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Masters Degrees (Monitoring)

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This programme is for graduates who wish to pursue a career in the environment sector in the UK or internationally, or those already working in the sector seeking to enhance their skills and employability. Read more
This programme is for graduates who wish to pursue a career in the environment sector in the UK or internationally, or those already working in the sector seeking to enhance their skills and employability. Graduates have an excellent track record of securing jobs in environmental consultancy, research and government agencies.

The unique emphasis of this programme is the practical challenge of measuring, analysing and evaluating dynamic environmental data for environmental problem-solving and management purposes. Learning is focussed around practical field and laboratory work.

A key element of the programme is the dissertation, for which students undertake research relating to any special interests they have in environmental management.

Core study areas include tools for river management, lake monitoring and management, wind erosion measurement and mitigation, natural hazard and catastrophe modelling, applied environmental GIS, hydroclimatological monitoring and modelling, evidence-based environmental management, research design, professional practice in environmental management, and a dissertation.

See the website http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/geography/environmental-monitoring-management/

Programme modules

Environment-specific theory and skills:
- Tools for River Management
- Lake Monitoring and Management
- Wind Erosion Measurement and Mitigation

Generic skills:
- Natural Hazard and Catastrophe Modelling for Environmental Management
- Applied Environmental GIS
- Hydroclimatological Monitoring and Modelling
- Evidence-based Environmental Management
- Research Design
- Professional Practice in Environmental Management

Research Project:
- Dissertation


Interviews may be held on consideration of a prospective student’s application form. Overseas students are often accepted on their grades and strong recommendation from suitable referees.


Coursework reports and a dissertation of up to 50 pages on an agreed topic.

Careers and further study

Our graduates have outstanding employment prospects. Recent graduates are working in research, consultancy and government agencies in the fields of flood risk modelling and engineering, catastrophe risk analysis, water quality monitoring and transport planning.

Scholarships and sponsorships

Support may be available in the form of scholarships, and studentships awarded on a competitive basis.

Why choose geography at Loughborough?

The Department of Geography is a dynamic and vibrant place to be a postgraduate student and we are proud of our reputation for creating a friendly, supportive working environment.

We have over 25 academic staff who are all leading international experts in their fields.For example, our human geographers conduct research that informs government policy on student housing, international aid, alcohol policy and community cohesion, while our physical geographies continue to influence climate adaptation and development planning, the management of river sediments, and conservation management.

The work undertaken in our Department spans the breadth of contemporary physical and human geographical research (and involves strong connections into other disciplines) and deals with many of the most striking environmental, social and economic challenges facing our world, as demonstrated by our innovative programmes.

- Research
Postgraduate research, whether at PhD or MSc dissertation level, is a very important part of the academic life of our Department, and we invest a great deal of time and resources in supporting postgraduate students in their research.

- Career prospects
Loughborough postgraduates are highly employable. Employability skills are embedded throughout our programmes, with graduates appointed to posts across a full range of industries and sectors. Almost all of our postgraduates are in employment within a few months of graduating, and many who have studied in the Geography Department have embarked on academic research careers.

Find out how to apply here http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/geography/environmental-monitoring-management/

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Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Management enables you to gain a deeper understanding of environmental processes and techniques for managing environmental change. Read more
Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Management enables you to gain a deeper understanding of environmental processes and techniques for managing environmental change. Study how to assess the causes and manage the consequences of environmental, climatic and land use change. Students choose to take either a research or a consultancy stream.

Key benefits

- Focuses on the delivery of important technical skills (GIS, Remote Sensing, modelling and monitoring).

- Students form strong links with departmental research groups and external organisations in the UK and beyond.

Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/environmental-monitoring-modelling-and-management-msc.aspx

Course detail

- Description -

The MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Managementprogramme provides advanced-level core training in environmental modelling and monitoring, remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and in the research methods training required to use them effectively. Modules examine how to assess the causes and consequences of environmental, climatic and land-use change. Students can opt for a research pathway or a consultancy pathway. The two pathways share key training elements. The research pathway links a student with a departmental research group working on research aspects of environmental modelling and monitoring, and is designed explicitly for those going on to a career in research. The consultancy pathway focuses on the application of key training to environmental management, and is designed for those who wish to use their skills directly in environmental management.

- Course purpose -

For those seeking a deeper understanding of environmental processes and techniques for managing environmental change. Provides advanced-level training in the application of environmental modelling and monitoring, remote sensing and geographical information systems (GIS) to environmental management and the prevention, mitigation or adaptation to environmental change.

- Course format and assessment -

Specialist taught modules assessed by report, presentation, lab work and occasionally by examination. The three-month dissertation is compulsory and can be taken overseas or in the UK.

Career prospects

National or international consultancies and NGOs; private and public service research and management; further higher level research in UK and overseas universities and research centres.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 20 universities worldwide (2015/16 QS World Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

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This course provides advanced training in environmental toxicology, monitoring techniques and evaluates global environmental legislation. Read more
This course provides advanced training in environmental toxicology, monitoring techniques and evaluates global environmental legislation. It fulfils the demand for trained personnel in the environmental regulatory agencies, in companies subject to such regulation and those involved in providing support services such as monitoring and consultancy. The course is offered in part-time online mode and suits people already working in the environmental field or those wishing to pursue a career in this area.

Key benefits

- Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) for the purpose of eligibility to apply for associate membership.

- Flexible learning

Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/course/msc-environmental-toxicology-and-pollution-monitoring-pt-el

Course detail

Specific Objectives are to develop an understanding of :

•The general mechanisms of toxicity
•The basis of setting environmental quality standards
•The behaviour of contaminants in water, air and soil
•The main toxicological problems of contaminants in the environment
•The legislative controls on contaminants

To take this course, you will need access to a computer with a fast internet connection. The course uses the Blackboard learning environment and the modules are delivered using online lectures, including practical and tutorial material. Students and staff interact via email, discussion boards, online chat and telephone. You will find that this course is much more flexible than traditional on-campus university courses as you can study using your own computer and the internet, at your own pace, any place and any time (within given timeframes).

- Teaching and learning assessment -

Assessment is 100% by course work (no sessional examinations); a mixture of methods including practical reports, problem analysis, projects, literature reviews and essays, class tests, group work and a research project.

Students are able to use the University's extensive online resources of electronic journals, books and databases.

