In addition to the courses above students undertake small-group seminars, weekly environmental policy seminars and a transferable skills module which covers a range of personal, practical and analytical skills training. Uniquely, the MSc course also includes an innovative Relaxation and Resilience programme (10 hrs) run by Dr Bill Sheate over the course of the whole year, including three sessions in the Core Course.

Small group seminars


Dr Bill Sheate


  • To facilitate the development of higher-order learning skills – analysis, synthesis and evaluation – and their application to environmental and sustainability issues.

Learning objectives

After following this module students will be:

  • Able to undertake independent critical research in contemporary environmental and sustainability issues
  • Confident in engaging in group discussions
  • Able to present a succinct essay reporting on their independent research and the group’s analysis, synthesis and evaluation of a contemporary environmental/sustainability issue.

This seminar series comprises 3 x 1.5 hour sessions examining a particular topic, spread over weeks 2-5 and a 1 hour feedback session. Students may choose from a range of topics on issues in contemporary environmental science and policy.

Seminar topics will cover subjects across the four main themes in the core course. Recent seminars included:

  • Do Environmental Pressure Groups Concentrate on the Issues and Play down the Real Problem?
  • How Much Is It Worth Spending On Saving Endangered Species?
  • Environmental Pressure Groups: Lobbying, Direct Action and their role in Governance
  • Is Nuclear Power the Answer to Global Warming?
  • The Precautionary Principle: Can It Be Effectively Applied As A Tool for Environmental Protection?          
  • Policy Related Research - Inherently biased or objective?

Emphasis is placed on active learning and participation: students are expected to lead discussion based on their research on the topic in question. In each seminar round, the staff member will facilitate and moderate student discussion in each of the three sessions leading to the presentation of a short written paper (max 2000 words) by each student after the final session. 

Find out more about the MSc course