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MSc in Environmental Management - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide masters level study of environmental management and related issues
  • provide career and personal development for current and potential professional environmental specialists, as well as for those seeking to develop their general understanding of environmental issues
  • enable you to develop skills in environmental management that can be applied in businesses, commerce, government, communities and other areas of your life
  • enable you to develop the academic skills appropriate to independent postgraduate study of environmental issues.

Learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this qualification you will have an integrated knowledge and understanding of:

  • the concepts of sustainable development and safety health and environmental (SHE) management principles and how they integrate.
  • how perspectives, motivations and traditions affect environmental decision making and environmental responsibility.
  • a wide range of environmental management tools and their use in improving the environmental performance of organisations.
  • research and techniques appropriate to defining, planning and carrying out a research project in the area of environmental management.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this qualification you will be able to:

  • explore environmental issues systematically and systemically.
  • critically evaluate the environmental impacts of organisations, processes and activities.
  • distinguish between and critically examine factors influencing the environmental attitudes and behaviour of individuals and organisations.
  • identify appropriate stakeholders in an environmental situation, assess their relative influences and examine the factors influencing their environmental attitudes and behaviour.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this qualification you will be able to:

  • apply environmental management methods to improve the environmental performance of an organisation.
  • develop guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility and corporate disclosure in an organisation.
  • provide expertise in environmental decision making across an organisation.
  • differentiate between and make appropriate use of evaluation and monitoring processes.

Key skills

When you have completed this qualification you will be able to responsibly and ethically demonstrate the following skills and practices:

  • effectively communicate in written form ideas and arguments on the environment to lay and expert audiences.
  • use numerical data to make and present quantitative assessments of environmental situations.
  • advance your knowledge, understanding and practice through independent learning and experience.
  • carry out original research.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding are gained from module texts, associated readings, DVDs, web-based resources, assignments and online forums. Core module printed or online texts are designed to guide you through concepts and practical examples. You can assess your own progress and understanding by using the in-text questions and exercises within each module.

Formal assessment of the taught modules is by way of continuous assessment in the form of the assignments (which are submitted electronically) and by an end-of-module examination or project.

Cognitive skills and processes are assessed in the assignments of the various modules. Assignments develop your skills in interpreting data, solving problems and formulating solutions. They will test your ability to analyse and evaluate situations and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of environmental decision making. Your understanding and skills are reinforced by support from tutors in the form of feedback based on your assignment answers.

Your tutors are selected for their knowledge of the subject areas and experience in its practical application. They support your learning by phone, email, letter, fax, or online forum.


Communication skills are developed throughout by the OU’s distance-teaching methods. You are required to communicate with your tutor and you are also encouraged to participate with other students and tutors using electronic conferencing to discuss both module specific issues and related topics of wider interest. The final research module requires you to identify and develop your own area of study.

Learning how to learn

This is an important part of all OU study as there is a strong emphasis on helping you to develop as an independent learner. Some of the assignments give you opportunity to demonstrate your ability to study autonomously. Using the self-assessment questions in the course text, you can assess your progress and ask for help if needed. You are encouraged to reflect on the response to your assignments in order to improve your understanding and performance in future assessments. You will work independently on a substantial piece of work, providing novel solutions to technical problems or exploring theoretical issues at the forefront of environmental decision making.

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