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Masters Degrees (Land Use)

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The factors affecting the wider environment are constantly increasing and range from agriculture and forestry to recreation, urban development and population growth. Read more
The factors affecting the wider environment are constantly increasing and range from agriculture and forestry to recreation, urban development and population growth. These in turn have knock-on effects such as climate change, water and food shortages, habitat and species loss and the impact of non-native species.

One of the areas where these factors come together is in the field of countryside management where the public use of the countryside interacts with professional land managers and can result in conflict.

In the context of this programme and the degree programme from which it has developed the term countryside management encompasses a broad range of topics and land uses ranging from conservation management to rural land use planning and interpretation to land use history.

Students are expected to have a broad knowledge of how the countryside that we see around us has developed in a historical context and how this relates to factors such as climate, ecology and soils. This in turn helps to determine current land use practice whether it be for agriculture or forestry, conservation management or recreation.

Inevitably these land uses are interlinked in complex ways and the countryside manager is expected to be able to identify the potential conflicts and to arrive at appropriate management options.

Of course there is rarely a simple answer in such situations and the resulting decisions have to be based on an understanding of the competing claims and an awareness of how to work with individuals, interest groups and communities to ensure that stakeholders' views have been taken into account.

Course Content

There are eight taught modules providing for the development of a range of technical, practical and professional skills. Residential study weekends are also used as a vital tool in delivering some of the practical aspects of the course.
In the modules an element of student choice is often built in through the use of essay and other course work topics that cover areas of potential interest. The modules will be of value individually to those in employment who are looking for Continuing Professional Development.

Taught modules are:

Planning and the Legal Framework

This module will provide a background to the legislation and policy framework within which the countryside is managed. This will include planning, biodiversity and landscape and will focus on the role of EIA and SEA. The planning system is prone to conflicts between interest groups and students will look at case studies that highlight some of the main issues that arise.

Habitat and Species Management

Habitats and species have been the subject of management for centuries but only comparatively recently has there been a focus on their management for conservation reasons. In practice species management relies on appropriate habitat management although there are times when more specific prescriptions are appropriate. This module will look at management through a number of case studies which will be examined in detail. The case studies will include both desk studies and field visits and students will be encouraged to research appropriate examples in their own areas.

Visitor Management

Visitor management is a crucial part of countryside management and should be integrated into area and site management plans. An understanding of visitor management and the opportunities for education, interpretation and marketing, is a requirement for senior countryside managers. Students will look at the full range of visitor management issues from visitor profiles and motivations to site design and the impacts on wildlife and the wider environment.

Species Identification and Familiarity

The ability to accurately identify a range of species is crucial to aid in species conservation and to properly evaluate an area for its biodiversity. Central to species identification is the use of field keys and identification guides. This course will be based around a week long, intensive series of practical and laboratory based sessions to provide participants with the necessary skills to implement habitat and species survey techniques. Training in computer recording packages will also be provided to ensure best practice in species recording is maintained

Project Management for Countryside Professionals

Countryside Managers need to be able to effectively manage their own as well as the work of others. The skills of project planning/reporting/acquisition of funding and the proper upkeep of work related files and paperwork is fundamental to effective management. A strong component of this module will also involve the development of team management skills as well as health and safety awareness.

Integrated Planning Management

Multifunctional land use is a well recognised term. It is part of the planning system at differing scales and with multi-partnership and stakeholder involvement. The module will define both the industry organisations commonly involved in multifunctional land use planning and the other likely stakeholders. The land use changes proposed will take account of the historical and cultural aspects of the landscape.

Integrated planning management is undertaken at different scales ranging from individual project management plans and environmental statements to strategic planning at regional, national or European level. The module will look at how the production of these plans and strategies might be expected to integrate with other planning policy and legislation. Integrated management systems are collective.

Methods and Delivery

This course is studied part time through on-line distance learning. This allows those in continuing employment or with family commitments to participate. With the exception of several weekend schools and a short study tour, the learning is carried out in the student's home or work place.

The PgDip is a high level learning course taught at university post-graduate level. Students are required to complete all taught modules detailed above. Typically a student will study 4 modules per year and complete the PgDip in two years. This would normally take an average of 12 to 15 hours study time a week.

The study weekends and short study tour are an integral part of teaching delivery and students are strongly recommended to attend these if they are to succeed in this course.

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Your programme of study. Read more

Your programme of study

If you want to make a difference to climate change, you want to regulate from government or government agencies, provide consultancy advice or you simply enjoy the natural environment and you want as much of it preserved as possible and you want to learn how to manage it effectively for future generations, Environmental Management offers an excellent range of advanced assessment theory and practise. You learn how to manage the environment, land use and its challenges, and you learn the various pollutant testing skills and knowledge to help you determine how best remediate. Environment Managers are involved in all types of land use which include onshore and offshore regulation, planning and development control, waterways management, soil management and the various analysis tools which are accepted as calibrated and effective in giving correct indications of pollution to ensure companies remain compliant with the legal obligations.

