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Environmental Systems Engineering

The global challenge of environmental sustainability highlights the need for holistic design and management of complex environmental and technological systems. This interdisciplinary Masters programme presents environmental issues and technologies within a framework of systems engineering. Graduates will understand interactions between the natural environment, people, processes and technologies and be able to develop sustainable solutions to satisfy industry and community demands.


What will I learn?

Students will develop an understanding of systems thinking and systems engineering by bringing together the disciplines of Systems Engineering and Environmental Engineering. Environmental engineering is a multi-disciplinary 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 (an assembly of interrelated elements working together toward a common objective).


Why should I 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. Environmental engineers work closely together with a range of other environmental professionals, and the community. Their profession skills might be used to:

  • Devise and implement ways to improve water quality at local and regional scales;
  • Ensure the provision and distribution of clean water supplies;
  • Design, construct, operate and manage wastewater treatment facilities;
  • Develop and implement cleaner production technologies to minimise industrial pollution;
  • Recycle waste materials into new products and generate energy;
  • Develop building and transport systems in harmony with the environment;
  • Evaluate and minimise the environmental impact of engineering projects both large and small;
  • 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 college with a long tradition of excellence in teaching and research, situated within the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.


What is the structure of the degree?

The programme consists of four core modules, two optional specialist modules, a Collaborative Environmental Systems Project and an Individual Environmental Systems Project.

Click on the list below for the optional modules which are taken from other MSc programmes across the university. When choosing an option it is your responsibility to ensure that there are NO timetable clashes. Please note that some modules may be withdrawn due to low enrolment.



Collaborative Environmental Systems Project  

A large group project involving systems analysis, simulation or design. The projects are defined to meet a specific brief defined by an external partner, including industrial corporations, government agencies, NGOs, consultancies and community based organisations.  The project will cover specific technical systems and the main focus is on developing students’ skills in systems management and integration.

This module will include a series of seminars on the topics of team work, working with communities, business planning, project management and systems analysis. Project teams of up to six students will be supervised by an academic staff member and an industrial tutor.


Individual Environmental Systems Project

An in-depth research project which is individually supervised and assessed. May be industrially sponsored or address a problem in the student’s current workplace. Will tend to address well defined, specific questions or problems and may address a component or subsystem, rather than a large integrated systems problem. Individual projects will be supervised by academic staff in the Department and may be co-supervised by industrial tutors where appropriate.
The MSc is accredited by The JBM
MSc (technical)
This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree.

See for further information.
The degree is accredited with the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, and students are eligible for free membership while enrolled on the course.
See for further information.

What are my career prospects after this degree?

Career paths for environmental engineers are diverse, expanding and challenging, with the pressures of increasing population, desires for improved standards of living and the need to protect the environmental systems, providing local and international opportunities. This creates 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.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Nigerian National Petroleum, Surveyor, 2011
  • RPS Group, Consultant, 2011
  • Land Drainage Consultancy Ltd, Consultant, 2011
  • Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, Energy and Sustainability Officer, 2010
  • EDF, Engineer, 2010

Such opportunities are readily identified 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.

What are the entry requirements?​​

The minimum entry requirements are a good second class honours degree in a cognate subject or related discipline, from a UK university or the equivalent from an overseas institution. Extensive work experience covering related areas will be considered.

The most reliable way to obtain full or partial funding for your MSc degree is through funding schemes in your home country. Some schemes are available globally, but they are extremely competitive.  An example is the Panasonic scholarship described below.​

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.


How to apply?

Applications are accepted throughout the year but applicants are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. It takes approximately 4 weeks from submission of an application to receiving an offer letter. If you are an overseas student requiring a visa we recommend applying no later than 15th June to enable you time to obtain the CAS number required for your visa.

The deadline for applications is Monday 3rd August 2015. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Details on how to apply and further information can be found here:
Where can I get some further information?
Please contact programme director Dr Sarah Bell.
It may also help you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. Here you can find more information on the application process, including visa issues for international students, as well as more general information applicable to all our Masters courses.

If you have any queries you can contact the course administrator on (+44)(0)20 7679 4046 or email
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