Modular Structure:

- Environmental Data Analysis
- Environmental Toxicology
- Pollution Monitoring
- Water Management
- Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Monitoring Project

Career options

Most students on the course are already working in the environmental field. It aims to be flexible and gives the opportunity to focus in areas of particular interest to the student. Completion of the course will help career development.

How to apply: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply#pg

Why Choose Ulster University ?

1. Over 92% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.
2. We are a top UK university for providing courses with a period of work placement.
3. Our teaching and the learning experience we deliver are rated at the highest level by the Quality Assurance Agency.
4. We recruit international students from more than 100 different countries.
5. More than 4,000 students from over 50 countries have successfully completed eLearning courses at Ulster University.

Flexible payment

To help spread the cost of your studies, tuition fees can be paid back in monthly instalments while you learn. If you study for a one-year, full-time master’s, you can pay your fees up-front, in one lump sum, or in either five* or ten* equal monthly payments. If you study for a master’s on a part-time basis (e.g. over three years), you can pay each year’s fees up-front or in five or ten equal monthly payments each year. This flexibility allows you to spread the payment of your fees over each academic year. Find out more by visiting https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/postgraduate


A comprehensive range of financial scholarships, awards and prizes are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Scholarships recognise the many ways in which our students are outstanding in their subject. Individuals may be able to apply directly or may automatically be nominated for awards. Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/scholarships

English Language Tuition

CELT offers courses and consultations in English language and study skills to Ulster University students of all subjects, levels and nationalities. Students and researchers for whom English is an additional language can access free CELT support throughout the academic year: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/english-language-support

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This master's programme focuses on the analysis of dynamic environments. past. present, and future. Concerns over human impacts on the environment have stimulated demand from governments and industry for the monitoring, analysis and modelling of natural processes in environmental systems. Read more
This master's programme focuses on the analysis of dynamic environments: past. present, and future. Concerns over human impacts on the environment have stimulated demand from governments and industry for the monitoring, analysis and modelling of natural processes in environmental systems. This is essential if we are to improve understanding of the interrelation of environmental variables in order to predict and manage their responses to anthropogenic perturbations.

You will gain:
-Advanced theoretical knowledge and practical expertise in order to collect, interpret and analyse contemporary and past environmental data.
-Modelling skills, in order to investigate the interrelationships between environmental variables, and to predict their responses to changing internal and external conditions.
-Intellectual and practical skills, in order to design and undertake field and/or laboratory experiments in contemporary environmental process-monitoring, or palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, and to design and test appropriate environmental models with the data you collect.

These skills are highly relevant if you wish to pursue a career in environmental management, or consultancy, and provide a firm grounding for research in the environmental sciences. Dr Jason Dortch directs the course, with input from other physical geographers working on a wide variety of aspects of environmental change. Current research includes:
-Measurements and predictions of climate change
-Glaciers and ice sheets (past and present)
-Environmental pollution
-Upland geomorphology (low relief, e.g. British uplands, and high relief, e.g. Himalayas)
-Remote sensing for environmental management
-Moorland erosion control
-Water resource management
-Fire management
-Tectonic geomorphology

We also use the proximity of Manchester to the upland areas of the Peak District; several past MSc students completed dissertation work in close collaboration with various organisations responsible for land management in the Peak District, giving their work direct policy relevance.


Teaching focuses on training in theory, concepts and research skills in the first semester, and practical applications and research experience in the second semester.

We teach course units in small-group interactive styles with a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals and presentations. A range of physical geographers provide training in their specialised fields, covering both content and practical research methods.
In a typical week, expect to spend some time in the library, preparing for seminars; in the laboratory, completing practicals; in the dedicated postgraduate computer laboratory, or writing reports; and in the classroom.

The second semester in particular gives you increased opportunities to go out into the field, both for practicals and to gain research experience by doing field research with members of staff. We maintain an intensively monitored catchment on the moors near the Snake Pass in the Peak District and this is the focus of several practical exercises, as well as a source of data to support dissertation work.

Field and laboratory research are essential to your learning process in environmental monitoring, and these form integrated parts of both the taught units and dissertation work.

Career opportunities

In the second semester, various speakers from environmental employers visit the department to give a flavour of their work and advice on employment.

The MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction has an excellent track record in providing a springboard for students to go on to careers in environmental industries, consultancies and government agencies, or to further research for higher degrees.

Recent graduates have found employment in agencies like the UK Atomic Energy Authority, The Environment Agency, Natural England and a range of environmental consultancies. Others have moved on to undertake full-time research for a PhD.

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The environment is currently being subjected to unprecedented anthropogenic change at all spatial scales, from local pollution incidents, through landscape alteration due to agricultural change and urbanisation, right up to global climate change. Read more
The environment is currently being subjected to unprecedented anthropogenic change at all spatial scales, from local pollution incidents, through landscape alteration due to agricultural change and urbanisation, right up to global climate change. Unfortunately it is hard to respond to such challenges due to the complex and multifactorial nature of environmental systems. The science is difficult to encompass and digest, the technology wide-ranging and complex, and the responses required more difficult to implement.
The aim of this MSc is therefore to train a new generation of environmental monitors and managers to detect and measure environmental changes and attempt either to mitigate them or to adapt to them. To achieve this aim the course will of necessity by highly Interdiciplinary. It will combine the broad knowledge and expertise within the two schools of SoBBES and GEES and elsewhere in the Science faculty of a wide variety of subjects, ranging from eDNA and ecology, through to geochemistry and GIS, enabling students to identify and define the problems. The field of environmental science is a fast-moving one, and the course will use and train students in the new technologies It will also be Integrative. It will show how different approaches and technologies can be harnessed to understand the processes of environmental change, and how they can be addressed. Finally it will be Translational. It will show how modern theory and technology can be harnessed to manage ecosystems in the service of stakeholders, such as industry and the regulatory authorities. Students will be encouraged to perform research projects with the many stakeholder partners we have built up locally, nationally and internationally, solving real life problems of environmental change. The programme aims to bring students up to MSc level in the following areas:
1. To provide an in-depth knowledge of the causes and consequences of Environmental Change, and of all aspects of the technologies used to monitor it from laboratory analysis to field techniques.
2. To provide the know-how to critically assess the different methods of managing environmental change used by stakeholders and regulatory authorities, and the technical ability to implement these measures.
3. To provide a knowledge of the policy and regulatory framework under which environmental monitoring and management operate.
4. To train them to be able to design and implement research programmes to assess environmental change, to analyse the results obtained and write up and communicate the findings to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
5. To develop the transferrable skills necessary to successfully carry out monitoring and to implement change, skills such as teamwork, communication, time management and independent thinking.

