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Masters Degrees (Hazards)

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This course focuses on the physical processes that generate natural hazards through an advanced understanding of geological and environmental processes. Read more

Why take this course?

This course focuses on the physical processes that generate natural hazards through an advanced understanding of geological and environmental processes.

You will be fully trained by internationally recognised experts in hazard identification, terrain evaluation techniques as well as hazard modelling and risk assessment techniques. Providing you with the essential skills to monitor, warn and help control the consequences of natural hazards.

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is accredited by the Geological Society of London. It offers advanced professional and scientific training providing an accelerated route for you to attain Chartered Status, such as Chartered Geologist (CGeol) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) on graduation.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Aid organisations
Environmental organisations
Offshore work
Civil sector roles
Mining
Insurance companies

Module Details

You can opt to take this course in full-time or part-time mode.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part comprises the lecture, workshop, practical and field work elements of the course, followed by a five-month independent research project. The course is a mixture of taught units and research project covering topics including site investigation, hazard modelling and mapping, soil mechanics and rock mechanics, contaminated land, flooding and slope stability.

Here are the units you will study:

Natural Hazard Processes: The topic of this unit forms the backbone of the course and give you an advanced knowledge of a broad range of geological and environmental hazards, including floods, landslides, collapsible ground, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hydro-meteorological and anthropogenic hazards. External speakers are used to provide insights and expertise from an industry, regulatory and research perspective.

Numerical Hazard Modelling and Simulation: This forms an important part of the course, whereby you are trained in the application of computer models to the simulation of a range of geological and environmental hazards. You will develop skills in computer programming languages and use them to develop numerical models that are then used to simulate different natural hazard scenarios.

Catastrophe Modelling: On this unit you will cover the application of natural hazard modelling to better understand the insurance sector exposure to a range of geological and environmental hazards. It includes external speakers and sessions on the application of models for this type of catastrophe modelling.

Volcanology and Seismology: You will gain an in-depth knowledge of the nature of volcanism and associated hazards and seismology, associated seismo-tectonics and earthquake hazards. This unit is underpinned by a residential field course in the Mediterranean region that examines the field expression of volcanic, seismic and other natural hazards.

Flooding and Hydrological Hazards: These are a significant global problem that affect urban environments, one that is likely to increase with climate change. This unit will give you an in-depth background to these hazards and opportunities to simulate flooding in order to model the flood hazard and calculate the risk.

Hazard and Risk Assessment: This unit gives you the chance to study the techniques that are employed once a hazard has been identified and its likely impact needs to be measured. You will have advanced training in the application of qualitative and quantitative approaches to hazard and risk assessment and their use in the study of different natural hazards.

Field Reconnaissance and Geomorphological Mapping: These techniques are integral to the course and an essential skill for any graduate wishing to work in this area of natural hazard assessment. On this unit you will have fieldwork training in hazard recognition using techniques such as geomorphological mapping and walk-over surveys, combined with interpretation of remote sensing and aerial photography imagery.

Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing: You will learn how to acquire and interpret aerial photography and satellite imagery, and the integration and analysis of spatial datasets using GIS – all key tools for hazard specialists.

Geo-mechanical Behaviour of Earth Materials: You will train in geotechnical testing and description of soils and rocks to the British and international standards used by industry.

Landslides and Slope Instability: This unit will give you an advanced understanding of landslide systems, types of slides in soils and rocks and methods for identification and numerical analysis.

Impacts and Remediation of Natural Hazards: You will cover a growing area of study, including the impact of hazardous events on society and the environment, and potential mitigation and remediation methods that can be employed.

Independent Research Project: This provides you with an opportunity 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, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will learn through hands-on practical sessions designed to give you the skills in laboratory, computer and field techniques. The course also includes extensive field work designed to provide field mapping and data collection skills.

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
Literature reviews
Lab reports
Essays

Student Destinations

This course provides vocational skills designed to enable you to enter this specialist environmental field. These skills include field mapping, report writing, meeting deadlines, team working, presentation skills, advanced data modelling and communication.

You will be fully equipped to gain employment in the insurance industry, government agencies and specialist geoscience companies, all of which are tasked with identifying and dealing with natural hazards. Previous destinations of our graduates have included major re-insurance companies, geological and geotechnical consultancies, local government and government agencies.

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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Increasing urbanization, growing wealth concentration, climate change and environmental degradation are rapidly raising exposure to natural hazards in the developed and developing world. Read more

Increasing urbanization, growing wealth concentration, climate change and environmental degradation are rapidly raising exposure to natural hazards in the developed and developing world. Growing numbers of stakeholders are thus seeking ways of reducing the risk from natural hazards. UCL's Natural Hazards PG Cert offers students a better understanding of natural hazards and the means by which their impacts on people, communities and business can be mitigated and managed.

About this degree

A strong emphasis is placed on developing an improved understanding of

natural hazards and the processes that drive them. The latest research is

used to evaluate the nature of available data, the conclusions we can draw

from them and their limitations. The content focuses on the most destructive and costliest hazards, notably windstorms, floods and earthquakes, but also addresses geotechnical topics such as dam and reservoir safety and radioactive waste management. The programme provides students with intellectual and practical tools for making more informed decisions in their professional capacities.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

The programme consists of two taught core modules (40 credits) and an independent research project (20 credits).

Core modules

  • Geological and Geotechnical Hazards
  • Meteorological Hazards

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Research project/report

All students undertake an independent project, which culminates in an 8,000-word independent report and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, discussions, directed reading, and problem-solving exercises. Student performance is assessed through a combination of examination and coursework in the form of essays, reports and exercises. The independent project is assessed through an 8,000-word report and an oral presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Natural Hazards PG Cert

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme is accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the premier professional organisation for those working in the insurance and financial services industry.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Top hazard scientists at UCL and other leading academic institutions have worked with professionals in the business and NGO arenas to develop a flexible programme that accommodates the demands of a full-time professional career.

The programme is staffed by academics from UCL and other universities, the British Geological Survey and partners from the business sector.

The programme is part-time and taught in three blocks over a period of ten months. The total programme length is 600 hours, of which 140 hours is contact time with tutors, which takes the form of lectures, seminars and discussions. The remaining study time is made up of directed reading, essay writing, problem-solving exercises and the preparation of an independent project report.



