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MSc Environmental Economics and Environmental Management

Explore sustainable solutions for environmental problems

Year of entry: 2024 (September)


1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

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Develop the skills needed by today's environmental managers, policymakers, consultants and scientists to tackle environmental issues at local, regional and global levels.

Our Masters in Environmental Economics and Environmental Management prepares you for a wide range of careers across the public and private sectors. Equally, it provides a good basis for further study at PhD level.

You’ll gain knowledge of environmental and ecological economics and the interactions between economic, social and ecological systems. At the end of the course, you'll be equipped to incorporate environmental feedback into economic decision making in a way that satisfies both ecological managers and economists.

This course is suitable for students from a wide range of backgrounds, including economics, human geography, business, sociology, politics, environmental science and more. You'll be taught by a range of interdisciplinary staff with varied environmental research interests.

Research excellence

We’ve improved our ranking to become a top 15 research department, and our research is ranked joint second in the UK for impact, according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

Links with policymakers

You'll benefit from our unique access to the Stockholm Environment Institute, an international environmental policy unit embedded in the School

Working together

Our staff collaborate with a broad range of private and public organisations including UNEP, Defra, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Overseas Development Institute and Willis Global Insurance Broker

Course content

You’ll get to choose whether to specialise more in an economic or natural science direction, and can choose a dissertation project in either area (also with a placement option). Whichever pathway you choose, you’ll develop as an effective interdisciplinary thinker, able to bridge diverse disciplines to help tackle the climate and ecological emergencies: the defining issues of our times.


Core modules

Option modules

You will also study two option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.


You will complete an 8,000-word dissertation as part of this MSc. This dissertation can either be York based, or as a placement with an external partner. For the former, staff in the Department will suggest a range of possible subjects and titles, but you can also devise your own title. For the latter, the dissertation topic will be of relevance to the external partner. For both types of dissertation, you will have a departmental supervisor who will provide regular guidance and will be able to comment on drafts of your dissertation. If you are undertaking a placement for your dissertation, you will receive additional guidance from a project supervisor.

Previous dissertations include:

  • What makes people satisfied with their neighbourhoods?
  • Fighting windmills: participation and fishermen’s attitudes towards offshore wind farms within the German EEZ
  • An investigation into the drivers and barriers of urban agriculture in the United Kingdom
  • The efficacy of ecosystem service valuation, using benefit transfer methods, as a tool for decision-making in the context of a developing country: a case study of the Kilombero wetlands, Tanzania

Students have taken placements with organisations including:

  • Fera Science Ltd
  • Arcus Consulting
  • ERM South Africa
  • Marstons
  • Stockbridge Technology Centre
  • Harewood House

The dissertation will allow you to demonstrate your skill at independent research, and apply insights from the taught modules to solve issues in environmental economics and environmental management.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Debate, interpret and explain the economic and ecological principles and human interactions which underlie environmental management at a range of scales using appropriate methods and norms, and engage critically with theory, knowledge and emerging issues in environmental economics, ecology and environmental management [knowledgeable]
  • Independently identify key and engage critically with research questions in specialised areas of ecology, economics and environmental studies by obtaining, synthesising and critically evaluating information from a wide range of reliable sources, [Independent learner]
  • Work across disciplinary boundaries to link knowledge and experience from a wide range of research areas to understand the complex interactions between humans and natural environments, and the management of economic, business and social pressures on the health and sustainability of our complex global environment [Interdisciplinary thinker]
  • Develop novel hypotheses and plan, design and execute research in economics and environmental management to create new ways of viewing and addressing environmental issues. [Creator of new perspectives]
  • Design and undertake critical analyses of qualitative and quantitative data using appropriate tools to draw conclusions from advanced research on the ecological and economic implications of human interactions with the environment [Analytical and Critical]
  • Effectively and professionally communicate knowledge, complex ideas and persuasive arguments to professional and non-specialist audiences using verbal, written, visual and digital media [Professional communicator]
  • Recommend sustainable solutions to environment and development problems that consider broader social, political, economic and environmental contexts, and the ethical implications of their application by applying knowledge, theories and approaches from ecology, economics and policy studies and make an important contribution to understanding and reducing the pressures that economic development, population growth, poverty, and globalisation place on the natural environment and its resources [Problem solver]

Innovative facilities

Our superb £12.5m building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatre and seminar rooms as well as featuring a spectacular living wall

Weekly seminars

Academic and industry speakers are invited to talk about key and policy-relevant areas of environmental research

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £10,590£23,900

Students on a Student Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Funding opportunities

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

This Masters combines formal lectures, practicals, seminars and field trips.

  • Guest lecturers from external organisations, including other universities and environmental organisations, provide a view of the current state of environmental economics and environmental management.
  • You'll use the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to supplement lectures and practicals with additional material.
  • Some modules offer optional drop-in help sessions.

Our teaching and research span the natural social and economic sciences in an integrated way. Postgraduate teaching is informed by our research which includes work in areas as diverse as coral reefs, tropical rain forests, atmospheric science, pollution, biodiversity conservation and wildlife management, and the culture and values that drive environmental behaviour, politics and economics. As part of our teaching process we have also embedded a range of employability principles, as well as real world solutions and real-world oriented approaches, to help prepare our students for a range of careers after finishing their degree.



Our state-of-the-art building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatre and seminar rooms.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Environment and Geography on Campus West.

Most of your contact hours will be in the Department, with some additional teaching on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Types of assessment in this course include:

  • examinations
  • essays of around 3,000 words
  • models, maps and accompanying reports
  • presentations
  • 8,000-word dissertation

Formative assessment as you study modules will allow you to receive feedback on your progress and understanding.

Careers and skills

You'll develop the skills and knowledge you will need to follow an environmental career in both the public and private sectors. The Masters in Environmental Economics and Environmental Management also provides an ideal basis to progress to further study at PhD.

Career opportunities

  • Economic advisor
  • Energy analyst
  • Environmental economist
  • Research assistant
  • Technical consultant
  • Asset strategy planner

Transferable skills

You'll develop a range of transferable skills during the course, including:

  • Geographic and information systems skills
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Design of protected areas
  • Practical experience designing and conducting field-based surveys
  • Econometric analysis of natural resource management
  • Valuation of ecosystem services

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:2 or equivalent. We will also consider your application if you have relevant work experience. Ideally you will have studied both some ecology and some economics as part of your degree but applications from students from either discipline are welcome. If you did not have a significant quantitative component to your degree you may also be considered with a requirement to attend a Summer School in Microeconomics and Quantitative Methods.
International pre-masters programme Pre-masters from our International Pathway College
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 176, with 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 70 with a minimum of 65 in each component
KITE 459-494, with 426-458 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Paul Hudson

Learn more

Department of Environment and Geography

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