Environmental Engineering or (and Business Management) or (and Sustainable Development)

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 14.2k / Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 37.7k / Academic year(s)  
StudyQA ranking:1719 Duration:1 year

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First established in 1950 as Public Health Engineering, the Environmental Engineering MSc course at Imperial College provides advanced training for engineers and scientists concerned with the control of pollution in the environment and the protection of public health through the provision of services such as water supply, wastewater treatment and municipal solid waste and hazardous waste management. The multidisciplinary nature of the subject is reflected in the staff involved in the course, whose backgrounds include chemistry, biology, statistics, geology, materials and medicine, as well as civil engineering.

Course Objectives

As a multidisciplinary activity, the fundamental objective of the course is to provide the necessary training in environmental chemistry and microbiology; mathematical and statistical methods for environmental assessment; hydraulic analysis and environmental epidemiology.  Additionally to:

  • Produce graduates equipped to pursue careers in industry, the public sector and non-governmental organisations;
  • Provide the basis for the recognition and understanding of the major features of environmental engineering and public health;
  • Develop an understanding of how this knowledge may be applied in practice in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner;
  • Foster the acquisition and implementation of broad research and analytical skills related to environmental engineering;
  • Attract highly motivated students irrespective of race, gender, background and physical disability, from the UK and overseas;
  • Develop new areas of teaching in response to the advance of scholarship and the needs of the community including vocational training;
  • Provide an introduction to the subject for students from other relevant disciplines

Course Structure

The year comprises two separate periods. The first comprising lectures, tutorials and individual coursework assignments, the second consisting of a research dissertation.  The dissertation may be undertaken at College, within a Partner Research Institute or university, or in collaboration with industry. Other projects have involved a period of data collection or field study abroad in countries including Sudan, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Jordan, Pakistan, Malta, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The course maintains a careful balance between the issues affecting developing and the developed countries. Particular emphasis is placed on the selection of appropriate technology regardless of the area of application, based on economics and environmental impact factors as well as the construction and operating skills available in the community. 

Autumn Term

  • CI9-EE-03 Chemistry for Environmental Engineering
  • CI9-EE-07 Environmental Fluid Mechanics
  • CI9-EE-10 Environmental Analysis
  • CI9-EE-13 Hydroinformatics
  • CI9-EE-18 Mathematical and Statistical Modelling
  • CI9-EE-20 Microbiology for Environmental Engineering
  • CI9-EE-24 Urban Hydrology and Urban Drainage
  • CI9-EE-29 Containment Engineering

Spring Term

  • CI9-EE-01 Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • CI9-EE-02 Air Pollution Control 
  • CI9-EE-04 Contaminated Land and Groundwater
  • CI9-EE-05 Design Project
  • CI9-EE-08 Environmental Management & Decision Making
  • CI9-EE-09 Environmental Management in Developing Countries
  • CI9-EE-22 Solid Waste Management
  • CI9-EE-27 Water Supply and Distribution
  • CI9-EE-28 Water and Wastewater Treatment

Minimum Entry requirements

  • A good Upper Second, or First Class Degree (or Overseas Equivalent), in engineering or another numerate discipline.
  • Good mathematical skills.
  • Relevant Postgraduate industrial experience is favoured.
  • Meet the College English language requirements for postgraduate applicants. 

Departmental MSc Scholarships

All candidates who have indicated their wish to be considered for available funding at the application stage.
Awards will be based on academic excellence and relevant experience. 
Number of awards: up to 17
Application Deadline: 31 March 2014

Value - full or partial tuition fee waiver

Modules not taken with Business Management and Sustainable Development

CI9-EE-10 Environmental Analysis; CI9-EE-29 Containment Engineering; CI9-EE-01 Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment; CI9-EE-05 Design Project; CI9-EE-15 Hydrometry; CI9-EE-16 Irrigation; CI9-EE-19 Meteorology and Climate Change; CI9-EE-11 Groundwater Flow and Quality Modelling; CI9-EE-06 Design Projects.

Add-on modules in Business Management and Sustainable Development

Each of these options comprise 120 hours of study and are taken as an alternative to the modules listed above.

Business Management

  • CI9-B1 Microeconomics
  • CI9-B2 Principles of Accounting
  • CI9-B3 Project Management
  • CI9-B4 Business Environments and Construction Law

Sustainable Development

  • CI9-SD1 Sustainable Development - Autumn Term
  • CI9-SD2 Sustainable Development - Spring Term

Business Management add-on module

Is designed to provide you with the ability to think about the business side of civil engineering, addressing key principles of accounting, microeconomics, business law, human resource management and project management, and to complement your core technical MSc programme.  Crossing all disciplines, it enables you to interact and work with students from our other civil engineering MSc programmes to broaden your appreciation of the wider engineering business, its context and complexity.


Business Management comprises four discrete units, taught over two terms (Microeconomics and Principles of Accounting in Autumn term, examined at the beginning of January; Project Management and Business Environments-Construction Law in Spring term, examined at the beginning of the Summer Term). Each exam is of two hours duration. Project Management is primarily assessed by hands-on project-based coursework. Each unit also has coursework assessment during term, including individual written work and classroom-based group work.

These options comprise 120 contact hours of study and are taken as an alternative to a corresponding Amount of core engineering study.

Entry Requirements

We look for good mathematical skills, in particular calculus. We would also look for a strong performance across the board in the first degree, to ensure that the student has a good grounding in the fundamentals, and permit a level of comfort required to switch between the disciplines. This is critical as you will be covering your core MSc material four days per week, and the business management subjects one day per week.

Sustainable Development add-on module

Is designed to provide you with the basic skills to incorporate the concepts of sustainable development into all the stages of an engineering project’s development. It is suitable for those who wish to direct their career towards issues of development and redevelopment, especially in the provision of infrastructure, and its renovation and renewal. You will gain the practical tools necessary to apply the principles of engineering for sustainable development in real world contexts.

Comprises three units, taught over the autumn and spring terms, and covered by one 3-hour written examination at the beginning of the summer term, multiple pieces of coursework, both in-class, group and individual and a design guide.  Recent DesignGuides have included an analysis of tourist accommodation in Switzerland, concrete manufacturing processes, packaging design, and transportation projects.  The choice of topics is very broad, as the goal is not to do a detailed analysis of a specific industry, but to gain an appreciation of the general sustainability tools and techniques that might be used for analysing any engineering system.  By contrast, the special projects are more technical and are typically based on work within the core MSc subject (e.g. structures, transport, etc), with sustainability elements in parallel.  A recent example performed a life-cycle assessment of alternative structural designs.

These options comprise 120 contact hours of study and are taken as an alternative to a corresponding Amount of core engineering study.

Entry Requirements

If your application to the core MSc programme is successful, you will receive a request to submit a  500-word essay entitled  for consideration for a place on the Sustainable Development module.  The title of the essay is "What is the biggest challenge facing your county's sustainable development in the next twenty years?" The reviewer is looking for the applicant to demonstrate an informed interest in the subject, as well as general writing skills.  Specific technical expertise (e.g. a precise definition of sustainable development) is less important as that is a learning outcome of the course itself.

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