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Masters Degrees (Environmental Geochemistry)

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Pollution and Environmental Control. Course structure and modules. The programme is divided into three parts. 60 credits of Core taught course units running from October to May. Read more
Pollution and Environmental Control
Course structure and modules
The programme is divided into three parts :

60 credits of Core taught course units running from October to May
60 credit taught courses comprised of four optional 15 credit modules running from January to May.
60 credit research project carried out from April to the middle of September.
Students can swop between this course and the Masters in Applications in Environmental Science subject to academic performance in the 60 credit core taught element.

Environmental Science Core
Measuring and Predicting 30 credits (compulsory)
Tutorial and Workshop Module 15 credits (compulsory)
And:
Human Impacts on the Biosphere 15 credits (recommended)
Or one of:
Living with Climate Change 15 credits (optional)
Water Chemistry 15 credits (optional)
Environmental Law 15 credits (optional)
Environmental Impact Assessment 15 credits (optional)

Other relevant optional units may be taken subject to approval of programme coordinator and the unit coordinator such as:

Water Movement
Geomicrobiology
GIS & Environmental Applications
Environment and Development
Planning for Environmental Change
Global Environmental Politics

Optional Taught Course Units
Choose four from:

Global Environmental Change 15 credits (optional)
Surface Processes 15 credits (optional)
Seismic and Volcanic Hazards 15 credits (optional)
Organic Geochemistry 15 credits (optional)
Problems in Environmental Mineralogy and Chemistry 15 credits (optional)
Sediment Transport Mechanisms 15 credits (optional)
Clouds, Aerosols & Atmospheric Processes 15 credits (optional)
Climate Change Impacts and Adapation 15 credits (optional)
Environmental Change 15 credits (optional)
Environmental Monitoring & Modelling Practice 15 credits (optional)
Sustainable Waste Management 15 credits (optional)
Planning and Managing Development 15 credits (optional)
Strategic Environmental Assessment 15 credits (optional)

Other relevant optional units taken subject to approval of programme coordinator and the unit coordinator.

Research Project
Research Project 60 credits (compulsory)

Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma
For the award of Postgraduate Certificate the student must obtain 60 credits of taught modules only.

For the award of a Postgraduate Diploma the student must obtain 120 credits distributed as follows:

90 credits from the taught element
30 credits from the Research project or extended essay
Disclaimer: Our modules teach the current trends in environmental sciences. Consequently, details of our modules may vary over time. The University therefore reserves the right to make such alterations to modules as are found to be necessary. Before accepting your offer of a course, it is essential that you are aware of the current terms on which the offer is based. This includes the modules available to you. If in doubt, please contact us.

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The environment is currently being subjected to unprecedented anthropogenic change at all spatial scales, from local pollution incidents, through landscape alteration due to agricultural change and urbanisation, right up to global climate change. Read more
The environment is currently being subjected to unprecedented anthropogenic change at all spatial scales, from local pollution incidents, through landscape alteration due to agricultural change and urbanisation, right up to global climate change. Unfortunately it is hard to respond to such challenges due to the complex and multifactorial nature of environmental systems. The science is difficult to encompass and digest, the technology wide-ranging and complex, and the responses required more difficult to implement.
The aim of this MSc is therefore to train a new generation of environmental monitors and managers to detect and measure environmental changes and attempt either to mitigate them or to adapt to them. To achieve this aim the course will of necessity by highly Interdiciplinary. It will combine the broad knowledge and expertise within the two schools of SoBBES and GEES and elsewhere in the Science faculty of a wide variety of subjects, ranging from eDNA and ecology, through to geochemistry and GIS, enabling students to identify and define the problems. The field of environmental science is a fast-moving one, and the course will use and train students in the new technologies It will also be Integrative. It will show how different approaches and technologies can be harnessed to understand the processes of environmental change, and how they can be addressed. Finally it will be Translational. It will show how modern theory and technology can be harnessed to manage ecosystems in the service of stakeholders, such as industry and the regulatory authorities. Students will be encouraged to perform research projects with the many stakeholder partners we have built up locally, nationally and internationally, solving real life problems of environmental change. The programme aims to bring students up to MSc level in the following areas:
1. To provide an in-depth knowledge of the causes and consequences of Environmental Change, and of all aspects of the technologies used to monitor it from laboratory analysis to field techniques.
2. To provide the know-how to critically assess the different methods of managing environmental change used by stakeholders and regulatory authorities, and the technical ability to implement these measures.
3. To provide a knowledge of the policy and regulatory framework under which environmental monitoring and management operate.
4. To train them to be able to design and implement research programmes to assess environmental change, to analyse the results obtained and write up and communicate the findings to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
5. To develop the transferrable skills necessary to successfully carry out monitoring and to implement change, skills such as teamwork, communication, time management and independent thinking.

