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Modern wastes management is a complex and demanding industry. This course will help you learn everything you need to know for a successful career in wastes management.
We are the Centre for Excellence in Wastes Management in the UK, and our MSc is accredited by the Chartered Institution of Waste Management (CIWM).
For more information on the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, visit the CIWM Website.
The University of Northampton are also proud to work in partnership with RECOUP.
RECOUP works in collaboration with all stakeholders to promote, develop, stimulate and increase the levels of plastics recycling within the UK.
Natalie is determined to develop her career in Wastes Management and Sustainability. Having completed an unrelated undergraduate degree, Natalie found herself working within a hospital’s Waste Management Office. This ignited her interest for the subject area and her ambition to increase the environmental sustainability of healthcare within the UK.
Now, she is juggling a full-time Waste and Sustainability Officer position at a hospital whilst studying our MSc Wastes Management via distance learning.
Here is what Natalie says about her university experience:
“I applied to study at the University of Northampton because of its upstanding reputation within the field of Wastes Management and the industry accreditation of its programmes. The tutors are experienced and actively involved in their fields of expertise. I felt confident that the knowledge I received during the course would be up to date, reliable and of a high standard.
“Undertaking a course at a Centre of Excellence for Wastes Management will certainly assure prospective employers in the quality of my industry knowledge.
“Through studying a Master’s course on a distance learning basis whilst working full time, I have proved to myself that I can rise to any challenge. I’ve learnt to manage my own workload efficiently, ensuring the right balance between my studies, job, home and social life. I feel that this skill will be crucial in my future career.”
Natalie has also been taking a full advantage of the CIWM student membership which comes with the course:
“The CIWM provides training courses, seminars and networking opportunities that further develop my knowledge. I also went on a really interesting visit to an Anaerobic Digestion facility with the CIWM which cemented what I had learned in an earlier module on the MSc.“
This course is made up of six modules and an independent research thesis to a total of 180 credits. You will complete three compulsory modules and choose three optional modules to ensure you cover the essentials but also have the chance to tailor your studies to your interests, strengths and career aspirations. Please note that optional modules are subject to staff availability and student numbers.
Each module will be equivalent to 200 hours of study and we will advise you on how best to allocate this time. As your research thesis is of a much more substantial weighting, we advise you spend 600 hours of study on it.
As a CIWM Accredited Course, while you are studying this course you will be entitled to 12 months free student membership of the CIWM.
Benefits of membership include:
- free copy of CIWM Journal delivered on your doorstep each month
- free weekly email news service, News Online, delivered to your inbox
- discounted rates on annual conference, training courses and seminars
- networking opportunities through CIWM Regional Centres
- access to CIWM NGG (New Generation Group) events
- free technical advice and use of CIWM Library Services
- professional and career development
Course modules (17/18)
International Wastes Management (20 credits)
- Module code: ENVM038
- Core module Y
Provides you with the opportunity to assess the environmental impact and economics of current waste disposal practices in urban areas, the system deficiencies that exist, and the steps that need to be taken to correct solid wastes management practices in both developed and developing countries.
International Environment Management Policy and Control (20 credits)
- Module code: ENVM037
- Core module Y
You will examine the legal rules and principles governing the regulation of the global environment. In addition to analysing selected aspects of substantive international environmental laws, the module will also consider the regulatory options and mechanisms available to policy makers for monitoring, controlling and enforcing environmental sound practices.
Research and Analytical Methods (20 credits)
- Module code: ENVM002
- Core module Y
Develops your ability to independently design a research project. Specifically, you will focus on the acquisition, processing and delivery of information, approaches to analysis and interpretation methodologies, effective communication, recommendations to academic, professional and other audiences as well as the design of ethical and health and safety assessments and guidance.
Research Thesis (60 credits)
- Module code: ENVM011
- Core module Y
You will undertake a substantial element of independent research, demonstrating your conceptual understanding as well as the application of cross-disciplinary research and analysis skills.