There is often a conflict between land use and its protection. We now live in a world where air pollution is at record levels, population determines that we need clever ways to manage life and work, and land use planning is often at odds with natural flood prevention measures. The role of Environment Managers plays a critical role in determining our future generations and how they will live and interact with earth by ensuring the best possible outcomes in terms of regulation, negotiation and improvements to quality of life from the natural environment. You study pollution, resource management, catchment management EIA (Environmental Impact Assessments). Work can include consultancy, regulators and NGOs.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Global Soil Geography
  • Core Skills in Environmental Science
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Applications of GIS

Semester 2

  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Catchment Management
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Land Use and the Changing Environment on Deesside

Semester 3

  • Project Environmental Management

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Aberdeen offers you great range in coastal, rural, freshwater and land use to carry out field work in different locations
  • You are taught by award winning climate change expert Professor Pete Smith, winner of the British Ecological Society March Award 2014, and Dr Jon Hillier, award winner of 'Cool Farm Tool' a greenhouse calculator used by major food brands
  • You apply your knowledge and learning to real situations
  • You study at Ballater for a week and day long field trips from Aberdeen from a range of teaching methods

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time and Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Read more
A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Worldwide, population pressures and severe degradation, pollution and desertification problems are threatening this - for several countries relatively scarce - natural resource, and cause competition between agricultural or industrial purposes, urban planning and nature conservation. To guarantee a proper use and management of this for a nation basic commodity, well trained specialists with a thorough knowledge of the properties and characteristics of this natural resource, and a solid insight in factors and measures that may alter its actual state and value are warranted and call for a high standard scientific and practical education.

The main subject in Land Resources Engineering offers training in non-agricultural use and application of soil, and includes geotechnical aspects (use of soil as a building material or for foundations, slope stability and stability of excavations), the role of soil- and groundwater for water management and supply, soil management in relation to environment and land use (erosion, sediment transport, coastal development and protection).

Structure

The Master of Science degree programme in Physical Land Resources is a two year, full time course. The first year provides a fundamental basis in physical land resources, with a main subject in either Soil Science or Land Resources Engineering. The second year offers specialised courses in one of the two main subjects. The students have to prepare a master dissertation in the second year. Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of an Master of Science degree in Physical Land Resources. The course curriculum of the first year, and of the main subject in soil science of the second year is organised at the Ghent University, whereas all courses of the main subject in Land Resources Engineering of the second year are lectured at "Vrije Universiteit Brussel".

The academic year starts the last week of September. However students are advised to arrive in Ghent in the first week of September to follow the preparatory summer course.

Teaching methods
A wide variety of teaching methods are used in the PLR programme. All course units, except for “Internship” and “Master Dissertation” include lectures. Lectures are fundamental to provide students with the necessary basic knowledge in order to acquire the requested competences. Besides lectures the following teaching methods are very frequently used: practical classes, PC-room classes and coached exercises. Teaching methods like guided self-study, group work and microteaching are occasionally used. Field work and excursions are naturally an important component of the Physical Land Resources programme, especially in the first year.

Learning outcomes

The Master of Science in Physical Land Resources is organized at both UGent and VUB and aims to contribute to an increased knowledge in Physical Land Resources both in terms of quantity (more experts with a broad knowledge) and of quality (knowledge and its use at an advanced scientific level). The incoming students have diverse backgrounds in geology-related sciences, civil engineering or agronomy and the large majority of students originate from developing countries.
-Possesses a broad knowledge at an advanced level in basic disciplines (soil physics, soil chemistry, soil mineralogy, meteorology and climatology) that provide a polyvalent scientific understandinga. needed to evaluate land potential for agricultural and environmental applications, understand the evolution of soils under natural and human-impacted conditions, and contribute to sustainable land use planning and integrated management of land and water (Soil Science); or in non-agricultural applications of land, such as geotechnical aspects, the role of soil and groundwater in water resources management and water supplies, and of land management in relation to other environmental and land use aspects (Land Resources Engineering).
-Possesses the basics to conduct field work (soil survey, soil profile description, soil sampling), interpret analytical data, classify the soil, and manage and interpret existing cartographic and remote sensing data using modern equipment, informatics and computer technology.
-Characterize soil physico-chemically and mineralogically with advanced techniques to understand soil processes, translate this to soil quality and assess the influences by and on natural and anthropogenic factors.
-Recognize interaction with other relevant science domains and identify the need to integrate them within the context of more advanced ideas and practical applications and problem solving.
-Demonstrate critical consideration of and reflection on known and new theories, models or interpretation within the specialty.
-Plan and execute target orientated experiments or simulations independently and critically evaluate the collected data.
-Develop and execute original scientific research and/or apply innovative ideas within research units.
-Formulate hypotheses, use or design experiments to test these hypotheses, report on the results, both written and orally, and communicate findings to experts and the general public.

Other admission requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted)
-TOEFL IBT 80.
-TOEFL PBT 550.
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing.
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre.
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced).

Read less
A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Read more
A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Worldwide, population pressures and severe degradation, pollution and desertification problems are threatening this - for several countries relatively scarce - natural resource, and cause competition between agricultural or industrial purposes, urban planning and nature conservation. To guarantee a proper use and management of this for a nation basic commodity, well trained specialists with a thorough knowledge of the properties and characteristics of this natural resource, and a solid insight in factors and measures that may alter its actual state and value are warranted and call for a high standard scientific and practical education.

The main subject in Soil Science aims at training researchers, academics, government staff and expert consultants in the inventory and detailed characterization of land capacity, and of soils in particular. Graduates should be able to understand the development and evolution of soils under natural conditions or following human interference using field, map, laboratory and remote sensing data. They should have the scientific knowledge to use and manage soil and water in a sustainable way, and to optimize land use under different natural and environmental conditions.

