentation and a research paper on an area agreed with the student's supervisor.
This module provides the knowledge and skills necessary to monitor pollution of the environment. The topics included are: the key elements of the monitoring programmes for air, water and land; sample collection; chemical methods of analysis, including quality assurance; biological methods of analysis, including toxicity tests and bioassessment; use of environmental models; statistics, data analysis and assessing compliance and; critical loads. The student gains experience through lectures, supporting documents, directed reading and practicals.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Entry to the PgDip:
You must hold a degree in a science or other suitable discipline or demonstrate your ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning.
Entry to the MSc:
You initially register for the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) and if you complete the PgDip with an overall mark of 50% or higher can proceed to the MSc programme.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
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Most students on the course are already working in industry or public services.
Key skills which will be developed are:
Our postgraduate fees are subject to annual increase and are currently under review. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.
Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:
For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.
For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.
We look forward to hearing from you.
When I started out on the Environmental Management course, I had worked for several years in hands-on conservation and environmental restoration but had reached a point where I needed appropriate qualifications to allow my career to progress in a direction that worked for me. This course provided me with a strong base of knowledge and skills directly relevant to current environmental issues and practices, making it easy to apply the course content to my job at the time, while making plans for the future.
Distance learning can be a challenge as you never know what life is going to throw at you over the duration of the course. I found that the staff and tutors were extremely helpful and supportive in all aspects of life as an online student. The distance learning system also gives you the opportunity to interact with other students on the course, so it is never a lonely experience. The ability to bounce ideas off other students and your tutors in the forums is an essential part of the learning process, and really helped me gain confidence in my own abilities.
I have always preferred working outdoors and this course has given me the building blocks to progress in my career while staying away from the desk as much as possible! I intend to work as a freelance ecologist and wildlife surveyor in the near future, the course has been key in working towards this goal.
When you tell people you work in the food industry they immediately assume you’re involved with cooking or making foods. I couldn’t be further away from those stereotypical images as I work in environmental management. I completed Honours Degree course in Food Management and Marketing (validated by the University of Ulster) at Loughry College, Cookstown. During the course I completed my one year work experience with Ballyrashane Creamery investigating waste and environmental issues. I was in the fortunate position to be offered a fulltime job with them after I graduated from Loughry in June 2012. What with good environmental strategy and leadership fast becoming something that the marketplace expects, rather than impressed by, I decided to go back to studying to further my knowledge and understanding of environment. In January 2013, I enrolled on the course; but due to work commitments, I could only afford time to study on an part-time basis. Therefore, I enlisted on the e-learning postgraduate course of Environmental management. I get great satisfaction from studying on a course that aids my everyday workings in a business that has and continues to embrace new technologies to drive on environmental management – good news for me, Ballyrashane and the environment.