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Masters Degrees (Catchment Dynamics)

We have 3 Masters Degrees (Catchment Dynamics)

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River basins are of fundamental importance to the world’s population. Research training in water dynamics and management are demanded by both industry and academia. Read more

River basins are of fundamental importance to the world’s population. Research training in water dynamics and management are demanded by both industry and academia. The University has a world-class reputation for water-related research and GIS development in an environmental context. This programme builds on that success.

Core components are river basin hydrology and basic environmental GIS. Students choosing a River Basins (RB) pathway gain advanced knowledge and skills in channel hydraulics and sediment transport, river ecology and environmental assessment. Students on a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) pathway gain advanced knowledge and skills in GIS for environment, GIS programming and digital image analysis and remote sensing.

This highly practical course advocates learning by doing and is assessed 100% by coursework. We host guest lecturers from business, industry and academia, visit work places and conduct a series of field-, laboratory- and PC-based practicals. You also have the chance to take a work placement module.

More information

The programme offers a detailed understanding of the principles of water resource management and an appreciation of the institutional and legal frameworks impacting on river basin management. You learn to formulate important research questions and design methodological approaches to answer them; and to develop quantitative analyses skills.

This programme is available part time, allowing you to combine study with other commitments. You can work to fund your studies, or gain a new qualification without giving up an existing job. We aim to be flexible in helping you to put together a part-time course structure that meets your academic goals while recognising the constraints on your study time.

The programme manager is Dr Paul Kay.

You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level.

We offer some of the modules on this programme as standalone Continuing Professional Development modules.

Accreditation

Our River Basin Dynamics and Management with GIS programme is accredited by Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

Course content

This programme delivers advanced pure and applied education and training in key modern and developing fields of catchment dynamics and management and GIS. This is achieved across the modules of study by developing research methods (15% time), communication and interpersonal skills (10%), independent working (10%), instruction in advanced techniques (10%), specialist disciplinary knowledge (15%), quantitative skills training (15%), field skills training (10%) and vocational/employability/research career awareness and training (15%). As such the programme emphasis is on practical work, is assessed by 100% coursework (no exams) and permits considerable interaction of students with industry and business.

If you study this programme part-time you will study fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Development 15 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits
  • Issues and Skills for River Basin Dynamics and Management 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read River Basin Dynamics and Management with Geographical Information Systems MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read River Basin Dynamics and Management with Geographical Information Systems MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Teaching is mostly delivered through practical work, but also includes lectures, tutorials, fieldwork and seminars.

Assessment

Assessment is entirely by coursework, not examinations. You’ll need to show you can conduct independent in-depth enquiry and evaluate and criticise received opinion. You’ll apply breadth and/or depth of knowledge to a complex specialist area and will complete an independent masters-level dissertation.

Career opportunities

This programme offers a range of transferable, marketable skills required to obtain employment in river basin processes and management or to pursue a career in research and education.

Typical roles undertaken by our recent graduates are:

  • Assistant Analyst
  • Flood warning Engineer
  • Graduate Engineer
  • Graduate Water Scientist/Catchment Scientist
  • Hydrologist/Hydrogeologist
  • Licensing Officer
  • Planning Liaison Officer
  • PhD study
  • Projects Co-ordinator
  • Water Resource Manager.

Some of the organisations our graduates work for are:

  • Arup
  • Ballinderry Fish
  • Black and Veatch
  • Carlbro
  • Consultant Engineers
  • Dales Water Services Ltd
  • Environment Agency
  • Farrer Consulting
  • Hatchery Ltd
  • JBA Consulting
  • Scott Wilson
  • Yorkshire Water.

Careers support

The School of Geography has a very strong commitment to enhancing student employability. Read more about our employability support.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Read more
Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Responding to these threats the Aquatic Science MSc equips students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments, encompassing lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands, groundwaters, estuaries and shallow seas.

Degree information

Students focus on integrated freshwater and coastal systems and gain extensive training in field sampling, study design and species identification. Distinctive features include: integration of aquatic ecology with hydro-geomorphology, aquatic landscape ecology, analysis of sediment cores for environmental change reconstruction, design of aquatic monitoring programmes and modelling of aquatic system dynamics. Students come away with a sound knowledge of current-day links between aquatic science, legislation and conservation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma - 4 core modules and 4 optional modules all 15 credits (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate - 4 core modules only at 15 credits (60 credits, full-time twelve weeks, part-time two years) is offered.

Core modules
-Aquatic Systems
-Aquatic Monitoring (includes field-trip to Scottish Highlands)
-Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
-Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation (field-based module in Norfolk, England)

*modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals.

Optional modules - students choose four of the following:
-Lakes
-Coastal Change
-Politics of Climate Change
-Marine Conservation
-Surface Water Modelling
-Wetlands
-Aquatic Macrophytes (field-based module in Dorset, England)
-Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems
-Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
-Non-biological Indicators for Environmental Change
-Environmental GIS
-Ocean Circulation and Climate Change

*modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals.