Structure

The Master of Science degree programme in Physical Land Resources is a two year, full time course. The first year provides a fundamental basis in physical land resources, with a main subject in either Soil Science or Land Resources Engineering. The second year offers specialised courses in one of the two main subjects. The students have to prepare a master dissertation in the second year. Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of an Master of Science degree in Physical Land Resources. The course curriculum of the first year, and of the main subject in soil science of the second year is organised at the Ghent University, whereas all courses of the main subject in Land Resources Engineering of the second year are lectured at "Vrije Universiteit Brussel".

The academic year starts the last week of September. However students are advised to arrive in Ghent in the first week of September to follow the preparatory summer course.

Teaching methods
A wide variety of teaching methods are used in the PLR programme. All course units, except for “Internship” and “Master Dissertation” include lectures. Lectures are fundamental to provide students with the necessary basic knowledge in order to acquire the requested competences. Besides lectures the following teaching methods are very frequently used: practical classes, PC-room classes and coached exercises. Teaching methods like guided self-study, group work and microteaching are occasionally used. Field work and excursions are naturally an important component of the Physical Land Resources programme, especially in the first year.

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Science in Physical Land Resources is organized at both UGent and VUB and aims to contribute to an increased knowledge in Physical Land Resources both in terms of quantity (more experts with a broad knowledge) and of quality (knowledge and its use at an advanced scientific level). The incoming students have diverse backgrounds in geology-related sciences, civil engineering or agronomy and the large majority of students originate from developing countries.
-Possesses a broad knowledge at an advanced level in basic disciplines (soil physics, soil chemistry, soil mineralogy, meteorology and climatology) that provide a polyvalent scientific understandinga. needed to evaluate land potential for agricultural and environmental applications, understand the evolution of soils under natural and human-impacted conditions, and contribute to sustainable land use planning and integrated management of land and water (Soil Science); or in non-agricultural applications of land, such as geotechnical aspects, the role of soil and groundwater in water resources management and water supplies, and of land management in relation to other environmental and land use aspects (Land Resources Engineering).
-Possesses the basics to conduct field work (soil survey, soil profile description, soil sampling), interpret analytical data, classify the soil, and manage and interpret existing cartographic and remote sensing data using modern equipment, informatics and computer technology.
-Characterize soil physico-chemically and mineralogically with advanced techniques to understand soil processes, translate this to soil quality and assess the influences by and on natural and anthropogenic factors.
-Recognize interaction with other relevant science domains and identify the need to integrate them within the context of more advanced ideas and practical applications and problem solving.
-Demonstrate critical consideration of and reflection on known and new theories, models or interpretation within the specialty.
-Plan and execute target orientated experiments or simulations independently and critically evaluate the collected data.
-Develop and execute original scientific research and/or apply innovative ideas within research units.
-Formulate hypotheses, use or design experiments to test these hypotheses, report on the results, both written and orally, and communicate findings to experts and the general public.

Other admission requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted)
-TOEFL IBT 80.
-TOEFL PBT 550.
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing.
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre.
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced).

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MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Read more
MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our broad range of research areas relate to land use, natural resources and environmental change; rural planning, community governance and resilience; rural change, culture and wellbeing; and rural economy, enterprise and innovation.

Areas of research include:
-Impact and implications of ‘local-global’ processes and relationships for rural areas
-Characteristics and performance of rural businesses and households
-Rural governance
-Demographic ageing and social change
-Living with environmental change

Opportunities are available for postgraduate research in the following areas:

Land use, natural resources and environmental change

-Multifunctional land use and the evolving role of small farms
-Land use and food security
-The management and governance of natural resources
-Agri-environment policy
-Environmental valuation and choice modelling
-Access to land for outdoor recreation and leisure
-Protected areas management

Rural planning, community governance and resilience

-Relationship between rural development policy and communities in a changing political landscape
-Rural policies and the role of communities in policy development
-Neo-endogenous or networked rural development
-Rural housing and trends in counter-urbanisation
-Community asset management
-Rural partnerships and stakeholder relationships
-Community resilience

Rural change, culture and wellbeing

-Perceptions of rurality
-Rural social change
-The role of rural women
-The needs of a changing rural community
-Wellbeing and quality of life
-Rural social capital
-Social exclusion and rural poverty
-Changing perceptions of farming

Rural economy, enterprise and innovation

-Rural enterprise and its economic contribution
-Innovation and entrepreneurialism
-Networks and knowledge exchange
-The nature and needs of rural enterprise
-Technological adoption and innovation in agriculture
-Linkages between urban and rural economies
-Business collaboration and networking
-Expertise and knowledge exchange
-Social and community enterprise
-The green economy

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Your programme of study. If you are interested in earth science, and environmental science but you want to specialise in the study of soil specifically the Aberdeen programme gives you in depth knowledge and a range of experts and alumni who consult at government level. Read more

Your programme of study

If you are interested in earth science, and environmental science but you want to specialise in the study of soil specifically the Aberdeen programme gives you in depth knowledge and a range of experts and alumni who consult at government level. Aberdeen is further supported by having the James Hutton Institute within the city limits, a notable institute specialising in soil science over the years known formerly the Macaulay Institute.

