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MSc Environmental Bioscience in a Changing Climate

The School of Life Sciences has been ranked second in the UK for Agriculture, Food and Veterinary research in the Government's 2014 research ranking exercise. Overall more than 80% of life sciences research was rated as 'World Leading or Internationally Excellent'.

Escalating rates of environmental and climate change are forcing us to re-evaluate our management of agricultural and natural habitats. The competing demands on agricultural land for food production and for bioenergy provision must be reconciled with environmental stewardship and mitigation of climate change.

This MSc provides a timely and integrated perspective on environmental bioscience, management, societal matters and regulation as these relate to issues such as sustainable production of food and provision of ecosystem services.

Above all else, this course gave me the opportunity to discuss the challenges associated with increasing demand on agricultural land for food production and how these challenges may be overcome. In being able to freely discuss the courses material with each other in class, it lead to both new ways of thinking whilst also reaffirming my enthusiasm for wanting to work within the environmental sector in some capacity.
Henry James

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Entry requirements: A second class honours degree, or an equivalent qualification in a scientific or another appropriate discipline. English language standard IELTS 6.5

Flexible study: Full time 12 months. Part time 24 months.

Module options: 10 core modules, 1 or 2 optional modules and a project, dissertation or placement.

Module assessments by coursework and exam.

You will take 10 core modules, 1 or 2 optional modules and an individual research project, placement or dissertation. Depending on your academic background you will find elements of some modules harder, or easier, than others.

The research project, placement or dissertation is a substantial piece of original work. The project normally requires 3 months of enquiry and data collection, and one month writing up.

Our course and module content and schedule is continually reviewed and updated to reflect the latest research expertise at Warwick. So it is therefore very important that you check back here for the latest information before you apply and when you accept an offer (as set out in our terms and conditions).

Core modules

  • Soil sustainability and the environment
  • Environmental Accounting
  • Climate Change
  • Organic and Low Input Systems
  • Biological Invasions in Changing Environments
  • Biodiversity, Conservation & Ecosystem Services
  • Microbiomics & Metagenomics
  • Challenges of Global Food Security
  • Environmental Protection, Risk Assessment & Safety
  • Biosciences, Politics & Social Acceptability
  • Project, Placement or Dissertation

Optional Modules

(Availability dependent on demand)

  • Marketing Management
  • Business Strategy

Further details of modules and project dissertation


Assessment is continuous and varies between modules. It includes essays, seminar presentations, practical reports, oral evaluation and assessed group work. The project will be assessed by a seminar presentation and a dissertation.

Please note that modules and courses on offer may change. We reserve the right not to run certain modules/courses based on programme review, staff availability and student demand.

This MSc is for those looking for a research career in environmental bioscience or to improve their employment prospects in governmental or non-governmental organisations concerned with environmental policy development. Graduates could expect to work in areas related to sustainability in farming systems, rural development, environmental management, science communication, policy and consultancy.

Our dedicated placement officer can help you explore opportunities to secure a work or project placement.

The highlight of my time at Warwick was having the opportunity to undertake a three month placement at the Canal and River Trust. This provided me with invaluable industry experience that has significantly benefited my CV, allowed me to communicate with multiple organisations whilst working on ecological management plans, and provided me with contacts that are helpful to offer opportunities of future employment.
Carlie Evans

Alumni job titles include:

  • Policy Outreach Officer at Climate Change Consortium of Wales
  • Science Editor and Marketing Manager
  • Environmental Marketing Officer
  • Global Sustainability Manager at Molson Coors Brewing
  • Integrated Farm Management promotion for LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming)
  • Environmental and Ecological Consultant at Engineering Services Consultancy Ltd
  • Signatory Operations Officer at Principles for Responsible Investment

  • Supply Chain Coordinator at Mitie Waste & Environmental
  • Ecological Project Officer at Middlemarch Environmental Limited

  • Environmental Consultant at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

  • Terrestrial Biodiversity Advisor for Natural England

View all our student profiles and international student profiles

Featured Profile

Julia Denham

Julia Denham

Graduated in 2010

First Degree: Biology

First job after graduating: Sustainability Analyst, Molson Coors Brewing (UK) Ltd.

Subsequent job: CSR & Sustainability Manager, The Goodwood Group

Current job: Environment Manager, BT

"Learning about the latest thinking on food and framing sustainability was the best thing about the MSc. As well as friends and a network for life, while at Warwick I gained the ability to understand and work to implement solutions to our sustainability problems.

I started working for Molson Coors while I was still completing my MSc project. My role was using skills I developed during my course in sustainability accounting. I was lucky to be able to support Molson Coors in developing its first sustainability strategy and to grow my role while I was working there.

I am still coming across lots of things I learnt on my MSc. For example, I did a module on extreme biology where we learnt about potential applications of extremophile bacteria and now, in my work with BT, we are working with a SME who is developing the use of these bacteria to extract precious metals from e-waste, such as circuit boards. So full circle from my degree, and great to see research starting to be practically used in industry to help solve some of our biggest sustainability challenges.

My science background and knowledge of ecosystems gives me a huge benefit in the corporate environment. Science and technology knowledge is so helpful in understanding the basics of how things work, and how they could work better. Having a science background helps me to be curious and to ask the right questions, which is invaluable as we try to create more sustainable practices. Also, I made many international friends which developed my ability to work internationally."

ButterfliesSampling the abundance of butterflies at the University of Warwick to assess biodiversity and to provide advice on conservation.

Robert Clark - supervisor Rosemary Collier

The aim of Rob’s project was to use established methods to survey land owned by the University of Warwick to assess the abundance of butterflies, to use this information as an indicator of habitat health and to provide the University with recommendations for the future management of these habitats. He recorded the abundance of butterfly species around the University of Warwick central and Wellesbourne campuses, investigated associations between the abundance of adult butterflies and the abundance of larval and adult host plants and provided recommendations to the University about how best to protect and improve the habitats and biodiversity around the campus.

Rob’s project has shown that there are a good number of butterflies on University of Warwick land, indicating that there are biodiverse habitats. However, different areas vary greatly in the numbers of both individuals and species seen and no rare or endangered species were seen during the study. General recommendations were made about how the University can better manage its land in order to promote more species, with specific plans suggested for three endangered species that Butterfly Conservation is actively attempting to conserve.

Chris Talbot (Habitat Biodiversity Audit Partnership), Mike Slater (Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire), Lois Browne (Warwickshire Biological Records Centre) and the University of Warwick Estates Team all provided Rob with information and advice.

MSc Environmental Bioscience in a Changing Climate

Course enquiries:

msc dot lifesciences at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel: +44 (0)24 765 23540


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How to Apply

Scholarships are available for both Home/EU and International students.