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Masters Degrees (Biogeography)

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Drawing on the expertise of our biogeography and ecology research group, this MRes programme advances your academic standing and enables you to conduct an original ecological research project. Read more

Drawing on the expertise of our biogeography and ecology research group, this MRes programme advances your academic standing and enables you to conduct an original ecological research project.

It prepares you either for a PhD or for industry-based work, as you gain experience with a host of modern research methods and build on your theoretical knowledge of the subject area.

The research interests of our department include: 

  • wetland ecology and management
  • GIS and landscape ecology
  • conservation biology
  • molecular ecology
  • human-wildlife conflict
  • mammal behaviour, ecology and conservation.

Course structure

The Ecology MRes is typically completed as a full-time, one-year degree. It largely consists of core modules, but also allows you to choose from a host of optional modules as part of the 180-credit MSc requirement. If you choose to opt out of the course early, you can qualify for a PGCert with 60 credits and a PGDip with 120 credits.

Areas of study

The research project is central to the course and allows you to work at the forefront of the discipline as you advance your knowledge of research methods and ecological principles. You design your own project under the supervision of one or more members of the Biogeography and Ecology Research Group.

Modules

  • Research project
  • Research Methods
  • Issues in Ecology and Conservation

Options:

  • Ecology Field Skills
  • Molecular Ecology and Conservation
  • Introduction to GIS
  • GIS in Environmental Applications
  • Water Quality Analysis
  • Work-in-Progress Seminars
  • Introduction to Statistics using Excel and Minitab
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis

Past projects

Examples of past projects include:

  • Pollinator conservation and the value of domestic gardens
  • Social interactions of urban foxes in Brighton and Hove
  • Habitat use of the northern clade pool frog at their reintroduction site in Norfolk, UK
  • Protozoan parasites of bivalve molluscs: appearance and spread of diseases among bivalve molluscs in relation to climate change
  • The impact of dry heathland management techniques on vegetation composition and Coleoptera abundance, species richness and diversity

Careers and Employability

Graduates from this course are thoroughly equipped to enter a PhD programme in ecological science, as well as careers in industry and the public sector. The MRes provides well-rounded and practical training, plus the necessary transferable skills to prepare you for employment.



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Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. Read more

Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. This new research-led programme is run in collaboration with the Institute of Zoology and the Natural History Museum, providing a rigorous training and unparalleled opportunities across the full breadth of pure and applied research in evolutionary, ecological, and conservation science.

About this degree

Taught modules will focus on cutting-edge quantitative tools in ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics, systematics, palaeobiology, conservation, biogeography and environmental biology. Seminars, journal clubs and the two research projects will provide students with diverse opportunities for experience at UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core taught modules (60 credits) and two 16-week research projects (120 credits).

Core modules

  • Science Communication for Biologists (15 credits)
  • Computational Methods in Biodiversity Research (15 credits)
  • Analytical Tools in Biodiversity, Evolutionary and Conservation Research (30 credits)

Optional modules

  • There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake two 6000-word, 16-week research projects, which each culminate in a written dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, presentations, assigned papers, as well as data analysis and interpretation. The seminar series includes mandatory seminars at UCL, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London). Assessment is through essays, project reports, presentations and practicals. The two research projects are assessed by dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes

Careers

This programme offers students a strong foundation with which to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Research Assistant, New York Academy of Sciences
  • Trainee Ecologist, Thomson Ecology
  • Research Associate, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos
  • Intern, ZSL Institute of Zoology
  • PhD Researcher (Evolutionary Biology), The University of Edinburgh and studying PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Infectious Disease Research, University of Edinburgh

Employability

This programme provides students with a strong foundation to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Interested in a PhD? Find out about  London NERC DTP

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is an innovative collaboration between three globally renowned organisations: UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

By consolidating research expertise across these three organisations, students will gain a unique and exceptionally broad understanding of ties among different fields of research relating to the generation and conservation of biodiversity.

The MRes offers diverse research opportunities; these include the possibility of engaging actively in fundamental and applied research and participating in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (based at the Natural History Museum) or the EDGE of Existence programme (based at the Zoological Society of London).