Soil Science is becoming increasingly important to our ability to sustain life on earth as we look at how to keep the soil clean from pollutants in water, air and polluting industries, pesticides and all sorts of changes to soil. There are also growing concerns that as the population increases and climate change also increases how do we farm in the future? The degree gives you all the skills and knowledge you need to work as a soil scientist either as a researcher, within government or regulation or as a consultant working with industry and other organisations devoted to soil science.

You learn about soil science, sustainability, land use planning, food security, GIS, and land use with intensive laboratory analysis from one of the top centres in the world for soil science. We also take you into the field to study specific situations and you are guided by our world renowned researchers in the environmental sciences. This is one of only a handful of Soil Science programmes with cutting edge technologies to help you analyse and study soil in depth. Soil science falls within agricultural sciences which were ranked No. 1 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014) and the highly acclaimed Environmental Science disciplines which Aberdeen has made a name for itself in over the years.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Core Skills in Environmental Science
  • Global Soil Geography
  • Soils for Food Security
  • Applications for GIS

Semester 2

  • Environmental Analysis
  • Land Use and the Changing Environment on Deesside

Optional

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Remediation Technology
  • Catchment Management
  • Ecological and Environmental Modelling

Semester 3

  • Project in Soil Science

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Research at Aberdeen within agricultural and earth sciences is ranked No.1 (REF)
  • You study all methods of analysis and field work to understand the full range of issues within soil and land use which affect the ability to grow crops
  • One of our team developed the award winning 'Cool Farm Tool.' Dr John Hillier developed this to calculate greenhouse gas. The tool is used by known brands such as Marks and Spencer, Costco and Heinz

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



Read less
This programme aims to introduce students to the concepts of soil for the 21st century and is suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in land-based management or environmental protection. Read more

This programme aims to introduce students to the concepts of soil for the 21st century and is suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in land-based management or environmental protection.

Soils underpin the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and are key to food production. Soils form the basis of all agricultural production, but they also store water, mediate the impact of pollutants, provide biological habitats, have an impact on the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, are involved in dealing with society’s waste, are a source of extractable minerals and provide the foundations for the housing and roads on which society depends.

You will learn about soil function and management, and soil classification, assessment and analysis, with a strong emphasis on practical skills. You will gain expertise in the relationship between soil and sustainable approaches to land resource use.

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

Programme structure

This programme involves two semesters of compulsory and option taught courses followed by a period of individual dissertation project work.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Soils Science Concepts and Application
  • Professional Research Skills in Practice
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of optional courses^. We particularly recommend:

  • Analysing the Environment
  • Analysing the Environment Study Tour
  • Culture, Ethics & Environment
  • Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
  • International Development in a Changing World
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Principles of GIS
  • Project Appraisal
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Frameworks to Assess Food Security
  • Integrated Resource Management
  • Spatial Modelling
  • Ecosystem Values and Management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Sustainability of Food Production
  • Interrelationships in Food Systems

Courses are subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Field trip

An integral, week-long study tour lets you refresh skills learned on the programme and develop new tools and techniques, useful during the dissertation process. The tour has historically been held in Mende, France. In addition to the formal taught component, students had the opportunity to go rafting and visit the Aven Armand caves.

There may also be a short tour during induction week, to give students a chance to get to know each other.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • gain a knowledge and understanding of the relationship between soils and sustainable land management
  • gain an understanding of soil sampling and analysis, interpretation and reporting
  • be able to assess soil management issues and develop improved management plans
  • understand the function of soils in relation to sustainable land use and societal needs

Career opportunities

A recent report by the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) identified soil science as an area in which there are critical skills shortages, meaning graduates will be in high demand.

Soil scientists are employed in a broad range of vocations including environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, environmental impact assessment and analysis, site reclamation and remediation, and conservation as well as advising on government policy, archaeological excavations and laboratory analyses, forensics, and landscape design.

Student experience

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

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.



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Overview. Ecosystems have declined more rapidly and extensively over the past 50 years than during any other comparable time in human history. Read more

Overview

Ecosystems have declined more rapidly and extensively over the past 50 years than during any other comparable time in human history. At the same time the world population is projected to rise to nine billion by 2050 and such an increase may inevitably lead to an increased degradation of the natural environment and the ecosystem services which it provides.

The overarching global concerns of climate change, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, food security and poverty alleviation need to be encompassed in management strategies which require a multi-disciplinary approach. This course seeks to provide training for those working in or seeking to work in the landscape and environmental management sector: The cross discipline nature of the course with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and human well-being reflects current national and international thinking.

The clear directive is to prepare the next generation of postgraduate students with the appropriate knowledge and skills to operate effectively in a multidisciplinary working environment. This new course will embrace the principles and values presented in both global and national policy and guidelines and takes on board the concept of “think globally, act locally”.


Course modules include:

  • Managing for Sustainable Environments
  • Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Services
  • Environmental Policy and Leadership Skills
  • Adaptive Land Use and Human Well-being

Careers

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates will be able to go into positions such as a Land Management and Planning Officer, Biosphere Development Officer, Community Projects Officer, Environmental Consultant, Environmental Design and Planning, Land Use Policy Officer, Green Infrastructure/Open Spaces Strategy Manager, Sustainability Education Officer or Land Management Consultant



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This course gives you an understanding of how agriculture interacts with the environment. There is an emphasis on sustainability and the ecological consequences of unsound management. Read more
This course gives you an understanding of how agriculture interacts with the environment. There is an emphasis on sustainability and the ecological consequences of unsound management. It gives you the skills for a career related to sustainability in farming systems, environmental management or rural development.