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Summary. Environmental management professionals play a critical role in the safe and responsible governance of our environment. Read more


Environmental management professionals play a critical role in the safe and responsible governance of our environment. The importance of accurate monitoring of environmental data and assessment of predicted change sits at the heart of this diverse course Students will develop the professional skills required for a career as an environmental scientist in this fast-growing and rapidly-changing industry.


Compulsory modules include: Environmental Impact Assessment; Environmental Management Systems; Sustainable Resource Management; Environmental Law and Management; MSc Research Project; Advanced Quantitative Methods

Optional modules include: Geographical Information Systems; Air Quality and Environmental Pollution; Natural Resource Governance; Energy Resources and Engineering; Coastal Flood Defence; Bioenergy; Environmental Modelling

Visit our website for further information.

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This MSc programme is delivered by the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) at our Orkney Campus. It has been designed to promote an integrated, participatory approach to nurture and strengthen quantitative skills in science and environmental graduates using locally relevant issues. Read more

Integrative Marine Data Skills

This MSc programme is delivered by the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) at our Orkney Campus. It has been designed to promote an integrated, participatory approach to nurture and strengthen quantitative skills in science and environmental graduates using locally relevant issues. It will build a broad understanding of marine ecosystems, ecosystem services and associated management issues. Teaching is strongly reinforced with laboratory, fieldwork and project work, with emphasis placed on simulating real work situations. Strong links with industry partners, policy-makers and regulators ensure relevance within this sector. It will produce students who are quantitatively competent and literate, capable of interpreting and communicating findings, with work-ready skills (field and industry) to facilitate employment in a competitive marketplace where demand for data-savvy students is high.

Course content

Semester 1:

Advanced Research Skills 1 – Data Collecting and Handling (core)
Data is increasingly important in today’s society with huge quantities generated by the maritime sector to address a range of environmental and economically important issues. However, a specific set of skills are required to handle, extract, manipulate, analyse and communicate these data sets. Students will collect data across three platforms: shoreline, oceanic and remote, providing work-ready technical, laboratory and field skills. This course will build quantitative confidence and competency, providing graduates with the skills essential to understanding, responding to, and mitigating today’s environmental challenges.

Advanced Research Skills 2 – Statistical and Numerical Techniques (core)
The ability to problem-solve, think critically and apply mathematics has been severely eroded across education sectors, with this deficit being transferred to the working environment. Skills in numeracy, data mining, data management and modelling have been highlighted as being in demand. This course will utilise environmentally relevant, local long-term data sets collected in Advanced Research Skills 1 to strengthen skills in data analysis using a range of methods. This course is not targeting students with a strong numerical or modelling background, instead it aims to build confidence with analytical techniques and provide a broad, yet solid depth of knowledge.

Oceanography and Marine Ecology (core)
This course will give an understanding of the science of waves and tides, and how this affects efforts to exploit energy from these resources and to develop other maritime industries. The challenges and impacts associated with engineering operations in the marine environment are examined. Marine ecosystems and ecosystems services are also studied and how these are impacted by human activities.

Introduction to Marine Planning (core)
Introduces students to the emerging policy and practice of marine planning (global and regional). It examines political, jurisdictional and rights issues in the introduction of economic activities into the marine commons (the ‘Blue Growth Agenda’). The framework of marine legislation is explained and methods of conflict resolution are explored. A series of international case studies will identify the various tools and techniques being used around the world to manage human activity and balance conservation interests with demands for economic growth.

Semester 2:

Case Study and Project Design (core)
This course will facilitate the interpretation and communication of data and promote teamwork skills and engagement with a broad range of end-users, fostering responsive management skills. It is an essential follow-on core component from Advanced Research Skills 1 and 2 in Semester 1 to further consolidate the quantitative learning experience and promote synergies with local industry, stake-holders and communities. The course will capitalise on the strong networks already in place at ICIT with staff, local industry and community groups.

GIS for Marine and Environmental Scientists (optional)
Geographic Information System mapping is a tool which is now widely used by both developers and regulators in the management and development of marine resources. Within the context of Marine Spatial Planning the use of GIS has rapidly become the standard means of collating and analysing spatial information regarding resource use. This course will explain the principles and provide hands-on experience of applying state of the art mapping software in project based case studies.

Environmental Policy and Risk (optional)
This course explores the legal and policy context of marine governance. You will gain an understanding of international law, particularly the Law of the Sea, property rights and how these relate to different energy resources. The course examines regulatory issues at the international, European and UK level, as well as risk assessment and management in the context of marine developments. A practical EIA exercise is undertaken.

Practical Skills in Marine Surveying (optional)
Students entering employment in marine conservation or marine resource management are often required to plan or manage surveys of the marine environment in the role of either client or contractor. Diving is often the most effective method for conducting surveys to monitor or map marine biota. This course will provide students with the requisite knowledge for designing and managing such projects utilising scientific diving techniques.

Marine Environmental Monitoring (optional)
This course will provide an understanding of: the scientific background of natural processes in estuarine and coastal environments as a necessary prerequisite for understanding monitoring and management; the fundamentals of the design and applications of environmental monitoring programmes; the role of impact assessment in resource management, conservation and pollution control and legal framework supporting this process; and the importance of the scientific dimension underpinning estuarine and coastal management.

Tropical Coral Reefs: Monitoring and Management Field Course (Malaysia) (optional)
(Additional fee for flights and subsistence)
Students will experience different techniques used for surveying and monitoring coral reefs, to provide an understanding of the sampling and other issues which influence choice of method. It will provide students with an impression of the environmental pressures affecting reef habitats as a result of climate change, tourism related development, and of the range of management measures which may be introduced to promote sustainable use of reef resources. It will familiarise students with the main forms of fish, coral and invertebrates which characterise reefs. In addition, the course gives the chance to examine other marine habitats that are often closely inter-related with reefs: e.g. sea-grass beds.

