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MSc International Innovation (Environmental Science)

35 industry-focussed 2 year MScs with £16,000 bursary and 6 months in China

This new two-year MSc offers a ground-breaking curriculum, blending academic studies, company projects and cultural experiences. This course draws on the strengths of the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC). As one of the first universities to establish a department of Environmental Science, we have long been in the forefront of the field. We are placed sixth nationally for Geography and Environmental Science by the Guardian 2015 league table.

Students will gain a foundation in the areas of design and management, whilst specialising in environmental science. The course provides an excellent opportunity for ambitious students to work on high impact collaborative research, development and commercialisation projects between UK and Chinese businesses, whilst gaining an insight into Chinese business, language and culture.

Students will be able to use their practical, language and cultural proficiency as a launch pad for their future careers: establishing a global venture, joining an international organisation, government institution, or pursuing further academic studies.

Year 1


Michaelmas Term: October-December

After the welcome week you choose three of the following modules:

Note: Selection of the environmental science modules above will be subject to availability and timetabling.

Together with students on the other pathways, you also take a module on design:

Design-driven Innovation

This module introduces design-driven innovation as a mind-set that has the ability to close the innovation loop, from user-centred research to commercially viable innovations. It presents a variety of frameworks that help you to gain a comprehensive understanding of design thinking, methods and concepts and of how these can be applied to design-driven innovation. Theoretical material delivered in lectures and seminars is tested and evaluated through workshops. These will be aligned to appropriate external drivers, such as competition briefs or 'live' projects, allowing you to put theories and methods into practice in order to address a real-world design problem.

Lent Term: January-March

You choose a further three specialist modules, selected from the following:

Note: Selection of the environmental science modules above will be subject to availability and timetabling.

Together with students on other pathways, you also take:

Corporate Entrepreneurship

This module illuminates the entrepreneurial strategies of large companies. This includes the challenges of setting up and managing corporate spin-offs as well as 'intrapreneurship' strategies where employees are empowered and enabled to act as entrepreneurs within the company in pursuit of competitive edge and new business fields.

Summer Term: April-July

During this term you apply your knowledge and skills to the first of your company projects, working on behalf of an industry partner in the UK. Projects will vary, but will be focused on R&D collaboration, business development or commercialisation.

Non-Chinese speakers will also take the following 30-credit module:

Chinese Language and Culture for Business

This module is designed as a breakthrough into Mandarin Chinese in its standardised spoken form and in simplified characters as used in mainland China, particularly the language used in the business context, for beginners with no or little knowledge of Chinese. The intensive mode of learning on the module, in the short term, provides an immersive learning environment for preparing students linguistically and culturally for their half-year industrial project in China, while the long-term goal of the module is to raise students’ awareness of cultural diversity and Chinese-Western cultural differences and to develop their linguistic and intercultural competence of communicating with the Chinese appropriately and effectively in their future career.

Those already fluent in Chinese will take the following two modules:

Chinese Culture for Business

In this 15-credit module students will examine Chinese culture, particularly that of business, from a Western perspective. The long-term goal of the module is to raise students’ awareness of cultural diversity and Chinese-Western cultural differences

Business Ethics and Society

This module aims to develop moral sensibility and practical reasoning in the context of managerial everyday action in organisations. The module will be concerned with morality in action, as it happens, rather than a removed reflection on codes and principles of ethics, particularly in the context of UK and Chinese organisations. The module aims to show that ethics and CSR in action is diffused and difficult.

Year 2

Michaelmas & Lent Terms: October-March

During this year, you spend six months working in China on an in-depth project for an industry partner. It is anticipated that most of the projects will be based in or around the city of Guangzhou. The projects will take place in the first and second terms of Year 2.

See company projects for more detail

Summer Term: April-July

During this term students may return to Lancaster University to write up their company project assignment, reflect on their experiences in China and attend career-focused seminars and workshops.

More information

To find out more about the department delivering this pathway please visit:

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