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Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Read more

Course Overview

Our environmental science research is multidisciplinary, including subjects ranging from biology to geography and geosciences. Supported by the global outlook and impact of the Newcastle Institute for Sustainability, you will have access to international experts, the latest facilities and a unique research support package to ensure your future success.

Research Areas

MPhil/PhD supervision is normally available in the following areas:

Applied and environmental biology
We conduct research on organisms and processes of commercial and environmental importance, embracing experimental approaches that encompass genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology. Our research provides evidence for the underlying molecular and physiological processes that affect animal behaviour and physiology.

Environmental change and management
We study long-term system evolution and change, and develop knowledge relating to the Earth's surface and the processes that form its structure and drive its function. Human behaviour and how it can impact on these systems and influence their sustainable management is also studied. You will be part of either the Quaternary Research Group or the Earth Surface Processes Research Group.

Geosciences
Geoscience research at Newcastle is focussed on: Biogeochemistry, with particular strength in microbial ecology, mineralogy, organic, inorganic and isotope geochemistry; Geoenergy, reflecting a balance between fossil fuels as a critical energy resource and the move towards a lower carbon global economy.

Training and Skills

As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and administrative support to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our doctoral training centres, Faculty Training Programmes and Research Student Support Team.

For detailed information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/environmental-science-mphil-phd/#training&skills

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/environmental-science-mphil-phd/#howtoapply

Contact

Applied and environmental biology:
Liam Fisher
Academic Secretary (PG Support)
School of Biology
Telephone +44 (0) 191 208 4848
Email:

Environmental change and management:
Postgraduate Secretary
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 5200
Email:

Geosciences:
Yvonne Hall
Academic Secretary (Geochemistry)
School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 6605
Email:

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The Environmental Consultancy MSc is an exciting course providing you with the advanced conceptual understanding, detailed factual knowledge, and specialist technical skills for success in a science-based environmental business. Read more

Course Overview

The Environmental Consultancy MSc is an exciting course providing you with the advanced conceptual understanding, detailed factual knowledge, and specialist technical skills for success in a science-based environmental business. It is ideal for graduates with a degree in biology, chemistry, or earth and environmental science.

This course develops your knowledge and understanding of the framework within which business opportunities are identified and pursued within the environmental sector. The course, made up from taught modules and a dissertation project, covers the following subjects: solid waste management; groundwater contamination and remediation; ground investigation - design, principles and practice; research methods; introduction to microbiology and microbial transformation of pollutants; aqueous geochemistry; sources, fates and control of pollutants; the environment business; contaminated land; environmental analytical geochemistry; geographic information systems

Modules

For detailed module information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/environmental-consultancy-msc/#modules

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/environmental-consultancy-msc/#howtoapply

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Our geochemistry research includes specific areas of expertise. applied and fundamental aspects of geochemistry; environmental sustainability; climate change; and biosphere/geosphere interactions. Read more

Course Overview

Our geochemistry research includes specific areas of expertise: applied and fundamental aspects of geochemistry; environmental sustainability; climate change; and biosphere/geosphere interactions. Through working with academics who are leaders in their field, you will be supported and guided to produce research of an international standard.

