The MPhil in Environmental Policy provides state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in environmental policy analysis. It is designed for those with prior experience in a related field or for those who are looking to re-orient their career in this area. It is suitable for students who plan to pursue careers in governmental and non-governmental agencies, consultancy or companies where the management of environmental problems is of increasingly important.

The programme offers advanced training in environmental law, economics and methods enabling students to successfully design, implement and assess environmental policy in a variety of settings, at national and international level. The programme combines core modules in environmental law and economics with training in quantitative and qualitative analytical methods. Students are given the possibility to go deeper in these core areas through optional modules as well as to enrol in topical modules on climate change and energy, sustainable urban planning, land policy, or institutions and development. This particular cross-disciplinary focus distinguishes the degree from other environmental policy programmes offered elsewhere.


What's special about this course?

A modular structure enable you to focus your interests - you will gain a foundation in research methods. You can choose from a variety of options based on your own interests.

Our academics - you are taught by researchers and academics who study these subjects and are experts in their field

The Cambridge teaching system - supervision - small-group teaching provides the opportunity to debate with and learn from academics. You write essays or prepare work for these sessions and get guidance, support and feedback.

The Cambridge teaching system - lectures and seminars - on average you will attend 8 lectures a week (plus additional seminars), designed to give you the foundations for your subjects of choice, get to know others in your subject area and understand the components of Land Economy.

Course Structure

The structure of the programme is modular. To complete the course students are required to complete eight modules in the first two terms (four modules in the Michaelmas term and four others in the Lent term) and to submit a compulsory dissertation of between 10,000 to 12,000 words in the third term (Easter term). Some modules (law, economics and methods) are compulsory. In addition to those, students may choose from a selection of other optional modules on offer in the Department. These options include modules on environmental law, environmental economics, climate change and energy, sustainable urban planning, land policy, institutions and development, or real estate finance. Assessment of each module is by way of a written examination paper, project or essay work, or a combination of these methods.

In addition, all students are expected to attend the Department’s Research Management Programme that supports the development of projects for the dissertation, including issues of data collection and research ethics, as well as to attend a series of seminars featuring environmental policy experts and practitioners organised by the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG).


Compulsory Modules
Optional Modules
Course Director

EP01 -  International environmental law (Michaelmas and Lent Term) (2 units)
EP02 - Environmental economics and policy (Michaelmas and Lent Term) (2 units)
RM01 - Mixed research methods (Michaelmas Term) (1 unit)
Dissertation, Research Design, and Structure (Michaelmas Term) (2 units)

Students are required to choose 1 optional module in Michaelmas Term (examined by coursework) and 2 optional modules in Lent Term (examined by examination). The optional modules are as follows:

RM02 - Further topics in quantitative methods (Lent Term) (1 unit)
RM03 - Spatial Analysis and Modelling (Lent Term) (1 unit)
EP06 - Energy and climate change (Lent Term) (1 unit)
EP07 - National, Comparative, and European Environmental Law and Policy (Lent Term) (1 unit)
EP08 - Comparative environmental policy (Michaelmas Term) (1 unit)
PGR03 - Spatial economics (Lent term) (1 unit)
PGR04 - Institutions and development I (Michaelmas Term) (1 unit)
PGR05 - Institutions and development II (Lent Term) (1 unit)
RE03 - Real estate development process (Lent Term) (1 unit)
RE04 - The macroeconomy and housing (Michaelmas Term) (1 unit)
RE05 - Legal Issues in Land Use and Finance (Lent Term) (1 unit)

The Programme Director for the MPhil in Environmental Policy is Professor Andreas Kontoleon. Professor Andreas Kontoleon is available to discuss with students specific issues about the content of the MPhil in Environmental Policy.

Finding out more

  • How supervisions work

    Depending on the modules taken, students may have group supervisions supplementary to lectures.

    In addition to those, you will be assigned to supervisors during the Michaelmas Term after initial dissertation summaries are submitted. The Department seeks to allocate a supervisor able to provide guidance on the chosen research topic and who has similar disciplinary interests to the
    candidate. The University’s recommendation is that formal supervision meetings should take place minimum of twice a term. However, in the Department’s experience much greater frequency is usually required, particularly because the time frame for completion of the MPhil dissertation is short.

  • More on how the course is assessed

    The examining schemes are approved from year to year, and are therefore liable to variation. Approved schemes are made available to students at the start of each academic year.

    Assessment of each module is by way of a written examination paper, project or essay work, or a combination of these methods. Examinations will be in January for Michaelmas Term modules and in April for Lent Term modules.  Each module accounts for 10% of the overall mark and the dissertation accounts for 20% of the overall mark.

  • Progressing onto a PhD

    MPhil candidates wishing to pursue a PhD with the Department may apply to continue as a Graduate Student via the Board of Graduate Studies.  Each application is considered carefully by the Department and by the Degree Committee. Approval of an application will depend on three criteria:

    • availability of a supervisor;
    • the approval by the Degree Committee of a research proposal; and
    • the achievement of a minimum overall mark and minimum dissertation mark in the MPhil examination as prescribed by the Degree Committee.

    Full details of the application procedure for continuing students are given on the Graduate Admissions Office website. Students wishing to continue are advised to apply early in the academic year and to be aware that funding deadlines are also often early in the applications cycle.  In all cases, approval to continue is subject to the final examinations results and approval from the Degree Committee.

  • Professional accreditation

    The MPhil in Environmental Policy is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The RICS is an international organisation with over 100,000 members and membership of the RICS conveys a number of benefits. Graduates of the Environmental Policy course are eligible to enter the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), successful completion of which entitles full membership of the RICS. The RICS also offers free membership to students whilst they are taking accredited courses. Information about the RICS, the APC and the benefits of membership can be found at: www.rics.org

Boyce Family Scholarship

The Boyce Family Scholarship covers the fees for one full-time, one-year MPhil student. It is open exclusively to students who are normally resident in North America (including the Caribbean) and South America. Preference will be given to the following:

  • Students from backgrounds underrepresented at postgraduate level in their field of study, in the first instance, to women and students from racially minoritized backgrounds.
  • Who are pursuing an MPhil in Land Economy, or another course in the social sciences with a focus on the built environment, sustainability, and/or conservation.

Information for candidates

Both core and optional MPhil modules are reviewed on an annual basis. This review may lead to either a change to the core and/or optional modules offered on a particular MPhil course. Modules may be rescinded permanently or withdrawn on a temporary basis at any time.

Any information provided on Land Economy modules offered and their content is therefore subject to change and provided as guidance only to assist applicants with their choice of course. Reading lists are also provided for information purposes only and do not constitute a final or definitive list.

In brief

Course Information

Course length     10 months

Core Objectives  -  The programme’s core objective is to closely integrate concepts in economics and law with a solid understanding of the nature, causes and implications of environmental problems. It ensures that students are equipped with the analytical foundations and the specific skills to thrive in a professional setting. The programme offers advanced training in:

  • Analytical, quantitative and qualitative methods;
  • Environmental law (international, European and comparative dimensions)
  • Environmental economics and policy-making
  • The nature, causes and implications of environmental problems

The programme also focuses on developing students’ ability to approach policy questions in an informed, methodical and critical manner. In addition to the coursework, the MPhil programme offers ample opportunity to interact with environmental policy experts as well as to gain exposure in a wide range of cognate subjects through seminars, conferences, and other events taking place in Cambridge.

Who should consider this course  -  If you are academically ambitious from any background and are interested in law, economics, finance and the environment and want to develop transferable skills

Practical information  - The course runs from October to July. Applications to postgraduate courses are done through the Postgraduate Admissions Office.