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Masters Degrees (Glacial)

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The MSc in Glaciology is designed to provide you with a range of skills appropriate for the practical and theoretical challenges of glaciological research, but which are also highly relevant to wider Earth Science and Physical Geographical contexts and employment beyond. Read more
The MSc in Glaciology is designed to provide you with a range of skills appropriate for the practical and theoretical challenges of glaciological research, but which are also highly relevant to wider Earth Science and Physical Geographical contexts and employment beyond.

Supported by world-leading glaciology staff in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES), you will gain high-level, subject-specific expertise in the critically-important study areas of glaciology, glacial geological and glacial geomorphological investigation. The department’s careful balance of tutoring and independent study will thoroughly prepare you for further doctoral study and specialist employment.

In addition, you will develop a broad range of personal and practical skills through new experiences in managing teams and individuals, planning, implementing and evaluating research programmes, and the use of field and remote sensing technology. Whether you progress into related geographical employment or not, these sought-after skills and experiences will enhance your employability and impress prospective employers. Your mastery of analytical and applied skills and strategies will stand you in good stead throughout your career in which ever sector you choose.

We invite applications from students from a range of related disciplines including geologists, geographers, environmental Earth scientists and computer scientists.

See the website http://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/glaciology-masters/

Suitable for

This degree will suit you:

- If you wish to obtain a Master’s degree from an internationally-renowned research institute;
- If you have a 2:1 degree or higher in a related discipline;
- If you wish to gain academic expertise, field skills and technical experience a single course of study;
- If you wish to enter one of a diverse range of careers requiring research, analysis and practical excellence.

Course detail

The Master’s in Glaciology is a full-time programme taught over one year. Having completed your undergraduate degree in a related field, this MSc will enable you to bring your skills and knowledge up to date with a mastery of the latest technological tools and contemporary theoretical understanding. The course will also enhance your oral, visual and written communication skills, as well as your ability to work independently or in a team setting.

The course is divided into two parts over three semesters. In part one, you will establish a breadth of necessary skills in a number of core modules whilst directing your own study by choosing specialist modules. You will receive specific instruction in a wide range of specialist skills, including the programming and operation of automated instruments, interpreting satellite and aerial imagery, the use of computer software – especially quantitative analysis, GIS and remote sensing tools – and the use of field skills in sedimentological logging and landform interpretation.

In part two, you will apply your learning in the individual dissertation worth an additional 60 credits. You will prove your mastery of the subject in this final 15000-word assessment and directly contribute to the knowledge base of DGES. For those considering progression into a PhD, the dissertation project can form the basis for a doctoral proposal and, subsequently, a foundation for a career in academia and further research.

Whatever your own previous experience or future aspiration, you will benefit from a superb variety of outside and in-class learning environments. Outside activities include field research expeditions, including a week in the European Alps, case study visits and team development activities. In-class activities include lectures, seminars, guest speakers and specialist technological workshops. Our small class sizes offer a friendly environment to encourage communication and sharing of experiences, opinions and observations between you and your colleagues.

As a graduate of the MSc in Glaciology, you will emerge with broadened horizons, technological and theoretical expertise and proven field experience.

Our lecturers are active researchers working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, and you will benefit from being taught the latest geographical theories and techniques. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2014) DGES retained its crown of the best Geography department in Wales, with 78% of the research being undertaken classified as either "world leading" or "internationally excellent”. DGES is also in the top ten of UK Geography departments with regard to research power, which provides a measure of the quality of research, as well as of the number of staff undertaking research within the department.


Contact time approximately 8-10 hours a week in the first two semesters.


The taught part of the course (Part1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises, case studies, course work and formal examinations. The subsequent successful submission of a 15,000 word research dissertation (Part 2) leads to the award of an MSc.


Every aspect of the MSc in Glaciology programme is designed to enhance your employability: indeed, successful completion of this degree is in itself certain to do so; but we set more store by the hugely enhanced knowledge, abilities and skills with which you will graduate. We believe that prospective employers take a similar view. This course will widen your knowledge, skills, experience and understanding of the subject in such a way that cultivates transferable skills which will benefit you in other disciplines of work and study.

In addition to building your CV, completion of this Master’s course demonstrates your passion for furthering human knowledge at a delicate stage in global affairs. Understanding the processes that govern glaciers and snow cover is not only crucial for developing models of the response to climatic change, but also for evaluating water and other natural resources, understanding waste disposal, assessing pollution and tracking earth-surface erosion.

By completing the Master’s in Glaciology, you will have aligned your passion to a unique and highly-desirable set of skills and experiences. Your tutored expertise, personal research and team experience in the field will make you an engaging candidate for areas of work relating to Geography, but also to more generic positions within companies that require thoroughness in research, clarity in analysis and fluency in communication. You will gain these skills and more as you progress through your studies at DGES.

Find out how to apply here https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/

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Our MSc in Geoscience Research is a research-focused postgraduate taught master's course with industry and international placement opportunities designed for a career in research, academia or a discipline related work setting. Read more


Our MSc in Geoscience Research is a research-focused postgraduate taught master's course with industry and international placement opportunities designed for a career in research, academia or a discipline related work setting.

