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.
The Global Environmental Change and Policy course focuses on 4 key questions:
By addressing those four questions the overall aim of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive and broad understanding of the scientific, legal and policy concerns informing the GEC field, and to guide students towards applying, independently, the necessary tools to address GEC questions, analytically and critically. This is done through small group seminars, lectures and case studies arranged into four main strands:
Strand I - Climate Change Science, Environmental and Health Impacts and Adaptation
This strand explores the analysis and prediction of change in the earth's physical and chemical systems and their impact based on scientific evidence. Sessions include analysis, prediction and impact of changes such as climate change and acidification in the atmosphere, oceans, the water cycle and global land cover and use. In light of the projections of scientific bodies such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), students become acquainted with different global warming scenarios and their likely impact on water management, vegetation, soil, health and other relevant sectors, and the correlated adaptation policies required in different parts of the globe in order to manage environmental change. It also addresses specific adaptation policies necessary in areas that are most likely to be affected by climate change, such as in Africa.
Strand II – Climate Change Mitigation, Business Strategies and Innovation
This strand focuses on climate change mitigation (non-LULUCF) and related business strategies and the development of technologies in the transition towards a low-carbon economy. A number of greenhouse gas mitigation and alternative energy policies – including renewable energy deployment and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) - are selected for analysis. It examines the social and economic causes of the environmental changes with respect to population, urbanisation, energy policy, and pollution and addresses the policy options to mitigate climate change. It includes a study of international and regional schemes, carbon markets and alternative policies such as carbon or fuel taxes. In addition, this strand assesses the broader question of quantifying the costs and benefits of mitigation and adaptation in light of the developmental priorities of different regions of the globe, as well as possible business solutions towards low carbon economic growth.
Strand III – Biodiversity, Land Use Change and Forestry, and Conservation Strategies
This strand explores biodiversity loss, conservation strategies, the monitoring and prediction of change in the earth's ecosystems and their response to a range of environmental changes including climate change, and the impact of these changes on humans, ecosystems and the management of natural resources. The different mechanisms proposed or already applied to protect biodiversity broadly and in relation to climate change are covered in this part of the course. Among other things, we may critique mitigation policies applicable to the agricultural sector and look at the sustainability of biofuels as cleaner sources of energy.
Strand IV – Law and Governance
The strand draws together some of the issues outlined above. The role of international law and policy in developing innovative solutions for global environmental problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, is emphasised. It addresses the law and politics behind the negotiation of, inter alia, global climate change agreements, the international framework for climate change, environmental governance, examines the role of compliance and monitoring, asks bigger philosophical questions related to rights, equity and justice in an environmental context and looks at the fundamental principles and norms of the international environmental law regime and their utility in going forwards.
The course structure, individual seminars and activities are designed to enable each student to attain the following:
Understanding, skills and capabilities are developed and assessed through active participation in coursework which comprises research and presentation, negotiation and conflict management and a panel group exercise. Panel Meetings run throughout the option term. The aims of these sessions are to establish and coordinate research, discussion, presentation and negotiation in respect of selected global environmental change issues, leading ultimately to the formal conclusion or agreed policy and scientific statement on one or more aspects of GECP.
Climate change, pollution and invasions by non-native species are pressing issues globally, within Europe and in the Humber region.
This MSc provides an in-depth understanding of the causes and impacts of environmental change, and equips you with the necessary skills and analytical tools to monitor and manage such changes.
You consider the scientific, political and legal consequences of environmental change and management and develop your understanding of the processes involved, integrating information at molecular, cellular, organismal and ecosystem levels.
Here at Hull, we have an active team of environmental research focused staff, both biologists and geographers, and an established track record in environmental services. We are a member of the GU8 consortium, a group of port city universities from across the world, providing us with international collaborative links that are unrivalled in the UK. We also enjoy strong, well-established industry links.
Fieldwork is incorporated throughout the programme. The city of Hull’s location on the Humber Estuary, with a large ports complex and growing renewables energy industry, within a thriving agricultural setting, provides students with an abundance of opportunities to move from bench to environment. Aquaria provision is considerable, with an established partnership with The Deep, Hull's internationally famous public aquarium.
The programme is taught by a team of environmental research focused staff with a range of expertise unique to the University.
A critical overview of environmental change and related management policies and scientific challenges will be provided. You gain an understanding of the main aspects of monitoring environmental change, from practical, laboratory-based techniques to those used in the field by industry and regulatory authorities.
You will solve complex, real-world problems and construct and test hypotheses related to environmental issues, applying advanced theories, concepts and principles, and learning how to apply them to manage the environment.
Your skills in teamwork, communication and time management will be honed as you make use of the principles of scientific inquiry in the context of evidence-based practice, and effectively communicate complex and conceptually challenging information.
A range of industry-standard instrumentation will be used and you will critically evaluate research on current and new diagnostic methodologies. Practical modules cover the wide range of current techniques used in environmental monitoring.
* All modules are subject to availability.
This MSc leads to a host of employment opportunities right across the environmental arena, and graduates will be highly sought by employers. The programme is also an ideal pathway for those intending to progress to PhD programmes within Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Your employability on graduation is very important to us and we place a strong emphasis on providing you with the skills and attributes required by the environmental sector.
