Programme list > Master of Environmental Management

Master of Environmental Management


A faster master’s

Gain a master’s qualification in the sought-after area of environmental management in only three semesters.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Credits

  • 180
  • Duration

  • 1.5 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning
  • Other

  • Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year.

The Master of Environmental Management reflects the growing need to protect the environment and use resources of land, water, soil, plants, and animals in a balanced and sustainable way.

This programme will help you gain advanced knowledge in current land and water-based environmental management. You could specialise in the policy or economic side of environmental management. You can also study courses in important environmental management tools and techniques like GIS, Remote Sensing and Life Cycle Assessment. Your study will cover the following topics:

  • an evaluation of current environmental issues
  • holistic and transdisciplinary approaches to environmental problem solving
  • environmental assessment techniques
  • environmental economics
  • environmental policy
  • environmental anthropology
  • participation in environmental management
  • research skills and undertaking literature reviews
  • project evaluation.

You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of how the natural environment functions. You will also learn how societal values, needs and attitudes are reconciled with the need to maintain the integrity of ecological systems.

Internationally relevant

Our staff are world-class academics publishing internationally, with strong connections to relevant organisations across areas associated with environmental management.

We have a large number of international students. They are attracted by the increasing relevance of a discipline that addresses global environmental challenges. The multi-cultural nature of the student cohort adds a unique dimension to the learning experience.

Approachable lecturers and real-world learning

At Massey we are focussed on student success. Our lecturers are very approachable and open to giving advice on helping you plan your career and research ambitions in environmental management.

The programme has a solid grounding in both environmental management theory and applied components. Regular field trips take place around New Zealand and there are also opportunities to attend international conferences.

Careers and further study


A fulfilling area of study

Postgraduate learning is a satisfying and challenging process. Environmental management is an exciting and rewarding area of study, leading to a growing number of careers.

Demand for people with environment management skills is growing in New Zealand and overseas.

Organisations outside of those directly related to environmental issues are increasingly recognising the need to have expertise in this area in every industry.

Your lecturers maintain excellent relationships with key organisations. These relationships give our students networking opportunities for future careers. Massey environmental management graduates are highly sought-after by employers and the majority of our students find employment before they graduate.

Nearly 30% of our graduates are employed in research, universities or district or city councils. Many are also in private consultancies and business.

The average annual salary for a graduate from our programme is over NZ$80,000.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


Master of Environmental Management (180 credits)

To enter the Master of Environmental Management (180 credits) you will have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science), or close equivalent, with a minimum B average in the majoring 300-level courses.

Master of Environmental Management (120 credits)

To enter the 120-credit Master of Environmental Management you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours), or equivalent, or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management or equivalent, with at least a B average (Applied pathway) or B+ average (Research pathway).

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

180 credits

From the Schedule to the Degree including:

  • Completion of Part One and Two
  • At least 30 credits from each of two Options listed in the Schedule

Choose an

  • Applied Pathway (including 60 credits of research) or
  • Research Pathway (including 90 or 120 credit thesis)


This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree in 120 credits.

Also attend field trips, studios, workshops, tutorials and laboratories as required.

See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.

Courses for this programme

Part One

Compulsory courses

30 credits
188764 Advanced Environmental Management I 15
188765 Advanced Environmental Management II 15

Elective courses

119791 Special Topic 15
119792 Special Topic 15
188707 Environmental Management Principles and Practice 15
188708 Land System Change 15


Option A: Water
145731 Applied Fluvial Geomorphology 15
189755 Soil and Water Pollution 30
189758 Advanced Soil Water Management 15
196712 Aquatic Ecology 30
Option B: Land
189753 Soil and Land Evaluation 30
189757 Advanced Soil Conservation 15
196713 Ecology 30
196726 Plant Ecology 30
233701 Advanced Pedology 30
233710 Geology, Hazard & Society; Environmental Geology A 15
233711 Applied Environmental Geology; Environmental Geology B 15
283704 Urban and Farm Forestry 15
Option C: Techniques and Tools
145739 GIS Principles and Applications 30
145740 GIS Programming and Practice 30
152752 Project Management 30
189761 Applied Remote Sensing 30
218769 Energy-Efficient Building Design 15
233706 Environmental Geographical Information Systems 30
233707 Environmental Remote Sensing 30
238700 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Footprinting Principles 15
238710 Life Cycle Assessment and Footprinting Methods 15
238711 Life Cycle Assessment and Footprinting Case Studies 15
238712 Use of Life Cycle Assessment to Support Decision-Making 15
238751 Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emission Science 15
247790 Special Topic Applied Statistics 15
247791 Special Topic in Data Analysis 15
Option D: Policy and Environmental Economics
132735 Natural Resource Policy and Planning 30
145707 Economic Geography 30
152704 Business and Sustainability 30
178742 Environmental Economics for Non-Economists 15
188705 Environmental Policy 15
228740 Energy Policy 15
228748 Climate Change Science and Policy 15
235701 Māori Values and Resource Management 15
235707 Māori Natural Resource Policy 30
Option E: Environment and Society
131704 Sustainable Development 30
132751 Natural Hazards and Resilient Communities 30
176718 Environmental Sociology 30
188751 Advanced Zero Waste for Sustainability 30
218761 Design and Management of Healthy Buildings 15
228750 Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development 15

Part Two

Research Pathway

Between 90 and 120 credits
188885 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 45
188886 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 45
188888 Thesis 90
188889 Thesis 120
188897 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60
188898 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60

Applied Pathway

60 credits
188863 Environmental Research and Data Analysis 60

Planning your programme

Planning overview

The Master of Environmental Management is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

The first part gives you good knowledge and skills that will help you with the research part of your qualification.

There are two pathways in the Master of Environmental Management – an Applied Pathway or a Research Pathway.

Research Pathway

For progression from Part One to Part Two you must have achieved a Grade Average of B+ over the first 90 credits undertaken for Part One.

Applied Pathway

For Progression from Part One to Part Two, you must have achieved a Grade Average of B over the first 120 credits undertaken for Part One.

You may be required to complete one or more bridging courses, 188.707 and/or 188.708, should your undergraduate qualification be deficient in environmental economics or applied science.

The Master of Environmental Management is awarded without specialisations.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships