Master of Environmental Management – MEnvMgmt

Gain sought-after, advanced knowledge of current land and water-based environmental management with Massey's Master of Environmental Management.

Type of qualification

Master's degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

More about study levels

NZQF level 9

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year 6 months full-time (180 credits)
Up to 5 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
Note: Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year.

Study a Master of Environmental Management – MEnvMgmt

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 focused 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.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

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

  • a relevant Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with a minimum B average in the qualifying 300-level courses, or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management or equivalent, with at least a B average (for the Applied pathway) or B+ average (for the Research pathway), or
  • a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours), or equivalent, with Second Class Honours, Division II, or higher (for the Applied pathway) or Second Class Honours, Division I, or higher (for the Research pathway).

If you have a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours) or a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management from Massey University or equivalent as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification.

You will need to provide copies of all official 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.

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 Distinction or Merit. 

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

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

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

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.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.

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 qualification 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 Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Structure of the Master of Environmental Management

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 and 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 60 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, 188707 Environmental Management Principles and Practice and/or 188708 Land System Change, should your undergraduate qualification be deficient in environmental economics or applied science.

The Master of Environmental Management is awarded without specialisations.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

180 credits

Coursework Pathway

  • Part One compulsory courses – 30 credits
  • Part One courses from the Schedule – 60 credits
  • Part One electives from the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Part Two research course – 60 credits

Research Pathway

  • Part One compulsory courses – 30 credits
  • Part One courses from the Schedule – 60 credits
  • Part Two thesis – 90 or 120 credits

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 and have been granted credit for it, may be able to complete this degree in 60 - 120 credits.

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Part One

Core Courses

30 credits from
Course code: 188764 Advanced Environmental Management I 15 credits

The course is made up of three parts. It develops project and programme management skills, strengthens students' knowledge of natural resources at an advanced level, and combines these two to produce integrative skills in Environmental Management.

Restrictions: 188763

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Course code: 188765 Advanced Environmental Management II 15 credits

This course examines current environmental issues and explores alternative approaches to environmental management. A case study approach is used to develop critical thinking skills, and an in-depth understanding of complex human-environment interactions and possible solutions to environmental problems.

Restrictions: 188763

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At least 60 credits from
Course code: 176718 Environmental Sociology 30 credits

An exploration of the interrelations between society and the environment, with an examination of major contemporary environmental issues from a sociological point of view. Among the major issues covered are consumerism, population growth, resource limits, development, political conflicts, environmental groups and environmental values.

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Course code: 178742 Environmental Economic Issues 15 credits

Economic analysis of policy management issues in the use of natural resources, climate change, and the environment.

Restrictions: 178360

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Course code: 188707 Environmental Management Principles and Practice 15 credits

This course uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine contemporary environmental issues. Key environmental management principles and practices are introduced and explored through a series of applied case studies.

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Course code: 188708 Land System Change 15 credits

The consequences of the processes and activities that pertain to human use of the land are considered. The patterns and distribution of land use and land cover types and the methods for measuring, recording and managing information about land use and land cover and how it changes over time are evaluated, and the implications of land system change are investigated.

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Course code: 188751 Advanced Zero Waste for Sustainability 30 credits

An in-depth exploration of the life cycle and environmental issues of solid material resources upon which all economic production depends. Zero Waste is examined as a resource management paradigm shift in philosophy, policy, technology and practices focused on sustainable development.

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Course code: 189730 Sustainable Land and Water Management 15 credits

Advanced theoretical and practical experience in the application of soil, water and GHG emission sciences to the sustainable management of New Zealand’s land, water and air resources. Sources and pathways for nutrient, contaminant and GHG transfer from soil to water and atmosphere will be analysed, and considered in the context of land use and potential in-field and edge-of-field attenuation technologies and practices.

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Course code: 232701 Conservation Biology 30 credits

A study of the multidisciplinary aspects of conservation biology under three key themes: importance of biodiversity, threats to biodiversity, and conservation actions. Theories, practices, and new developments in conservation biology will be explored including New Zealand case studies.

Restrictions: 196719

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Course code: 233712 Environmental Geographic Information Systems 15 credits

The application of geospatial analytical techniques within the environmental sciences is required as a key decision support tool in land management. This course will explore the way cartographic modelling, data fusion, database query, geostatistical analysis and image integration are applied to solve common environmental and resource management issues drawing on a range of software currently used in industry.