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This MSc provides a broad introduction to geohazards, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology. Read more

This MSc provides a broad introduction to geohazards, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology. A key goal is to provide an essential grounding in quantitative modelling that can be widely applied to several fields, from pure research to the commercial sector.

About this degree

The programme provides an introduction to the spectrum and impact of geophysical hazards, and a focus on quantitative models for hazard forecasting and assessment. Selected case studies illustrate how these models are essential for improving decision-making during emergencies, for raising the awareness of vulnerable populations, and for evaluating and implementing mitigation strategies.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Geological and Geotechnical Hazards
  • Meteorological Hazards
  • Research Methods
  • Earthquake Seismology and Earthquake Hazard
  • Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
  • Meteorological, Climate and Hydrogeological Hazard

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project in geophysical hazards, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading and practical exercises. There are excellent opportunities for field investigations in the UK and abroad. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, practical problem-solving exercises and essays. The independent research report is assessed through the dissertation and an oral presentation.

Fieldwork

Field sites for field trips are normally in Italy. The department pays for accommodation and transport in the field. Students pay to get to the field and subsistence.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Geophysical Hazards MSc

Careers

On graduation from this programme about one-third of students have followed careers in global insurance and re-insurance and another third have pursued research with a PhD in hazard-related studies. The remaining third have developed careers in a wide range of sectors, from non-governmental organisations, through teaching, to the fields of emergency planning and environmental management.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Aggregate and Catastrophe Modeller, Advent
  • Catastrophe Analyst, Talbot Underwriting
  • Graduate Trainee Reinsurance Broker, Aon
  • Catastrophe Model Analyst, Aon Benfield
  • Policy Adviser, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Employability

The MSc in Geophysical Hazards will provide essential training for careers in hazard assessment and risk evaluation, including: industry, from engineering to insurance; academic research; civil protection agencies and government organisations; and NGOs related to aid and development. 

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Earth Sciences is engaged in world-class research into the processes at work on and within the Earth and planets.

Graduate students benefit from our lively and welcoming environment and world-class facilities. The department hosts UCL Hazard Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.

This MSc aims to include a short field trip to locations that illustrate the impact of natural hazards. Previous trips have included the Neapolitan volcanic district, the Italian Alps and the Po Delta, and the Cádiz region in south-western Spain.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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: Earth Sciences

92% 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.



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Climate change, increasing urbanization and mounting exposure to natural hazards are imposing growing pressure on insurers and reinsurers to seek ways of limiting exposure. Read more

Climate change, increasing urbanization and mounting exposure to natural hazards are imposing growing pressure on insurers and reinsurers to seek ways of limiting exposure. This programme offers students a better understanding of natural hazards and the means by which their impacts on the market can be mitigated or avoided.

About this degree

Strong emphasis is placed on developing an improved understanding of natural hazards – the nature of available data, the conclusions we can draw from them, limitations and relevant cutting-edge research. Content focuses on hazards of most interest to the market, most notably windstorm, flood and earthquake, but also addresses geotechnical issues such as dam and reservoir safety, radioactive waste and energy resource issues.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

The programme consists of two taught core modules (40 credits) and an independent research project (20 credits).

Core modules

  • Geological and Geotechnical Hazards
  • Meteorological Hazards

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Research project/report

All students undertake an independent project, which culminates in an 8,000-word dissertation and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, discussions, directed reading, and problem-solving exercises. Student performance is assessed through a combination of examination and coursework in the form of essays, reports and exercises. The independent project is assessed through an 8,000-word report and an oral presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Natural Hazards for Insurers PG Cert

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme is accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the premier professional organisation for those working in the insurance and financial services industry.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Assistant Underwriter, Atrium Underwriters
  • Catastrophe Risk Specialist, Canopius
  • Pipeline Engineer, Petromap Ltd
  • Property Underwriter, Ascot Underwriting
  • Senior Castastrophe Risk Analyst, Canopius

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Top hazard scientists at UCL and other leading academic institutions have worked with the under 35s reinsurance group and market professionals, to develop this flexible programme.

Students benefit from our welcoming environment and world-class facilities, which include the UCL Hazard Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre.

The programme is staffed by academics from UCL and partner universities,

the British Geological Survey and industry and market practitioners.



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Disasters are complex events with multifaceted causes and hence disaster management needs comprehensive, multidisciplinary training to deal with both complexity and change. Read more
Disasters are complex events with multifaceted causes and hence disaster management needs comprehensive, multidisciplinary training to deal with both complexity and change. Major shifts have occurred in the way in which disasters are considered, resulting from an increasing awareness of problems internationally along with an identified need for solutions. The importance of disaster risk reduction has continued to grow both within governmental and non-governmental organisations.

This Masters course is a unique programme which will provide a balanced study of environmental hazards and disaster management, pre-event mitigation, disaster risk reduction and disaster relief, along with the development of technical and interpersonal skills. It will enable you to critically assess the effectiveness of the implementation of existing techniques, in order to evaluate good practice and apply it to new situations.

The standard Master’s tuition fees apply. However, additional costs will include the Summer School fees (currently about £1000) and the costs for any optional overseas residential fieldwork. Students may be eligible for bursaries from the University for £1500 or £2000 though conditions apply.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/800-msc-disaster-management-for-environmental-hazards

What you will study

The course will develop knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal and management skills, and expertise. You will study a range of hazards using examples from the UK and other countries. This will provide you with the experience to assess risks and vulnerabilities from desk-based research, laboratory and field situations, consider hazard management and disaster risk reduction strategies, and critically review the concept of resilience along with techniques for its development.

You will consider the dynamic and multi-faceted nature of disasters and examine a range of aspects pertinent to the operational, political and socio-cultural issues involved in disaster relief, including aspects of international law. The course will ensure a sound working knowledge and experience with one of the mostly widely used GIS platforms, extensively used by many planning authorities, GOs and NGOs, and you will develop valuable skills in the acquisition and processing of spatial datasets with a wide variety of disaster management applications, along with the ability to visualise and depict spatial information.

You will develop interpersonal skills for effective team-working, group leadership, and organisational management including the assessment of priorities, allocation of resources and co-ordination of activities through simulation experience. This range of interpersonal skills and humanitarian core competencies will enhance your employability after graduation.

Opportunities for study on residential field courses will include the use of field simulations either in Finland or in the UK, and the option to examine environmental hazards and evaluate management strategies on overseas residential field courses. Currently, the field course takes place in southern Italy to examine volcanic, seismic, landslide and tsunami hazards.

