Global socio-ecological problems call for multidisciplinary solutions that transcend the usual boundaries of science and decision-making. The Environmental Change and Global Sustainability (ECGS) Master’s programme trains you in wide-ranging interdisciplinary thinking skills and provides you with the ability to:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
ECGS is a truly multidisciplinary Master’s programme. It covers an introductory Core Module common to all students, followed by two distinct study tracks.
The introductory Core Module focuses on the methodologies of environmental and sustainability science as well as the interactions between science and society. The Core Module also offers a pool of optional methodological studies, providing you with the necessary research tools to tackle socio-ecological challenges.
If your orientation is in natural sciences, the Environmental Change study line can provide you with an understanding of the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and can give guidance toward their sustainable use.
If your interests are more in the social sciences and humanities, on the other hand, the Global Sustainability study line provides an understanding of the socio-cultural underpinnings of global sustainability challenges so that you can help to develop solutions that take social and environmental justice into consideration.
You can apply for one of the two studytracks in the ECGS Master’s programme: the Environmental Change study line or the Global Sustainability study line. You can refine your expertise in your chosen study line by choosing from study modules related to your specialised field of science or from interdisciplinary phenomenon-based modules.
Environmental Change modules are offered in, for example, the following research fields: aquatic sciences, soil and earth sciences, environmental ecology, environmental biotechnology and agroecology. Global Sustainability modules include themes such as environmental and natural resource economics, environmental policy, development studies, public and social policy, consumer research, forest policy and economics, and development geography. ECGS also offers a variety of modules integrating both natural and social scientific perspectives including phenomenon-based modules on the Baltic Sea and the Arctic as well as a variety of interdisciplinary fields such as climate change, food and consumption systems, urban studies and socio-ecological systems studies.
As an international applicant, you will be assessed and accepted for the Master’s program based on the scientific relevance of your bachelor’s degree and your success in previous studies.
This is a vibrant postgraduate community, with strong international links. Our research partners are global, from UK universities to institutions in southern Africa, Denmark, Iceland, Australia and the USA. Our teaching is invigorated by work from several interdisciplinary research groups, like the Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, the Urban and Regional Policy Research Institute and the Sheffield Institute for International Development. The course includes a 10-day field class currently in Galapagos, Nepal and Tanzania, which provides hands-on experience of research.
Our staff are active researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields. That research informs our masters courses. As well as the usual lectures and seminars, there are practicals, lab classes, field trips and research projects.
A new £1m Sediment-Solute Systems lab enables geochemical analysis of aqueous and solid phases, especially in the context of biogeochemistry. We have equipment for chromatography, UV spectrometry and flow injection/auto analysis.
Our sample preparation facilities enable digestion, pre-concentration by evaporation under vacuum, and tangential flow filtration. There are alpha and gamma counters, a laser particle sizer and a luminescence dating lab. Field equipment includes automatic water samplers, weather stations, data loggers and environmental process characterisation sensors.
We have high-quality petrological microscopes for examining geological samples. We have labs for spectrometry and for palaeontological preparation, and you’ll also have access to specialist facilities in other departments at the University.
Laptops, camcorders, tape recorders and transcribers are available for your fieldwork. Our postgraduate computer labs have networked workstations for GIS research and climate modelling, ARC/INFO, ERDAS software and specialist software for remote sensing. GIS facilities are also provided by the £5m Informatics Collaboratory for the Social Sciences.
Our new postgraduate media GIS suite has facilities for Skype, video conferencing, web design, video editing and creative media.
Most of our courses involve fieldwork. The MPH, MSc and MA International Development take students on a 10-day field trip where they put their research skills into practice. Recent classes visited the West Pokot region of Kenya, urban and rural areas of Nepal, the suburbs of Cairo and India.
Ideas and Practice in International Development; Research Design and Methods in International Development; Understanding Environmental Change; Key Issues in Environment and Development; Professional Skills for Development; Dissertation with Placement; International Development field Class, currently in either Kenya or Nepal.