More information:


Fees and Scholarships


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This MSc course addresses scientific, technological and legislative aspects of the diagnosis (analysis and assessment) and management (remediation and restoration) of important environmental issues concerned with contaminated land, water quality, air pollution and waste. Read more
This MSc course addresses scientific, technological and legislative aspects of the diagnosis (analysis and assessment) and management (remediation and restoration) of important environmental issues concerned with contaminated land, water quality, air pollution and waste.

It has been designed with industry advice to enable good science and engineering graduates begin and advance successful careers in the environmental sector, and pursue postgraduate scientific research. The MSc is delivered in first-class teaching and research facilities by a dedicated team of internationally renowned environmental scientists, and presents considerable interaction with environmental consultancies and engineers, industry, local and regulatory authorities, and research institutes.

During 2007-2011, the course was supported by 6 NERC studentships, the most awarded annually to an environmental MSc. Students on the course have won the most EMpower research projects funded by companies within the nuclear industry, and since 2008, a Prize for Best Performance Overall has been awarded annually by Arup, a global environmental engineering and consultancy company.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/earthsciences/coursefinder/mscenvironmentaldiagnosismanagement.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The quality of teaching and learning on the course is enhanced considerably by significant professional networking and interaction with leading experts from environmental consultants and engineers, industry, local and regulatory authorities, and universities and research institutes; who present seminars, host study visits, co-supervise research projects, and act as an advisory panel.

- Graduates of the course are skilled and knowledgeable scientists with excellent employment prospects within the environmental sector, particularly as environmental consultants and engineers, in local and regulatory authorities, industry, charitable trusts, and research institutes and universities.

- In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the Department’s research was ranked equal 6th in the UK with 70% rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Course content and structure

You will study seven taught modules, three case studies and complete an Independent Research Project:

- Communication & Co-operation Skills
Provides practical training in written and verbal communication media; project, team and time management; role playing in environmental impact assessment; careers advice and a mock job interview.

- Environmental Inorganic Analysis
A practical laboratory and field-work based introduction to quality assured sampling strategies, preparation processes and analytical methods for heavy metals in soils, surface waters, and vegetation.

- Diagnostic & Management Tools
Provides practical computer-based training in statistical analysis of environmental data, geographical information systems, and environmental risk assessment.

- Environmental Organic Chemistry Pathways Toxicology
Comprises physical and chemical properties, transport, fate and distribution, and toxicology of organic compounds in the environment.

- Contaminated Land Case Study
A practical laboratory and field-work based human health risk assessment of pollutant linkages at a former gravel extraction and landfill site. It comprises desk-top study, site investigation and sampling, laboratory analysis, data interpretation, quantitative risk assessment, and remediation options.

- Water Quality: Diagnosis & Management
A practical laboratory and field-work based introduction to aquatic science, hydrogeology, treatment of water and wastewater, and chemical, biological and physical monitoring of water quality. Includes a study visit to a global manufacturer of pesticides and herbicides.

- River Thames Basin Case Study
A combination of fieldwork, laboratory work and desk-top study to diagnose water quality in chemical and ecological terms, to identify industrial and agricultural pollutant linkages, and to determine environmental, ecological and health impacts.

- Air Pollution: Monitoring, Impacts & Management
Covers: sources, sinks, dispersion, conversion, monitoring, impacts and management of air pollutants with study visits to a local authority and a government research institute.

- Royal Holloway Campus Air Quality Case Study
Involves a consultancy company-style investigation of ambient and indoor air quality within the confines of RHUL campus; and combines desk-top research with practical fieldwork and laboratory analysis.

- Waste Management & Utilisation
Considers municipal, industrial and radioactive waste management options, with study visits to a landfill site, a waste incinerator, composting facility, recycling centre and nuclear power station.

- Independent Research Project
Consists of a four-month, independent scientific investigation, usually in collaboration with environmental consultants and engineers, local and regulatory authorities, industry, research institutes, and universities. Projects may comprise a desk-top study or practical laboratory and field investigation, they may be funded, and often lead to employment or to PhD research. Final results are presented at the Research Project Symposium to an audience from within the environmental sector

On completion of the course graduates will have acquired the experience, knowledge, and critical understanding to enable them to:

- Conduct themselves as professional environmental research scientists, consultants, and managers, convey in a professional manner, scientific, technical and managerial information, and manage projects and resources efficiently

- Apply quality assured sampling strategies, preparation procedures and analytical systems to quantify health risks posed by inorganic and organic pollutant linkages in soils, waters and air

- Apply statistical analysis, geographical information systems, and environmental impact and risk assessment to the interpretation of environmental data

- Appreciate the importance and impacts of hydro-geological, and bio- and physico-chemical processes on the treatment of water and wastewater, and on the quality of groundwater and aquatic ecosystems

- Appreciate the emissions, dispersion, conversion, and monitoring of natural and man-made gaseous and particulate air pollutants, their impacts on climate change, human health and vegetation, and management on local, regional and global scales

- Appreciate the prevention, re-use, recycling, recovery, disposal and utilisation of municipal and industrial waste and the management of nuclear waste within the constraints of national and international legislation

- Manage an independent environmental science research project, often with professional collaboration, and of significant value to their career development.


- Written examinations test understanding of the principles and concepts taught in the modules and case studies, and the ability to integrate and apply them to environmental diagnosis and management.

- Assessment of module work and practical computing, laboratory and fieldwork evaluates critical understanding of the environmental science taught, and mastery of producing quality assured data, and its analysis, interpretation, presentation and reporting.

- Assessment also reflects the ability to work independently and in teams, and to learn during study visits.

- Assessment of research projects is based on the ability to manage and report on an original piece of independent scientific work.

- All assessed work has significant confidential written and verbal feedback.

Employability & career opportunities

94% of the graduates of the MSc from 2008 to 2013 either successfully secured first-destination employment as international environmental consultants and engineers, in industry, local and regulatory authorities and charitable trusts, or are conducting postgraduate research within international research institutes and universities.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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The Environmental Mapping MSc is designed to appeal to students looking to map and understand the environment. Read more
The Environmental Mapping MSc is designed to appeal to students looking to map and understand the environment. It provides the opportunity to study at an advanced level the ways in which spatial data can be collected, processed and analysed to qualify and understand environmental issues across a wide range of applications.