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences enjoys an international reputation for using the latest science to solve problems of global importance. For geochemistry we have MPhil and PhD supervision in the following areas:

Petroleum-related geological research: reservoir and source-rock geochemistry; microbial deep biosphere of petroleum reservoirs; origin, significance and maturation of molecular biomarker compounds in the sedimentary record; physico-chemical properties and behaviour of mudstone sequences; shale gas; geological sequestration of CO2; palynofacies and organic facies of ancient and modern sediments

Environment-related research: geomicrobiology; mineral science; molecular microbial ecology; molecular palaeontology; soil biogeochemistry; waste management; bioremediation of polluted soils and waters; biogeochemical cycling of elements through Earth history; climate change during past greenhouse conditions; processes of carbon cycling and export across the land–ocean transition

Training and Skills

As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and support elements to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme, doctoral training centres and Research Student Support Team.

For further information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/geochemistry-mphil-phd/#training&skills

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/geochemistry-mphil-phd/#howtoapply

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The UK has a significant legacy of contaminants as a consequence of a long history of industrial activity. These pollutants can pose a major risk to human health and the environment. Read more

Why take this course?

The UK has a significant legacy of contaminants as a consequence of a long history of industrial activity. These pollutants can pose a major risk to human health and the environment.

This course is designed to provide you with the particular expertise required for dealing with contaminated sites. Such expertise is essential to ensuring we maintain habitable, safe and sustainable communities.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Use our state-of-the-art geological and geotechnic labs for practical work
Get hands-on experience of using instruments such as GPS, Total Stations and 3D laser scanners
Be taught by recognised experts with extensive knowledge in groundwater hydrology, environmental geology and contaminated land

What opportunities might it lead to?

We will give you the knowledge and practical skills to ensure an interesting and rewarding career in the specialist area of contaminated land consultancy, regulation and remediation, both in the UK and overseas.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Environmental organisations
Geotechnical consultancies
Mining companies
Local authorities
Government agencies

Module Details

You can opt to take this course in full-time or part-time mode. The course is divided into three parts. The first two comprise the taught units of the course covering the key conceptual, institutional and applied bases of the subject. The third focuses on your dissertation.

This course covers a mixture of topics including: groundwater hydrology, geochemistry, site investigation, geotechnics and contaminated land assessment.

Here are the units you will study:

Soil Mechanics: This unit is fundamental to understanding how contaminants behave and migrate in the ground. You will gain an advanced understanding of the geo-mechanical behaviour of soils, including the description and testing of soils to UK and international standards.

Desk Studies and Ground Models: These are an integral part of any contaminated land assessment. You will have training in the development of geological ground models and geomorphological terrain models through desk studies, walk-over surveys and site investigation.

Ground Investigation Techniques: You will gain advanced knowledge of ground investigation using invasive techniques, in-situ tests and geophysical methods.

Contaminated Land Risk Assessments: You will learn key techniques for site assessment, analytical testing and risk assessment.

Field Reconnaissance and Walk-Over Survey: This unit covers techniques which are integral to the course and an essential skill for any graduate wishing to work in this area. You will have fieldwork training in techniques such as walk-over surveys combined with interpretation of remote sensing and aerial photography imagery.

Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing: You will learn integration and analysis of spatial datasets using GIS and interpretation of aerial photography and satellite imagery - key tools for terrain evaluation.

Independent Research Project: This provides an opportunity for you to undertake an original piece of research to academic or industrial standards, typically in collaboration with research staff in the department or external industry partners. In addition to submission of a thesis report, you also present the results of your project at the annual postgraduate conference held at the end of September.

Programme Assessment

The course provides a balanced structure of lectures, workshops and practical laboratory work. You will generally be taught in small classes, providing an informal, friendly and supportive atmosphere for your studies.

Assessment is varied, aimed at developing skills relevant to a range of working environments. Here’s how we assess your work:

Poster and oral presentations
Project reports
Essays
Laboratory reports

Student Destinations

Contaminated land is listed as one of the key areas in which the UK has a skills shortage. This fact, combined with the vocational nature of this course, means that you will be in high demand from employers looking for newly qualified contaminated land specialists. You will find the majority of such roles in the environmental consultancy sector.