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences

82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The programme includes the following profiles. Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences . This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Read more

The programme includes the following profiles:

Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences 

This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Courses of this profile span multiple levels of biological organization, from whole organisms down to the molecular level. Students choosing this profile not only receive up-to-date knowledge on these topics but also acquire the laboratory skills required to engage in cutting-edge research.

Ecology and Biodiversity 

This profile allows students to gain experience in the research methods used to study the evolution and ecology of organisms found in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. A staff of experts teaches up-to-date knowledge on individual organisms, populations, species communities and ecosystems, backed up by their active research experience in taxonomy and phylogeny, vertebrate and invertebrate ecology, evolutionary ecology, biogeography, plant ecology, plant-animal interactions, and nature management. In addition, students are introduced into ecological research by means of practical field training and excursions in Belgium and abroad.

Herpetology

This unique profile addresses biology students with a passion for amphibians and reptiles. An international team of visiting scientists organizes lectures on diversity, ecology, physiology, behavior, evolution and conservation biology and prepares students for a professional career in herpetology. Ecological and herpetological field courses in European and tropical countries form an important part of this programme. As a student, you will be in a stimulating environment, with fellow students and top-experts sharing your passion. For more information, have a look at http://www.herpetology.be.

Human Ecology

This profile focuses on the interaction between humans and their natural environment. The increasing impact of the human population on ecosystems worldwide stresses the urgent need for researchers with a multidisciplinary background, that engage in developmental plans for a durable use and management of natural resources. The profile Human Ecology addresses an international audience of students and offers a course programme that, besides scientific topics, also addresses technological, socio-economical and political aspects. For more information, have a look at http://www.humanecology.be.

EMMC Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems

The world faces a crisis risking extinction of species through global warming. Due to impact of e.g., changes in land use and destruction of habitats, tropical rain forests, mangrove forests and coral reefs are disappearing and with them ecosystem functions, goods and services on which human populations are dependent. In order to conserve nature, to manage or even to restore tropical biodiversity and ecosystems, we must understand patterns of tropical biodiversity, study how organisms interact with their environment and how they respond to perturbations and change. Next to research, this is dealt with in this unique masters programme. http://www.tropimundo.eu



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The MRes in Molecular Evolution involves the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms and gene families using molecular methods, with evolutionary trees (phylogenies) generated from the analysis of DNA and protein sequences. Read more
The MRes in Molecular Evolution involves the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms and gene families using molecular methods, with evolutionary trees (phylogenies) generated from the analysis of DNA and protein sequences.

The programme involves both laboratory work (DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing) and bioinformatics (DNA sequence alignment and phylogeny reconstruction).

Research projects are available in: the evolutionary relationships in the molluscs (in particular, the land snails) and the link between molluscan phylogenies and biogeography; the molecular taxonomy of spiders and the link between rates of molecular and morphological diversification; studies on the evolution of spider silk gene families and the relationship between silk diversification and speciation; studies on the phylogeny of the foraminifera and the distribution of different genetic types across the oceans.

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Global ecological change is occurring at a rapid rate and we are seeing an unprecedented spread of diseases, collapses in biodiversity and disruption to ecosystems. Read more

Global ecological change is occurring at a rapid rate and we are seeing an unprecedented spread of diseases, collapses in biodiversity and disruption to ecosystems. We aim to understand not just patterns in the natural environment, but the ecological and evolutionary factors that drive them, from the behaviour of individual organisms to population and whole community dynamics.

You will study the concepts and theories that will help you understand factors underpinning global ecology and evolutionary change, including modern techniques for environmental process research, invasive species ecology and conservation genetics. Students also learn techniques important for environmental policy and management and as such, our graduates are well placed to progress onto PhD research or careers in industry, consultancy and conservation. 

You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. Students also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.

You will have access to advanced analytical research facilities at the Freshwater Biological Association's River Laboratory in Dorset through our River Communities Research Group. You will have the opportunity to conduct both fieldwork and lab projects at this site.

Programme highlights

  • Two-week tropical ecology field trip (currently in Borneo), as well as fieldwork in Dorset, UK
  • Modules that develop pure research and applied practical skills
  • Guest lectures by stakeholders and potential employers
  • Opportunities for research projects in UK and overseas, and in conjunction with collaborators such as the Institute of Zoology, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Natural History Museum

Research and teaching

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top-class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.