You will study the following modules:
- Principles and Concepts in Disasters
- Management of Coastal and Hydrological Hazards
- Management of Geological and Technological Hazards
- Personal Preparedness for Disasters
- Professional Development for Disasters

Plus two of the following optional modules:
- ArcGIS Principles and Practice
- Remote Sensing
- Work Based Learning
- Professional Practice in Disasters

You will also complete a Masters Dissertation Project. The literature review work and project plans will be completed before your work placements. The Master’s dissertation will be undertaken after the placement has been completed. Preparation for the Master’s project or dissertation will commence in the Spring term.

Learning and teaching methods

The course is designed in a modular format and will be offered on a full and part time basis. Delivery will be mixed-mode, with a combination of traditional lectures, practicals and distance learning with supporting tutorials. For full time students, study will take place over 14 months, and for part time students, study may typically take two to three years.

Study will utilise a range of diverse learning approaches and activities to acknowledge the rich and diverse character and content of the body of knowledge that forms this Master’s degree course. It will include:
- Attending the Summer School.
- Lectures
- Seminars and tutorials.
- Completing work packages by distance learning through the Virtual Learning Environment.
- Actively participating in computer workshops and laboratory work.
- Undertaking a range of field based studies and data collection.
- Participating in group based activities and simulations.
- One-to-one interactions with academic staff.
- Fieldwork including community-based learning.
- Self-directed study.
- Optional field or work-placement.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

A range of study pathways are provided depending on career intentions after graduation. Options involving work, field or disaster placements are desirable for employers and will be the preferred option for students on the course. Placement settings could include:
- NGOs working on disaster risk reduction projects or disaster relief;
- Civil protection or planning authorities
- Specialist environmental consultancies
- UK or overseas research projects.

The initial arrangement of work and field placements will begin early in the course and the work/field placement will normally be expected to begin within the following Summer term. Preparation for the Master’s project or dissertation will commence in the Spring term, with literature review work and project plans to be completed before placements take place. The Master’s dissertation will be undertaken after the placement has been completed.

Assessment methods

Field trips:
Fieldwork provides unforgettable educational and social experiences, bringing to life the theory and concepts of the lecture theatre. South Wales is a fantastic study location on the edge of rural and urban environments.

Cardiff, Wales’ capital city, the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast are all close to the University. They provide exceptional fieldwork locations that can be explored in a day. We make full use of these locations across our earth and environment courses to cover the practical aspects of our modules.

Please note: the exact locations of all overseas field trips may vary each year and is based on the area’s suitability for academic study and the overall cost of the trip.

Important Information

Please be aware of the physical demands of this course which has modules with significant fieldwork elements. If you therefore have a disability which is likely to be affected by these physical demands, please get in touch with the course leader Dr Anthony Harris, as soon as possible. We will then investigate the reasonable adjustments that we can make to ensure your Health and Safety. Please note that if any Health & Safety aspects cannot be overcome, we may not be able to offer you a place on the course of your choice.

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This course focuses on both the scientific knowledge of hazards and modern strategies of emergency planning. Its interdisciplinary approach combines traditional classroom and field-based teaching and learning techniques with modern ICT-based learning support. Read more
This course focuses on both the scientific knowledge of hazards and modern strategies of emergency planning. Its interdisciplinary approach combines traditional classroom and field-based teaching and learning techniques with modern ICT-based learning support. A strong emphasis is placed on research-led teaching, student-centred learning and team-based activities, all of which develop the necessary skills required by practitioners in the field of hazard and disaster management.

-This course is ideal if you want to start or advance a career in hazard or risk management, environmental monitoring, emergency planning or catastrophe-related mitigation.
-Small student numbers allow us to modify the emphasis of the course content from year to year to cater to individual needs.
-Our unique approach to focusing on both the scientific knowledge of hazards and modern strategies of emergency planning make graduates of this course highly employable.
-The independent research project gives you the chance to specialise further by studying an area of interest in greater depth and gain valuable research skills. Our students often find this an excellent selling point when looking for a job or promotion.
-We have strong links with industry and practitioners in the emergency and disaster management field, including Search And Rescue Assistance In Disasters (SARAID), RNLI, Tearfund, Community Resilience and Surrey County Council Emergency Planning Unit.

Assessment

Written examinations, coursework (incorporating scenario-based hazard management exercises, ICT-based and paper-based practical exercises, role-play exercises, oral presentations, field reports, essays).

Work placement scheme

Kingston University has set up a scheme that allows postgraduate students in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing to include a work placement element in their course starting from September 2017. The placement scheme is available for both international and home/EU students.

-The work placement, up to 12 months; is optional.
-The work placement takes place after postgraduate students have successfully completed the taught portion of their degree.
-The responsibility for finding the placement is with the student. We cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it.
-As the work placement is an assessed part of the course for international students, this is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Details on how to apply will be confirmed shortly.

Fieldwork opportunities

Fieldwork is an essential part of the Hazard and Disaster Management MSc. You will undertake a supervised week-long visit to a European field destination affected by multi-hazards (usually to Tenerife in June). You will conduct hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment of the area and evaluate existing hazard management strategies by the regional/local authorities. Find out more...

Course structure

You will study the underpinning scientific principles of both natural hazards (eg hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, flooding, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and radon gas emissions) and human-induced disasters (eg terrorism, explosions and oil tanker accidents).

You will also cover modern disaster management strategies and planning techniques for the mitigation (eg structural measures and education), preparation (eg early warning), response (eg search and rescue) and recovery (eg insurance) phases.

You will also undertake active research in one or more of your chosen hazard areas.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Modules
-Natural Hazards: Science and Society
-Managing Disasters
-GIS for Hazards and Emergency Planning
-Research Methods and Techniques
-Research Project (Dissertation)

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What you will study. The MSc Hazard and Disaster Management course will develop knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal and management skills, and experience. Read more

What you will study

The MSc Hazard and Disaster Management course will develop knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal and management skills, and experience. You will study a range of hazards using examples from the UK and other countries. This will provide you with the experience to assess risks and vulnerabilities from desk-based research, laboratory and field situations, consider hazard management and disaster risk reduction strategies, develop emergency plans, and critically review the concept of resilience along with techniques for its development.

