Taught course

Environmental Assessment and Management

Oxford Brookes University · School of the Built Environment

Entry requirements

The MSc in Environmental Assessment and Management (EAM) attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, including ecology, environmental science, planning, geography, landscape architecture, management and chemistry among others. Some students may already have experience in environmental assessment, whilst others have management experience outside this field and are seeking a more significant change of career direction. This wide mix of interests and skills is especially suitable for a topic such as EAM, which is inherently interdisciplinary. Many of our students are from overseas, and bring a wealth of experience and perspectives. Admission to the programme is normally open to applicants who fulfil one of the following requirements: hold a good undergraduate honours degree (upper second-class honours degree or equivalent) or other professional qualification relevant to EAM; have appropriate professional experience in environmental assessment and management.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc in Environmental Assessment and Management (EAM) examines the principles, procedures and methods of EAM against the background of current UK, European and international environmental policy.

The course covers the complementary roles of natural resource management and planning within core areas of EAM such as Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), as well as new and evolving fields such as mitigation banking, climate change adaptation, environmental inequality, ecosystem services, and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and sustainability appraisal.

The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). On completing the course, students are ideally placed to undertake the exams for the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) Associate Membership.

The MSc course consists of three core modules, three optional modules and a dissertation (representing 180 level 7 credits). The PGDip consists of three core modules and three options (representing 120 level 7 credits).

Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

The core modules:

  • Principles of Environmental Assessment and Management (20 credits) considers the context within which EAM is carried out: the principles of sustainability, international and national policy, approaches to valuing the environment, attitudes to conservation and the role of the public in environmental decision-making.
  • Procedures and Methods of EIA (double module, 40 credits) examines the processes and procedures in carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and provides a practical introduction to methods for assessing, predicting and mitigating a wide range of ecological and socio-economic impacts. The module emphasises fieldwork and case studies.

The dissertation element comprises:

  • Research Methods (half module, 10 credits), which develops the skills needed to research environmental issues, including the formulation of research problems and methodology, data collection and analysis.
  • Dissertation (50 credits), which is an individual research study on a topic relevant to EAM chosen by the student.

One single module generally involves one taught session per week over the 12 weeks of the semester.

Optional modules provide an opportunity for students to widen or deepen their field of study. There are three types of optional module as follows:

Recommended Optional Modules are considered to be particularly relevant to the course and include:

  • Ecosystem Degradation and Management reviews the nature and extent of ecosystem degradation resulting from human activities, and considers possible methods for avoiding degradation and managing, conserving and restoring ecosystems.
  • Environmental Management Systems introduces environmental management, the systems and approaches which are being increasingly used in industry and commerce to meet the challenge of sustainable development and to monitor and improve environmental performance.
  • GIS and Environmental Modelling is concerned with the practical application of geographical information systems (GIS) and environmental models as tools to assist in environmental management and decision-making.
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) examines SEA principles and SEA’s status worldwide, links between SEA, environmental impact assessment and strategic decision making, a wide range of SEA tools and techniques, and their advantages and disadvantages in various settings.
  • Spatial Planning in Action presents an analysis of the structure, objectives and responsibilities underlying the practice of spatial planning from a UK perspective. It introduces the legal basis, administrative aspects and current issues in planning decision-making, including development plan-making, development control and the appeal process.

Alternative Optional Modules are normally selected from an approved list of courses currently running in the university, including Globalisation, Environment and Development; Environmentally Sustainable Business; and International Transport Planning.

Independent Study Module involves individual work on an appropriate topic or set of topics, conducted under supervision and with prior approval of the programme leaders. No more than one independent study unit may be included in a programme.

Information for international students

If your first language is not English, you must have IELTS level 6.5 in the academic test, with a minimum score of 6.0 in reading and writing.

Fees and funding

Please see https://www.brookes.ac.uk/studying-at-brookes/finance/

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
21 months
full time
9 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)1865 483573