This course will provide you with a variety of transferable skills such as project planning, literature and data reviewing, report writing, along with the more general skills of presentation, communication and so on. It also has strong research and analytical components, ideal if you wish to pursue further research to PhD level.

We aim to provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

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This programme will give you a fundamental understanding of the issues affecting the Earth enabling you to play a vital role in devising and enacting strategies to protect and conserve the environment, both in Europe and beyond. Read more

Programme description

This programme will give you a fundamental understanding of the issues affecting the Earth enabling you to play a vital role in devising and enacting strategies to protect and conserve the environment, both in Europe and beyond.

Human activities are recognised as having an increasingly significant effect on the Earth’s biosphere. Our use of natural resources, deforestation, soil erosion, the release of potentially toxic compounds and pathogens, and the increase in greenhouse gases are all examples of pressures that have potentially serious consequences for humanity and other life on Earth.

On this programme you will learn about the issues that face the Earth and gain an in-depth understanding of natural resource management and the processes that give rise to environmental degradation and pollution problems.

It will allow you to play a vital role in planning and putting into action strategies to protect and conserve the environment.

This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Programme structure

This programme involves two semesters of taught courses, which are a balance of lectures, seminars, workshops and visits, plus a research dissertation project of about 16,000 words.

Compulsory courses typically include:
•Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
•Analysing the Environment
•Land Use/Environmental Interactions
•Analysing the Environment Study Tour
•Dissertation

Option courses:


In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:
•Soil Protection and Management
•Integrated Resource Management
•Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Marine Systems and Policies
•Archives: History, Geography, Politics
•Carbon Capture and Transport
•Culture, Ethics & Environment
•Encountering Cities
•Environmental Geochemistry
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Principles of GIS
•Project Appraisal
•Understanding Environment and Development
•Values and the Environment
•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Waste Reduction and Recycling
•Sustainability of Food Production
•Participation in Policy and Planning
•Forests and Environment
•Carbonate Sequence Stratigraphy
•Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
•Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
•Integrated Resource Planning
•Introduction to Environmental Modelling
•Political Ecology
•Ecosystem Values and Management
•Soil Science Concepts and Application
•Water Resource Management

Field trip

This programme typically includes a week-long study tour in spring. Past study tours have been held in France, Greece, Portugal, Israel and Morocco.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

•develop a scientific understanding of some of the major processes which influence the quality of land, air and water resources
•acquire knowledge of the most effective methods of environmental protection
•develop expertise in the design and implementation of programmes of environmental protection
•have the opportunity to study the integrated protection and management of particular ecosystems or resources

Career opportunities

Our graduates have a solid record in finding employment in the environmental sector while some choose to further their studies through a PhD.

There are also opportunities in consultancy positions and with environmental regulators, government and NGOs.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
https://edingeoscistudents.wordpress.com/

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This masters by research programme is an opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of research in any of the following major branches of geosciences. Read more

Research profile

This masters by research programme is an opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of research in any of the following major branches of geosciences:

Atmospheric Science
Climate Change
Ecological Sciences
Environmental Geochemistry
Environmental Geoscience
Environmental Sustainability
Exploration Geophysics
Geoinformatics
Geology
Geophysics
Glaciology
Human Geography
Meteorology
Oceanography
Palaeoclimatology
Petroleum Geology
Physical Geography
Remote Sensing

The programme allows you to work on research throughout the year, and your work will be judged solely on your final dissertation. You can follow taught courses by arrangement with your supervisor, but none are required.

The programme aims to provide a structured approach to basic research training, allowing you to explore an area of research that may be subsequently developed into a PhD. You may also have the opportunity to develop links with research projects at national and international levels.

The School has the largest geoscience research group in the UK, with about 370 academics and researchers. The ambition and quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, where 66% of our research was rated within the top two categories: world-leading and internationally excellent.

All research students are affiliated to one a research institute, which provides a forum for the development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early-career researchers. Our research institutes each have a very active seminar series drawing distinguished external guests as well as internal speakers, and you will be encouraged to attend and participate.