You will consider the dynamic and multi-faceted nature of disasters and examine a range of aspects pertinent to the operational, political and socio-cultural issues involved in disaster relief, including aspects of international law. The course will ensure a sound working knowledge and experience with one of the mostly widely used GIS platforms, extensively used by many planning authorities, GOs and NGOs, and you will develop valuable skills in the acquisition and processing of spatial datasets with a wide variety of disaster management applications, along with the ability to visualise and depict spatial information.

Opportunities for study on residential field courses will include the use of field simulations either in Finland or in the UK, and the opportunity to examine environmental hazards and evaluate management strategies on an overseas residential field course. Currently, the field course takes place in Italy or Greece, to examine volcanic, seismic, landslide and tsunami hazards.

Modules

  • Principles and Concepts in Disasters - 20 credits
  • Multi-faceted causes and consequences of disasters, nature of disasters, disaster relief and international law.

  • Management of Coastal and Hydrological Hazards - 20 credits
  • Flooding and integrated flood risk management, coastal hazards and sea level rise, storms, heat wave, coastal pollution incidents, climate change and resilience.

  • Management of Geophysical and Technological Hazards - 20 credits
  • Landslides, chemical hazards and safety, industrial and pollution hazards, volcanic hazards, volcanic ash and aviation, seismic hazards, pandemics, terrorist incidents.

  • Personal Preparedness for Disasters - 20 credits
  • Personal preparedness, leadership, survival training, victim and refugee experiences, developed from the Disaster Summer School immersive simulation week.

  • Disaster Risk Management - 20 credits
  • Field survey training, vulnerability and risk analysis, disaster risk management strategies, emergency planning, resilience, information and communication, community engagement, disaster education, personal development in disaster management.
  • Planning for Disasters and Civil Contingencies - 20 credits
  • Emergency and civil contingency planning, multi-agency response coordination and training, crisis leadership strategies and styles.

  • Remote Sensing for Environmental Management - 20 credits
  • A practical introduction to the use of Remote Sensing and G.I.S. techniques and applications in environmental resource management; appropriate practical and analytical skills in data collection and manipulation of key environmental data.

  • Masters Research Project - 40 credits
  • Each student will prepare for a detailed research project, prepare a paper as if for submission for publication in a refereed academic journal and present their research to their peers.
  • Work Based Learning Project (optional)
  • Work placement opportunities are recommended as part of the course.

Teaching

The Disaster Management course is designed in a modular format and will be offered on a full and part time basis. Delivery will be mixed-mode, with a combination of traditional lectures, practicals and distance learning with supporting tutorials. For full time students, study will take place over 14 months, and for part time students, study may typically take two to three years.

The MSc Hazard and Disaster Management begins with a two week Summer School in August, where you will meet other students, academic tutors and visiting experts. You will:

  • Develop reflective learning skills
  • Enhance communication and team working skills in an international and multicultural setting.
  • Clarify the concepts of a disaster with experts and academic tutors.
  • Undertake a field course simulation training exercise, which focuses on survival skills
  • Reflect on experiences of victims of disaster

You will undertake a field course simulation training exercise, which will focus on survival skills. You will reflect on the experiences of victims of disasters, develop decision making through active participation and it will orientate you to the type of experiences that you may encounter in a disaster field situation.

After the summer school, lectures and self-directed learning will take place in the Autumn and Spring terms. Teaching and training will also include fieldwork within the region as well as the option for overseas residential fieldwork.

Study will utilise a range of diverse learning approaches and activities to acknowledge the rich and diverse character and content of the body of knowledge that forms this Master’s degree course. It will include:

  • Attending the Summer School
  • Lectures
  • Seminars and tutorials
  • Practical and laboratory work
  • Completing work packages by distance learning through the Virtual Learning Environment
  • Actively participating in computer workshops and laboratory work
  • Undertaking a range of field based studies and data collection
  • Participating in group based activities and simulations
  • One-to-one interactions with academic staff
  • Fieldwork including community-based learning
  • Self-directed study
  • Optional field or work-placement
  • Externally-linked activities and placements

Each week, lectures and practicals will take place. This normally involves seven to 10 hours of class contact timetabled within two days of the week. In addition, through the week you will be engaged in distance learning tutorials and activities, background reading, and working on a wide range of assessments. Some weeks will also have additional field or simulation time. For a full-time course, a minimum of 37 hours of study time per week is expected.

The course will also require attendance at a Summer School (two weeks), on another overseas residential field course (about ten days), and will also provide options for other extended field- or work-placements. UK and EU students complete the Summer School at the start of their course in August and International Students complete it at the end of their course. International students therefore begin their course in September and not August. This is to allow enough time for you to get your visa.



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Volcanoes threaten millions worldwide and improved hazard mitigation is a high priority. Our well-established MSc allows you to study alongside leading volcanologists in one of the largest groups of environmental scientists in the UK. Read more

Volcanoes threaten millions worldwide and improved hazard mitigation is a high priority. Our well-established MSc allows you to study alongside leading volcanologists in one of the largest groups of environmental scientists in the UK.

This MSc is ideal preparation for PhD research or work in the environment sector, and is suitable for students with a wide range of first degrees including Geography, Geology, Environmental Science and Physics.

As well as gaining a strong theoretical grounding, you will spend time in the laboratory and in the field, including field trips to study volcanic rocks in the nearby Lake District and a highly popular field module on Mount Etna.

You will study six taught modules which include core modules on volcanic and other geological hazards and optional modules which provide broader learning and practical skills in areas of particular benefit to aspiring volcanologists. Modules are taught by world experts from Lancaster Environment Centre and our partner institutions.

You will join our active volcanology group and conduct an independent dissertation research project under supervision from an internationally recognized researcher, taking advantage of our well-equipped experimental and geochemical laboratories. Within our group there are additional opportunities to participate in seminars, workshops and discussions.

Examples of previous dissertation topics are:

  • Lava delta formation at Thorolfsfell basaltic tuya, South Iceland
  • Analogue modelling of volcanic edifice deformation
  • Lava flow modelling at Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Regimes of explosive volcanism in the solar system
  • Textural evolution of tuffisite veins
  • Sill-sediment interactions at Honister, Cumbria and generation of peperitic textures

Course Structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Core

Optional

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.