Advanced Thermal and Boilogical Wastes Management Technologies (20 credits)
- Module code: ENVM049
- Core module N
Evaluates the performance of advanced thermal and biological waste management technologies encompassing scientific, operational, environmental, economic and 'social' performance as well as the track record, reliability and risk issues of these technologies.
Land Contamination and Disposal (20 credits)
- Module code: ENVM023
- Core module N
Introduces and develops the concepts of anaerobic degradation of wastes placed in landfill sites resulting in the generation of leachate and landfill gas. You will also examine the broad issues relating to contaminated land including the scientific principles underlying current methodologies for the remediation of contaminated land and the effectiveness of such strategies.
Wastes Minimisation (20 credits)
- Module code: ENVM050
- Core module N
Critically evaluates current legal developments in waste minimisation for commercial and industrial wastes, and municipal wastes management within the context of local authorities, and typical small and medium enterprises.
Hazardous Wastes Management for Developing Countries (20 credits)
- Module code: ENVM041
- Core module N
Provides you with an awareness, knowledge and understanding of managaing hazardous wastes in both developed and developing countries.
Module information is quoted for 17/18 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.
Methods of Learning
Each module addresses a set of specific themes, which you are then assessed on. This course is delivered through our virtual learning environment NILE. This is where your tutors will provide course materials and further resources, where activities will be housed and where you will be able to meet and collaborate with other students in forums. You can expect one to one support from your tutor via NILE, email, phone, Skype or face to face if necessary.
The culmination of the MSc is completion of the 60 credit independent research project. You should be considering the area of research you want undertake while completing your other modules.
Length of study
Three years (typically) via Distance Learning.
September, February and May (distance learning).
You will be assessed through coursework, oral presentations, group work, practical reports, critical reviews and a substantial independent research thesis. You can expect two or three items of assessment per 20 credit module. Assignments are submitted electronically via NILE unless otherwise instructed, these are then marked, with the feedback and grades made available through NILE.
Facilities and Special Features
- you will be entitled to 12 months’ free student membership of the CIWM, which includes discounted rates on annual conference, training courses and seminars
- modules can be studied individually as part of a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, or can lead to a named award
- MSc course is fully accredited by the CIWM
- study at a Centre for Excellence in Wastes Management
The growing worldwide awareness and significance of environmental management, wastes minimisation and pollution control, coupled with recent legislative changes in many countries, have resulted in an explosion of exciting job opportunities in the wastes industry. There is now a strong demand for wastes management graduates with opportunities in industry, local and national authorities, as well as the specialist wastes management industry. You can also go on to MPhil and PhD studies.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
You can apply directly to the University for this course and will need to submit the following documents with your application:
- a personal statement
- scans of your qualifications and transcripts
- scans of Photo ID, either a Passport or Driving licence
- change of name document, if your qualifications or photo ID is in a different name to the one your applying in
Distance learning applications can be made throughout the year, with a September, January and April start available.
For further application information, please see our how to apply page.
We normally expect applicants to have a recognised first or second class honours degree from a UK university or international equivalent in a recognised environmental science discipline such as geography, biology, environmental chemistry, geology or a related area. Those with degrees in other subjects may also be considered according to their interests and background. No work experience is required for admission to this course. Applicants for whom English is not their first language will need to demonstrate that they meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent).
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 18/19 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|International:||£3,240 (Year 1, 60 credits) £1,080 per 20 credit module|
|Home/EU:||£2,205 (Year 1, 60 Credits) £735 per 20 credit module|
Fees for Years two and three may be subject to an inflationary increase.
Please note that this course is not eligible for Postgraduate Loan funding. Please see our scholarships page for more information on the funding that may be available to you at the University of Northampton.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
Please note that tuition fees for EU students will remain the same as UK fees for 2018/19. For more information, please visit the Gov UK website.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.