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Studying how ecosystems benefit humanity and how we use and manage them, this programme assesses the trade-offs involved in our use of the environment. Read more

Programme description

Studying how ecosystems benefit humanity and how we use and manage them, this programme assesses the trade-offs involved in our use of the environment.

This is a rapidly developing area, involving both natural and social sciences, and an increasingly common approach to environmental policy-making and management in government agencies and businesses.

On this programme you will study the complex relationships between ecosystem functions and how humanity uses and values ecosystems.

This programme has typically included a field trip which takes place in the spring, giving you insights into methods and approaches that will be useful for your dissertation work. The field trip has historically taken place in the Cairngorms in the Scottish highlands.

Programme structure

The programme has been designed with a focus on building up skills that are in particularly short supply in the environmental sector. The full-time programme is divided into two semesters of taught courses, followed by a field trip at Easter before the dissertation period over the summer. We are happy to accommodate different working patterns for part-time students, including a half day a week schedule for three-year part time study.

Compulsory courses typically include*:
•Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
•Analysing the Environment
•Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
•Analysing the Environment Study Tour
•Research Project in Ecosystem Services
•Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:
•Culture, Ethics & Environment
•Environmental Geochemistry
•Foundations in Ecological Economics
•Frameworks to Assess Food Security
•Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
•Integrated Resource Management
•Principles of Environmental Sustainability
•Principles of Geographical Information Science
•Encountering Cities
•Fundamentals for Remote Sensing
•Soil Protection and Management
•Values and the Environment
•Marine Systems and Policies
•Research Skills in the Social Sciences: Data Collection
•Understanding Environment and Development
•Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
•Environmental Impact Assessment
•Forests and Environment
•Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
•Integrated Resource Planning
•Introduction to Radar Remote Sensing
•Land Use/Environmental Interactions
•Participation in Policy and Planning
•Political Ecology
•Soil Science Concepts and Application
•Sustainability of Food Production
•Water Resource Management
•Waste Reduction and Recycling
•Energy & Society
•Novel Strategies for Carbon Storage in Soil
•Applications in Ecological Economics
•Research Design

Field trip

A spring field trip will develop students’ practical experience and skills. Historically this field trip has taken place in the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands.

Career opportunities

UK research councils cite the skills gained on this MSc as those ‘most wanted’ in the environmental sector. As demand for sound evidence of ecosystem services increases, so does demand for graduates who can translate complex science into policy and business opportunities.

We have strong links with businesses and key industry players who want to make use of these skills. Committed to helping you meet prospective employers and network with those active in the field, we organise careers events, and encourage dissertations conducted in partnership with external organisations.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
https://edingeoscistudents.wordpress.com/

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In our Master's programme in Earth, Life, and Climate, you will explore the fundamental processes which regulate the past, present, and future dynamics of sedimentary systems, biodiversity, and climate, as well as their evolution. Read more

EXPLORE PROCESSES AFFECTING THE EARTH'S LIFE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT

In our Master's programme in Earth, Life, and Climate, you will explore the fundamental processes which regulate the past, present, and future dynamics of sedimentary systems, biodiversity, and climate, as well as their evolution. This two-year programme will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand climate change and its impact on natural environments such as soils, sediments, lakes, groundwater, wetlands, estuaries, and oceans.

The main topics you will study include the evolution of life, the development of sedimentary basins, carbon sources and sinks, biogeochemical and geochemical fingerprinting of sedimentary processes/environments, and climate reconstruction.

Tracks

You can choose one of four tracks based on your specific interests:
-Integrated Stratigraphy & Sedimentary Systems: Dynamics of marine and continental sedimentary systems

-Climate Reconstruction: The reconstruction of climate change through Earth's history

-Biogeosciences & Evolution: The evolution and response of biota to perturbations in the environments

-Biogeochemistry: Processes that control the elemental cycles at the Earth’s surface.

