Postgraduate courses in Environmental Engineering

There are many different roles and responsibilities to choose from under the engineering umbrella, including environmental engineering. 

Should you be interested in this career, you can read on and gather information you might need to kick start your search for a postgraduate degree in environmental engineering. 

Environmental scientists often work on-site and can often travel with work. Does this sound interesting so far? There’s plenty more information below. 

What is environmental engineering?

Environmental engineering is an engineering discipline that combines a broad range of scientific topics including chemistry, biology, ecology, geology, hydraulics, hydrology, microbiology and mathematics. 

There are different types of environmental engineering such as sustainable engineering, transport engineering, water engineering and environmental engineering.

What does an environmental engineer do?

The day to day duties of an environmental engineer may differ depending on the particular job or research at hand. Duties include: 

  • Gathering data from the assessment of sites, environmental monitoring and other reports already written
  • Write, record and present findings in order to fix environmental issues 
  • Ensure future projects meet environmental health and safety standards
  • Design projects that lead to environmental protection
  • Carry out quality control checks
  • Monitor the progress of environmental programmes
  • Advice government and corporate agencies on how to keep sites clean
  • Maintain plans, permits and standard operating procedures
  • Present findings to colleagues 
  • Work with professionals in different disciplines that work alongside environmental engineers
  • Prepare documents and schedule testing for different regulatory agencies


There are many courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses offer the option of studying part time or full time. There may also be Covid-19 restrictions in particular universities. Examples of courses available include: 

Energy Engineering with Environmental Management 

Many courses in this area give students the opportunity to work with a mix of professional engineers in lectures, networking events and site visits. They will gain the relevant skills and knowledge to work in this field as well as studying key factors such as fundamental energy and electrical engineering principles. You will also focus on oil, gas and wind as well as the option to focus on conventional energy or future developments. 

Water, Waste and Environmental Engineering

Postgraduate courses in this area cover the technical aspects of natural and engineering environmental systems. They also combine science, public health and engineering. Students who take a course in this field will gain the skills and experience needed to apply concepts for water and waste while considering environmental sensitivity. Other key areas include planning, modelling, design, construction and operation as well as maintenance and control of natural water and earth sources. 

Civil Engineering and Environmental Management 

Should you study a course in civil engineering and environmental management, you will develop great analytical and critical skills and all skills relevant to managing civil engineering projects and implement environmentally sustainable solutions. You will cover the material that will allow you to continue on to work in other areas such as civil engineering, environmental management and careers alike. 

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements may differ from course to course and university to university. In most cases, you will be required to have a 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject. Some courses may accept a 2.2 honours degree. It is important to research your particular course to make sure you meet specific requirements. All information can be found on course overviews and on university websites. 

Potential employers

Employers of biomedical engineers may include:

  • Environmental agencies
  • Industrial processing 
  • Construction companies
  • Land and property development 
  • Manufacturing 

Salary Expectation

The salary of an environmental engineer can change depending on multiple factors such as location you’re working in, your experience and sometimes who you are working for/with. The average salary is around £28,977 and can increase with experience over a number of years. Experienced engineers can earn around £45,000. 

Skills and requirements

Skills and requirements that are helpful, and often necessary, in this field:

  • Critical thinker
  • Problem solver
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong reading and comprehension skills
  • Computer and IT skills
  • Ability to work independently 
  • Self motivated
  • Work well with others across different disciplines 
  • Project management skills
  • An interest in the industry
  • Ability to stay up to date on new developments in the industry
  • Ability to present findings and share expertise

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