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Environmental Management

From improving a company's competitive edge and complying with environmental legislation to addressing the global challenges of climate change and energy conservation, environmental management affects us all. This qualification is designed to expand your knowledge of environmental management and develop the skills to participate in more effective, informed and creative environmental decision making – whether you're already a specialist working in the field or planning to get involved, professionally or personally. You will examine current concerns of environmental protection, natural resource management and rapidly changing environmental legislation and policy, in local and global contexts. You'll also develop the skills you need to unpack the issues and participate creatively in the process of improving environmental performance in all sectors of society.

Key features of the course
• Develops essential skills for successfully addressing environmental issues

• A choice of professional or research routes

• Provides a rigorous approach to solving complex real world problems.

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded an MSc in Environmental Management entitling you to use the letters MSc Env Mgmt (Open) after your name. Your degree will be classified: distinction, merit or pass. The classification will be based on specified modules that must include your project module.

Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Credit transfer
If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a bachelors degree from a UK university, or the equivalent.

If you do not have a degree you will need to be adequately prepared for postgraduate study. You will be required to write essays and reports at a high level, to undertake work with numerical data, and to understand and apply scientific principles.

If you are unsure whether your previous study or experience will sufficiently prepare you for this qualification, please contact us for advice.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

Detailed advice about entry and preparation is given in the individual module descriptions.

Our badged open course, Succeeding in postgraduate study, will introduce you to the nature of Master's level study. It offers essential preparation for pursuing your learning at this level – and is free.


Minimum 3 years.

The minimum time to complete is 3 years. The maximum time to complete is 8 years.

Number of credits

180 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
Our environmental management programme is for people who are interested in designing, managing and participating in more effective environmental decision-making processes. For example, if you are involved in setting up or responding to environmental or integrated management systems, planning new development projects or are trying to understand or manage sustainability. Students are drawn from industry, commerce, local and national governments, consultancies, non-governmental organisations and communities. They include people already involved in environmental management and those who wish to be – both personally and professionally.

The professional route, where you take the MSc professional project as your final module, is particularly suitable if you want to develop your career in industry, commerce, the public sector or the third sector. The research route is more applicable if you intend to develop a career in research or go on to undertake study leading to a PhD or other research degree.

Whichever route you follow, this qualification will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to work in this expanding sector.

If you pass both Managing for sustainability (T867) and Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) – studying towards the Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management (E79) or the MSc in Environmental Management (F65) – you'll be eligible to join the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) as an Associate Member.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

Stage 1

You can study the modules in any order. The alternative modules Environmental monitoring and protection (T868)1 or Capacities for managing development (T878)2 focus on scientific or social aspects of environmental management (you can also study both to gain an all-round understanding):

•In Environmental monitoring and protection (T868)1 you will work with numerical data in the quantitative assessment of environmental impacts and develop technological solutions to reducing environmental pollution.

•Capacities for managing development (T878)2 introduces the subject of development and teaches a range of management skills that are useful in all disciplines, strategic thinking, research, advocacy, planning and policy making.

Compulsory modules Credits
Making environmental decisions (T891) 30
Managing for sustainability (T867) 30

Or subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module T863

30 credits from List A:

List A: optional modules Credits
Capacities for managing development (T878) 230
Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) 1 30

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module TD866


30 credits from List B:

List B: optional modules Credits
Capacities for managing development (T878) 2 30
Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) 1 30
Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction (TU812) 30 FINAL
Managing technological innovation (T848) 30
Project management (M815) 30
Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811) 30 FINAL

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules D837, T869, T889, TD866, TU870

1Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) will be a compulsory module after November 2020.

2Capacities for managing development (T878) will no longer be an option after November 2020.

Completion of Stage 1 will entitle you to claim the Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management (E79).


Stage 2

This MSc offers a choice of routes after you have completed Stage 1; a research route or a professional route.

If you need a more professionally-oriented qualification, you can take the 30-credit module The MSc professional project (T847) and complete your qualification with a module from a short list of relevant options.

•If you prefer a more research-oriented MSc, you can take the 60-credit Research project (T802). The longer research project allows more in-depth study and further develops your academic research skills.

Both modules provide an excellent platform for further research studies.

60 credits from either the Research route or the Professional route:

Research route
Compulsory module Credits
Research project (T802) 60

Professional route
Compulsory module Credits
The MSc professional project (T847) 30

Plus 30 credits from optional modules in List A or List B in Stage 1 above 30

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you. Note, in particular, you can only count the credit from one of the following modules towards a single qualification: Research project (T802) or The MSc professional project (T847).

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!