Our Air Pollution Management and Control MSc is the only programme of its kind in the UK, built upon successful air pollution control lessons and underpinned by world-leading research. The course is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Sciences (IES) and the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM).


Air pollution damages human health, ecosystems and vegetation, and is expected to worsen in many regions. Every year, air pollution costs EU economies US$ 1.6 trillion and is linked to 7 million premature deaths globally. Developing effective strategies for the management and control of air pollution is a key environmental challenge facing society today.

This course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the causes and effects of air pollution, and the management measures and engineering technologies available for its control. This is a recognised and sought after qualification within the professional environmental field in the UK and abroad. Students successfully completing the course find employment as air quality experts within environmental consultancies, industry or local government departments.


Why Study this Course?

The University of Newcastle is a leading Russell Group University with an internationally leading research reputation in Atmospheric Sciences.

  • The MSc in Air Pollution Management and Control has been running for over 10 years and is part of the Environmental Health Sciences research group where many of our teaching staff are also leaders in their respective research fields who provide policy advice to UK government, European Union and the World Health Organization.
  • The course is built upon successful air pollution control practices in the UK and underpinned by world leading research in air pollution science and management at the University of Newcastle including:
    • The Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in a Chinese Megacity (APHH-China). We are leading a major collaborative programme (£12m) involving over 150 UK and Chinese scientists to study the sources, processes and impacts of air pollution in propose solutions for the serious air pollution problems in Beijing.
    • The West Midlands Air Quality Improvement programme (WM-Air). WM-Air is a new initiative to support the improvement of air quality, and associated health, environmental and economic benefits, in the West Midlands.
    • The Newcastle Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) is a major experiment investigating the effects of a high carbon dioxide environment on forest ecosystems.

You will graduate from this course with a recognised and sought after qualification within the professional environment field in the UK and abroad. In the past two years nearly 100% of students successfully completing the course have found employment as air quality experts within environmental consultancies, industry or government departments.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Air Pollution Management and Control MSc/Diploma

Course Level:

Postgraduate, Taught




CODE P1020

How long it takes:

MSc: 1 year full-time, 2 year part-time routes available

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$22,500

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

We offer two qualifications in this area:

  • MSc in Air Pollution Management and Control
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Air Pollution Management and Control

The full-time MSc course runs over a 12-month period, starting in October. The taught modules are delivered in the Autumn and Spring terms, while the summer months focus on the major research project. The full-time Postgraduate Diploma (taught modules only) lasts nine months, from October through to June of the following year. 

Both courses are also available on a part-time basis, running over two years.


Taught Modules

The course represents 120 credits in total :

  • Causes and Effects of Air Pollution
    The sources, behaviour and fates of air pollutants, and their impact on human health, the built environment, ecosystems and global climate are described in this module. The module also addresses the use of emission inventories, methods and procedures for air pollutant measurement, and integration of these to give effective monitoring networks. Current and future developments in road vehicle technologies are covered, and the process of defining emission standards is studied.
  • Theoretical Meteorology: Atmospheric Physics and Composition
    This course reviews the basic nature of the atmosphere in terms of its overall physical properties and chemical composition; introduces a range of physical laws relevant in meteorology such as the first law of thermodynamics and the equation of state; reviews cloud microphysics and cloud formation processes as they relate to atmospheric thermodynamics; and introduces the basic radiation laws and radiative transfer processes in the atmosphere.
  • Small-scale and Air Pollution Meteorology
    This course explains how the temperature structure and motion of the atmosphere determines the dispersion of air pollutants. Air pollution modelling techniques are also introduced.
  • Air Pollution Chemistry
    The basic principles that determine the composition of the atmosphere are introduced and the processes leading to the formation and removal of atmospheric pollutants are described. There is a focus on the chemistry of air pollution phenomena such as urban air pollution (including photochemical smog and ozone formation), acid rain and stratospheric ozone depletion, in the context of changing climate.
  • Air Pollution Management and Control Technology

    Students will study the policy and institutional framework for the management of air quality, and the monitoring of air pollutants for compliance and the role of air pollutant emission reduction strategies. External experienced consultants will be invited to teach how to use air quality management models for resolving real-world management issues. This module will also introduce the basic principles and design criteria for the engineering control of air pollutant emissions, from sources ranging from power plants to individual vehicles. Removal technologies of both particulate and gaseous contaminants are included. This module is taught in the context of the Clean Air Strategy.