The course is comprised of compulsory and optional modules, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests.

Through the compulsory modules you will develop knowledge and skills in core concepts such as:
-Sustainable development and environmental change
-Quantitative techniques, experimental design and data analysis
-Assessment of land use capability, habitat potential, risks of water pollution, and soil quality and ecosystem services
-Analysis, interpretation and presentation of field data with regard to environment and habitat assessment
-Science, policy and action underlying climate change and land use

As part of your studies you undertake a major project, similar to one you might experience in the workplace. You will be supported in designing and delivering a project based on a laboratory or field-based investigation. After choosing your topic you will collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis. This research project and thesis may be based overseas.

Delivery

This course is taught in a block format with one six week block and then smaller two week teaching blocks.

You are taught through lectures, seminars, practical and field classes, tutorials, case studies and small group discussions. You are expected to undertake independent study outside of these structured sessions. You are assessed through written examinations, coursework, presentations and your final major project.

You can also study through the Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme which is a framework that enables us to award postgraduate level qualifications using credit-bearing stand-alone modules as 'building blocks' towards a qualification. This means that the credits from modules undertaken within a five-year period can be 'banked' towards the award of a qualification.

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MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning. This is a masters degree focuses on the key strategic and leadership challenges brought about by climate change and broader environmental issues. Read more

MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning

This is a masters degree focuses on the key strategic and leadership challenges brought about by climate change and broader environmental issues. From spatial master-planning to politics and economics, this MSc gets to the heart of the how the environment must be brought into decision-making. It is among the first such programmes in the UK to put adaptation transformation at the heart of the teaching.

Future environmental change and the effectiveness of solutions are both uncertain. We teach students to integrate risk assessment into decision-making. Theoretical concepts are reinforced with applied projects in landscape planning, design and case studies. The MSc course covers a variety of themes including land use, cities and communities, politics and economics, ecosystem function, water and waste management. Optional modules in the built environment, energy, sustainable materials and renewable technologies can also be taken.

How is the course taught?

Taught either by distance learning or through residential blocks in one of the most imaginative environmental buildings in the UK (or a mixture of the two). The programme draws on our expert staff (https://gse.cat.org.uk/index.php/postgraduate-courses/msc-sustainability-and-adaptation/sa-staff-profiles) and a wide selection of specialist guest lecturers; people who have made exceptional contributions to thinking and action in the environmental and built environment sectors.

The Sustainability and Adaptation Planning masters degree gives you the knowledge and skills to plan for adapting to environmental change. It also gives you the tools to drive sustainability strategy and transformation across a range of organisations and government. This includes skills for incorporating risk assessment into decision making and dealing with uncertainty.

What qualification will you receive?

Successful completion of the programme MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning at the Centre for Alternative Technology leads to the award of Master of Science (MSc) by UEL

Modules include

- Adaptation and sustainability: concepts and planning

- Ecosystem services, land use and water and waste management

- Environmental adaptation, sustainability, politics and economics

- Cities and communities

- Energy flows and energy efficient design in buildings

- Sustainable materials in the built environment

Why study at CAT?

Studying at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a truly unique experience. For the past 40 years CAT has been at the forefront of the environmental movement, pioneering low-carbon living and renewable technology. At the Graduate School of the Environment (GSE), students benefit from our extensive practical and academic knowledge, graduating with the skills needed to become leading players in the sustainability sector. Find out more about our facilities here: https://gse.cat.org.uk/index.php/postgraduate-courses/msc-sustainability-and-adaptation/sa-site-and-facilities

Hands-on learning

At CAT, hands-on learning takes place side by side with academic study. Residential on-site block learning weeks are taught at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), a truly unique and inspiring learning environment. Nestled in a disused slate quarry on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, CAT is a living laboratory for paractical, sustainable solutions. It contains some of the most innovative and renowned environmentally conscious buildings in the country, as well as one of the most diverse range of installed renewable technologies, on site water and sewage treatment, sustainably managed woodland and acres of organic gardens.

Flexibility

It is a flexible degree, taught in blocks taken either with an intensive residential stay of five or six nights at the centre, or by distance learning. MSc students are free to choose between these teaching modes for every module. There is a choice of modules, taken over one year or two – meaning the degree can be part time. It is a masters degree designed to give you the best possible experience whilst also meshing neatly with the pressures of modern professional and family life.

Immersive learning environment

Optional residential module weeks include lectures, seminars, group work and practicals. Applied work tends to dominate later in the week once we have laid the theoretical groundwork. These module weeks provide a truly immersive environment to escape daily life and apply yourself to new learning. Many eminent experts give guest lectures or hold seminars during these modules, as it is a course which seeks to draw on the expertise and learning of the whole environmental sector.

Is this the course for you?