Restrictions: 233706

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Course code: 235701 Māori Values and Resource Management 15 credits

In this applied course students will learn about Māori concepts and values associated with the management of natural resources. Students will gain an appreciation of the importance of indigenous values, and in particular Māori values and management approaches to sustainable resource management. Case studies will be undertaken to develop skills in the management of natural resources.

Restrictions: 188704

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Course code: 238700 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Footprinting Principles 15 credits

The concept of life cycle thinking and its application to support decision-making for product systems. The course will provide an overview of the principles and methodology for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) according to the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, and introduce related environmental footprinting approaches (carbon and water footprinting).

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Elective Courses (Choose no more than 30 credits from)

Choose no more than 30 credits from
Course code: 119710 Nutrient Management in Grazed Pasture Systems 30 credits

An advanced, integrated study of the environmental and management factors influencing the cycling of nutrients in grazed pasture production systems. Contemporary production systems are analysed and strategies devised to maximise the efficiency of nutrient use (including fertiliser recommendations) in pasture and supplementary feed production and animal nutrition. Financial risks associated with farm management strategies that minimise environmental risk are assessed.

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Course code: 119731 Topics in Agricultural Extension and Consultancy 15 credits

This course focuses on extension and consultancy theory and its application in commercial farming and horticulture. The design, implementation and evaluation of extension and consultancy programmes; managing an agricultural consultancy business; codes of practice (ethics); current and emerging extension and consultancy issues. Case studies of local agricultural consultancies.

Restrictions: 111755

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Course code: 119752 Advanced Farm and Horticultural Management 15 credits

Studies related to the principles of farm and/or horticultural management using case studies of farm and/or horticultural businesses; risk analysis and management at the strategic, tactical and operational levels; development of business plans; financial management and the application of whole farm planning techniques.

Prerequisites: 119381, 119382, 119358 Restrictions: 111752, 119751

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Course code: 130705 Emergency Management 30 credits

An examination of the social, psychological, community and organisational aspects of disaster management in New Zealand. Emphasis is on the development and implementation of an all-hazards, comprehensive and integrated approach to emergency management. Selected readings and case studies will be used to facilitate the development of an effective response to social, psychological, community and organisational issues.

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Course code: 131704 Sustainable Development 30 credits

A course concerned with the concept of sustainable development in all its dimensions (economic, social and environmental), focused on the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). Conceptual lenses, including Indigenous understandings of sustainability and the sustainable livelihoods framework, are also discussed.

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Course code: 132735 Natural Resource Policy and Planning 30 credits

Natural resource planning principles and practice. Application of the concept of sustainable development to the management of biophysical resources and systems.

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Course code: 145710 Consumption and Place 30 credits

This course explores consumption processes, practices and places. Using a number of themes it encourages students to engage with relationships between production and consumption, cultural and economic change, and matters of identity and ethics.

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Course code: 145739 GIS Principles and Applications 30 credits

A conceptual and operational understanding of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This course provides a postgraduate-level introduction to fundamentals of spatial data creation, manipulation, management, visualisation and analysis.

Restrictions: 132738

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Course code: 145740 GIS Programming and Practice 30 credits

This course focuses on principles and practices of programming within the GIS context. Issues in GIS project design and implementation are addressed.

Prerequisites: 132738 or 145739 Restrictions: 132740

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Course code: 152704 Business and Sustainability 30 credits

An analysis of the relationships between the business community, the natural environment, and social and environmental sustainability. The course examines global debates on social and environmental issues, introduces theories of sustainability, and considers the implications of sustainability for business policy and management.

Restrictions: 115783

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Course code: 152730 Advanced Contemporary Issues in Sustainability 30 credits

Students will critique the business case for sustainability and develop holistic sustainability strategies to address contemporary economic, ethical, environmental, and social concerns for business, including those relating to sustainable supply chain management, sustainable operations management, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and ethical trade.

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Course code: 152752 Project Management 30 credits

A comprehensive study of the theory and methods employed in project management.

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Course code: 158740 Location Systems: Spatial Databases, Tools and Applications 15 credits

This course will develop knowledge and skills in the use of geographic information science in an interdisciplinary context. Students will learn how to work with clients to identify requirements, model and collect data and create a location-based web application. A range of areas and a variety of different uses of geographic information will be covered using open source tools. An interdisciplinary group project will form part of the course.