Structure

Your taught modules take place in blocks of two weeks of full-time teaching (normally 9am-5pm), followed by week-long study breaks for independent learning and coursework. This structure allows for an intensive learning experience, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their subject.

This programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.

Taught modules

  • Ecological Theory and Applications: Look at the theory behind our understanding of ecological systems and how that theory can be applied to ecological problems in the real world. Starting with populations of a single species we will progress to understanding two-species interactions including predation, competition and parasitism and then to whole communities of interacting organisms. We will then study how ecological theory, used in concert with population genetics and evolutionary theory, can be applied to understanding ecological issues such as the conservation of small populations, harvesting natural populations and predicting responses to environmental change.
  • Ecosystem Structure and Function: Ecosystems are under continued and growing threat from human activity (e.g. habitat loss, invasive species and diffuse pollution) and if we seek to preserve them we need to understand how ecosystems function and how they respond to either enforced or natural change. Here we focus on the structural and functional elements of many ecosystems, from shallow lakes to tropical forests, with a particular focus on contrasting aquatic environments.
  • Statistics and Bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Research Frontiers in Evolutionary Biology: Explore the frontiers of research in evolutionary biology. Topics covered will include: incongruence in phylogenetic trees, neutral versus selective forces in evolution, the origin of angiosperms, the origin of new genes, the evolution of sociality, the significance of whole genome duplication and hybridisation. Current methods being used to tackle these areas will be taught, with an emphasis on DNA sequence analysis and bioinformatics.
  • Tropical field course - usually in Borneo; see photos from a recent trip on Flickr. Topics will encompass aspects of taxonomy, ecology, biogeography, conservation and evolution. Specific areas of content will include ecological processes in tropical rainforests (decomposition, pollination and seed dispersal); rainforest structure and defining characteristics (including the importance of rainforests as centres of biodiversity) and anthropogenic factors affecting rainforests (including disturbance, forest fragmentation and agriculture). There will be strong emphasis on practical training. In particular, students will be trained in a range of survey methods covering diverse terrestrial and aquatic taxonomic groups. The module will also provide training in data collection, analysis and presentation.
  • Science, Policy and Management: Here a broad spectrum of human environmental impacts and their mitigation will be explored. The first half of the module will bring the student ‘face to face’ with potential regulators, practitioners and potential employers (typically Defra, EA, Natural England) through a series of guest lectures. These topics are then explored and summarised through an unpacking and feedback workshop. The second half is field based with current practitioners working directly in the field of bioassessment and biomonitoring. National and international legislation and directives are introduced through a series of ‘Case Studies’ to look at the link between successful science and policy.

Research module

  • Research project (90 credits)

Part-time study

You can take the MSc over two years via studying part-time; you should aim to register for 50% of taught modules per year. You can discuss the exact combination of modules with the programme director, Dr Christophe Eizaguirre

Projects can also be undertaken over a two-year period, subject to finding an approved schedule of work which equates to the same time requirements as a full-time MSc. You may also enrol on a Postgraduate Certificate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (60 credits), which is comprised of four taught modules.



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The MSc in Bird Conservation aims to provide students with detailed background on the evolution, taxonomy, ecology and behaviour of birds and then apply this knowledge to a wide range of practical conservation issues. Read more
The MSc in Bird Conservation aims to provide students with detailed background on the evolution, taxonomy, ecology and behaviour of birds and then apply this knowledge to a wide range of practical conservation issues.

You will develop your understanding of how evolution has shaped many aspects of bird biology in response to the demands of flight. You will evaluate avian life history strategies, biogeography and population biology and how this information is used to design appropriate conservation measures. You will consider applied avian conservation management in relation to climate change, land-use practices, renewable energy development and other anthropogenic impacts.

There is a compulsory residential field-trip to either Poland or Tanzania which will provide you with practical experience of the essential techniques in the field of bird conservation.

The MSc is completed by a project which can be delivered in the UK or overseas, often in collaboration with an external organisation. There are also opportunities to work within Manchester Met research projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Mauritius and Madeira.

Non means-tested loans of up to a maximum of £10,000 will be available to postgraduate master’s students.