  • Carbon Management 
    Carbon Management is an increasingly important consideration for individual organisations through to national governments, with recognition that responsible management and sustainable development require minimising carbon emissions where feasible. This module provides an introduction to all aspects of carbon management. Topics covered include the overall scientific context of the global carbon cycle, global policy aspects (Kyoto, Copenhagen and current UK / EU targets), carbon offsetting and emissions trading, the impact of changing energy sources (biofuels and renewable energy resources, including impacts on air quality) and local carbon management, with a focus on the techniques used by local authorities and individual organisations. The module concludes with a realistic review of the likely near-future global emissions trajectory, considering economic trends in the BRIC nations, and the scope for renewable energy on a national level.
  • Air Quality Data Analysis and Interpretation

    This module aims to provide students with skills necessary for the collection, processing and analysis of air quality data sets. The statistical software packages R will be taught in this module. The OpenAir software package will be taught for advanced air quality data analysis and interpretation.

Research Component

The research component of the course comprises an individual research project into an area of the students’ choice (60 credits).


Research project

The Research Project allows you to explore an area of air pollution of your choosing to develop an in-depth understanding.  Projects may involve laboratory experiments, field measurements of atmospheric composition, computer-based modelling studies or analysis of existing atmospheric data.  You will have access to the School’s research and laboratory facilities and atmospheric measurement instrumentation, and also frequently draw upon external links and data sources (for example, through local authority air quality monitoring).

You are able to select your own research project topic, and will be supervised on a one-to-one basis by a member of staff with relevant expertise and/or research interests.  Projects usually involve a design and planning phase (Jan – March) followed by the main research phase during spring / summer. The project is assessed through a written dissertation and an informal viva (oral examination). 

Examples of recent projects include:

  • A preliminary investigation into how the introduction of the London low emission zone has affected PM10 levels as measured along the Marylebone Road
  • Assessment of ozone levels and meteorological effects in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia
  • Characterisation of vehicle exhaust emissions using remote sensing technology
  • An ADMS-based investigation into particulate dispersal in the vicinity of the Scunthorpe steelworks
  • Changes to levels of particulate air pollution in hospitality premises across Newcastle following the introduction of the smoke-free England legislation
  • An analysis of the May 2008 ozone pollution episode in the West Midlands
  • An investigation of airborne ammonia concentrations at two contrasting locations in the West Midlands conurbation
  • The atmospheric role of methyl iodide in the continental boundary layer
  • The chemistry of HOx radicals and HONO within a street canyon – A modelling study
  • Evaluation of ADMS-roads in rural street canyons
  • Spatial and temporal variation of ozone in Hong Kong and its effect on the surrounding human population
  • Is air quality measured to best effect in the Sparkhill area of Newcastle?
  • The effect of ambient particulate matter levels in the UK on visibility

Considering postgraduate study, but unsure whether you meet the entry requirements for a Masters-level degree? Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and university, but can be quite flexible.

Your existing qualifications will be important, but you don’t necessarily need a great Bachelors degree to apply for a Masters. Your personal circumstances and experience may also be considered during the admissions process.

This guide explains the typical entry requirements for a Masters, which include:

      • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – Depending on the programme and institution, you may need a 2.1 in your Bachelors, but this isn’t always the case
      • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test
      • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
      • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2020/21

MSc:  Full-time £9,900. Part-time £4,950
Postgraduate Diploma:  Full-time £6,660. Part-time £3,300


Tuition fees for International students 2020/21

MSc: Full time £23,310
Postgraduate Diploma: Full-time £15,540


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

Graduates in this area are in high demand due to increasing air quality and climate change legislation, increasing awareness of the impacts of atmospheric pollution and climate change, and increasing government policy towards sustainable futures. Career opportunities exist in air quality management, forecasting and regulation, in industrial emission monitoring and control, in environmental and human health impact assessment and in the transport, energy and waste and chemical industrial sectors.  Students completing the course have found employment in environmental consultancy (UK and overseas), local and national government, the Environment Agency and industry, while some have continued with PhD study.

Recent employment destinations of our graduates include:  Mott McDonald, URS Corporation, Mouchel, Temple Group, RPS group, ARUP, WSP Group,  AECOM,  Enviros Consulting,  Scott Wilson,  Jacobs UK Ltd,  Hyder Consulting, Severn Trent,  AMT coffee, Panasonic, Petrobas, Saudi Aramco, Environment Agency, various local and national government departments.