Assessment

Coursework, presentations, examinations and dissertation



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Despite the phenomenal technological progress of the 20th century, most people still live with the acute and chronic consequences of age-old hazards such as floods and earthquakes. Read more

Despite the phenomenal technological progress of the 20th century, most people still live with the acute and chronic consequences of age-old hazards such as floods and earthquakes. This MSc is aimed at students interested in engaging with the natural and social dimensions of environmental hazards, including disasters and climate related risk. Students receive specialised scientific training in the physical hazards that pose large risks to communities living throughout the world, from climate change and meteorological risks to flooding, earthquakes and landslides. Students on this programme will receive theoretical and practical training for understanding and quantifying risks and hazards. They will learn about how hazards persist over long periods of time instead of merely as single events, but are composed of many smaller sub-events or how their effects are widespread. 

Course Structure 

Students take the following core modules, and a selection of elective modules, which, when combined, add up to 180 credits:

Core Modules:

  • Understanding Risk (30 credits)
  • Risk Frontiers (15 credits)
  • Risk, Science and Communication (15 credits)
  • Dissertation by Research (or) Vocational Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective Modules available in previous years include:

  • Hydrological Hazards (30 credits)
  • Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazard (30 credits)
  • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (30 credits)
  • International Relations and Security in the Middle East (15 credits)
  • Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis (15 credits)
  • European Security (15 credits)
  • Social Policy and Society (30 credits) 

Course Learning and Teaching

Understanding and managing risk is ultimately about choice. All elements of society, from individuals to governments, must make decisions – conscious or not – about the ways in which they perceive, interpret, balance, and mitigate risk. Risk permeates our day-to-day lives in ways that are now recognised to be much more complex than the hazard-vulnerability paradigm, which dominated risk research until the 1990s, recognised. A deeper understanding of the nature of risk, its emergence, and its interface and position within societies, has emphasised the need to take a much more complex view in which a general understanding of the ways in which risk is generated, experienced and managed needs to be combined with a specific understanding of particular science or policy areas.

The primary aim of this Masters programme is to equip students with a general understanding of risk, whilst simultaneously providing specific training in elements of risk-related research. The MSc supports students in developing a strong social science perspective on risk. This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary framework for understanding risk from a variety of perspectives. Students will learn theoretical and practical approaches to identifying and framing risk, as well as the underlying physical and social mechanisms that generate it. They will also examine the relationship of risk to knowledge and policy, and will be made aware of the array of advanced tools and techniques to assess the physical and social dimensions of risk under conditions of uncertainty. They will also be trained in the substance and methods associated with a range of science and policy areas, and be expected to demonstrate that they can combine their general training in risk with their specific understanding of the substance and method associated with the chosen area, through either a research-based or a vocational dissertation.

All students will undertake a suite of core modules (120 credits) which provide students with a range of skills and knowledge which result in a unique focus in risk combined with training in interdisciplinary research methods. These modules are Understanding Risk, Risk, Science and Communication, Risk Frontiers and the Dissertation.

Students then also select a suite of elective modules (another 60 credits). Students can choose to receive specialised scientific training in:

  • the social dimensions of risk and resilience, and/or
  • a combination of approaches to risk.

Electives can be selected from: Hydrological Hazards, Spatial Temporal Dimensions of Hazards, Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience. 

The Risk Masters (both in its MA and MSc forms) is taught jointly between Durham University’s Geography Department, the School of Government & International Affairs, and the School of Applied Social Sciences. The programme’s interdisciplinary approach encourages students to combine science and social science perspectives. Students have a broad range of modules to choose from, and in this way develop an individualized set of professional skills that, depending on the student’s preferences, speak more to either the natural sciences (e.g. via scientific modelling, GIS or science and communication) or the social sciences (e.g. via social science research methodologies and engagements with social policy and international relations). The programme is delivered in close collaboration with Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), and through IHRR’s activities students get permanent exposure to both practitioner and academic perspectives at the forefront of risk thinking and practice.



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Our part-time blended learning MSc Occupational Hygiene course will equip you with a wide range of interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to work in areas related to occupational hygiene, culminating in an academic qualification accredited by the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene (FOH) within the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS). Read more

Our part-time blended learning MSc Occupational Hygiene course will equip you with a wide range of interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to work in areas related to occupational hygiene, culminating in an academic qualification accredited by the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene (FOH) within the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS).

As a graduate of this course, you will have knowledge necessary to recognise, evaluate and control hazards in the workplace, including chemical, physical and biological agents.

In the taught component of the course, the emphasis is on acquiring a thorough understanding of the theoretical principles and research methodologies underpinning the topic covered by each unit.

Emphasis is placed on the development of your critical appraisal skills and your capacity to lead an occupational health team at a senior management level.

The dissertation provides an opportunity to develop experience in applying these principles and research methods to a problem of particular interest to you.

Aims

The primary aim of the course is to deliver academic training in disciplines relevant to occupational hygiene. The course aims to provide you with:

  • an appreciation of the skills necessary to recognise, evaluate and control hazardous substances in the workplace, encompassing hazards such as chemical, physical (eg. noise, radiation), biological and ergonomic agents;
  • an introduction to the wide variety of aspects covered within the occupational hygiene discipline such as legislation, toxicological basis for standard setting, methods commonly used to evaluate hazardous agents, and related and overlapping health professions;
  • an academic qualification that is accredited by the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene (FOH) within the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS);
  • a good foundation on which to build and extend your knowledge of occupational hygiene during the changes and developments which lie in the years ahead.

The MSc aims to:

  • encourage critical evaluation of ideas and concepts in occupational hygiene and exploration of other philosophical and practical approaches to minimising ill health in the workplace;
  • develop powers of critical appraisal, analytical thinking and logical argument.

Teaching and learning

The course comprises a blend of specially commissioned written materials in electronic format (PDF), together with interactive teaching material, all delivered via the University's virtual learning environment, Blackboard.

In Year 1, you are required to attend in Manchester for a 1 day seminar associated with Module 1 in month 3, and the same for Module 2 in month 5 and for one exam day in month 10.

You are allocated to tutorial groups for Modules 4 to 8, each supported by a specialist in occupational hygiene. Tutorials are delivered via telephone or web conference.

In Year 2, you are required to attend in Manchester for a four-day practical course in Month 5 and for one exam day in Month 10.

In Year 3, you are required to attend a three-day MSc dissertation course held at the University in Month 1.

All examinations are held at the University.

Some components of the course are held jointly with students on our MSc Occupational Medicine course.

You can view  sample study materials  and  MSc abstracts and papers .

