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Environmental Systems Engineering MSc

The global challenge of environmental sustainability highlights the need for holistic design and management of complex environmental and technological systems. This interdisciplinary Master's programme presents environmental issues and technologies within a systems engineering context. Graduates will understand interactions between the natural environment, people, processes and technologies to develop sustainable solutions.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Flexible: up to 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£11,800 (FT) N/A (PT)
£24,610 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a cognate subject or related discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is usually required. Extensive work experience covering related areas will be considered.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

Students will develop an understanding of systems engineering and environmental engineering. Environmental engineering is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering concerned with devising, implementing and managing solutions to protect and restore the environment within an overall framework of sustainable development. Systems engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the development and management of large complex systems.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), a collaborative environmental systems project (30 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and an individual environmental systems dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Core modules

  • Collaborative Environmental Systems Project
  • Environmental Systems
  • Systems Engineering and Management
  • Systems Society and Sustainability
  • Environmental Modelling

Optional modules

Options may include the following:

  • Urban Flooding and Drainage
  • Coastal Engineering
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Natural Environmental Disasters
  • The Control of Noise
  • Industrial Symbiosis
  • Environmental Masterplanning
  • Energy Systems Modelling
  • Smart Energy Systems
  • Low Carbon Energy Supply System Design for Buildings and Neighbourhoods
  • Energy Systems & Sustainability
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Natural Environmental Disasters
  • Engineering and International Development
  • Waste and Resource Efficiency
  • Project Management for Engineers


All MSc students undertake an independent research project addressing a problem of systems research, design or analysis, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and projects. The individual and group projects in the synthesis element involve interaction with industrial partners, giving students real-life experience and contacts for the future. Assessment is through written examination, coursework, presentations, and group and individual projects.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Environmental Systems Engineering MSc


Some funding schemes are available globally, but they are extremely competitive.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - NOW CLOSED FOR 2016/17

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Career paths for environmental systems engineers are diverse, expanding and challenging, with the pressures of increasing population, desire for improved standards of living and the need to protect the environmental systems. There are local UK and international opportunities in all areas of industry: in government planning and regulation, with regional and municipal authorities, consultants and contracting engineers, research and development organisations, and in education and technology transfer. Example of recent career destinations include Ford, KPMG, EDF Energy, Brookfield Multiplex, and the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Environmental Specialist, BHP Billiton
  • Project Engineer, Alberta WaterSMART
  • Project Manager, Veolia Environmental Services
  • MSc Business Management, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College
  • PhD Environmental Research, Imperial College London


The discipline of environmental systems engineering is growing rapidly with international demand for multi-skilled, solutions-focussed professionals who can take an integrated approach to complex problems.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The discipline of environmental systems engineering is growing rapidly with an international demand for multi-skilled professionals who can take an integrated approach to solving complex environmental problems (e.g. urban water systems, technologies to minimise industrial pollution). Environmental engineers work closely with a range of other environmental professionals, and the community.

Skills may be used to:

  • design, construct and operate urban water systems
  • develop and implement cleaner production technologies to minimise industrial pollution
  • recycle waste materials into new products and generate energy
  • evaluate and minimise the environmental impact of engineering projects
  • develop and implement sound environmental management strategies and procedures.

UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering is an energetic and exciting environment in which to explore environmental systems engineering. Students have the advantages of studying in a multi-faculty institution with a long tradition of excellence in teaching and research, situated at the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.

Department: Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

Student / staff numbers › 107 staff including 48 postdocs › 154 taught students › 119 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"The main focus of my research is to develop engineering solutions that reduce the spread of infectious disease in the built environment, such as hospitals, offices and transport systems. An example is a current project where we are collaborating with chemists, materials scientists and clinicians to develop antimicrobial filters for water and air.

London is a real melting pot and provides many excellent opportunities for research and collaboration and UCL is very good at forging relationships within and outside the university. As well as this, London also provides an excellent subject for our research."

Lena Ciric

Environmental Systems Engineering MSc

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This MSc is suitable for students and professionals with a first degree and/or work experience in engineering, environmental science or a related field, who wish to develop the skills necessary to progress in the diverse, expanding and challenging field of environmental systems engineering.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Environmental Systems Engineering at graduate level
  • why you want to study Environmental Systems Engineering at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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