Data, Visualisation and GIS; Living with Climate Change in the Global South; The Political Economy of Natural Resource-led Development in the Global South; Using Policy to Strengthen Health Systems; Cities of Diversity; Cities of ‘the South’: planning for informality.
There are seminars, lectures, workshops and reading groups. You’ll be assessed on your coursework assignments and a dissertation.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change course provides cross-disciplinary training in the scientific basis of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Satellite Remote Sensing and Earth System Modelling alongside aspects of climate change.
The Geographic Information and Climate Change course places particular emphasis on the technical aspects of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Earth Observation as well as the past, present and future global and regional environmental and climatic change.
Graduates from the Geographic Information and Climate Change course will develop hands-on technical knowledge in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing together with a broad knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climate change, and the practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills required for a successful career in either industry or regulating bodies.
It is envisaged that graduates from the MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change course will enter careers in utilities, county councils, the environmental service industry or regulating body, or indeed be well prepared for a future career in academia.
Students of the Geographic Information and Climate Change programme will benefit from exceptional computing facilities that include fifteen dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.
Graduates from the MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change course will have broad knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climatic change and environmental and ecosystem dynamics, and the practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills required for a successful career in the environmental service industry, regulating bodies or academia.
To provide advanced training in understanding the scientific issues associated with environmental dynamics and climatic change,
To provide graduates entering the environmental service industry or a regulating body with the required practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills; as well as a basic knowledge of current climate policy and environmental management,
To provide graduates continuing their academic career with the required subject specific and transferable skills.
Please Visit our website for a full description of modules for the Geographic Information and Climate Change MSc.
The Stackpole residential field course introduces students taking the “Principles of Environmental Dynamics” to some of the major themes of the module: environmental systems, sea-level change and human impact on the environment, in a congenial setting in Pembrokeshire. The environmental issues facing the Stackpole Estate are discussed and placed into a historical perspective through lectures and the analysis of long term environmental records.
We aim to be one of the foremost international centres for research in human and physical geography, and to provide our students with excellent teaching and superb facilities in a friendly atmosphere.
The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.
Research groups include:
Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation
Migration, Boundaries and Identity
Social Theory and Urban Space
The Department of Geography is well-resourced to support research: there are two dedicated computer laboratories: One of 24 computers in conjunction with Library and Information Services (LIS) providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing; One of 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications.
We have specialist laboratory suites for: stable-isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation.
In addition, we have recently spent £1.8million on state-of-the-art teaching spaces, including IT facilities, laboratories and flexible teaching spaces.
“I chose to study MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea as I had already enjoyed my undergraduate degree here. I really enjoyed that the course is quite full on, with a lot of independent work but a willingness from lecturers to help with any issues you have. Anyone considering this course I would advise to come to the university and speak with the lecturers about the potential interests they have. You get out what you put in. I want to go into a field that requires some expertise, although I feel as though I will need more experience once in or looking for a job, Swansea has provided the stepping stone for my future career. The lecturers helped me because they take a back seat, but I understand that they are there to support me when I need it. They have allowed me to be independent.”
Alice Nolan, MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change
After completing his MSc in Geographic Information and Climate Change, Thomas went on to earn a position at the Associated British Ports Marine Environmental Research. He said of his time at Swansea – “I chose MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea University because of the funding Available (Access to Master's Scheme) and specific course content (Climate Change and GIS modules). I enjoyed studying topics in greater depth than at undergraduate level, and the opportunity to undertake my dissertation in partnership with an external organisation. The lecturers were highly approachable throughout the course, and were always available for advice outside of lectures and seminars. Studying at Master's level in Swansea provided the opportunity to build upon the knowledge and skills I acquired as an undergraduate. For example, completing my Master's dissertation in partnership with an external company enabled development of my communication and organisational skills, as well as my ability to synthesize research. These skills have been vital for development of my career in the marine consulting sector.”
Thomas Perks, MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change