Coursework and assessment

All taught course units will be assessed via examinations held at the University at intervals throughout the course, and the third year will be assessed via submission of a dissertation.

Assessment is by eight examination papers, one per course module. The first will be taken at Seminar 1 (Year 1, Month 3) and the second at Seminar 2 (Year 1, Month 5). The remaining Year 1 assessments will be taken in Month 10. For Year 2, assessments will be held in Month 5 and 10.

If you wish to proceed to the MSc, you are also required to complete a third year, during which you will attend a mandatory three day residential course (in Month 1) and prepare a dissertation.

Course unit details

YEAR 1

Module 1: Introduction to Hazards, Risks and the Working Environment

  • Occupational Health in Perspective
  • Introduction to Occupational Health Law
  • Historical Development of Occupational Health
  • Hazards and Risks
  • Introduction to Toxicology
  • Introduction to Occupational Hygiene
  • Introduction to Lighting
  • Introduction to Temperature and Work
  • Introduction to Noise and Vibration
  • Introduction to Hazardous Substances

Module 2: Occupational Ill Health

  • Occupational Dermatoses
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Occupational Cancers
  • Stress Disorders
  • Work-Related Infections
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Health Assessment, Surveillance and Screening
  • Biological Monitoring

Module 3: Health and Workability

  • Workplace Assessment Skills
  • Advanced Occupational Health Law
  • Ergonomics
  • Shift Work and Daily Rhythms
  • Solvents
  • Plastics and Polymers
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals 
  • Choosing a Research Topic and Literature Review
  • Developing the Research Question

Module 4: Hazardous Substances

  • Factors in Dust Exposure
  • Exposure in Manufacturing Processes
  • Air Sampling
  • Exposure Evaluation/Exposure Modelling
  • Sample Analysis
  • Occupational Exposure for Airborne Substances

YEAR 2

Module 5: Understanding Physical Agents

  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Radiation
  • Compressed Air Work and Commercial Diving
  • Temperature and Work
  • Light and Vision

Module 6: Control of Workplace Hazards

  • Process Control Strategy
  • Ventilation
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Human Behaviours
  • Dermal Exposure

Module 7: Research Methods and Data Analysis

  • Epidemiology and Statistics
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Critical Appraisal
  • Social Research Methods
  • Information Technology

Module 8: Management of Workplace Hazards

  • Industry and Environment
  • Occupational Hygiene Practice
  • Food Hygiene
  • Prevention of Accidents
  • Principles of Toxicology
  • Global Aspects of Occupational Hygiene


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This programme provides advanced academic training in food safety and food control. It includes topics such as food control, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and food chain security. Read more

This programme provides advanced academic training in food safety and food control. It includes topics such as food control, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and food chain security.

You will consider the relationship between food and public health, and examine the scientific, technical, managerial, political and legislative factors that influence food safety.

Course details

This programme provides advanced academic training in food safety and food control. You will consider the relationship between food and public health, and examine the scientific, technical, managerial, political and legislative factors that influence food safety.

The course is particularly suitable for those with relevant food related knowledge and/or experience including:

  • Hygiene managers or supervisors already working in the food industry
  • Staff working in competent authorities or enforcement; for example, Environmental Health Officers or Food Safety Officers
  • Staff in diagnostic or food microbiology laboratories
  • Students who have completed relevant undergraduate degrees such as Food Technology and wish to find employment in the food industry or local government
  • Food hygiene and management trainers or consultants

Programme content

The syllabus includes detailed coverage of food safety hazards, especially microbial contamination, and the impact of such contamination on public health. Also covered in depth are the Food Controls used in the EU to contain such hazards.

This postgraduate programme is designed to provide rigorous academic training in Food Safety, Hygiene and Management.

It provides an opportunity for students to develop an appreciation of the relationship between food and public health by focusing on the factors that influence food safety and quality. These are multidisciplinary and include scientific, technical, managerial, political and legislative matters. Topics covered include:

Food Safety

Access to safe food should be a basic human right. Unfortunately food borne illness is universal. Changing methods of food production and the globalisation of the food chain increase the risk that food borne contaminants will cause larger and more serious outbreaks, as well as providing opportunities for emerging pathogens.

The MSc in Food Safety Hygiene and Management differs from other postgraduate food courses in that it focuses on the mechanisms of Food Control and Food Safety Management. All Food Control and Safety Systems seek to prevent food safety hazards from causing illness; microbiological hazards are considered to be some of the most significant food safety hazards in the food chain and the content of the course reflects this viewpoint. 

Food Control

One of the main mechanisms of Food Control is the implementation of food hygiene and food standards legislation. Together with the relevant food microbiology, this legislation forms the basis of the course, underpinning the study of processes and management systems commonly used by industry and the competent authorities.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)

The course also covers HACCP, Risk Assessment, Quality Assurance, Integrated Pest Management, premises and equipment design and other aspects of control in a national and international context. The research projects conducted by the students as part of the MSc reflect these priorities and may be laboratory or practice based.

Food Chain Security

The emphasis on implementation and enforcement of legislation and safety standards is a novel approach and, by offering a comprehensive picture of food chain security, provides progression for those from undergraduate degrees such as food technology, veterinary medicine or microbiology. This legal perspective qualifies successful candidates to work in enforcement or advisory positions for UK competent authorities such as the Food Authority (Local Authority). The course is accredited by the Environmental Health Registration Board.

The legislation considered is EC based and the course welcomes many students from other member states, some of whom return home to work in their own Competent Authorities or to represent their country on specialist food committees at national, EU and international level. Several have also taken up lectureships in food safety. The course has also become increasingly popular with overseas students, especially those from countries wishing to accede to the EU or to trade with it.

Related links

Learning and teaching

Learning, teaching and assessment

Various learning and teaching methods are used on the programme, including traditional lectures, computer-based learning, student-based learning such as case studies and directed learning, laboratories and visits. The programme is assessed using both traditional unseen examination and coursework. The MSc requires candidates to complete a research project and submit a thesis.

Skills gained

Apart from a high level of technical knowledge, students will also gain the ability to critically analyse data and published information, apply scientific principles and legislation to practical situations and become experienced at locating and interpreting government guidance. Successful candidates will also develop an advanced understanding of common food safety management systems such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).