Features and benefits of the course

-Overseas fieldwork plus opportunities to work within Manchester Met research projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Mauritius and Madeira
-Research-based project which can be delivered in the UK or overseas, often in collaboration with an external organisation
-Teaching is delivered flexibly for students who have to work in order to fund their course.

Placement options

The MSc is completed by a research-based project which can be delivered in the UK or overseas, often in collaboration with an external organisation. There are also opportunities to work within Manchester Met research projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, Mauritius and Madeira.

About the Course

Course delivery is flexible and most lectures take place in the evening. Lectures, other course materials and assessment information is available via our online learning platform, Moodle. You will be assessed mostly through coursework, although some units have a formal examination.

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Develop the practical skills you need for a career in wildlife conservation. Learn through a mix of face-to-face and distance-learning, on a course that’s been developed in partnership with environmental organisations to ensure you’re skilled and employable in this rewarding area. Read more
Develop the practical skills you need for a career in wildlife conservation. Learn through a mix of face-to-face and distance-learning, on a course that’s been developed in partnership with environmental organisations to ensure you’re skilled and employable in this rewarding area.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applied-wildlife-conservation

Our planet is in urgent need of capable and well-trained wildlife conservationists to find solutions to the problems of biodiversity loss. If you’re passionate about wildlife and planning a career in conservation our exciting Masters course will equip you with the skills you need. You’ll focus on the sustainable management of wildlife and habitats, with an emphasis on developing practical field skills and the ability to analyse and interpret data in the interests of conservation. Our course has been developed with international conservation organisations, so you can be sure you’ll be gaining skills and knowledge valued by employers in the field.

Through your choice of optional modules you'll be able to focus your study on areas such as sustainability, business, wildlife management and behaviour change. Or develop deeper knowledge of skills such as wildlife conservation and biogeography. Field trips give you the chance to apply your skills whilst working on conservation projects in the UK and abroad.

You’ll have the opportunity to visit a research station in Borneo and apply your skills in a tropical forest conservation project. Every year we welcome a wide range of guest lecturers who share their inspiring and innovative experiences of working in wildlife conservation.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/applied-wildlife-conservation

Careers

Careers areas include conservation biology, environmental consultancy or in conservation education. You may find work in a non-governmental organisation (NGO), charity, zoo, private company, a government body or in a related field such as ecotourism. You’re also in the perfect position to continue your academic career and move up to our Animal and Environmental Sciences PhD.

[[Modules & assessment
Core modules:
GIS Tools for Biodiversity Mapping and Conservation
Invasive Species and Other Drivers of Distribution Change
Communication Skills for Conservation
Landscapes, Ecological Networks and Ecosystem Services
Current Topics in Wildlife Conservation
Research Methods
Masters Research Project

Optional modules:
Behavioural Ecology and Conservation
Study Tour: Understanding Biodiversity and Sustainability
Better Business
Governance and Behavioural Change

Assessment

Your work will be assessed in a range of ways to reflect the scope and aims of our course. These include assignments, field-work, case studies, group work and presentations.

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

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Ecologists and evolutionary biologists now routinely use next-generation DNA sequencing in their research, and graduates who are skilled in both genome analysis as well as ecology and evolution are rare. Read more

Ecologists and evolutionary biologists now routinely use next-generation DNA sequencing in their research, and graduates who are skilled in both genome analysis as well as ecology and evolution are rare. Genome-enabled approaches are helping rapidly to advance our understanding of the dynamic relationship between genotype, phenotype and the environment.

Our programme will give you cross-disciplinary skills in a rare combination of areas of expertise, from bioinformatics and evolutionary inference to computational biology and fieldwork.

You will be taught by researchers who apply genomic methods to a wide range of issues in ecology and evolution, from bat food-webs and genome evolution to microbial biodiversity in natural and engineered ecosystems. For example, Professor Steve Rossiter carries out world-leading research on bat genome evolution; Dr Yannick Wurm has discovered a social chromosome in fire-ants; and Dr China Hanson is using genetic methods to study microbial biogeography. This means that teaching on our programme is informed by the latest developments in this field, and your individual research project can be at the forefront of current scientific discovery. 

You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. You will also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.

