BSc Environmental Management / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

BSc Environmental Management with Professional Placement is a three-year degree studying the Earth's natural resources, the way in which human societies interact with them and ways in which they can be sustainably managed. 

Understanding both scientific principles and relevant policy frameworks is essential if we are to address global environmental challenges including climate change and sustainable development. 

The course has a strong focus on practice, and you will study environmental processes and their management by combining small group, classroom-based learning with fieldwork.  

By the time you graduate, you will have an advanced understanding of environmental systems and processes, and the policies and practices involved in their management. 

You will also have gained a wide range of practice-based skills, which enhance your employability including the design and implementation of ecological surveys, conservation management, environmental appraisal and audit, environmental impact assessment, project management and professional report writing.

Manchester is a great place to study environmental management; it is a major UK city undergoing rapid urban change, which provides an ideal base for experiencing the challenge of balancing urban development pressures with their environmental impacts. 

Manchester is also ideally placed for you to learn about a wide variety of rural environments, including three spectacular National Parks, areas of intensive farming and impressive coastlines. 

The city and its surrounding environments are important resources for field teaching across your three years of study.


  • Study a course that meets the Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications and the Benchmark Statement for Environmental Studies.
  • Receive a framework of knowledge, understanding and practical skills relating to the field of environmental management.
  • Study in an intellectually challenging and stimulating learning environment.
  • Receive in-depth specialist knowledge in an area of environmental management activity through research and enquiry.
  • Study a curriculum that covers the scientific principles of environmental management, with a particular focus on ecology and biodiversity conservation, underpinned by tuition in practical skills in workshops and in the field.
  • Study a curriculum that covers the cultures, values and roles, and concerns of institutions, organisations and stakeholders involved with understanding, evaluating, planning and managing the environment at a variety of scales.
  • Study a course that enables you to operate in a future-oriented, problem-solving way, and which yields sustainable solutions to environmental management problems.
  • Gain experience of applying conceptual, communication and digital skills in a real-world focussed placement.

Special features

Gain real-world experience on work placements

In your second year, you can spend time outside the university on placement with an organisation in the environmental management sector - equipping you with hands-on experience and wide-ranging environmental and ecological skills.

International fieldwork

Enjoy national and international fieldwork, including a trip to Portugal or another European country.

Study abroad

Apply to spend one semester studying abroad at one of our exchange partners in Europe, the US, South East Asia and Australia.

Teaching and learning

We combine traditional lecture-based teaching with tutorials, seminars and workshop sessions.

Practical subjects, such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Photoshop and SketchUp - as well as general computer skills - are taught primarily in the Humanities computer suites.

This work is accompanied by group work and the occasional lecture session, giving you an overall hands-on learning experience.

The School of Environment, Education and Development aim to run advertised fieldwork in the 21/22 Academic Year and we very much hope that students will be able to enjoy the fieldwork experience in the usual way.

The ability of fieldwork to proceed, and whether any changes to proposed fieldwork might be necessary, will remain subject to the current global situation and factors such as the:

  • rules and guidance on travel and activities implemented and published by the UK and overseas governments;
  • outcome of any risk assessments conducted by the University;
  • educational value and student experience of the fieldwork, if significant changes to the proposed fieldwork would be necessary;
  • availability of appropriate insurance cover; and
  • availability of appropriate travel and accommodation and any significant changes to their financial costs.

We will therefore assess on a regular basis the viability of any travel and fieldwork and communicate any decisions to our students at the earliest possible opportunity. Any fieldwork that does go ahead will be subject to a rigorous risk assessment process and the implementation of any protective measures identified by the risk assessment to ensure the health and safety of all of our students and staff. If the fieldwork does not go ahead as planned then the School's focus will be on seeking to offer a suitable alternative and ensure that the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of the programme are met.

Coursework and assessment

We place strong emphasis on coursework and continuous assessment, and less than half of your total assessments throughout the course consist of formal written examinations in traditional essay formats.

Coursework takes a variety of forms - from essays and reports, to posters, oral presentations, team promotions, and project demonstrations (sometimes to practising professionals).

Your dissertation, taken in the second and third years, will draw together the different strands of the course and allow you to study a subject that really interests you.

You will work with an individual supervisor to conceive, plan, execute and write up an independent and novel piece of research.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 is a broad introduction to the background and problems of dealing with the environment in a variety of ways.

You will learn from leaders in their field as Manchester's world-class academics teach their areas of specific expertise.

You will study contemporary topics including pollution, sustainable cities and environments, urban and landscape ecology, climate change, environmental impact and nuclear energy.

You will also receive practical training in skills such as ecological surveys, conservation management, environmental appraisal and audit, and environmental impact assessment.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Environmental Processes and Change: The Global System GEOG10401 10 Mandatory
Designing Sustainable Futures PLAN10031 20 Mandatory
Applied Project PLAN10092 20 Mandatory
Applied Environmental Science PLAN10101 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Urban and Environmental Economics PLAN10352 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Ecology and Conservation PLAN10501 20 Mandatory
Rural Planning PLAN10362 10 Optional

Course content for year 2

In Year 2, you will begin to focus on the practicalities of environmental management.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Biogeography GEOG20771 20 Mandatory
Landscape Ecology PLAN20062 20 Mandatory
Sustainable Development Project PLAN20072 20 Mandatory
Environment and Development Fieldtrip PLAN20172 20 Mandatory
Environmental Policies and Designations PLAN20401 20 Mandatory
Professional Placement PLAN20090 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

In Year 3, you will expand on themes from previous years while developing strong practice-related skills, in areas such as environmental law, environmental impact assessment, and project appraisal and auditing.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation (UG) PLAN30000 40 Mandatory
Research Methods PLAN30091 10 Mandatory
Professional Practice and Ethics PLAN30221 10 Mandatory
Conservation Management Project PLAN30402 20 Mandatory
Environmental Planning & Protection PLAN30731 20 Mandatory
Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities PLAN30852 20 Mandatory

Scholarships and bursaries

We are committed to attracting and supporting the very best students from all backgrounds to study this course. You could be eligible for cash bursaries of up to £2500 to support your studies.

Find out more at Funding opportunities .

What our students say

Photo of Noor

I chose my course because of the urgent need to mitigate and adapt to the crisis of climate change.

I chose to study at The University of Manchester because of the political awareness of its people, and the appreciation it has for diversity and culture.

Noor Alqaffas / BSc Environmental Management student
Read more about Noor's experience in her student profile.


You can develop your practical skills in our project studio, model-making workshop, specialist laboratories for fieldwork analysis, and computer suites with specialist design and spatial analysis software.

For more information, see Facilities .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email