Masters degrees in Earth & Environment Sciences
Welcome to our earth, environmental & ocean Studies, geography and geology postgraduate study guide.
With the exception of human geography, which considers the people and civilisations that live on the earth, the sciences in this discipline focus on the earth itself and its environment. The earth and environment sciences are geology, earth studies, ocean studies, environmental studies and, as previously mentioned, geography. The natural world is a constant source of wonder, as is the recklessness with which we continue to plunder its finite resources. Studying the earth and environmental sciences will enable you to understand the mysteries of the planet, as well as help destroy it if you so desire. (A lucrative career direction for geologists is to work in the mineral and oil extraction industries.)
Geologists look at both the material of which the earth is made and how its more impressive features like volcanoes and tectonic plates came into being. Geographers study the many features of the physical world and its human civilisations. Earth, Ocean and Environmental Studies cover much of the same territory as physical geography. With the deep sea environment often likened to space in its mystery and potential for undiscovered life forms, Ocean Science has got to be one of the more exciting areas to study. If you're worried (or perhaps sceptical) about climate change and want to investigate it for yourself, environmental science is the subject for you. If, however, the human use and understanding of the world is what fascinates you, then human geography allows you to study things like global economic inequality, population and migration and the political effects of the distribution of the world's national resources.
Going way beyond brushing up your tractor skills, this very diverse subject area covers topics from food security and international rural development , through environmental science and sustainable tropical forestry to equine business management and European food and agribusiness. If you really do just want to become a farmer there’s also an MBA in Advanced Farm Management.
Both taught and research masters are offered, along with postgraduate diplomas and certificates and MBAs: the range of qualifications you can achieve is almost as diverse as the subject matter. For many of the courses you will need a hard science background, preferably in biological sciences or ecology. For others, economics, international development and even sociology would be more appropriate. Interesting career paths from here on are myriad: you might well end up advising governments on their agricultural policies or environmental planning; work for a conservation NGO lobbying the Brazilian government about the deforestation of the Amazon, or run an incredibly well managed racing stable.
This catch-all category covers everything on land, air and sea! A small sample of the hundreds of science-based courses on offer might include subjects like Marine Biology, Glaciology, Environmental Management, Biodiversity Conservation, Forestry and the intriguing-sounding Managing Sustainability and Uncertainty. Broadly these courses are about investigating, monitoring and protecting the natural world.
Both taught and research masters are offered, along with postgraduate diplomas and certificates. Research students may well find themselves contributing to a team working a long-term project. Career paths from here might include advising the government on climate change, monitoring penguin populations in Antarctica, or working for an NGO trying to stop the deforestation of the Amazon in Brazil.
Geography is a multi-faceted subject covering both the physical world and the cultures and civilisations of the people that live in it. This is reflected in the breadth of courses on offer, which range from Migration and Social Cohesion, Risk Analysis and Geopolitics, Territory and Security, through Environmental Management, Glaciology and Climate Change to Urban History, Landscape and Culture or a research degree in Geographies of Gender. You can even do an MA in Activism and Social Change.
Both research and taught masters are available as well as postgraduate certificates and diplomas and a few MBAs. Some courses will require a geography-related or physical sciences degree, for others a social science degree will be more appropriate. The range of careers you can move into is as broad as the subject area. How about working for an international development NGO, a climate change scientist, an urban planner or a policy advisor in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Geologists spend a lot of time looking at rocks, and can explain things like how mountains are made and why earthquakes happen. Geologists also help find stores of oil underneath the earth’s surface and this is reflected in the fact that a significant minority of the courses on offer here have the word Petroleum in the title. If you’re not planning to work in the oil industry, courses such as Biodiversity Surveying, Carbon Capture and Storage or the straightforward Geology and Geoscience might interest you. And who wouldn’t be tempted by the very groovy-sounding Volcanology and Geological Hazards.
Both taught and research masters are available as well as postgraduate diplomas and an LLM in Petroleum Law and Policy. A postgraduate geology qualification will help no end if you want to work in oil exploration or for a mining company. Completing the MA in Natural Hazards for Insurers might see you deciding what constitutes an ‘Act of God’ or an acceptable risk for insurance and finance companies.