Programme highlights

  • Work with leading researchers in environmental genomics - learn more on the Evolution and Genetics research group page 
  • Two-week tropical ecology field trip (currently to Borneo)
  • Strong foundation for careers in consultancy, environmental policy and management or research
  • Strong foundation for PhD training in any area of genomics, ecology or evolution

Research and teaching

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.

Structure

This MSc programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.

If you have any questions about the content or structure, contact the programme director Dr Christophe Eizaguirre.

Taught modules

  • Genome Bioinformatics: Covers the essential aspects of next generation sequence (NGS) analysis, including genome assembly, variant calling and transcriptomics. Also covers essential computer skills needed for bioinformatics, such as Linux and using our high performance computing cluster.
  • Coding for scientists: Assuming no prior programming knowledge, teaches you how to program in Python, using biological examples throughout. Python is one of the most popular languages in the bioinformatics community, and understanding Python provides the perfect foundation for learning other languages such as Perl, Ruby and Java.
  • Statistics and bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Post-genomics bioinformatics: Introduces techniques that have developed as a consequence of developments in genomics (i.e. transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, structural biology and systems biology) with particular emphasis on the data analysis aspects. Practicals cover the popular Galaxy framework, advanced R, and machine learning.
  • Research frontiers in evolutionary biology: Exploring the frontiers of research in evolutionary biology. Topics covered will include: incongruence in phylogenetic trees, neutral versus selective forces in evolution, the origin of angiosperms, the origin of new genes, the evolution of sociality, the significance of whole genome duplication and hybridisation. Current methods being used to tackle these areas will be taught, with an emphasis on DNA sequence analysis and bioinformatics.

Research modules

  • Evolutionary/Ecological Analysis/Software Group Project module: Students are organised into small teams (3-4 members per team). Each team is given the same genomic or transcriptomic data set that must be analysed by the end of the module. Each team must design an appropriate analysis pipeline, with specific tasks assigned to individual team members. This module serves as a simulation of a real data analysis environment, providing invaluable experience for future employability.
  • Individual Research Project (50 per cent of the programme)


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Make the connection. Explore the connections between living things and their environment with the Master of Science (Ecology). Find out more about the . Read more

Make the connection

Explore the connections between living things and their environment with the Master of Science (Ecology).

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

The Ecology Group at Massey has a large teaching and support staff, with diverse expertise. As a postgraduate student undertaking masters studies you will have the opportunity to specialise in stimulating subjects ranging from:

  • Biodiversity and biogeography
  • Community ecology
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Lake and river management
  • Plant ecology
  • Modelling animal populations
  • Soil communities and ecosystem function

You will benefit from Massey’s strong collaborative links with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, Landcare Research, AgResearch, NIWA, Fish & Game NZ, regional, district and city councils and private sector environmental consulting firms.

Facilities and equipment

The ecology complex at Massey has an excellent range of facilities and equipment including controlled temperature and light rooms, glasshouses and a workshop for making field equipment. There are labs for microscopy and image analysis, chemical analysis, ancient DNA, freshwater fish and invertebrates, insects and plant ecology, animal behaviour and soil invertebrate extraction.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but very rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science (Ecology) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.



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Become part of something bigger. Take part in a research-led physical geography programme and have an excellent, world-class learning experience. Read more

Become part of something bigger

Take part in a research-led physical geography programme and have an excellent, world-class learning experience.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

Massey’s Master of Sciences (Geography) will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and help solve some of the world’s most important environmental issues like flooding, coastal erosion, sea level change, landslide hazards and environmental change.

Broad range of equipment and facilities

You will have access to a wide range of techniques and equipment, making it easier to progress your research in a timely and comprehensive fashion. From ground survey equipment like a Trimble RTK differential GPS and S6 robotic total station and a ground penetrating radar to a range of coring apparatus e.g., lake/bog corers, percussion corer and vibracorer and Schmidt hammers for relative age dating of boulders we have the specialist equipment to help your research meet global standards.

