Skip to main content

Master's courses – University of Reading

Show access keys
  • Take your career to the next level

Master's courses

Expert lecturers, state-of-the-art facilities, and outstanding career prospects. Our master's programmes help you to establish a firm grounding in your chosen specialism and take your skills to the next level​.

We are skills focused. Through our world-leading fieldwork and research projects we train graduates to the highest standards as a preparation for professional employment or doctoral study.

How you'll learn

Teaching is through a mixture of lectures, laboratory and computer practicals, site visits and a field study. Lectures from our industrial partners and former MSc students ensure that the programme remains relevant to current and emerging environmental issues. PGTStudentfieldtrip

The course will provide you with the skills required by employers by designing coursework assignments to reflect the outputs required by industry and by giving every student the opportunity to undertake their independent research project with an external partner.

“I was taught both practical and theoretical skills which I was able to use to successfully complete assignments and my dissertation. The course also enhanced my understanding and knowledge of environmental legislation through the EU Environmental Law module. This has particularly helped me in my current employment where I assess risks to aircraft materials and processes based on EU REACH Regulations.”

Heather Selwyn-Smith

Honeywell Aerospace | MSc Environmental Management

Expert lecturers

You'll be taught by lecturers with expertise across a broad range of areas, including contaminated land, air pollution, environmental economics, environmental law, ecosystem service, and project management with extensive experience in both academic and industrial applications, showing you how to develop and apply your skills.

Many of our academics are well-known within the scientific world. For example, Professor Chris Collins' research into the bioavailability and bioaccesability of environmental pollutants has been recognised by appointments onto two Defra committees that advise the government on the environmental chemistry of hazardous substances and veterinary products.

Based on the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2014), the University of Reading ranked 4th in the UK for research power in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences^.

79% of our research was ranked in the world-leading and internationally excellent categories, and our scores were well above the sector average for research impact and research environment.

State-of-the-art facilities

The Department of Geography and Environmental Science has long-standing expertise in environmental research that embraces theory, laboratory and field measurements, exploits large data-sets (including satellite observations and global analyses) and advanced numerical modelling.

The department's core is in a custom-designed building with specialised research facilities, including laboratories and instrumentation for work in molecular ecology and biochemistry, environmental chemistry, physics and stable and radioisotopes. Our students have access to superb controlled environment facilities, a large area of experimental polytunnels and glasshouses and extensive opportunities for fieldwork at our experimental farms.

You will join a vibrant and welcoming department situated on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. You will study on our beautiful parkland campus at Whiteknights, which has been voted among the best and most popular green spaces in the UK for nine consecutive years in the Green Flag awards, and was voted as one of the top ten most popular green spaces in the UK in 2017.

We treat our campus as a laboratory; both staff and students make the most of their immediate surroundings for field work.


Scholarships are available for master's students enrolling in 2021, some offered directly by the University and others allocated by external funding bodies.

In order to apply, a candidate must have received an offer of admission to one our participating master's courses. Scholarships are awarded in two rounds. Round one will review applications received by 1 March 2021 and round two will consider applications received by 15 June 2021. Candidates unsuccessful in round one automatically go forward for consideration in round two, provided they still hold a valid offer of admission to an eligible course.


94% of Geography and Environmental Science leavers are in work and/or study 15 months after the end of their course.*

Our graduates are highly employable in the growing market for environmental managers and consultants. Many have gone on to work in public and private sector organisations within the UK and internationally, as well as continuing their research in a wide variety of academic posts.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for organisations such as the Environment Agency; Natural England; National Trust; WSP Environmental; RPS consultancy; HFL Risk Services; ERM; Thames Water; Forestry Commission; RSPB; CL Associates; Environ UK Ltd., Peter Brett Associates, British Geological Survey, and STM Environmental. Graduates also go on to study for PhDs.

“ I believe my MSc has helped me secure my dream job as an Environmental Consultant, where my employer is very impressed with the breadth and level of knowledge I have acquired.”

Claire Nichols, MSc Environmental Pollution Graduate

Professional accreditation

Our programmes are accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). CHES is the collective voice of the environmental sciences academic community and serves to enhance the quality of environmental education worldwide. CHES accreditation logo

A programme accredited by CHES is assured to meet high standards, contain a strong component of practical, field and theoretical activities, and has excellent opportunities for training, work experience and links to the professional environmental sector.

Students enrolled on CHES accredited programmes can apply for free Student Membership of the IES and for a fast-track route to membership once they graduate, starting you on a route towards becoming a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist.


Looking for 2022/23 courses?

If you would like to start studying Geography at the University of Reading in 2022, please view our 2022/23 postgraduate courses.

Apply now

The quickest and easiest away to apply for postgraduate study at the University of Reading is through our online application service.

*Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19; First Degree, Postgraduate (Taught) and Postgraduate (Research) responders from Geography and Environmental Science

^Research Fortnight's Analysis Power Rankings, 2014, based on its analysis of REF 2014


We use Javascript to improve your experience on, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.

Back to top