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Course code: 158741 Location Data: Mapping, Analysis and Visualisation 15 credits

This course will develop knowledge and skills in the processing, analysis and visualisation of data that has a location on the earth. Location data is more and more readily available, and students will learn how to transform and integrate data from multiple sources, consider the impact of data uncertainty and privacy, and perform appropriate analysis for environmental, social and economic applications. Different data collection methods will be discussed, and a range of open source tools will be used.

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Course code: 175729 Psychology and Culture 15 credits

This course examines the wide-ranging influence culture has in people's lives, from their ideological beliefs and values to their behaviour patterns. How cultural influences have been considered in the theory, research, and practice of psychology will be examined.

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Course code: 175733 Sustainable Livelihood 15 credits

According to the UN, Sustainable Livelihoods include not only access to shelter and food but also security, dignity, societal participation for groups and individuals. This course examines how workplaces potentially enable such capabilities, e.g., by respecting cultural foundations, enabling work-life-balance, providing decent work, and reducing inequality, through equitable partnerships between organizations along global supply chains, fair trade, living wages.

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Course code: 178719 Climate Change Economics and Policy 30 credits

An analysis of the economics of climate change and evaluation of the mitigation options used by policy makers globally.

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Course code: 189731 Advanced Studies in Soil Science 15 credits

A selection of modules from professional development courses: intermediate and advanced sustainable nutrient management; intermediate and advanced farm environment planning; farm dairy effluent system design and management; introduction to NZ agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and management. This course is targeted to students wanting an applied course in soils relevant to production agriculture and horticulture or to environmental management.

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Course code: 196713 Ecology 30 credits

This course explores contemporary issues in ecology, emphasising a functional outlook on the role of species in communities. It will focus on biodiversity and the interactions of organisms as stimuli for biodiversity. Topics include diversity and ecosystem function, patterns of species diversity, keystone species, herbivory, community structure, assembly roles and food web studies.

Prerequisites: 1963xx or 1993xx

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Course code: 218769 Energy-Efficient Building Design 15 credits

This course examines approaches to reducing energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings resulting from the design and use of the building and its energy services. The course covers the principles of energy-efficient building design as well as use and interpretation of energy and sustainability audits. Identification of options for reducing energy use through renovation and retrofitting as well as occupant behaviour are also covered.

Restrictions: 228769

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Course code: 232703 Wildlife Management 30 credits

A problem-based course involving fieldwork, data analysis, and report writing. A range of research methods relevant to conservation managers will be explored using selected real-world problems. The problems will cover a diversity of techniques with a strong emphasis on gaining experience in conservation application and quantitative analytical methods.

Corequisites: 232701 or 196713 Restrictions: 199715

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Course code: 233713 Environmental Remote Sensing 15 credits

Remote sensing is the process of detecting and monitoring the Earth by measuring its reflected and emitted radiation, usually from satellites or aircraft. The course will focus on the use of digital analysis of remotely sensed imagery and data. The integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and digital elevation models (DEMs) with remotely sensed data will be used to highlight practical solutions in land management.

Restrictions: 233707

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Course code: 233714 Advanced Geoscience Techniques 15 credits

Studies utilising modern Geoscience techniques require the collection and analysis of complex data and datasets. In this advanced course experience will be gained in modelling and solving complex geoscience processes through advanced geological mapping and the collection of samples and data that will be analysed using specialised equipment and methods.

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Course code: 233715 Environmental and Geological Hazards 15 credits

One of the biggest issues facing the developed and developing world is exposure to environmental and natural hazards. Practical solutions to recognising, managing and mitigating environmental/natural hazard, risk and disasters will be explored in this course. Advanced quantification of natural hazards and how this informs modern day risk assessment, mitigation and management will be explored.

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Part Two

Research Pathway (Choose between 90 and 120 credits from)

Choose between 90 and 120 credits from
Course code: 188881 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 (30 credits) 30 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Restrictions: 188885, 188886

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Course code: 188882 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 (60 credits) 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Corequisites: 188881 Restrictions: 188885, 188886

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Course code: 188888 Thesis 90 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Course code: 188889 Thesis 120 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Course code: 188897 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

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Course code: 188898 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60 credits

A supervised and guided independent study resulting in a published work.

Corequisites: 188897

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Applied Pathway (Choose 60 credits from)

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 188863 Environmental Research and Data Analysis 60 credits

Students will review the theoretical foundation and recent advances in selected environmental management themes in different countries; apply research methods and selected statistical techniques to analyse and evaluate environment management projects; write a self-directed research report.

Prerequisites: 188763 or (188764 and 188765)

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Fees and scholarships

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?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

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 can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

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 businesses.

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

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