Degree information

Students receive core training in mapping science, analytical methods, geographic information systems (GIS), image processing, and other fundamentals of geomatics. They develop techniques for the acquisition of data including satellite remote sensing, global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and LIDAR, alongside techniques for the analysis, processing, interpretation, and display of spatial data.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of six core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits). A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year is offered.

Core modules
-Analytical and Numerical Methods
-Scientific Computing
-Mapping Science
-Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing

Optional modules - options may include the following:
-Climate Modelling
-Airborn Data Acquisition
-Surface Water Modelling
-Terrestrial Carbon: Monitoring and Modelling
-Global Monitoring of Environment and Society
-Image Understanding

All students undertake an individual research project. The department has links with industry, and projects may be carried out in collaboration with organisations outside UCL.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, tutorials, transferable skills training, compulsory computer training and research supervision. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, coursework, and a dissertation (including a poster presentation).


The MSc will appeal to individuals interested in developing research training while acquiring vocational skills for work in mapping and monitoring positions in public and private sector institutions. The quantitative skills the degree provides have proved attractive to employers, particularly the grounding in programming, data handling and analysis, image processing and report writing. These skills are generic and have allowed graduates to go into a range of careers in mapping and spatial analysis but also areas such as conservation and management and policy. Environmental Mapping graduates find jobs in diverse companies from consultants and NGOs carrying out environmental and spatial analysis, and governmental and government-affiliated agencies such as DECC and the National Physical Laboratory. The programme is also a suitable training for those wishing to undertake higher-level work as a prelude to a PhD

The range of generic, transferable skills provided by the programme has proved to be attractive to a range of employers. Students acquire fundamental understanding of the key principles of mapping and data handling and analysis, as well as the ability to communicate their ideas. These principles can and are applicable across a wide range of career options. The interdisciplinary, intercollegiate nature of the degree gives students a unique perspective, not just at UCL, but across the wider world of mapping and environmental science.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding reputation for its research and teaching, and has a long pedigree in producing highly employable graduates for industry, research, policy and many other areas.

This MSc offers students an all-round knowledge of monitoring methods and environmental understanding, including the fundamental principles, and current technological developments and applications to local, regional and global problems.

Graduates of the programme are equipped with highly developed practical skills to enable them to take leading roles in academic, governmental or industrial sectors. The degree is integrated with other Geography MSc programmes to provide greater flexibility when choosing optional modules.

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PLEASE NOTE. This course is not currently open for new applications. If you'd like to be kept up to date, let us know using the Register Interest button. Read more
PLEASE NOTE: This course is not currently open for new applications. If you'd like to be kept up to date, let us know using the Register Interest button.

Water is a key resource globally, nationally and regionally. As the world's population increases governments are increasingly forced to act to protect and manage water resources more effectively, creating demand for scientists and managers to understand, monitor and manage natural and regulated water systems.

Why study Catchment Hydrology and Management at Dundee?

We offer an authoritative source of training for national and international students seeking to pursue careers within environmental and regulatory industries. Through a mixture of theory and practice this programme will provide you with training in aspects of applied hydrology, catchment management, environmental modelling (including risks such as flooding and water scarcity) and water law.


The School of the Environment has recently completed a major investment in upgrading its hydrometric field equipment for use by SCM students. In addition to our already strong resource base in flow measurement equipment, covering ADCP, ADV, radar and more traditional impeller based instruments, we have now expanded our water level monitoring equipment to 25 instruments.

Fieldwork and problem-solving aspects of the course are being extended in 2012, with students being responsible for selecting, installing and operating their own sites and analysing the data from them. We have three experimental catchment facilites in Scotland, in the Cairngorms and the Scottish Borders, and students will gain valuable insights and experience through becoming directly involved in these projects.

Research-led teaching

Our experienced team of staff all engage in contemporary research and have considerable expertise in the science and regulatory frameworks affecting water management. Many of the academic staff on the programme are involved in the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science - the UK's only UNESCO Centre, based at the University of Dundee. The Centre is an exciting interdisciplinary centre providing many opportunities for water-related research in projects worldwide.

Field trips

We also provide you with many opportunities to put theory into practice with field trips to local catchments.

Aims of the Programme

This postgraduate degree programme will provide you with understanding and hands-on training in applied hydrology and catchment management. You will develop skills appropriate to a career within the water and environmental sectors, including technical skills in the use of hydrological and environmental modelling software, field skills in acquiring and subsequent analysis of hydrological data. You will also gain an awareness of the linkages between hydrology, ecology, legal and planning practice.

The programme will encourage you to think critically about the ways in which river catchments are managed. You will be trained in legal and regulatory aspects and management approaches balancing multiple stakeholders using case studies from around the world, part of a global network of basins built up by the IHP-UNESCO Centre for Water law, Policy and Science HELP programme. This management knowledge will be underpinned by an understanding of catchment hydrology, monitoring and modelling.

The course starts in September each year. The MSc lasts for 12 months on a full time basis and the PGDip for 9 months on a full time basis.

How you will be taught

Teaching on the course is delivered through a combination of lecture material and informal seminar-style discussion, which will encourage you to explore taught materials and interpret ideas individually.

Field classes are held in order to study monitoring and management strategies in realistic situations, with opportunities to meet the people involved in these activities.

What you will study

There are core modules (all 20 credits) in:

Research Training (Semesters 1 and 2)
Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling (Semester 1)
Catchment Management principlies (Semester 1)
Hydrological applications (Semester 2)

Plus you can choose two of the following option modules (20 credits):

Research in Practice (work placement) (Semester 2)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis (Semester 2)
Fieldcourse (Semester 2)

Students enrolled on the MSc programme also complete a Dissertation (worth 60 credits) over the summer period. The research project may be completed in partnership with external environmental agencies.

All modules aim to provide you with as much application and hands-on practice as possible, both within the field and laboratory environments, as well as encouraging you to develop a wider range of research methods and skills.

How you will be assessed

Learning is assessed through a mixture of oral and written presentations, problem-solving assignments, feedback and a major research based project or dissertation.


Career prospects are good, due to a current shortage reported by environmental recruiters. A rising workload has been noted within Europe stemming from increased regulation in the water sector.

Globally, catchment hydrological management for meeting food security and water quality needs in the face of climate change is a major and growing issue. These drivers will increase substantially increase employment opportunities both nationally and internationally.

