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PgCert/PgDip/MSc   |   Part-time   |   Distance Learning

This established course combines environmental management practice and theory with proven excellence in distance learning.

Environmental challenges have increased over the past due to unprecedented human impacts. A diverse range of skills, knowledge, and initiatives are needed to tackle these challenges. 
The School of Geography and Environmental Sciences (Ulster University) has proudly embarked on a long-distance journey to provide every person from every part of the world with the latest and most comprehensive flexible Postgraduate courses to address environmental issues over the past two decades. 
Most of the course materials, student support and general study guidance and resources are provided via an e-learning platform called Blackboard. Students download digital versions of their teaching materials (e.g., lectures, documents, podcasts, practical instructions) each week and work through them at their own convenience. Coursework is also submitted via Blackboard. Unlike a traditional classroom environment, students studying online use communication mechanisms such as discussion boards, email or video-conference tools to interact with staff and other students, and are not required to attend the campus at any time during the course (though they are welcome to visit the university to use its facilities or meet with staff).
The course is popular with professionals in the environment sector and those wishing to find work in the sector. A key strength of the course is our use of academic teaching staff and part-time tutors working in the environment sector, such as environmental consultants. We are equipping our students with the skills to find work in environmental management and build their professional networks.
The programme has been developed to set environmental management tools into the context of how ecosystems are structured, how ecosystems /function, and the legislative/policy framework for environmental planning. The flexible nature of this course makes it especially suited to people in full-time employment. Specific objectives are to enable students to:

• Understand the importance of an evidence-based approach in developing management strategies
• Apply quantitative techniques to assess the effects of environmental management
• Produce environmental impact statements and advise on implementing environmental management systems
• Apply structured planning principles to site biodiversity management and ecosystem restoration
• Monitor pollution and assess its environmental effects
It aims to satisfy an industrial and public sector demand for science-qualified environmental management personnel who can analyse environmental issues and propose viable solutions in conservation, agriculture, forestry, industry and countryside planning.
Module Descriptions 

The PGDip programme consists of four 30-point modules covering environmental impact assessment, biodiversity management,pollution monitoring, and environmental data analysis. With successful completion of these modules, students are eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management or can study for a Masters.
EGM801 – Biodiversity Management
Biodiversity managers make decisions based on understanding ecosystems and by applying ecological principles to achieve their objectives. This module covers key scientific topics, which are crucial for developing effective biodiversity management plans in different ecosystems. It exemplifies how ecological-social-economic factors interact to influence our ability to conserve and manage biodiversity.
EGM802 - Environmental Data Analysis
This module will provide new and synthesise existing knowledge and skills necessary to understand and analyse environmental data. Statistics, environmental modelling, geographical information systems and presentation skills will all be taught and demonstrated. The students will put this knowledge into action in the form of worked examples and assessments. Knowledge and evaluation techniques are provided in lectures, skills developed during worked examples and demonstrated by assessments
EGM804 – Environmental Impact Assessment
This module introduces the concepts and requirements of environmental impact assessment, the methodology of planning and carrying out an environmental audit and the use of environmental management systems.
EGM821 – Pollution Monitoring
This module provides the knowledge and skills necessary to monitor pollution of the environment. The topics included are: the key elements of the monitoring programmes for air, water and land; sample collection; chemical methods of analysis, including quality assurance; biological methods of analysis, including toxicity tests and bioassessment; use of environmental models; statistics, data analysis and assessing compliance and; critical loads. The student gains experience through lectures, supporting documents, directed reading and practicals.
You will then have the opportunity to apply this knowledge to a genuine environmental management problem through our twelve-month Environmental Management research project (leading to the MSc). It is also possible to exit the course after 12 months with a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Environmental Management or take the course as a series of stand-alone modules, building up to the PGDip over a more extended period you need additional flexibility.

Our next intake on to the course is in September 2023, with the first Module (Environmental Data Analysis) beginning on Monday September 25th 2023.

We will have another intake in January 2024 with the term beginning on Monday January 29th

You should apply by the end of August if you wish to start the course in September, or the end of December for a January start If you want to submit a late application, please contact us first to check availability of places.

Tuition fees

Fees for students from the UK, NI & ROI (2023/24 entry) are £6,719.40 for the Masters; if you only wish to study for the PG Dip, the fees are £4,479.60 (or £2,239.80 for the PG Cert). 

Fees for International students (2023/24 entry) are £15,840 for the Masters; if you only wish to study for the PG Dip, the fees are £10,560 (or £5,280 for the PG Cert)

Fees can be paid by instalments. Further details of fees, instalment plans and discounts for Ulster alumni can be found at

Some students may be eligible for a government postgraduate loan (these are applicable to distance learning as well as on-campus courses and can be used for full-time or part-time study). Further information is available  and   

Applying for the course

You can apply online at Please ensure that you include full details of qualifications and work or other relevant experience.

Further information
​For information on fees, start dates, how to apply and FAQs, please see our postgraduate courses page.

If you have any additional queries relating to the course, please contact our postgraduate administrator Niamh McInerney ( or the Course Director: Prof. Andrew Cooper (

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