Other equipment includes:

  • Fully equipped palynology laboratory
  • SEM, TEM and Confocal microscopes (via the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre)
  • Classifynder automated microscope system prototype (see http://www.classifynder.com)
  • Laser particle size analyser
  • Sontek M9 river surveyor (ADCP flow meter)
  • Several electromagnetic flow meters
  • Chirp Sub-bottom sonar

Work readiness

Our strong relationship with industry and counciis and the masters programmes research element make our graduates very attractive to potential employers such as environmental consultancies and regional councils.

Globally-renowned expertise

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise.

Massey’s geography lecturers have an extensive range of experience and expertise. The ratio of staff to students is high. Your lecturers will be your mentors, working alongside you to fully engage you in the practical and theoretical aspects of advanced physical geography study, to prepare you for life in the workplace in a specialist sense or preparing you for research at a higher level.

World-leading

Massey’s geography programmes are ranked as some of the best globally. Out of 800 of the world’s leading universities we were ranked in the top 200 in the QS World University Rankings.

Gain expertise in an area of your choice

The physical geography team at Massey research and have expertise in fluvial processes, coastal processes, slope processes, palynology, biogeography, palaeoecology and river solutions. During the course of your studies you can choose to further your knowledge and apply your learning on an exciting research project like:

  • Monitoring active landslides in glaciated valleys
  • Age estimation of ancient glaciated rockslides
  • Refining understanding of marine terrace development
  • Reconstructing the evolution of estuaries and coastal environmentsStatistical analyses of earthquake-induced landslides
  • 3D soil mapping
  • Pollen-based vegetation and climate reconstructions
  • Applications of automated palynology systems
  • Mapping floodplain geomorphology
  • Flood series extension

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

The postgraduate study experience

Some courses in the geography major are taught in block mode, which means you come onto campus for a period. This gives you the opportunity to come to Massey for a semester and spend valuable time with lecturers and fellow students in lectures, seminars, student-led presentations and seminars, lab work, field work day trips, small group discussions, and residential field work.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, time management, setting goals and milestones and undertaking research.

Geography options

The Master of Science (Geography) may comprise a selection of courses from across both physical and human geography. However, normally students taking this programme will focus on physical geography and it is this experience that is described in these pages.

Students should also consult the Master of Arts (Geography) programme pages for a description of the equivalent experience in human geography.



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Water is a strategic resource, and access to clean and secure water is essential for human wellbeing. Read more

Water is a strategic resource, and access to clean and secure water is essential for human wellbeing. Demand for better water systems has resulted in the pressing need for people with the technical skills to develop practical solutions in areas that include water treatment, monitoring tools, information technologies, efficient water use and reuse, and novel biotechnologies. Graduates of this cutting-edge degree will be able to apply the complex toolset of technical and leadership knowledge acquired in the program to a wide variety of private sector, institutional and government organizations involved with water use, treatment, research and protection.

The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Integrated Water Management is an intensive one-year degree program that will enable you to spearhead initiatives focused on water use, treatment, research and protection. The project-based curriculum covers all stages of the industry value chain. Graduates will explore advanced engineering theories, interdisciplinary knowledge and real-world applications. While 60 per cent of your classes will focus on your technical specialization, the remaining 40 per cent are leadership development courses that will enhance your business, communication and people skills. Delivery of the management and leadership courses are in partnership with UBC's Sauder School of Business.

What Makes The Program Unique?

The MEL in Integrated Water Management degree was developed in close collaboration with industry partners, who told us they need to hire leaders with the cross-functional technical and business skills to develop innovative solutions, manage collaborative teams and direct projects. The combination of technical expertise and leadership development makes the MEL in Integrated Water Management unique and highly relevant in today’s business environment.

To complement your academic studies, professional development workshops, delivered by industry leaders, are offered throughout the year-long program. These extra-curricular sessions cover a range of topics such as:

-Leadership fundamentals

-Giving and receiving feedback

-Learning how to deliver a successful pitch

-Effective presenting

The workshops also provide opportunities to network with professionals from a wide range of industries, UBC faculty and students in the MEL and MHLP programs.

Career Options

There is a growing demand for professionals in the public and private sectors who can develop and lead sustainable water management solutions. Graduates of this program will be highly sought after for their unique combination of leadership and technical sector-specific skills.

Our graduates will be in high demand locally, nationally and internationally by employers in industry and government seeking professionals who can develop and deliver sustainable water management initiatives.



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