Careers

The Postgraduate Diploma and MSc are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health /Environmental Health Registration Board as a route to the Higher Certificate in Food Premises Inspection and therefore very appropriate for anyone wishing to work as a food premises officer in a food authority or competent authority. Past students have found work in a variety of areas, including NGOs, competent authorities in the UK and overseas, academic institutions and the food industry.



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This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. Read more

This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. The Department of Geography is especially well-suited to examine these in relation to environmental hazards, climate change and security-related risk, but students are encouraged to develop their thinking in relation to any aspect of risk research, including broader environmental change, disaster risk reduction, financial risk, risk and insurance, risk and health, risk and migration, risk and social policy, risk and governance, borders and terrorism. The MA programme foregrounds the existence of multiple ways of understanding risk, from risk as an objective phenomenon managed through scientific tools (e.g. in the case of environmental hazards) to risk as a social construct and a political technique (e.g. in the case of risk and security).

For students interested in security-related risk, the MA programme offers in-depth and advanced understanding of geo-political security challenges and politics, including the ways in which society is governed increasingly through the prism of risk. Dealing with risks as a function of both the natural and social environments we live in, the course responds to the growing realisation that many risks are being created through social processes bound to questions of security, including the ways that risk techniques are emerging and being employed as a means of securing uncertain futures.

Course Structure

Students take the following core modules, and a selection of elective modules, which, when combined, add up to 180 credits:

Core Modules: 

  • Understanding Risk (30 Credits)
  • Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (30 Credits)
  • Risk Frontiers (15 Credits)
  • Using Geographical Skills and Techniques (15 Credits)
  • Dissertation by Research (or) Vocational Dissertation (60 Credits)

Elective Modules available in previous years include:

  • Hydrological Hazards (30 Credits)
  • Risk, Science and Communication (15 Credits)
  • Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazard (30 Credits)
  • International Relations and Security in the Middle East (15 Credits)
  • Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis (15 Credits)
  • European Security (15 Credits)
  • Social Policy and Society (30 Credits). 

Course Learning and Teaching

Understanding and managing risk is ultimately about choice. All elements of society, from individuals to governments, must make decisions – conscious or not – about the ways in which they perceive, interpret, balance, and mitigate risk. Risk permeates our day-to-day lives in ways that are now recognised to be much more complex than the hazard-vulnerability paradigm, which dominated risk research until the 1990s, recognised. A deeper understanding of the nature of risk, its emergence, and its interface and position within societies, has emphasised the need to take a much more complex view in which a general understanding of the ways in which risk is generated, experienced and managed needs to be combined with a specific understanding of particular science or policy areas.

The primary aim of this Masters programme is to equip students with a general understanding of risk; whilst simultaneously providing specific training in elements of risk-related research. The MA supports students in developing a strong social science perspective on risk. This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary framework for understanding risk from a variety of perspectives. Students will learn theoretical and practical approaches to identifying and framing risk, as well as the underlying physical and social mechanisms that generate it. They will also examine the relationship of risk to knowledge and policy, and will be made aware of the array of advanced tools and techniques to assess the physical and social dimensions of risk under conditions of uncertainty. They will also be trained in the substance and methods associated with a range of science, social science and policy areas, and be expected to demonstrate that they can combine their general training in risk with their specific understanding of the substance and method associated with the chosen area, through either a research-based or a vocational dissertation.

All students will undertake a suite of core modules (150 credits) which provide students with a range of skills and knowledge which result in a unique focus in risk combined with training in interdisciplinary research methods. These modules are: Understanding Risk, Using Geographical Skills and Techniques, Risk Frontiers, Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience, and the Dissertation.

Students then also select a suite of elective modules (another 30 credits). Students can choose to receive specialised scientific training in:

  • international relations, geopolitics and security, and/or
  • scientific perspectives on environmental hazards
  • a combination of approaches to risk.

Electives can be selected from: Strategic Asia, European Security, International Relations in the Middle East, Social Policy and Society and Risk, Science and Communication. 

The Risk Masters (both in its MA and MSc forms) is taught jointly between Durham University’s Geography Department, the School of Government & International Affairs, and the School of Applied Social Sciences. The programme’s interdisciplinary approach encourages students to combine science and social science perspectives. Students have a broad range of modules to choose from, and in this way develop an individualized set of professional skills that, depending on the student’s preferences, speak more to either the natural sciences (e.g. via scientific modelling, GIS or science and communication) or the social sciences (e.g. via social science research methodologies and engagements with social policy and international relations). The programme is delivered in close collaboration with Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), and through IHRR’s activities students get permanent exposure to both practitioner and academic perspectives at the forefront of risk thinking and practice.



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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. 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 natural 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.

You can choose one of four http://www.uu.nl/masters/en/earth-surface-and-water/tracks" target="_blank">tracks based on your interests in the field:

CORE AREAS OF RESEARCH

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.

In the programme, you will address questions such as:

  • How do river floods affect delta systems and their inhabitants?
  • How can we use natural processes under climate change to maintain safe - yet attractive and dynamic - coastlines?
  • How can satellite images be used to estimate erosion losses?
  • Will we have enough water to sustain the world’s rapidly increasing population in 2050?
  • What is the most efficient way to clean an oil spill that enters the soil and groundwater? 

The programme trains students to combine field observations and laboratory experiments with the latest developments in remote sensing and computational methods. Research developed by our staff and students has a strong international profile, encompasses scales ranging from microscopic to global, and concerns both past and contemporary processes.

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE

Physical geographers, geochemists, and hydrologists are necessary to identify nature’s actions in our modern world, especially with society’s ever-increasing pressure on the natural environment. The Earth Surface and Water programme therefore focusses on imminent societal problems, such as society’s increased vulnerability to climate and environmental changes and to natural hazards such as flooding, storms, and mass movements. It also addresses the threats and opportunities resulting from human activity on our physical environment, including the hydrological cycle.



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Uniting emergency response, disaster risk reduction and space technology this programme is designed to prepare students to work in the fields of satellite technology and disaster response to explore the management of risk and disaster losses from a range of perspectives, focusing on emerging risks posed to modern technology by space weather and the monitoring of hazards on Earth from outer space. Read more

Uniting emergency response, disaster risk reduction and space technology this programme is designed to prepare students to work in the fields of satellite technology and disaster response to explore the management of risk and disaster losses from a range of perspectives, focusing on emerging risks posed to modern technology by space weather and the monitoring of hazards on Earth from outer space.

