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Masters Degrees (Cryosphere)

We have 2 Masters Degrees (Cryosphere)

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ADDRESS THE CLIMATE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE. Our Master’s programme in Climate Physics offers you a unique combination of theoretical courses and practical training in all aspects of the Earth’s climate. Read more


Our Master’s programme in Climate Physics offers you a unique combination of theoretical courses and practical training in all aspects of the Earth’s climate. You’ll study the physics, dynamics, and chemistry of the atmosphere, oceans, and cryosphere – as well as explore their interactions.

The Dutch Master's Selection Guide (Keuzegids Masters 2017) ranked this programme as the best in the field of Physics in the Netherlands.


The two-year Climate Physics programme trains you to be a highly skilled researcher by focusing on the fundamental physical processes that make up the Earth’s climate system. The complex nature of the work requires advanced mathematical skills right from the start. You will build on this foundation by adding specialised theoretical, observational, and computational knowledge and skills relating to the atmosphere, meteorology, oceans, cryosphere (ice), and biosphere. Moreover, your instructors will encourage you to develop a critical attitude towards your research results and your underlying assumptions.

Teaching staff

Our teaching staff include leading experts from the five research fields encompassed by the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU):

  • Ocean Circulation and Climate
  • Physical Oceanography of the Coastal Zone
  • Atmospheric Dynamics and the Hydrological Cycle
  • Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry
  • Ice and Climate


The MSc in Climate Physics is a two-year research Master’s programme that provides students with the knowledge and skills to evaluate the fundamental physical processes that regulate the Earth’s climate system, including the dynamics of the planet’s atmosphere, ocean, and climate.

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The degree is the leading Master's programme in remote sensing and environmental mapping available in the UK. Read more

The degree is the leading Master's programme in remote sensing and environmental mapping available in the UK. It offers the opportunity to study at an advanced level the ways in which remote sensing from ground-based to spaceborne platforms may be used to collect environmental information about the terrestrial biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and cryosphere at a range of scales and across wavelengths.

About this degree

Students develop an all-round knowledge of remote sensing, mapping and data analysis. including fundamental principles, current technological developments and applications 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 one (60 credits), four optional modules in term two (60 credits) and a research project in term three (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
  • Geospatial Science* subject to approval
  • Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing

Optional modules

  • 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 is available on the department website: Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping MSc


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Graduates find jobs in diverse companies: from consultancies carrying out environmental and spatial analysis through to major international geospatial companies, or 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 a quantitative environmental discipline.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Remote Sensing Analyst, British Antarctic Survey
  • Remote Sensing Service Provider, Jacques Malaprade.
  • Research Scientist, National Physical Laboratory
  • Image Analyst, Civil Service
  • PhD in Geography, University of Cambridge


The range of generic, transferable skills provided by the degree programme are attractive to a range of employers. Students gain a fundamental understanding of the key principles of remote sensing, mapping, environmental data handling and analysis, as well as the ability to communicate their ideas. Such skills and knowledge are applicable across a wide range of careers. The long heritage of the programme - 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, mapping and environmental science.

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?

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 degree is integrated with other Geography MSc programmes providing greater flexibility when choosing optional modules.

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