On this programme, you will learn state-of-the-art reconstruction methods, modelling techniques, and laboratory experiments used in a wide range of earth and beta science disciplines. These disciplines include biogeology, palaeontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, environmental geochemistry, organic geochemistry, hydrology, physical geography, geology, biology, climate dynamics, and palaeoceanography. You will utilize these skills in your own research project or on the traineeships you can take in preparation for an international career in applied or fundamental research.

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The Master’s programme in Earth Surface and Water involves the study of natural and human-induced physical and geochemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of the Earth’s continental and coastal systems. Read more

EXPLORE PROCESSES AT OR NEAR THE EARTH'S SURFACE

The Master’s programme in Earth Surface and Water involves the study of natural and human-induced physical and geochemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of the Earth’s continental and coastal systems. This two-year programme provides you with knowledge that is essential to manage the planet sustainably, guarantee the availability of resources for future generations, and understand and avert natural hazards.

The main subject areas you will study consist of the dynamics of coastal and river systems, (geo-)hydrological processes, groundwater remediation, land degradation in dry lands and mountainous regions, natural hazards, and delta evolution on centennial and longer time scales.

Tracks

You can choose one of four tracks based on your interests in the field:

-Geohazards and Earth Observation: Land-degradation processes and natural hazards in and on the Earth's surface;

-Coastal Dynamics and Fluvial Systems: Natural and human-induces processes, patterns, and products in the world's coasts and
rivers;

-Hydrology: Movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth;

-Environmental Geochemistry: Processes that control the functioning of natural environments at the Earth's surface.

The Earth Surface and Water programme trains students to quantitatively study the natural and human-induced physical and chemical processes, patterns, and dynamics of Earth’s continental and coastal systems as well as their responses to global change. Students explore and understand the modelling capabilities of the past, present, and future as well as the evolution of Earth’s environment, including human impact on this evolution.

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The Environmental and Petroleum Geochemistry MSc is an excellent introduction to environmental geochemistry and a research-oriented career path. Read more

Course Overview

The Environmental and Petroleum Geochemistry MSc is an excellent introduction to environmental geochemistry and a research-oriented career path. It equips you with an understanding and specialist technical skills for a career in the environmental industry. You specialise in the interactions between petroleum and the environment.

This course enables you to critically assess the quality, value and limitations of new environmental data in relation to existing information. You will be able to demonstrate an advanced knowledge and understanding in the areas of: low temperature geochemistry of waters, soils and sediments; micro-organisms in catalysing low temperature geochemical reactions; origins, toxicity and ultimate fates of pollutants; modern techniques for the analysis of environmental materials; impact and geochemistry of oil in the environment.

Modules

For detailed module information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/environmental-petroleum-geochemistry-msc/#modules

How to apply

For course application information see http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/environmental-petroleum-geochemistry-msc/#howtoapply

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Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. Read more
Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. This programme provides an excellent opportunity for you to develop and enhance your general, transferable and specialist research skills. You will gain insight into different research methods and acquire valuable experience of conducting large-scale research projects.

Our key research interests include: igneous petrology and geochemistry; sedimentology; environmental geochemistry and mineralogy; stratigraphy and palaeontology; structural geology; geophysics; palaeoclimatology; planetary geology; and earthquake studies.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In our joint submission with UCL, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck were rated 6th the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), while we achieved 100% for an environment conducive to research of the highest quality.

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The Geological Engineering Program is intended for students interested in the application of earth sciences principles to engineering problems. Read more

Program Overview

The Geological Engineering Program is intended for students interested in the application of earth sciences principles to engineering problems. While most geological engineering degree programs are based in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, students may also base their studies in allied Applied Science departments such as Civil or Mining Engineering. The program is highly interdisciplinary and draws upon courses, laboratories, and faculty members from the departments of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Civil Engineering, Mining Engineering, Forestry, Geography, and others. Graduate students are often co-supervised by faculty members from different departments.

Geological engineering faculty members in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences have research interests in the following general areas:
- landslides, debris flows, engineering geology, slope stability
- groundwater hydrology, groundwater contamination and remediation, reactive transport modeling, environmental geochemistry
- rock engineering, rock slopes, and tunneling

Other research areas include geotechnical engineering, environmental geology, engineering geology, economic geology, and applied geophysics. The specific fields of study may involve geomorphology and terrain analysis, groundwater hydrology, natural hazards, slope stability, petroleum and coal geology, coalbed methane, mineral prospecting and valuation, and other similar subjects. Students are encouraged to consult individual faculty members for information about current research areas.