Come to an open day, visit us another time or contact us.

https://gse.cat.org.uk/index.php/open-day



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This MA course will give you the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to practise professionally as a spatial planner. Read more

This MA course will give you the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to practise professionally as a spatial planner. It is designed to meet the growing employer needs for staff who can investigate changes in the natural and built environments, manage the challenges of climate change through sustainable development, and debate and critically reflect upon the knowledge and values underpinning current approaches to land use development. Completion of the MA course is the first step to become a full member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

The course will support your personal and professional development. You will be able to work in the interdisciplinary and cross-sector environment of urban and regional development, in a variety of private, public and community contexts, and apply your knowledge to practise in specialist areas of planning. The course builds on the University's experience of delivering postgraduate courses in town planning for more than 60 years.

The course explores the current context and content of spatial planning. It does so from a UK and European perspective, and also investigates underlying theoretical debates.

If you want to gain a greater understanding of spatial planning, but do not want to study for a full Masters course, we also offer an Urban and Regional Planning Postgraduate Diploma and an Urban and Regional Planning Postgraduate Certificate. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find out more about these courses. 

Course structure

For the award of the MA students need to pass modules totalling 180 credits. MA students take all core modules and choose one specialist option module.

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

Optional modules

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the MA course students can become licentiates of the RTPI. After two years' experience in practice, they may make a submission for their Assessment of Professional Competence and, if successful, are then entitled to full RTPI membership.

Industry links

Visiting lectures are given by a wide range of external practitioners. The teaching team has extensive links with planning institutions including the RTPI and the Town and Country Planning Association. The course includes part-time students working in planning-related positions in private and public sectors.

Career path

Most of the students on the course are already in planning or planning-related posts. Full-time students graduating from the course as qualified planners will normally be offered planning positions in the public or private sector on graduation.

Examples of companies that have recruited our graduates include:

  • Belinda Greenwell
  • Graduate Planner, Savills UK
  • Marisa Teuma
  • Town Planner, Transport for London (TfL)
  • Yvonne Sampoh
  • Project Officer (Planning), Southwark Council
  • Kiran Curtis
  • Managing Director, Kiran Curtis Associates
  • Adam Hunt
  • Tottenham Planning and Regeneration Manager, London Borough of Haringey


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Food security. a global concern. There has never been a more urgent need to train food security researchers who are equipped with skills in agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant genetics, and knowledge of modern agricultural systems and agricultural policy. Read more

Food security: a global concern

There has never been a more urgent need to train food security researchers who are equipped with skills in agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant genetics, and knowledge of modern agricultural systems and agricultural policy. As outlined in The Royal Society’s 2009 report Reaping the Benefits: science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture, it is of vital importance that we increase crop yields significantly over the next 50 years, while also decreasing our dependency on chemical intervention and fertilizers.

Meeting the challenge of sustainable agriculture

This interdisciplinary programme was developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including: the agricultural industry, government agencies (including Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra) and The Food and Environment Research Agency (fera)), and farmers and food manufacturers. Research-led teaching in molecular plant pathology, plant sciences, and microbiology is strongly supplemented by Rothamsted Research, North Wyke expertise in grassland management, soil science, and sustainable farming systems. The combination of expertise in both arable and pastureland systems ensures a truly rounded learning experience. Leading social scientists also provide valuable input on land use and economic practices in rural areas.

The curriculum is designed to address critical shortages of experts capable of working in government agencies, agriculture, and the food industry as researchers, advisers, policy developers, and managers. The programme provides opportunities to gain industrial and practical experience and observe food security issues first-hand during field trips.

Expert teaching

Teaching is enriched by expert contributions from a broad cross-section of the industry. Scientific staff from Fera provide specialist lectures as part of the Crop Security module, members of the Plant Health Inspectorate cover field aspects of plant pathology, and a LEAF1 farmer addresses agricultural systems and the realities of food production using integrated farm management. In addition, teaching staff from the University and BBSRC Rothamsted-North Wyke will draw on material and experiences from their academic research and scientific links with industry.

Industrial and practical experience

All students will have opportunities to gain industrial and practical experiences. Teaching visits will be made to the Plant Health Inspectorate in Cornwall to see quarantine management of Phytophthora, and to a local LEAF farm to review the challenges and approaches to food production in integrated farm management systems. You will gain specialised experience in practical science or policy making through a dissertation or project placement with external agencies. Defra and Fera, for example, are offering five dissertation and/or project placements annually.

Programme structure

The programme is made up of modules. The list of modules may include the following;

  • Professional Skills;
  • Research Project;
  • Sustainable Land Use in Grassland Agriculture;
  • Crop Security;
  • Sustainable Livestock and Fisheries;
  • Political Economy of Food and Agriculture
  • Research and Knowledge Transfer for Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand. Please see the website for an up to date list (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/foodsecurity/#Programme-structure)

Addressing a skills shortage to tackle global food security

The MSc Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture curriculum has been designed in collaboration with the agricultural industry to tackle the skills shortage that exists in this vital interdisciplinary area. This programme will provide the highly skilled individuals required in government agencies, agriculture and food industries for critical roles in scientific research, advice, evaluation, policy development and implementation tackling the challenges of food security.

Global horizons

With food security and sustainable agriculture a global concern, opportunities for specialists in the areas of agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant improvement will be worldwide. By combining expertise across the natural, social and political sciences, this programme provides valuable interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in both arable and pastureland systems. Graduates will be prepared to take on the global challenges of food security and sustainable agriculture, being able to adapt to farming systems across the world and identify cross-disciplinary solutions to local agricultural problems.