The course consists of six modules spread over three semesters, including an extensive research project in geoscience, environmental science or physical geography.

Project areas range from applied and environmental geophysics to igneous petrology, volcanology, Quaternary environments, palaeoclimates, palaeoceanography, biogeochemistry, landscape ecology, sedimentology, palaeontology, renewable and alternative energy, and petroleum geoscience.

A distinct feature of this master’s programme is the opportunity for UK students to complete a placement at one of several European, North American and Asian partner institutions, all of which have established research links with Keele staff. However, as a UK student, you can also choose to carry out your research project here at Keele or in collaboration with local or UK-based industry. As an international student, you will undertake your research and placement at Keele University under the supervision of international experts in their chosen research area.

The emphasis on the substantial ‘hands on’ research training with the provision of an international placement option makes this programme unique within the Higher Education Sector in the UK and will thus increase your employability. We believe that this will help to develop future employees with an international outlook.

The MSc Geoscience Research programme at Keele offers the added value of the Distinctive Keele Curriculum (DKC), which develops students' intellectual, personal and professional capabilities (Keele Graduate Attributes) through both subject-specific and generic workshops and activities.

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/geoscienceresearch/

Course Aims

The principal aim of this Masters course is to develop your generic and specific research skills in an area of the Geosciences or related scientific disciplines, which will enhance your employment prospects. On completion of the programme you will:

- Have a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the chosen research area in Geosciences;

- Gain a conceptual understanding to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline area;

- Be able to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses;

- Possess developed scientific skills and knowledge, and transferable skills, in a UK-based or international workplace setting;

- Have a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your own research;

- Attain organisational and commercial awareness.

For those students undertaking a placement/research project in Europe the work and achievement on the programme will be documented in the EU Europass, a record of achievement signed by all parties. All students are required to pursue the University’s ‘Realise’ scheme which enables them to identify their personal and professional skills and development needs.

Course Content

The MSc programme is full-time for 12 months, starting in September.

The programme comprises six modules including a research project/placement which is undertaken either at Keele University or on placement with a host institution overseas:
- Generic Research Skills (15 credits)

- Specific Research Skills (15 credits)

- Literature Review (15 credits)

- Modern Language Module* or Academic English for Postgraduate Students** or Geoscience Option Module*** (15 credits)

- Research Project Design and Management (30 credits)

- Dissertation (90 credits)

*Students undertaking their research project at a host institution overseas will choose a modern language module or a language and culture module for their international placement.

**International students for whom English is not their first language will take Academic English for Postgraduate Students to further improve their English language skills.

*** UK/Native English speaking international students undertaking their research project at Keele University or a host institution in the UK can take a selected Geoscience option module relevant to their research area. These may include: Natural Hazards; Glaciers & Glacial Geomorphology; Global Environmental Change; Water Resources; Hydrological & Engineering Geology; Structure and Geodynamics; Economic Geology; Advanced Topics in Sedimentology; Exploration Geophysics for the Hydrocarbon Industry; Petroleum Geology; Volcanic and Magmatic Processes.

Teaching & Assessment

You will be taught by experienced, well qualified and enthusiastic staff. All of the staff are research active within the discipline, accomplished at working on research funded work both nationally and internationally. The programme team are enthusiastic to share their teaching, research and professional experience to help you achieve success in your studies.

You will complete formal assessment on all modules. Assessments will include presentations, reflective diary, reports, reviews, portfolio and a dissertation. During your placement this will include keeping an extensive record of the training attended and skills obtained, with a reflective report (for the research training portfolio), as well as a dissertation on the project undertaken during the placement.

The research project/dissertation is based on the submission of a 20,000-25,000 word report that is undertaken in conjunction with an academic supervisor and, where appropriate, an industrial collaborator.

Additional Costs

There will be additional costs in terms of living expenses, travel and insurance related with the placement if you choose to undertake your research project with an overseas host institution. The amount required will be dependent on the cost of living associated with certain countries.

UK Students choosing a placement research project in an EU member state will be eligible to apply for an ERASMUS scholarship.

Employment Case Studies

Our research-focused course with industry and international placement opportunities leads our graduates into a diverse range of careers.

Our students have chosen careers in research, academia or a discipline related work setting, including geotechnical and environmental consultancies, and local, regional, national or multi-national corporations.

For examples of what graduates are doing now, see here - https://www.keele.ac.uk/gge/applicants/postgraduatetaughtcourses/mscgeoscienceresearch/employmentcasestudies/

Find information on Scholarships here - http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/

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The MRes programme in Human Geography was introduced in 2012 and is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for subsequent doctoral research. Read more

MRes in Human Geography

• The MRes programme in Human Geography was introduced in 2012 and is accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for subsequent doctoral research.
• Taught modules include both skills training and coursework.
• The programme can be tailored to the interests of individual students.
• Funding is available through a variety of channels including research councils, research contracts and University scholarships.
• Dedicated workspace and computing facilities, access to financial support for fieldwork and attendance at conferences.