This course builds upon a previous course (MSc in Sustainable Catchment Management), which had an excellent record of students entering work in environmental agencies, consultancies and policy related areas upon graduation. The course also provides an excellent platform for further postgraduate study.

Contacts with employers

Dissertations may be organised using contacts within organisations employing graduate water specialists, and participants will have other opportunities during the year to make direct contact with employers. Staff are able to provide advice on many organisations within which graduates of other Dundee programmes are already employed, in conjunction with the University's Careers Service.

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From improving a company’s competitive edge and complying with environmental legislation to addressing the global challenges of climate change and energy conservation, environmental management affects us all. Read more
From improving a company’s competitive edge and complying with environmental legislation to addressing the global challenges of climate change and energy conservation, environmental management affects us all.

This qualification is designed to expand your knowledge of environmental management and develop the skills to participate in more effective, informed and creative environmental decision making – whether you’re already a specialist working in the field or planning to get involved, professionally or personally. You will examine current concerns of environmental protection, natural resource management and rapidly changing environmental legislation and policy, in local and global contexts. You’ll also develop the skills you need to unpack the issues and participate creatively in the process of improving environmental performance in all sectors of society.

Key features of the course

•Develops essential skills for successfully addressing environmental issues
•A choice of professional or research routes
•Provides a rigorous approach to solving complex real world problems.

This qualification is eligible for a Postgraduate Loan available from Student Finance England.


To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

Stage 1

You can study the modules in any order. The alternative modules Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) or Capacities for managing development (T878) focus on scientific or social aspects of environmental management (you can also study both to gain an all-round understanding):

•In Environmental monitoring and protection (T868) you will work with numerical data in the quantitative assessment of environmental impacts and develop technological solutions to reducing environmental pollution.
•Capacities for managing development (T878) introduces the subject of development and teaches a range of management skills that are useful in all disciplines, strategic thinking, research, advocacy, planning and policy making.

Compulsory modules

• Making environmental decisions (T891)
• Managing for sustainability (T867)


30 credits from List A:

List A: optional modules

• Capacities for managing development (T878)
• Environmental monitoring and protection (T868)


30 credits from List B:

List B: optional modules

• Capacities for managing development (T878)
• Environmental monitoring and protection (T868)
• Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction (TU812)
• Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches (T889)
• Project management (M815)
• Thinking strategically: systems tools for managing change (TU811)

Completion of Stage 1 will entitle you to claim the Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management (E79).


Stage 2

This MSc offers a choice of routes after you have completed Stage 1; a research route or a professional route.

If you need a more professionally-oriented qualification, you can take the 30-credit module The MSc professional project (T847) and complete your qualification with a module from a short list of relevant options.

If you prefer a more research-oriented MSc, you can take the 60-credit Research project (T802). The longer research project allows more in-depth study and further develops your academic research skills.

Both modules provide an excellent platform for further research studies.

Research route

Compulsory module

• Research project (T802)

Professional route

Compulsory module

• The MSc professional project (T847)

Plus 30 credits from optional modules in List A or List B in Stage 1 above.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Credit transfer

If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

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Interest in development, environment and issues of sustainable development has never been so intense. UN climate change summits , Millennium Development Goals and the World Social Forum have brought environmental and development issues and problems long on local and national agendas, onto the international scene. Read more
Interest in development, environment and issues of sustainable development has never been so intense. UN climate change summits , Millennium Development Goals and the World Social Forum have brought environmental and development issues and problems long on local and national agendas, onto the international scene.

All sustainable development issues are a complex and dynamic web of natural, social, political and economic processes, and it is this unique interdisciplinary approach which drives the MSc in Practising Sustainable Development. This popular course has evolved and expanded in scope and appeal, and has attracted students from about 30 countries and a diverse range of backgrounds who work or are interested in development issues and the environment.

This course is also offered at Postgraduate Diploma level for those who do not have the academic background necessary to begin an advanced Master’s degree. The structure of the Diploma is identical except that you will not write a dissertation. If you are successful on the Diploma you may transfer to the MSc, subject to academic approval.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/geography/coursefinder/mscpgdippractisingsustainabledevelopment.aspx

Why choose this course?

- Our teaching staff have wide experience in different developing regions and economies in transition, including Latin America, the Caribbean, South, East and South-East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Staff have also worked with indigenous and marginalised communities in North America.

- You will benefit from a diverse range of teaching and learning strategies including tutor-led discussions and seminars, oral presentations, role-playing, problem-solving and group work.

- You will be well prepared for a career in the development and environment field as the course is very highly regarded.

- The course can be used as part of an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) research training pathway for PhD study. This indicates that the content and approach of our academic research training is of a very high standard.

- You will be provided with training in skills needed to research and assess sustainable development, such as research design, project development, environmental monitoring, geographic information systems (GIS), participatory

Department research and industry highlights

The Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) group consists of over 20 research-active staff, 35 PhD students and 50 Master’s students on four MSc programmes. We are committed to conducting collaborative research which seeks to understand and contribute to addressing problems of social inequality, environmental destruction and injustice. The breadth of its members’ research places it in an ideal position to contribute to theoretical and policy debates on key challenges facing Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean today.

Course content and structure

The course is divided into three compulsory elements. Students studying for the Postgraduate Diploma do not undertake the dissertation.

Core course units:
Sustainability, Development and Governance
This course will equip students with a detailed understanding of the development of sustainable development as a discourse. Students will explore key sustainability issues such as climate change, globalisation, and human responses with an emphasis on the emergence of environmental governance as a means to pursue sustainability.

Technology and Development
This course provides you with an introduction to the role of technology in development, focusing particularly on mobile phone and computer technologies. The course combines an understanding of key theoretical debates and how technologies have been applied in diverse sectors such as health and education. The course also includes training in the use of GIS (geographical information systems) within a development context.

Sustainability, Development and Society
You will develop a detailed understanding of key social / environmental relationships incorporating contemporary issues in the geographies of sustainability. These will include \'risk society\', sustainable cities, and the impacts of corporate sector activities on the environment. You will also understand the challenges to sustainable development at household and community levels, with a focus on community-based approaches to sustainable development.

Participatory research
This course combines detailed understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of participatory research and methods with practical experience of using different participatory research techniques. These include participatory diagramming, participatory video and participatory environmental monitoring.