Learning enhanced by industry

The programme is enriched by expert contributions from a broad cross-section of the industry, with specialist lectures, teaching visits to observe the practical application of techniques, and industrial placement opportunities for project work or dissertations in practical science or policy making.



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MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning. This is a masters degree focuses on the key strategic and leadership challenges brought about by climate change and broader environmental issues. Read more

MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning

This is a masters degree focuses on the key strategic and leadership challenges brought about by climate change and broader environmental issues. From spatial master-planning to politics and economics, this MSc gets to the heart of the how the environment must be brought into decision-making. It is among the first such programmes in the UK to put adaptation transformation at the heart of the teaching.

Future environmental change and the effectiveness of solutions are both uncertain. We teach students to integrate risk assessment into decision-making. Theoretical concepts are reinforced with applied projects in landscape planning, design and case studies. The MSc course covers a variety of themes including land use, cities and communities, politics and economics, ecosystem function, water and waste management. Optional modules in the built environment, energy, sustainable materials and renewable technologies can also be taken.

How is the course taught?

Taught either by distance learning or through residential blocks in one of the most imaginative environmental buildings in the UK (or a mixture of the two). The programme draws on our expert staff (https://gse.cat.org.uk/index.php/postgraduate-courses/msc-sustainability-and-adaptation/sa-staff-profiles) and a wide selection of specialist guest lecturers; people who have made exceptional contributions to thinking and action in the environmental and built environment sectors.

The Sustainability and Adaptation Planning masters degree gives you the knowledge and skills to plan for adapting to environmental change. It also gives you the tools to drive sustainability strategy and transformation across a range of organisations and government. This includes skills for incorporating risk assessment into decision making and dealing with uncertainty.

What qualification will you receive?

Successful completion of the programme MSc Sustainability and Adaptation Planning at the Centre for Alternative Technology leads to the award of Master of Science (MSc) by UEL

Modules include

- Adaptation and sustainability: concepts and planning

- Ecosystem services, land use and water and waste management

- Environmental adaptation, sustainability, politics and economics

- Cities and communities

- Energy flows and energy efficient design in buildings

- Sustainable materials in the built environment

Why study at CAT?

Studying at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a truly unique experience. For the past 40 years CAT has been at the forefront of the environmental movement, pioneering low-carbon living and renewable technology. At the Graduate School of the Environment (GSE), students benefit from our extensive practical and academic knowledge, graduating with the skills needed to become leading players in the sustainability sector. Find out more about our facilities here: https://gse.cat.org.uk/index.php/postgraduate-courses/msc-sustainability-and-adaptation/sa-site-and-facilities

Hands-on learning

At CAT, hands-on learning takes place side by side with academic study. Residential on-site block learning weeks are taught at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), a truly unique and inspiring learning environment. Nestled in a disused slate quarry on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, CAT is a living laboratory for paractical, sustainable solutions. It contains some of the most innovative and renowned environmentally conscious buildings in the country, as well as one of the most diverse range of installed renewable technologies, on site water and sewage treatment, sustainably managed woodland and acres of organic gardens.

Flexibility

It is a flexible degree, taught in blocks taken either with an intensive residential stay of five or six nights at the centre, or by distance learning. MSc students are free to choose between these teaching modes for every module. There is a choice of modules, taken over one year or two – meaning the degree can be part time. It is a masters degree designed to give you the best possible experience whilst also meshing neatly with the pressures of modern professional and family life.

Immersive learning environment

Optional residential module weeks include lectures, seminars, group work and practicals. Applied work tends to dominate later in the week once we have laid the theoretical groundwork. These module weeks provide a truly immersive environment to escape daily life and apply yourself to new learning. Many eminent experts give guest lectures or hold seminars during these modules, as it is a course which seeks to draw on the expertise and learning of the whole environmental sector.

Is this the course for you?

Come to an open day, visit us another time or contact us.

https://gse.cat.org.uk/index.php/open-day



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Successful environmental policy depends on the ability of its makers to bring together scientific information, analytical thinking and an awareness of the legal, social and political realities of environmental regulation. Read more
Successful environmental policy depends on the ability of its makers to bring together scientific information, analytical thinking and an awareness of the legal, social and political realities of environmental regulation. This course has been designed to provide an intensive training in the relevant economic and legal concepts and techniques to equip you with the tools that will help you successfully design, implement and assess environmental policy in a variety of settings.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/lelempepl

Course detail

MPhil courses offered by the Department of Land Economy share common aims. These are:

i) to enable students of a high calibre to pursue their education at an advanced applied level drawing on the primary disciplines of economics, planning and environmental policy, with additional specialisms in finance and law;

ii) to provide students with opportunities both to build on and develop material which they may have studied at undergraduate level as well as to broaden their knowledge base;

iii) to equip students with the necessary skills to pursue careers at a high level in a range of areas, including business and finance, civil service, public service, property professions, environmental agencies and organisations, national/international agencies and further study;

iv) to provide opportunities for education in a multidisciplinary environment so as to advance the understanding of cognate disciplines and their applications;

v) to provide opportunities for learning with colleagues from different social, economic and legal systems;

vi) to provide students with appropriate skills and experience to enable them to use information and resources critically and to equip them with the means to undertake their own research;

vii) to provide an educational environment with a strong research ethos that brings together students from a wide variety of backgrounds and fosters an international approach to common problems.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, students will have acquired the following skills:

i) Knowledge and understanding of the subject matter of the various components of their course.

