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Masters Degrees (Fluvial Geomorphology)

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Become part of something bigger. Take part in a research-led physical geography programme and have an excellent, world-class learning experience. Read more

Become part of something bigger

Take part in a research-led physical geography programme and have an excellent, world-class learning experience.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

Massey’s Master of Sciences (Geography) will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and help solve some of the world’s most important environmental issues like flooding, coastal erosion, sea level change, landslide hazards and environmental change.

Broad range of equipment and facilities

You will have access to a wide range of techniques and equipment, making it easier to progress your research in a timely and comprehensive fashion. From ground survey equipment like a Trimble RTK differential GPS and S6 robotic total station and a ground penetrating radar to a range of coring apparatus e.g., lake/bog corers, percussion corer and vibracorer and Schmidt hammers for relative age dating of boulders we have the specialist equipment to help your research meet global standards.

Other equipment includes:

  • Fully equipped palynology laboratory
  • SEM, TEM and Confocal microscopes (via the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre)
  • Classifynder automated microscope system prototype (see http://www.classifynder.com)
  • Laser particle size analyser
  • Sontek M9 river surveyor (ADCP flow meter)
  • Several electromagnetic flow meters
  • Chirp Sub-bottom sonar

Work readiness

Our strong relationship with industry and counciis and the masters programmes research element make our graduates very attractive to potential employers such as environmental consultancies and regional councils.

Globally-renowned expertise

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise.

Massey’s geography lecturers have an extensive range of experience and expertise. The ratio of staff to students is high. Your lecturers will be your mentors, working alongside you to fully engage you in the practical and theoretical aspects of advanced physical geography study, to prepare you for life in the workplace in a specialist sense or preparing you for research at a higher level.


Massey’s geography programmes are ranked as some of the best globally. Out of 800 of the world’s leading universities we were ranked in the top 200 in the QS World University Rankings.

Gain expertise in an area of your choice

The physical geography team at Massey research and have expertise in fluvial processes, coastal processes, slope processes, palynology, biogeography, palaeoecology and river solutions. During the course of your studies you can choose to further your knowledge and apply your learning on an exciting research project like:

  • Monitoring active landslides in glaciated valleys
  • Age estimation of ancient glaciated rockslides
  • Refining understanding of marine terrace development
  • Reconstructing the evolution of estuaries and coastal environmentsStatistical analyses of earthquake-induced landslides
  • 3D soil mapping
  • Pollen-based vegetation and climate reconstructions
  • Applications of automated palynology systems
  • Mapping floodplain geomorphology
  • Flood series extension

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

The postgraduate study experience

Some courses in the geography major are taught in block mode, which means you come onto campus for a period. This gives you the opportunity to come to Massey for a semester and spend valuable time with lecturers and fellow students in lectures, seminars, student-led presentations and seminars, lab work, field work day trips, small group discussions, and residential field work.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, time management, setting goals and milestones and undertaking research.

Geography options

The Master of Science (Geography) may comprise a selection of courses from across both physical and human geography. However, normally students taking this programme will focus on physical geography and it is this experience that is described in these pages.

Students should also consult the Master of Arts (Geography) programme pages for a description of the equivalent experience in human geography.

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