Research Training
You will be provided with training in a range of methods to enable you to plan, carry out and complete a piece of research. There are three modules in this element:
- Social Research Methods Training - provides a range of social science methods for field research and analysis.
- Quantitative Methods for Graduates - provides basic statistical concepts and procedures used in empirical research.
- Development and Environment Research Training - provides guidance for planning, developing and undertaking research in a development and environment context.

Dissertation (MSc only)
The dissertation is of between 12,000 and 15,000 words, on a topic of your choice which has been approved by the supervisor. It requires both secondary and primary research, and the demonstration of originality in integrating theoretical and practical research methods in tackling a particular problem. You will be encouraged to carry out your dissertation in collaboration with an organisation in the field of development and environment.

Community Volunteer Project
You will undertake an independent volunteer project which will give you practical experience in gaining sustainability related work experience in a non-for profit organisation. The project will enhance your employability whilst and provide an opportunity to gain practical experience of third sector organisational objectives, cultures and practices.

Elective course units:
This course gives you the opportunity to develop deeper understandings of cutting-edge applications of ICT4D research and practice. Topics covered include environmental change and Green ICT, open development and subversive forms of technology use, and logics of inclusion and exclusion in ICT programmes. You will also examine project planning, monitoring and evaluation in the field of ICT4D.

Business Ethics and Enterprise
The aim of the course is to equip students with the moral frameworks and critical abilities necessary to understand the role of business in society from an ethical perspective. The course will cover different types of business including large publicly traded multinationals, small and medium sized enterprises, social enterpises and family firms. Students will be expected to understand the different issues in these organizational types and to articulate moral arguments from a range of different perspectives.

International Sustainability Management
This course provides participants with an understanding of how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) informs sustainability management issues in large, transnational organisations. It will focus on issues such as consumption and sustainability as dichotomised between the apparently incompatible tensions of economic and environmental interests.

Other courses Geopolitics and Security / PIR / Management / Computer science

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- an understanding at an advanced level of the relationships between, and complexities of, social, economic, political and environmental aspects of sustainable development

- an understanding at an advanced level of how the key issues in sustainable development theory influence policy and impact on practice

- the ability to critically analyse complex or contradictory areas of knowledge in aspects of sustainable development.


Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Past students of the course are now employed by international development and environment agencies, national policy making and implementing agencies, higher education institutions, private sector natural resource companies and NGOs; as environmental and development workers, activists, teachers and researchers. Many of our alumni are also currently undertaking doctoral programmes in the UK and abroad.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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The world’s environments have long been threatened by human impact. As pressures on the natural environment intensify, there is a growing need for professionals skilled in conservation and environmental management. Read more
The world’s environments have long been threatened by human impact. As pressures on the natural environment intensify, there is a growing need for professionals skilled in conservation and environmental management. They need a wide range of skills, including biodiversity, survey techniques, environmental management and monitoring systems, geographical information systems and an understanding of relevant ecological principles, legislation and regulatory frameworks, which demands a multidisciplinary approach.

This Masters programme in Wildlife and Conservation Management brings together the physical, chemical, biological, socioeconomic, administrative and legislative aspects of land planning, providing the skills you need for an exciting and rewarding career as an environmental conservation manager. It combines a broad understanding of the science and management of conservation, putting emphasis on integrating specialist knowledge and practical skills with IT and communication.

Our extensive and exciting fieldwork programme will train you in a wide range of environmental survey and assessment techniques.

This Masters degree is accredited by the Environment and Resources Professional Group of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/385-msc-wildlife-and-conservation-management

What You Will Study

Modules include:
- Applied Geospatial Analysis
- Restoration Ecology
- Environmental Management and Legislation
- Wildlife Surveying
- Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation
- European Field Expedition*
- MSc Project

Optional modules:
- Tropical Ecology*
- Tropical Environmental Monitoring*
- Tools for Sustainable Development
- Work Based Learning Project
- Remote Sensing for Environmental Management

*Please visit our course page on the University of South Wales website for information regarding our Field Trips.

*Please note:* the course structure outlined above is indicative of what you will study and may change from year to year. Consequently there may be a difference between the information shown here and the course when it is delivered.

Learning and teaching methods

Full-time students spend two days at University, usually Wednesday and Thursday, and around 12 hours per week in lectures and practical sessions.

Part-time students attend one day per week. First year part-time students attend on Wednesdays and second years attend on Thursdays.

We teach using a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions, problem solving tutorials, video presentations and practicals. You will also undertake fieldwork excursions within the UK and overseas (additional costs apply). The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice. You will also be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning by completing guided reading and various interactive computer packages. Based on individual circumstances the MSc Project may be extended into your third year of study and will be agreed as part of a discussion with the course leader.

Please note: some field trips will take place on weekdays besides Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

- Work based learing project:
This optional module enables our students to gain 60 hours work experience under the supervision of an employer. You will also be assigned an academic supervisor who will advise you on a suitable employer based on your area of interest. Recent organisations who have hosted our students include Capita Symonds, Natural Resources Wales, Wales Heritage Coastal Path and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

- Employment prospects:
Graduates from our MSc Wildlife and Conservation Management have progressed to careers in the Environment Agency, utility companies, local, national and international conservation organisations, environmental consultancies, and regional and national government. Several others have progressed on to PhD study and into academic careers.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed through a range of methods depending on your module choice, these include: examinations, coursework such as writing reports of field excursions. You will also analyse case studies, undertake presentations, participate in workshops and analyse data.

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.

As part of this degree you will undertake residential fieldwork excursions, typically to Portugal and Mid Wales (additional fees apply). Some fieldwork trips will extend beyond the two days of study, but you will be notified in advance in order to plan appropriately.

If you choose to study the Tropical Ecology module, you will have the opportunity to complete a scientific scuba diving course, either locally or at a tropical location (for an additional fee which is approximately £2000). Previous locations have included Indonesia, Costa Rica, Honduras and Borneo.

The Tropical Environmental Monitoring module, will enable you to undertake studies in Southern Africa in locations such as Botswana for an additional fee which is approximately £2000.

The European Field Expedition module involves studying in Portugal. The fee is approximately £500-£600.

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. In addition some field trips will take place on weekdays besides Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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 Gareth Powell 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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Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Read more
Environmental issues such as eutrophication, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability of our aquatic resources. Responding to these threats the Aquatic Science MSc equips students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments, encompassing lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands, groundwaters, estuaries and shallow seas.

