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MSc Human and Environmental Toxicology with Law

1 year
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
UK Home Students: £11,340
Overseas Students: £29,340

This MSc programme is a special educational offering of the Centre for Environmental Research and Justice (CERJ). This MSc is an interdisciplinary, cross-college master's programme predominantly involving Life and Environmental Sciences and the College of Arts and Law.

Chemical pollution is responsible for three times more annual premature deaths than malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS combined. This MSc explores recent scientific and technological methodologies that allow for greater understanding of chemical toxicity, thus paving the way for evidence-based actions via a range of potential governance interventions that make the environment safe from toxic chemicals and defend people's rights to a healthy environment. 

Graduates of the programme will have gained the analytical, rhetorical and collaborative skills and confidence to effectively use scientific evidence to advocate on behalf of the environment. This programme will offer different routes for students to specialise in areas related to regulation, industry, NGOs, and scientific research.

Why study this course?

  • Collaborative, cross-college teaching – The MSc in Human and Environmental Toxicology with Law is distinctive in prioritising collaboration. We understand that the problems caused by pollution on health and the environment are multifaceted and cannot be tackled with Science or Law alone. Instead, this MSc allows you to develop expertise in BOTH science and law, empowering you to become a knowledgeable environmental changemaker.
  • Future-minded – This MSc provides students with the skills to become the leaders, regulators and changemakers of tomorrow. The MSc will be delivered by leading environmental lawyers, toxicologists and bioinformaticians who are already pioneering modern, collaborative regulatory science for the UK, EU and beyond.
  • A unique experience – While most postgraduate taught Master’s degrees silo students  in a single academic discipline, the MSc in Human and Environmental Toxicology with Law allows you to develop your competencies across science and law from two of the University of Birmingham’s academic colleges to gain a truly unique set of skills.
  • An opportunity to apply transferable skills – Regardless of your background in Biology or Law, this programme will enable you to integrate your undergraduate knowledge and apply it to a broader context, allowing you to become knowledgeable changemakers with an understanding of both the science and law needed to defend people’s rights and protect environmental health.


  1. New Approach Methodologies for Regulatory Toxicology (Biosciences, 20 credits, compulsory).
  2. Metabolism and Mechanisms of Toxicity (Biosciences, 20 credits, compulsory)
  3. Environmental Protection and Pollution Control (Law School, 20 credits, compulsory).
  4. Regulatory Science and Toxicology for the 21st Century (Biosciences, 20 credits, compulsory)
  5. Environmental and Energy Regulation (34794, Law School, 20 credits, compulsory)
  6. Environmental Analysis and Modelling (25556, GEES, 20 credits, compulsory)
  7. Interdisciplinary Individual Project (Biosciences, 60 credits, compulsory).

Summer School: There is a ‘Science Summer School for Environmental Justice’ one week before Welcome Week, which is designed to teach students the relevant skills required to understand the content of the MSc. As students joining this MSc may be from diverse undergraduate backgrounds, this summer school is intended to ensure everybody begins the MSc with the same relevant knowledge.

Further, for students joining the MSc with little to no experience in law, a ‘Introduction to Law Summer School’ will be offered to teach crucial legal skills to ensure understanding of the MSc content.

The Summer Schools come highly recommended but are not included in the formal mandatory programme. To ensure flexibility and accessibility, a corresponding Canvas online course containing session recordings and additional resources will be provided to students.


UK Home Students: £11,340
Overseas Students: £29,340

Eligibility for home/EU or overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, you can also visit our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.

How To Apply

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

A 2:1 or higher in a relevant undergraduate discipline (relevant = biological or legal)

A Level - minimum 3 A-Levels is required with an A/B in at least two Science A Levels (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics) ((other A Levels considered if they contained empirical study and quantitate analysis)).

Summer Schools: If you are successful in your application, you will be invited to attend the Summer Schools hosted by the MSc Human and Environmental Toxicology with Law teaching leads during the week before Welcome Week.

The Science Summer School for Environmental Justice and the Law Summer School for Environmental Research are designed to ensure that students coming into the MSc have the same basic knowledge of scientific and legal theories to understand the MSc Course Content.

We appreciate that not all students will be able to attend these Summer Schools face-to-face, so a corresponding Canvas Course will be created. This will contain session recordings and additional resources so that everybody has access to this information at the start of the MSc.

International Requirements


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham.  We want you to have a smooth transition into university life. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are areas where you need support.

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers – Alongside your personal tutor, you will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) will provide guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

Contact Hours

(3h per week for module of New approach methodology for regulatory toxicology)

LM Environmental Protection and Pollution Control (Law)

Seminar-15 hours
Guided independent study-185 hours
Total: 200 hours

LM Regulatory Science and Toxicology for the 21st Century (Biosciences)

55 hours in-person contact

LM Environmental and Energy Regulation (Law)

Seminar-15 hours
Guided independent study-185 hours
Total: 200 hours

LM Metabolism and Mechanisms of Toxicity (Biosciences)

71 hours in-person contact

LI Legal Solutions (Law)

Lecture-17 hours
Seminar-3 hours
Project supervision-1 hours
Guided independent study-179 hours
Total: 200 hours

Assessment Methods

Summative assessment for modules within this MSc includes essay assignments, multiple choice tests, problem solving exercises, extended writing assignments, oral presentations, learning logs, and group projects.

There will be further formative assessment opportunities involving posters, independent projects, laboratory/workshop reports, computer-based exercises, and student led discussions.

60 credits of this MSc come from the dissertation module, which will be an extended essay assignment.

Studying an MSc in Human and Environmental Health with law will allow you to develop specialist knowledge in both the biological approach of assessing Human and Environmental Health and the legal approach at protecting Human and Enviornmental Health. This allows graduates to pursue careers as impactful environmental scientists, researchers, regulators, and changemakers. The MSc will also allow students to develop a wide range of transferable skills that can be used for a wide variety of careers, not solely across Environmental Science and Law.

Graduates will have developed skills to enter the workforce through six key areas:

  • Government
  • Regulatory Agencies
  • Industry
  • NGOs
  • Research
  • Higher Education

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