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Remote Sensing MSc

Course Description

The Remote Sensing MSc at UCL is the leading Master's level programme in remote sensing in the UK. It offers the opportunity to study at an advanced level the ways in which remote sensing instruments in space and on aircraft may be used to collect environmental information about the Earth at a range of scales.

Key Information

Application deadlines

All applicants:
31 July 2015
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/life/international/english-requirements .

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international .

Degree Information

Students develop an all-round knowledge of remote sensing, including fundamental principles, current technological developments andapplications to local, regional and global problems. They gain highly developed, marketable practical skills to enable them to take leading roles in academic, government and industrial sectors.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules in Term 1 (60 credits), four optional modules in Tern 2 (60 credits) and a research project in Term 3 (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, flexible study up to two years) is offered.

Core Modules

Analytical and Numerical Methods
Scientific Computing
Mapping Science
Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing


Terrestrial Carbon: Modelling and Monitoring
Global Monitoring of Environment and Society
Airborne Data Acquisition
Image Understanding
Ocean and Coastal Zone Management
Terrestrial Data Acquisition
Climate Modelling


All students undertake an individual research project. The department has links with industry, and projects may be carried out in collaboration with organisations outside UCL.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, individual and group coursework, and compulsory computer training. Student learning is supported by tutorials, transferable skills training and research supervision throughout the year. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, coursework, dissertation and an oral presentation.
Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site http://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/rs


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships .


This MSc will appeal to individuals interested in developing research training while acquiring vocational skills for work in remote sensing related positions in public and private sector institutions. The quantitative skills the course provides have proved attractive for employers, particularly the grounding in programming, data handling and analysis, image processing and report writing. These skills are generic and have allowed graduates to go into a range of careers in remote sensing and spatial analysis but also areas such as conservation and management, data analysis, computing, policy and commercial application.
Remote Sensing graduates find jobs in diverse companies from consultants carrying out environmental and spatial analysis, through major international companies to government and government-affiliated agencies. The programme is also suitable training for those wishing to undertake higher level work as a prelude to a PhD in remote sensing.


The range of generic, transferable skills provided by the course have proved to be attractive to a range of employers. The course provides students with fundamental understanding of the key principles of remote sensing and data handling and analysis, as well as the ability to communicate their ideas. These principles can and are applicable across a wide range of career options. The long heritage of the course (over 30 years) and its interdisciplinary, intercollegiate nature provides students with a unique perspective, not just from UCL, but across the wider world of remote sensing and environmental science.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding reputation for its research and teaching, and has a long pedigree in producing highly employable graduates for industry, research, policy and many other areas.
A distinctive feature of the programme is its intercollegiate nature which exposes students to a range of university departments and expertise across fields including terrestrial vegetation and carbon stocks, solid earth and geology, fire impacts, new sensor technology and ocean processes.
The programme is integrated with other Geography MSc programmes providing additional flexibility in the course options.
Student / staff ratios › 41 staff › 151 taught students › 60 research students
Department: Geography

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This MSc will appeal to students looking to understand and apply remote sensing methods in environmental monitoring and modeling. Students with background in emvironmental sciences, quantitative sciences (physics, engineering) and also more applied degrees such as geography, forestry, and environmental management will benefit.

Application deadlines

All applicants

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
why you want to study Remote Sensing
why you want to study Remote Sensing at UCL
what particularly attracts you to this programme
how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Visit the Remote Sensing MSc page on the University College London web site for more details!

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Entry Requirements

Minimum second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or overseas qualification of equivalent (e.g. oceanography, marine studies, geography, civil engineering, geology, mathematics, and physics). Relevant work experience will also be considered.

Course Fees

UK/EU 2015/16: £8,755 (FT) £4,375 (PT) Overseas 2015/16: £17,250 (FT) £8,755 (PT)

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University College London
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