Admission to graduate studies in geological engineering is open only to students with an undergraduate degree in engineering or, at the discretion of the program director, to students with sufficient engineering work experience.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Applied Science
- Specialization: Geological Engineering
- Subject: Engineering
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Science

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Geochemistry is at the heart of earth sciences, and provides the techniques and knowledge that allow scientists to answer such fundamental questions as. Read more

MSc in Geochemistry

Geochemistry is at the heart of earth sciences, and provides the techniques and knowledge that allow scientists to answer such fundamental questions as: how has the mantle evolved through time, was there ever life on Mars, what was the chemistry of Earth’s and Mars’ ancient atmospheres, and what are the rates and drivers of past and current climate change on Earth? Geochemistry has widespread applications to understanding and solving contemporary problems in Earth surface chemistry, such as pollution of soils and water or rates of ocean acidification. It is a forensic part of Earth science and is used to address questions that are both diverse and profound.

The St Andrews MSc in Geochemistry delivers postgraduate level knowledge and skills training in geochemistry and modern geochemical methods, involving extensive hands-on laboratory training and experience with state-of-the-art equipment. This comprehensive and rigorous course is relevant preparation for pursuing a PhD in geochemistry by incorporating a lab-based research dissertation, as well as employment in industry through incorporation of economic and environmental geochemistry
modules. Staff in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and the School of Chemistry contribute to the core laboratory training and teaching within subject modules.

Features

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences has 20 full-time academics, 8 research fellows and 4 technical staff members, with a student population of about 170. We have a wide range of expertise in the field of geochemistry underpinned by new state-of-the-art laboratory facilities developed as a result of the recent appointment of early career academics over the past five years. Geochemistry research spans investigations into the origins of life, evolution of the Earth and other terrestrial planets, composition of
oceans, rivers and atmospheres, and the pulse of past and current climate change.

Postgraduate community

A dynamic and research-intensive atmosphere is encouraged and supportive of all students. The size of our Department engenders cohesive and friendly collaborations between staff, postdoctoral research fellows and postgraduate students, and co-authored papers are routinely published in the top journals for geochemistry, such as Nature, Nature Geoscience, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta and Science. We are part of the ‘IAPETUS’ NERC Doctoral Training programme, along with the universities of Durham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Stirling, and the British Geological Survey.

Facilities

The Department houses state-of-the-art stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry and geobiology laboratories, including culturing facilities for corals and microbes. Our research equipment includes five high-precision isotope mass spectrometers (two MAT 253s, two Nu Plasma, and one Neptune Plus installed in 2015), two Class 100 clean labs, an XSeries quadropole ICP-MS, ICP-OES, and a Finnegan Delta Plus XP gas source mass spectrometer. All materials, and particularly gases, liquids, minerals, rocks, organisms, and soils, can be analysed for isotopes and major and trace elements within research projects that cover the breadth of earth and environmental science. We host an experimental petrology facility capable of simulating conditions from the mid-crust to upper mantle (pressures of between 0.5-4.5 GPa and 300- 2000°C). A range of spectroscopic, SEM, electron microprobe and X-ray diffraction and fluorescence techniques are also part of our analytical facilities.

Careers

The range of research areas and applications of geochemistry is so broad that career opportunities span the whole of earth and environmental sciences. Geochemists are employed in the energy sector (hydrocarbon industries, petrochemicals, nuclear and renewables), in mining and mineral exploration, extraction and processing, and in environmental industries and agencies focused on pollution monitoring and environmental remediation. Masters-level training in geochemistry would provide a suitable platform for a career in materials science outside of earth and environmental sciences specifically. MSc Geochemistry graduates are also in demand as specialised research technicians in academic institutes worldwide and as PhD students in geochemistry-focused research.

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