ii) Intellectual skills: the ability to study steadily, assimilate issues and large amounts of literature swiftly, evaluate countervailing positions and to produce succinct arguments to tight deadlines and to engage with those with whom they disagree. Particular methodologies used include: data evaluation, case evaluation, legal analysis, textual analysis, the convergence of theory and empirical data and advanced critical evaluation.

iii) Practical skills: identification and use of bibliographic materials, via libraries and electronically; taking notes effectively, thorough IT skills.

iv) Transferable skills: the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; to work to deadlines and under pressure; to manage time; to set priorities; to formulate an argument; to work independently and with initiative; basic IT skills (email, data analysis and internet use); critical analysis; to present material in a seminar context; skills of analysis and interpretation; self-discipline, self-direction; and respect for other views. The ability to develop and present a major piece of written work.

v) Research skills: the ability to locate, utilise and organise a wide range of materials independently, on paper and electronically. The ability to assess and evaluate such material, to develop and pursue a critique of existing material. The ability to develop, structure and sustain a line of argument. The establishment of relationships with researchers in related areas. The ethical use of research material.

vi) Communication skills: the ability to marshal arguments and present them succinctly and lucidly. The ability to effectively criticise the views of others powerfully but fairly. The presentation of written material in a persuasive and coherent manner.

vii) Interpersonal skills: the ability to work with others in seminars and smaller groups towards common goals. The ability to share research data ethically. The ability to respect the views of others and to acknowledge deficiencies in one's own argument.

Format

Candidates study a total of eight modules, some of which are compulsory and complete a dissertation of not more than 12,000 words. Taught modules may be assessed by either written examination or coursework or by a combination of assessment formats.

The modules offered for this course are confirmed on an annual basis but may include:
- Quantitative research methods I
- Mixed research methods
- Fundamentals of environmental economics
- International environmental law I
- Environmental values
- Environmental policy assessment and evaluation
- International environmental law II
- Energy and climate change
- Rural environment: property, planning and policy
- Economic development and land use policies
- Climate change policy and land development

Plus optional modules from other taught MPhil courses offered by the Department of Land Economy.

Feedback and guidance is given to assist students in developing and drafting the dissertation research project. Feedback sessions are arranged by module leaders following examinations.

Assessment

A dissertation of between 10,000 to 12,000 words.

Assessment of subject modules varies and includes written examinations, individual and group project work. Some modules may be assessed in more than one format.

Assessment of subject modules varies, written examinations are used for some modules, these will normally be two-hour papers.

Continuing

Approval of an application to continue to the PhD degree will depend on three criteria:

1. Availability of a supervisor
2. The approval by the Degree Committee of a research proposal
3. The achievement of a minimum overall mark and minimum dissertation mark in the MPhil examination as prescribed by the Degree Committee in any offer of admission.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are no specific funding opportunities advertised for this course. For information on more general funding opportunities, please follow the link below.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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A collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Faculty of Forestry, the inter-faculty Soil Science Graduate Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Read more
A collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Faculty of Forestry, the inter-faculty Soil Science Graduate Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Students are registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies through either the Faculty of Land and Food Systems or Faculty of Forestry, depending upon their research interests.

Areas of study include biometeorology, forest nutrition and nutrient cycling, mycorrhizal ecology, soil biology, soil quality and fertility, soil-plant interactions, ecosystem services, land an water systems.

Program Overview

Soil Science offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in the areas of soil microbial ecology, organic matter, soil physics, irrigation and drainage, biometeorology, soil pollution, soil and water conservation, soil management, and land use, with application to forest, agricultural, urban, and range soils, as well as a professional Master of Land and Water Systems (M.L.W.S.) degree. The Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees include a combination of courses in both basic and applied sciences, with research leading to the completion of a thesis/dissertation. The M.L.W.S. degree is intended for students seeking a post-baccalaureate degree for professional practice in the land and water resources management realm. The program is designed to be completed in one calendar year.

Soil Sciences programs are enriched through collaboration with: colleagues in other graduate programs, such as Forestry, Geography, Plant Science, Institute for Resources and Environment, Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems, and Landscape Architecture; and agencies such as Environment Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Forests and Range, and other provincial, municipal, and regional government agencies.

Research facilities are housed both within the MacMillan and Forest Sciences Buildings and, on a shared basis, in other buildings on campus. Research facilities within the MacMillan Building include modern analytical laboratories and other equipment for conducting chemical and biometeorological research, while excellent facilities for soil biological research are located in the Forest Sciences Centre.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Soil Science
- Subject: Agriculture and Forestry
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Career Prospects

Graduates of the soil science degree program often obtain positions with government or the private sector. Some graduates decide to continue in the area of research and academia with various universities and colleges. Examples of where some graduates are employed:
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- BC Ministry of Forests
- Canadian Forest Service
- Consultant
- Associate Professor, University of Guelph
- Associate Professor, Yale University
- Associate Professor, University of Northern BC
- Environment Canada
- Assistant Professor, University of Bengukulu, Indonesia
- Assistant Professor, University of Venda for Science and Technology, South Africa

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