About this degree

Students will learn about a wide variety of natural hazards, how to prepare and plan for emergencies and disasters and how to respond. Students will also learn practical aspects of designing, building and operating satellites and spacecraft including the challenges and risks posed by the environment of outer space.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Research Appraisal and Proposal
  • The Variable Sun: Space Weather Risks
  • Space Science, Environment and Satellite Missions
  • Space Systems Engineering

Optional modules

Students choose two 15-credit optional modules from the following:

  • Decision and Risk Statistics
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • Global Monitoring and Security
  • Mechanical Design of Spacecraft
  • Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • Risk and Disaster Research Tools
  • Space-Based Communication Systems
  • Space Instrumentation and Applications
  • Spacecraft Design - Electronic Sub-systems

Optional modules are subject to availability of places.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent project culminating in a report of between 10,000 and 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered by lectures, seminars and interactive problem sessions. Assessment is by examination, poster, presentation and written essay coursework.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme aims to prepare students for careers in space research, space and defence industries as well as most industries with risk management requirements.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The unique selling point of the programme is the direct access to key government and business drivers in the field of space weather, with invited seminars and reserch projects supported by the UK Met Office, EDF, Atkins and other institutions interested in the hazards of space. 

The natural hazard of space weather is a "new" hazard which has only recently been identified as a significant risk to human society. As the first generation of researchers, practitioners and engineers in this field, students will be at the forefront of major new issues in an expanding sector of the economy. As disaster response comes to rely on more advanced technology aid, relief and disaster response agencies require experts trained in the technological infrastructure to innovate, explain, operate and understand the limitations of these novel systems and the help they can provide before, during and after disasters.

The programme will also provide students will advanced training in many transferable skills, such as computor programming, technical writing, oral and written presentation, the use of engineering design tools and graphic visualisation software.



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This. postgraduate course. provides relevant, up-to-date experience of food safety management, which is of vital importance both to organisations and individuals in the food industry, enforcement and education. Read more

This postgraduate course provides relevant, up-to-date experience of food safety management, which is of vital importance both to organisations and individuals in the food industry, enforcement and education. MSc Food Safety Management focuses on the important areas of foodborne disease, food safety hazards and the effective management of food safety through application of the risk management system Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). An online course, Food Safety Management provides learning units and support materials via a secure website. This includes individual and group activities, including live web-seminars, research tasks and case studies provide practical learning opportunities.  

PROGRAMME AT A GLANCE

Awards: MSc (After one year - PGCert HACCP Development, after two years - PGDip HACCP Audit and Management).

Within the last few years, there has been widespread agreement that to improve the safety of our food and promote consumer confidence in safe food production, a system known as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is applied throughout the food industry. As a result, European legislation requires all food businesses to implement a system based on HACCP principles.

Challenges for food businesses, include not only development of suitable HACCP-based systems but on-going management and verification to assure HACCP effectiveness

Year 1

  • Foodborne Disease (Double Module)
  • HACCP Development

Year 2

  • HACCP Effective Food Safety Management Systems (Double Module)
  • Research Methods

Year 3

  • Current Issues in Food Safety Management (Double Module)
  • International Food Law (O) or
  • Allergy and Intolerance (O)

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Knowledge and Understanding

  1. Analyse case studies to determine the causes of foodborne disease and determine preventative strategies to reduce the risk of illness associated with the contamination of food.
  2. Assess a range of designs and methods currently used in research in the study domain.
  3. Identify, investigate and critically evaluate a current issue in food safety by applying selected theory and research techniques developed during the course to the chosen area.
  4. Critically evaluate the national and international legislative and enforcement frameworks in which all sectors of the food industry operate.
  5. Appreciate the range of common food hypersensitivities and evaluate the mechanisms of allergic and intolerance reactions
  6. Critically assess and discuss the epidemiological evidence relating to food allergy and intolerance with reference to methods of detection and diagnosis and consumer perception of food allergy.
  7. Identify and critically evaluate food safety hazards and determine their significance as risks to public health in food operations and products.

Subject-specific skills

  1. Assess surveillance and other relevant epidemiological data and estimate costs associated with incidents of foodborne disease.
  2. Analyse the relationship between prerequisite programmes and HACCP systems.
  3. Apply HACCP methodology to a food operation in order to develop a HACCP plan.
  4. Critically evaluate alternative approaches to HACCP implementation in food operations.
  5. Perform HACCP and food safety management system verification, including design, planning and execution of appropriate verification programmes.
  6. Apply some of the tools and techniques for managing projects and change in the context of the design and implementation of a HACCP project.
  7. Synthesise and apply relevant food safety and/or food standards legislation to different industry sectors and international settings.
  8. Critically assess requirements for allergen labelling and consumer information, including legislative and health protection requirements.

Thinking Skills

  1. Discuss food safety hazards and critically evaluate the suitability of physical and human resources employed in the global food supply chain for production of safe food.
  2. Reflect and critique the process of HACCP and Food Safety Management System verification in relation to current theory/practice literature.
  3. Assess the factors affecting successful implementation and management of a HACCP-based food safety management and discuss practical strategies to overcoming barriers to system implementation.
  4. Evaluate critically the key concepts and theories of managing projects and change in relation to development and implementation of effective HACCP-based food safety management programmes.
  5. Evaluate research methods employed to answer a range of research questions.
  6. Analyse contemporary theoretical and methodological issues in relation to current published research literature in the domain, including appraisal of design, analysis and interpretation of results.
  7. Identify research gaps in the chosen area and determine priority research questions with reference to current food safety theory and practice.
  8. Evaluate the impact of legislation and enforcement on the food industry and consumers, with reference to case law examples.
  9. Reflect and critique the process of effective allergen management in the global food supply chain, with reference to the application of prerequisite programmes and HACCP-based Food Safety Management Systems.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Detailed learning materials are all available online. Each topic of study involves a number of learning activities supported by asynchronous discussions, live web-cast workshops and chat activities. To take full advantage of the course, you will need the following software:

  • Firefox web browsing software.
  • Standard word processing and presentation software, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
  • Standard electronic mail software, such as Outlook or Hotmail.
  • Acrobat reader software.
  • You will need to have signed up with an internet service provider. Broadband is recommended for full functionality, plus a webcam and headset/microphone.

Assessment is done in a number of different ways including a report on an outbreak of foodborne disease, a personal portfolio, critical analysis of papers and case studies. There are no examinations.



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