Environmental Modelling

Part-time study available
Alternative start dates available
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Environmental Modelling at Salford


Maximise your employability potential by developing environment-sector knowledge and skills that employers want


Develop the interdisciplinary expertise that will enable you to excel in your career


Develop your professional network by working on projects in both an academic and business context

Course Summary

The MSc Environmental Modelling is designed as a broad-based curriculum that extends from the technical detail of environmental process modelling to critical analysis of the role of modelling within decision-making processes and the relevance of modelling to risk perception and management.

By bridging the divide between science and decision-making across a range of modelling contexts, this course adopts a truly interdisciplinary approach to the subject of environmental modelling.  The inclusion of strong vocational and professional elements, in addition to traditional academic  approaches,  is intended to ensure that graduates are suitably equipped to enter a range of environment-related employments.

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Find out how the MSc in Environmental Modelling can prepare you for the changes in the environmental sector.

Course Details

Course Structure

For the full-time September entry option:
Semester 1 – September to December
Semester 2 – January to May
Semester 3 – June to September

Semester 1

Through this module you explore the development of environmental models, from initial conceptual models to functional computer models. With a focus on environmental processes, this module aims to provide you with a strong theoretical grounding in environmental modelling and enable you to design and implement modelling solutions.
Environmental modelling is often used as a tool to assess risk, so it is important for those studying environmental modelling to understand how risk is determined and communicated. This module aims to enable you to critically appraise factors that influence the perception of, and response to, a range of risks to the environment, safety, public health and well-being and their significance in risk communication and trust. This module also assists you in the evaluation of approaches in risk management processes and application to contextual situations.

Semester 2

This module introduces you to a range of case studies that illustrate different modelling applications and aims to enable you to use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to extend your modelling skills into spatial modelling. The role of GIS visualisation functionality for the communication and interpretation of model outputs is also explored.
This module aims to enable you to design, plan and execute a programme of research through active enquiry and to undertake appropriate analysis of research results. You will have the opportunity to use research skills acquired in the applied context of ‘real world’ project work in a variety of professional settings and to develop the skills necessary for successful delivery of project outcomes.

Semester 3

The dissertation aims to contribute to the body of knowledge in your area by devising and conducting an independent research project. Through independent, self-motivated critical thinking, you are able to develop as a reflective practitioner.

For the part-time September start option:

Year 1 

Semester 1: Modelling Environmental Processes (30 credits)

Semester 2: Research and Professional Practice (30 credits)

Year 2

Semester 1: Risk: Perception & Management (30 credits)

Semester 2: Modelling and Visualisation Applications (30 credits)

Year 3 part time

Semesters 1 & 2: Dissertation (60 credits)

Entry Requirements

Applicants should possess at least a UK lower second class honours degree (2:2) or equivalent. This Masters programme will appeal not only to those with backgrounds in environmental subjects (such as environmental science, geography, geology and earth sciences and oceanography) but also to those with a background in other sciences (such as physics and biology) or engineering who wish to develop their skills in an environmental context.

Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International and EU students must provide evidence of proficiency in English- IELTS 6.5 band score (with no element below 5.5) or above are proof of this.

Suitable For

This course is ideally suited to students who wish to enter or are already employed in environment sector roles such as consultants, environmental managers, Government, and national and multinational businesses. The course also provides an excellent foundation for those wishing to undertake postgraduate research.

Applicant profile

The course is equally suited to new graduates and those already in employment. Students will need a willingness to study across traditional disciplinary boundaries and to develop a range of professional skills in addition to environmental modelling expertise.


This course offers a blended learning experience designed to cater for a range of learning styles:

  • Lectures, tutorials and seminars are supported by in-class exercises
  • Pre- and post-session study is administered through the Virtual Learning Environment
  • Practical classes enable you to develop your environmental modelling skills
  • Case studies and business-focused projects develop your professional and subject-specific skills
  • Field work and site visits develop your practical, observational and analytical skills
  • You also have the opportunity to discuss and exchange professional experiences with the course team and invited specialist speakers


Each module is assessed individually through coursework, comprising individual essays or group report presentations.

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Dr Mike Wood is a Reader in Applied Ecology in the School of Environment and Life Sciences at Salford.  Mike’s teaching and research interests focus on environmental decision making tools, including the development and application of environmental models and the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS).  Mike holds positions on various international expert groups in the field of environmental modelling and has published widely on this topic.  He is currently engaged in a programme of research in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, modelling the spatial interaction between wildlife and radionuclide contamination within the Zone.  Further details of Mike’s research are available at:http://www.seek.salford.ac.uk/profiles/MWood.jsp


Career Prospects

This course is particularly suited to those who wish to pursue a career with an environmental modelling focus, which is a priority area for environment-sector employers in both the UK and abroad.  The course will also prepare you to enter a broad range of environment sector roles, including consultancy, business, research and Government.  Graduates of this course will also be well placed to continue to a PhD programme.

Links with Industry

Through this course, students have the opportunity to undertake some unpaid consultancy work for a client.  Potential clients include business, Government and academic institutions.  Working for clients in this way provides students with ‘real world’ experience to add to their CV and develops a broad range of highly attractive employability skills, including project management, communication, negotiation and problem solving.

Further Study

For graduates from this course, opportunities to undertake further post-graduate study, include undertaking a PhD programme or a Masters degree by research.  Academics teaching on the MSc in Environmental Modelling supervise a broad range of Postgraduate Research students so can provide expert advice and support to students wishing to continue onto a postgraduate research programme.

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,083 per 30 credits
Full-time International£13,300, part-time £2,217 per 30 credits
Full-time PgDip£4,332
Full-time PgCert£2,166

Fees 2017-18

Type of StudyFee
Full-time International£13,500

Scholarships and Bursaries

We offer awards to help you study through our:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • University of Salford student loyalty discount
  • Country bursary scheme for International students only

There are also other sources of funding available to you.

For more information please see our funding section

The Postgraduate Bursaries and Scholarships for 2017-18 entry are currently under review and subject to change. A revised schedule of scholarships and bursaries will be published in Spring 2017.