Regional and Environmental Policy

Key Facts

Course Code L796
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

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The Aberystwyth University MA in Regional and Environmental Policy will provide you with a programme of advanced training in regional and environmental policy and sustainability.  Based at the University’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES), this course is aimed at recent graduates, anyone wishing to pursue careers relating to regional and environmental policy in the public, private or voluntary sectors or for those preparing for relevant PhD studies.

This highly relevant and up-to-date Masters will connect you to the latest research in Human Geography and help you explore the dynamics of environmental and economic change.  You will analyse the policy-making process, current policies and their implementation, and the resulting challenges that arise from policy intervention.  As you study, you will master the conceptual and methodological tools that will enable you to become a confident and professional policy researcher and analyst.

Thus equipped, you will work independently and develop your own study methods to tackle your dissertation project.  You will plan, design and present an independent research project in your chosen area.  This significant activity, and every part of this very practical course, will thoroughly prepare you for entering the jobs market by tutoring you in transferable skills such as good project management practices, team work, the presenting and reporting of work and creative communication modes.

Thanks to the balanced programme of advanced scientific understanding and practical experience you will gain on this course, you will be an attractive prospect for employment or further research at PhD level. 

The entry requirement for the Aberystwyth University MA in Regional and Environmental Policy is an Honours Degree (Class 2 Division 1) or equivalent, supported by suitable references.

  • Key Facts
  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability

Key Facts

One year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:
Approximately 6 hours a week in the first two semesters.

During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

The taught part of the course (Part 1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises, case studies, course work and formal examinations. The subsequent successful submission of a 12,000 word research dissertation (Part 2) leads to the award of an MA.

Entry Requirements:
Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:
If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:
Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding opportunities may be available, please check or funding calculator for details.


Situated in one of Britain’s top ten geography departments, Aberystwyth University’s MA in Regional and Environmental Policy will train you in strategies for tackling the complex issues of environmental degradation and regional inequality, and will equip you to evaluate policy-based responses to such problems.

As a student working within the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES), you will have access to the advanced reading groups and regular guest seminars which the Institute hosts.  You will be introduced to a diverse range of policy-orientated topics such as the environmental impact of wind farm planning and construction, local and national recycling strategies and the consequences of Welsh devolution.  These wholly relevant subjects, presented in a professional and inspiring context, will give you direct experience of policy formulation which will increase your enjoyment of the subject, your learning and your subsequent employability.

The course is divided into two parts over three semesters.  Part one will provide you with the opportunity to establish the breadth of necessary skills in a number of core modules, totalling 120 credits. In part two, you deploy your learning in the individual dissertation worth an additional 60 credits. Contact time is approximately 10-14 hours per week.

The subject-specific knowledge you gain in this fascinating MA is not the end of your training.  The course will also equip you with an array of transferrable skills that will strengthen you in any employment situation.  Your skills will be broad and deep because you will be confident in any task requiring planning, project-management, analysis and reporting.

Graduates of this Masters programme frequently go on to undertake advanced policy and planning work in regional and local government and environmental management.  Many also progress into other related professions in the public, private and voluntary sectors.  Others continue into PhDs, often progressing into careers in academic research and university lecturing afterwards.

By graduating from this prestigious course, you will be an attractive opportunity for any employer who prizes clarity, independence of thought and self-motivated, analytical rigour.

Our lecturers are active researchers working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, and you will benefit from being taught the latest geographical theories and techniques. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2014) DGES retained its crown of the best Geography department in Wales, with 78% of the research being undertaken classified as either "world leading" or "internationally excellent”. DGES is also in the top ten of UK Geography departments with regard to research power, which provides a measure of the quality of research, as well as of the number of staff undertaking research within the department.

Our Staff

Department of Geography and Earth Science: lecturers are all qualified to PhD level or working towards a PhD.


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Qualification: MA in Regional and Environmental Policy

This degree will suit you:

  • If you are interested in exploring regional and environmental policy as pertains to a diverse array of national scenarios;
  • If you wish to study at a research-lead institute that boasts an excellent international reputation;
  • If you have a 2:1 degree or higher in a related discipline;
  • If you wish to increase your employability across a broad spectrum of careers that relate to regional and environmental policy.

Experience and Employability

The MA in Regional and Environmental Policy offers you a clear vocational path.  For instance, the Regional Policy and Governance module will require you to address both academic and applied perspectives on devolution, globalization, economic and cultural development, social exclusion and par­ticipation. The Environmental Policy and Sustainability module places a strong emphasis on how you will evaluate the interface between environmental theory and environmental policy.  

In studying these and other modules, you will receive advanced training in the fundamental principles and practices of environmen­talism, environmental risk and management, sus­tainability and resilience, as well as environmental behaviour and state-sponsored environmental behavioural change.

Your training will be augmented by working with local policy practitioners based at various organi­zations within the Welsh Assembly and the local government complexes in Aberystwyth.  Here you will be able to put into practise the cutting-edge, research-based theory of the taught modules.  In addition, this unique opportunity to gain highly-prized vocational skills is furthered by the Work Experience module which will place you within one of a range of organizations, including the Welsh Assembly Govern­ment, the Countryside Council for Wales, other commercial consultancy firms and non-governmental organisations. 

On completing your MA, your theoretical expertise and proven experience in economic development and environmental management will stand you in excellent stead for employment in related professions in the public, private and voluntary sectors.  Your subject-specific expertise and cache of vocational skills will open up opportunities to enter a wide range of careers across regional and local government, industry bodies and independent consultancies. 

Professional Exposure and Networking

You will be strongly advised to take every opportunity you can to widen your professional exposure.  You will have the opportunity to attend reading groups and regular guest seminars hosted by the Institute of Geography and Earth Science.  These groups are comprised of experts in their fields who regularly contribute to international debates.  By attending meetings and seminars, you will experience the subject at the cutting edge; you will be aware of the most up-to-date debates, theories and methodologies in the context of a lively and robust working department.  This will give you an enviable edge and fluency in your professional and doctoral applications.