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words. Dissertation placement positions are offered linked to external conservation bodies and research-orientated consultancies.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes, laboratory sessions, case-studies and residential field classes. Assessment is through coursework and the dissertation, which includes an oral presentation of the research proposal.

Careers

This programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Education Officer, Norfolk Wildlife Trust
-PhD in Pond Conservation, UCL
-PhD in the Macroecology of Deep Sea Jelly Fish, University of Southampton
-Land Use Adviser, Natural England
-River Catchment Planner, Norfolk Rivers Trust

Employability
The MSc provides students with the science background and practical skills necessary for a career working in aquatic conservation and environmental protection agencies, environmental consultancies and stakeholder agencies. The MSc is also an ideal platform for further PhD study. We aim to expose students to potential employers from the outset and students receive expert tuition in field sampling and monitoring programme design, conservation biology, taxonomy of key species groups, knowledge of important conservation principles and legislation and working with stakeholders.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Aquatic Science MSc is run by UCL Geography which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its aquatic environmental research and teaching. The degree has a strong emphasis on field working with three major residential classes to the North Norfolk Coast, Scottish Highlands and Dorset.

The programme is taught by research groups specialising in Environmental Change & Biodiversity, Environmental Modelling & Observation, and has specialist input from the Thames Estuary Partnership, and in-house aquatic consultancy Environmental Scientific Services.

Speakers from environmental organisations including the UK Environment Agency, the Rivers Trusts, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the UK Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Natural England lecture on the programme and take part in fieldwork. By bringing together students, researchers and practitioners, a vibrant and informal academic environment is created encouraging mutual discovery and ongoing debate.

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This is currently the only course in the world that offers you training in environmental water management with a specific focus on consultancy. Read more

This is currently the only course in the world that offers you training in environmental water management with a specific focus on consultancy. Building on the University’s world-class reputation for water-related research, it delivers highly practical business-focused training to prepare graduates for a role in water consultancy. Be taught by practicing consultants and lecturers, developing the relevant skills that meet industry demand.

More information

Taught by practising consultants and lecturers, the programme offers:

  • understanding of the policy underpinning environmental water management.
  • detailed knowledge and investigation of hydrological processes.
  • skills in interpreting client needs and formulating a contract for the project delivery of consultancy work.
  • skills in managing a consultancy project from inception to completion.

Your dissertation allows you to undertake a more research-focused project. In your final semester, you'll choose from a variety of modules, including a work-based project, which gives an insight into how businesses operate and enables you to apply your project management knowledge.

You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate levels.

We offer some of the modules on this programme as standalone Continuing Professional Development modules.

Course content

In the first semester, the 30-credit Issues and Skills module gives you a broad background in the knowledge and skills you’ll need to be a professional water manager, such as understanding the policy framework and the range of skills used, including field work and data analysis. There will also be visits from practising professionals. The Hydrological Processes module gives you the essential understanding of hydrology needed by any water manager, whilst Systems Thinking will provide you with the skills to approach and solve business problems in a practical way.

In semester 2, you will take complementary modules on client management and project management, delivered by practising water management consultants. You’ll also choose optional modules on water quality or a range of consultancy-focused topics. Throughout the course you will take a specific professional development module. This all leads up to your dissertation, where you get the chance to use the skills you have learned to undertake a cutting edge research project.

If you study this programme part time you will study fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Professional Development 15 credits
  • Dissertation 60 credits
  • Issues and Skills for River Basin Dynamics and Management 30 credits
  • Water Consultancy: Contract Development 15 credits
  • Hydrological Processes and Analysis 15 credits
  • Water Consultancy: Project Management 15 credits
  • Systems Thinking and Consulting Practice 15 credits

Optional modules

  • River basin management for water quality 15 credits
  • Environmental Assessment 15 credits
  • Risk Perception and Communication 15 credits
  • Organizational Development and Change 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Environmental Water Consultancy MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Environmental Water Consultancy MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a full range of teaching methods during the programme to ensure all learning styles are catered for. These comprise lectures, seminars (including some by external speakers), field work, laboratory classes, computer practicals, group work, one-to-one supervision, work-based learning, and self-led study. All teaching will be research-led (and consultancy-led) so that students are learning about, and working on, real, contemporary challenges.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed through a range of techniques, such as essays, group and individual reports, exams, presentations, poster presentations, computer-based practicals, and reflective work-based logs.

Placement opportunities

There is a work placement option as part of the Professional Development module. This can be in academia, industry or consultancy.

Career opportunities

Environmental Water Consultancy is a new programme in 2016. Information below is about graduates from previous programmes.

Typical roles available to graduates of this programme:

  • Assistant Analyst
  • Flood warning Engineer
  • Graduate Engineer
  • Graduate Water Scientist/Catchment Scientist
  • Hydrologist/Hydrogeologist
  • Licensing Officer
  • PhD study
  • Planning Liaison Officer
  • Project Co-ordinator
  • Water Resource Manager.




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