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Masters Degrees (Geoengineering)

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Professional geologists working in consultancies, regulatory authorities and government environmental agencies are required to apply a wide range of transferrable skills to their jobs. Read more
Professional geologists working in consultancies, regulatory authorities and government environmental agencies are required to apply a wide range of transferrable skills to their jobs. Candidates who are able to demonstrate skills in public engagement, communication, professional research and report-writing, in addition to academic knowledge and field skills, are therefore highly sought after in these professions.

This full-time MSc Applied Environmental Geology is part taught and part professional project. We aim to develop your transferrable skills in a professional context and give you a head start in the geology profession of your choice or starting a PhD.

Distinctive features:

• Our location in South Wales provides us with a wide range of highly relevant geoenvironmental and geotechnical locations, which we visit during fieldtrips and use in case studies.

• Embed your skills in professional practice through a five month professional project, usually as part of a placement.

• Strong links with industry and government agencies ensure the quality and relevance of the course, and give you the opportunity to make contacts.

• Fully integrated with the professional development (CPD) lecture programme of the Southern Wales Group of the Geological Society of London.

Structure

There are two stages to the MSc Applied Environmental Geology.

Stage 1 lasts for 7 months (September – April), where you will complete taught modules and fieldwork, with significant contributions from industry professionals.

In these modules, we will investigate general themes, such as the principles of geotechnical engineering and geophysics. We will also look into environmental themes in more depth including land contamination, environmental regulation, behaviour of soils and water.

If you pass Stage 1 you will progress onto Stage 2, which is a 5-month professional project from May to September culminating in a dissertation. We will, wherever possible, offer you an industrial placement with a professional company either in the UK or overseas over the summer to complete your project.

For the first seven months, from September to April, you will complete taught modules and fieldwork at Cardiff University. After this, you will progress onto a 5-month placement in the UK or overseas where you will undertake a professional project and complete your dissertation.

Core modules:

Project Planning, Design and Management For Applied Environmental Geology
Geotechnical Engineering
Engineering Behaviour of Soils
Contaminated Land
Environmental Assessment and Regulation
Remote Sensing and Applied Geophysics
Transferable Skills
Water in the Environment
Dissertation AEG

Optional modules:

Environmental Geology/Hydrogeology Report

Teaching

The methods of teaching we employ may vary from module to module. Generally we teach using a mixture of lectures, practical work and fieldwork. We also have a series of lectures with invited speakers from across the profession, as well as strong links with the Geological Society.

On the course, you will undertake laboratory work in several modules. This includes standard laboratory tests covering the physical and mechanical properties of soils, and water flow experiments to learn hydrologic and hydrogeologic concepts.

You will also develop your knowledge of numerical tools to model real-world geotechnical problems. Application software, such as CorelDraw, Surfer, ArcGIS, as well as professional geoengineering software, such as Rockscience and Landsim, are used throughout the course.

Throughout the course we encourage communication and teamwork. For example, we may ask you to work in teams in laboratories and on field-trips. Our project training includes skills in supervision and co-ordination of a range of tasks designed to address specific geotechnical and geoenvironmental problems.

Assessment

We use a wide range of assessment methods, depending on the module. These include exams, coursework, presentations, practical assessment, your industrial placement and dissertation (20,000 words).

Placements

You will undertake a professional placement in industry as part of the second stage of the course. This placement will last for 5 months (May - September), during which you will undertake a research project and complete your dissertation.

We endeavour wherever possible to place students with industrial partners. This placement can be located in the UK or overseas as long as the project is deemed to be logistically safe and academically viable.

Fieldwork

South Wales provides a wide range of highly relevant geoenvironmental and geotechnical case studies and site visits. These include site visits to the Cardiff Bay Barrage, acid mine drainage from abandoned mines and active landslides in the south Wales Valleys. Field work includes surveying skills, rock engineering to the Rhondda Valley and Cardigan, site investigation visits to the Mumbles, Bournville landslide, as well as contaminated land studies at Barry Docks and Bryn Pica landfill site. All fieldwork on this course is compulsory.

Career prospects

Our graduates are widely sought after in industry and often have an advantage in the job market, due to the applied nature of the course and the transferrable skills they have been equipped with.

Following this degree you may choose to work in consultancy, regulatory authorities or government environmental agencies across the world. You may also decide to conduct further research and complete a PhD.

Former students can be found working for the likes of Network Rail, Mott McDonald, Natural Resources Wales, Environment Agency England, WSP, Ove Arup, Atkins and numerous other specialist geo-environmental consultancies and agencies based around the UK.

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