Contact hours: Approximately 100 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops. Up to 40 hours one-to-one supervision over the year.
Assessment: Essays, research/lab reports, presentations, research proposal, research dissertation.


* The School of Geography & Geosciences incorporates the Department of Geography & Sustainable Development and the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and has 40 permanent academic staff, 4 teaching fellows, 28 support staff, 20 research fellows and 49 research postgraduate students.

* The MRes in Human Geography was introduced in 2012 (Economic and Social Research Council approved for 1+3 studentships).

* Geography is now the home of the award-winning Sustainable Development postgraduate programmes.

* Wide range of expertise with particular strengths in health and population geography, Quaternary (ice age) and glacial studies, urban and historical geography, housing and labour markets, biogeography, oceanography, and environmental management and sustainable development.

* Further strengths in Earth Science research related to the coevolution of Earth and Life, development of the continental crust, and interpreting the influence of tectonic and climate change on the development of sedimentary systems from the Precambrian to the present.

* Excellent in-house laboratory, IT and field resources for teaching and research.

* Emphasis on a range of different skills producing highly literate and numerate graduates with excellent employment prospects.

* The School is a partner in the University’s Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI).

Postgraduate community

We currently have postgraduate students from across the globe. They are a vital part of the life of the School and contribute in many ways, not least in the widening and deepening of experiences brought to the learning environment. Groups and individuals within the School collaborate actively with several overseas universities, and there may be opportunities for postgraduates to spend time abroad while studying for a higher degree.


We see postgraduate study as part of your long-term career. We are here to offer advice and also support you in the development of your career, as is the University’s Careers Centre. There are opportunities for postgraduates to run tutorials, practical demonstrations and other academic work to gain experience of working in an academic context. Others gain practical experience working with companies and governmental organisations.
Recent postgraduates have obtained postdoctoral and lecturing positions in leading universities around the world, while others have jobs in environmental management, market research, health research and the oil industry.

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This new and exciting programme is aimed at training graduates from a range of scientific disciplines who wish to pursue a research career in cold-regions science, notably within the disciplines of glaciology, glacial geomorphology, polar climatology / oceanography, environmental science, polar biogeochemical processes, or their intersections. Read more

About the course

This new and exciting programme is aimed at training graduates from a range of scientific disciplines who wish to pursue a research career in cold-regions science, notably within the disciplines of glaciology, glacial geomorphology, polar climatology / oceanography, environmental science, polar biogeochemical processes, or their intersections.

The programme’s underlying theme is contemporary, as its key interest is to explore the expressions, mechanisms and impacts of rapid ongoing changes in our planet’s cold regions.

Your career

You’ll develop the skills to work in private or public sector research, or join the civil service. Recent graduates have started careers in consulting or with organisations like CAFOD, the Environment Agency and the British Library. Many of our graduates stay on to do research. We have a high success rate in securing funding for those who wish to study for a PhD with us after finishing a masters.

Study with the best

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.

How we teach

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.

Facilities and equipment

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.

Core modules

Research Design in Analysis of Environmental Systems; Current Issues in Polar and Alpine Science; Arctic/Alpine Field Course; Polar and Alpine Change Research Project.

Teaching and assessment

Modules are delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and independent study.

The Research Project is assessed by oral presentation of mid-project findings, submission of a project report in the summer and by a poster presentation of project findings.

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Civil engineers play a major role in developing infrastructures and supporting human development, while contributing to the sustainable development of society. Read more
Civil engineers play a major role in developing infrastructures and supporting human development, while contributing to the sustainable development of society. Contamination of soil and water, lack of access to drinking water, and unsustainable use of land and water resources remain major obstacles to global sustainability, while new challenges include threats from climate change and rapid urbanisation.

Programme description

Infrastructure and environmental engineering is an interdisciplinary field that includes; traffic and road engineering, urban metabolism, water system engineering, engineering geology, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering and sustainability.

Investments in infrastructure also form a considerable part of the global economy. Hence safe, economic and sustainable development requires continued progress in civil engineering with a specialisation towards infrastructure and environment.

To meet this societal need for qualified competence in planning, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure systems in soil and water, this programme promotes the personal development of knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed to start working as a professional engineer in the field of infrastructure and environmental engineering. An important task is to be knowledgeable and responsible for the interface between urban development and the environment.

Sweden is surrounded by one of the planet’s most sensitive ocean environments and a landmass consisting mainly of fractured rock and complex glacial sediments, including soft clays. This has given us some of the strictest environmental and building regulations in the world. This gives Sweden a very good reputation within the field and the programme a nationally and internationally unique profile. We are closely linked to several research projects and the majority of our faculty conduct research.

Educational methods

To prepare students for a long lasting professional career, the programme promotes personal development in comprehensive view of planning, construction and operation process; ability to work methodically and by means of modern engineering tools; ability to work in project teams, lead project work and present results; and the ability to critically review and develop technical solutions. To do so you or the group you work with will be given open problems, often real-case scenarios provided by industry and society.

Integration of professional experience in education is an important part of the programme and you will become well prepared for entering the market in a professional role.

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