Degree information

Students focus on integrated freshwater and coastal systems and gain extensive training in field sampling, study design and species identification. Distinctive features include: integration of aquatic ecology with hydro-geomorphology, aquatic landscape ecology, analysis of sediment cores for environmental change reconstruction, design of aquatic monitoring programmes and modelling of aquatic system dynamics. Students come away with a sound knowledge of current-day links between aquatic science, legislation and conservation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma - 4 core modules and 4 optional modules all 15 credits (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate - 4 core modules only at 15 credits (60 credits, full-time twelve weeks, part-time two years) is offered.

Core modules
-Aquatic Systems
-Aquatic Monitoring (includes field-trip to Scottish Highlands)
-Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
-Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation (field-based module in Norfolk, England)

*modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals.

Optional modules - students choose four of the following:
-Coastal Change
-Politics of Climate Change
-Marine Conservation
-Surface Water Modelling
-Aquatic Macrophytes (field-based module in Dorset, England)
-Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems
-Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
-Non-biological Indicators for Environmental Change
-Environmental GIS
-Ocean Circulation and Climate Change

*modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals.

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words. Dissertation placement positions are offered linked to external conservation bodies and research-orientated consultancies.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes, laboratory sessions, case-studies and residential field classes. Assessment is through coursework and the dissertation, which includes an oral presentation of the research proposal.


This programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Education Officer, Norfolk Wildlife Trust
-PhD in Pond Conservation, UCL
-PhD in the Macroecology of Deep Sea Jelly Fish, University of Southampton
-Land Use Adviser, Natural England
-River Catchment Planner, Norfolk Rivers Trust

The MSc provides students with the science background and practical skills necessary for a career working in aquatic conservation and environmental protection agencies, environmental consultancies and stakeholder agencies. The MSc is also an ideal platform for further PhD study. We aim to expose students to potential employers from the outset and students receive expert tuition in field sampling and monitoring programme design, conservation biology, taxonomy of key species groups, knowledge of important conservation principles and legislation and working with stakeholders.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Aquatic Science MSc is run by UCL Geography which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its aquatic environmental research and teaching. The degree has a strong emphasis on field working with three major residential classes to the North Norfolk Coast, Scottish Highlands and Dorset.

The programme is taught by research groups specialising in Environmental Change & Biodiversity, Environmental Modelling & Observation, and has specialist input from the Thames Estuary Partnership, and in-house aquatic consultancy Environmental Scientific Services.

Speakers from environmental organisations including the UK Environment Agency, the Rivers Trusts, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, the UK Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Natural England lecture on the programme and take part in fieldwork. By bringing together students, researchers and practitioners, a vibrant and informal academic environment is created encouraging mutual discovery and ongoing debate.

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Our Professional Doctorates programmes are aimed at busy full-time practitioners from a broad range of professions, both nationally and internationally, including education, educational psychology, social work, community learning and development, psychology, healthcare and policing whether in public, voluntary or private sector agencies. Read more
Our Professional Doctorates programmes are aimed at busy full-time practitioners from a broad range of professions, both nationally and internationally, including education, educational psychology, social work, community learning and development, psychology, healthcare and policing whether in public, voluntary or private sector agencies.

What is a Professional Doctorate about?

This type of doctorate will allow you to reflect on different elements of your professional practice and will contribute to developing evidence, practice and policy in your professional field. Whilst the Professional Doctorates does not certify competence to practice, it does provide you with an opportunity to enhance your own and others' practice.

A professionally based doctoral aims to:
•critically appraise the current evidential basis of professional theory, policy and practice;
•develop relevant advanced specialist research, development & dissemination skills;
•make a valuable and original contribution to knowledge, methodology, practice and policy;
•meets accepted standards of rigour and excellence; and,
•widely disseminate that contribution to knowledge.

What is the structure of the Professional Doctorate programme?

There are 5 modules and students normally take 5 years to complete part-time or 3 years full-time.
•Module 1 - Research Methods
•Module 2 - Literature Review
•Modules 3-5 - Research project(s) consisting of approximately 15,000 words each. It can be 3 small interconnected projects, a double project plus 1, or a single large project.

Up to two modules (one, if granted direct entry to module 2) may be overtaken by Recognition of Prior Learning.

How are Professional Doctorate programmes delivered?

The taught component of module 1 is normally delivered online, so you can complete it in your own time at a distance. If you already have a Masters degree, with an assessed element of research methods, you may not need to complete this module.

These modules are presented as a thesis and assessed by oral examination (viva voce) at the end of the programme.

How will my progress be monitored?

Your progress will be monitored in a variety of ways:

Students meet with their supervisors at least every month to support and guide students through their Professional Doctorates.

Presentations and fora
From time to time students are expected to make presentations about their work to other students and staff. This aims to help support students with their work and to build on their work so far. There are also online fora for students to discuss issues relating to their research.

Thesis Monitoring Committee
A Doctoral student’s progress is monitored by an independent Thesis Monitoring Committee within the School. This Committee consists of at least two members of staff not concerned with a student’s supervision and it meets twice per year for full time students, and one per year for part-time students.
After 12 months of study, Doctoral students are expected to present their work to their Thesis Monitoring Committee who will determine the level the student is working at – either Masters of Doctoral level. This process is called Transfer of Ordinance and it confirms whether a student will continue to the next stage of their Professional Doctorates or whether they should transfer to the MPhil programme. Part-time students will normally present before the end of their second year of study.

At the end of study, students undertake an examining process called Viva Voce to present their thesis to an Examination Board who will determine whether a student’s work is of a high enough standard to be awarded a Professional Doctorate.

What academic skills support will I receive?

We provide Research Methods and Generic Skills Training and students are assigned two supervisors (relevant to the area of a students’ doctorate) who meet with them regularly. Supervision can take place by telephone, email and video conferencing. Guidance can also be drawn from other relevant members of staff with specific expertise.

How will I be guided through the Professional Doctorate?

The University Code of Practice for Supervised Postgraduate Research provides clear guidance on your responsibilities as a student and how you will be supported. Students also receive a School Student Handbook which provides further detail.

What facilities will I have access to?

Professional Doctorates students have access to doctoral student office accommodation, high quality IT facilities, telephones, printing/photocopying and access to financial support to attend research conferences.

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