We provide specialist progression routes that target the increasing number of employment opportunities within the industry, so you will be ideally placed to secure employment with national or international consultancies and NGOs; private and public service research and management; or conduct further higher-level research across the UK and overseas universities and research centres.
A significant number of employment opportunities exist right here in the Humber region.
Analysing and reflecting on sustainability transformations in cities and regions with regard to topics such as waste, energy, water, transportation and climate change.
Cities around the world are dealing with environmental issues: air pollution, urban heat islands, stormwater flooding, the growing accumulation of solid waste. What can be done to keep citizens safe from environmental hazards and natural disasters? What is needed to ensure a pleasant living environment? And how can residents, commuters and businesses be stimulated – or if necessary, forced with legislation or financial sanctions – to do their bit? With the problems increasing, rather than diminishing, there’s a growing demand for professionals with an expertise in the development of sustainable cities.
The Master’s specialisation in Local Environmental Change and Sustainable Cities focuses on the local level of sustainability transformations. You’ll be introduced to the latest scientific insights, which will be illustrated with numerous examples of how cities and regions all over the world tackle these problems.
A broad scope of environmental issues will be addressed, as well as existing measures and instruments. Stormwater management, forms of renewable energy and green roofs are just a small sample of what you can expect to encounter. You’ll also, for example, discover that waste management goes far beyond recycling schemes and how cradle-to-grave products are making way for cradle-to-cradle. In addition, we’ll be dealing with citizens’ initiatives in renewable energy as well as new focus areas, like the possible environmental advantages of community food systems.
This Master’s specialisation will teach you to become the bridge between science and society. What do the latest results in environmental research actually mean and how can that knowledge be converted into concrete plans and policies that will bring about the change needed? In this, it’s crucial that you understand how policymaking and legislation works as well as have some insight into human behaviour. For a plan to work, the people and businesses in the city need to collaborate. Environmental and behavioural psychology will therefore be addressed in various courses within this specialisation too.
See the website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/local
1. The specialisation strongly focuses on the local level of sustainability transformations, in particular sustainable cities.
2. The natural as well as social and political aspects of environmental issues will be addressed.
3. Related aspects of spatial planning will be incorporated in this specialisation. You can also take courses from the Master’s in Spatial Planning as electives for a multidisciplinary perspective.
3. Thanks to our extensive research, our staff members are among the leading experts when it comes to waterproofing and climate proofing cities.
4. You’ll gain insight on how to take scientific results and convert them into viable plans and policies.
5. Because the Netherlands is known for its expertise in water, climate and spatial planning, it offers a great atmosphere to study this field.
6. You’ll also benefit from the advantages of the Master’s programme in Environment and Society Studies in general.
See the website: http://www.ru.nl/masters/local
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.
This programme highlights the social, political and cultural implications of environmental science and technology. You will learn to assess scientific and technological innovations as potential solutions to environmental issues. It trains professionals, decision-makers and students in the social implications of environmental issues, particularly in relation to technologies as potential solutions. It focuses on responsible innovation.
You will take four core and two optional courses, and complete a dissertation. Teaching is through a combination of methods including lectures, seminars, case studies and a programme of guest speakers.
As a graduate you will be able to pursue careers in technology assessment, environmental management and policy making and analysis with government agencies, environmental consultancies, and private companies. The degree also aims to empower active citizens by providing the skills and understanding to underpin successful environmental campaigns. It is also an excellent first step toward a PhD in topics related to the wider implications of our environmental and societal choices.
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
There is a pressing national and international need to understand the nature and consequences of climatic change and to develop adaptation strategies. The UCL Climate Change MSc provides rigorous scientific and vocational training for the next generation of climate change professionals.
The programme provides you with a knowledge and understanding of the Earth system (incorporating the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere) and the nature and causes of climate variability and change. It combines observationally based climate and environmental science with state-of-the-art modelling, specifically concerned with understanding the impacts of climate change. It seeks to place climate change within the context of broader anthropogenic environmental change and social policy dimensions.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consist of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year) is offered.
* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals
Options may include:
Other MSc modules offered across UCL may be taken at the discretion of the MSc convenor. *Availability of modules is dependent on staff sabbaticals.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is through independent project work, practical-based and written coursework, and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Climate Change MSc
The programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with a wide range of private industries, non-governmental organisations, government agencies and environmental consultancies. Graduates have gone on to careers in the commercial, non-profit and academic sectors. Examples include government policy implementation, sustainability consultancy, science communication and research. A significant proportion of students go onto further study such as a PhD.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Climate change is big issue with many governmental, non-governmental and commercial cosequences. This programme will give graduates an edge when applying for jobs in the private sector relating to adaptation and mitigation - such as the insurance industry and carbon monitoring companies respectively. It also provides a great stepping-stone to a PhD.
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.
As one of the world's top universities, UCL excels across the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.
The Climate Change MSc brings together the strong expertise of the department, offering a distinctive blend of fundamental climate science, environmental modelling, impacts and adaptations, delivered from both natural and social science perspectives.
By bringing together students and researchers we aim to create a vibrant and informal academic environment of mutual discovery and ongoing debate.
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: Geography
81% 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.