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Masters Degrees (Natural Hazard)

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

Why take this course?

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

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

What opportunities might it lead to?

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

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

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

Module Details

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

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

Here are the units you will study:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Independent Research Project: This provides you with an opportunity to undertake an original piece of research to academic or industrial standards, typically in collaboration with research staff in the department or external industry partners. In addition to submission of a thesis report, you also present the results of your project at the annual postgraduate conference held at the end of September.

Programme Assessment

The course provides a balanced structure of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will learn through hands-on practical sessions designed to give you the skills in laboratory, computer and field techniques. The course also includes extensive field work designed to provide field mapping and data collection skills.

Assessment is varied, aimed at developing skills relevant to a range of working environments. Here’s how we assess your work:

Poster and oral presentations
Project reports
Literature reviews
Lab reports
Essays

Student Destinations

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

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

It also has strong research and analytical components, ideal if you wish to pursue further research to PhD level.

We aim to provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

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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

Selection

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.

Assessment

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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Why choose this course?. Develop the practical and theoretical knowledge you need to work in the fields of intelligence, security, emergency planning, crisis and disaster risk reduction and management in the UK and overseas. Read more

Why choose this course?

  • Develop the practical and theoretical knowledge you need to work in the fields of intelligence, security, emergency planning, crisis and disaster risk reduction and management in the UK and overseas
  • Combine the knowledge and skills developed in an inter-disciplinary programme where social sciences, natural sciences and public and environmental health provide real-life solutions to real-life resilience issues
  • Improve your skills as you engage with all aspects of emergency preparedness, resilience and response across a range of natural and man-made hazards, from terrorism and extreme weather events to public health and humanitarian crisis
  • Wherever you are in your career, develop your professional focus and ability in emergency preparedness, resilience or response
  • Combine theory and best practice as your learning includes practical multi-agency exercises, simulations and response structures across all emergency services.
  • At Derby you don’t just study the theory and background to resilience, through security, intelligence and planning for emergency and disaster risk reduction and response. You will take these aspects into real life situations and develop knowledge, skills and vocational attributes that will give you the necessary experience to develop or enhance career paths in these fascinating areas.

A unique combination

  • This course uniquely combines the social science disciplines of criminology and sociology with natural sciences in the field of geoscience, and through public and environmental health. This unique combination examines resilience, risk reduction and response to real world concerns associated with terrorism, extremism, radicalisation and applied intelligence studies, exploring climate, migration and natural hazard risk reduction and response through emergency and disaster management.
  • You will study at Masters level developing critical skills which bring together work-based learning approaches and innovation in the teaching of research methods using scenario building, exercises and simulations in a multi-agency environment to enhance your development, communication and planning.

Developing your skills through practice

  • You will work with emergency services first responders and local authority leads, and also benefit from the university’s relationship with the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College (EPC).
  • You will also develop GIS mapping skills and benefit from opportunities to work with Derbyshire Emergency Planning Officers and volunteer teams involved in crisis management. Field trips will involve command and control visits, humanitarian aid facilities and multi-agency simulations of real world hazards.

Aligned to UK standards

  • The programme examines National Occupational Standards in the UK for Civil Contingencies (NOSCC) in support of employer demands and the Core Competencies of the Emergency Planning Society (EPS).


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

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

About this degree

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

Core modules

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

Optional modules

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

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

Optional modules are subject to availability of places.

Dissertation/report

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

Teaching and learning

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

Funding

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

Careers

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

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

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

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



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

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

About this degree

A strong emphasis is placed on developing an improved understanding of

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

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

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

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

Core modules

  • Geological and Geotechnical Hazards
  • Meteorological Hazards

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Research project/report

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

Teaching and learning

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

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

Funding

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

Careers

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

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

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

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



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

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

About this degree

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

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

Core modules

  • Geological and Geotechnical Hazards
  • Meteorological Hazards

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Research project/report

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

Teaching and learning

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

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

Funding

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

Careers

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

Recent career destinations for this degree

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

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

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

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

the British Geological Survey and industry and market practitioners.



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

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

About this degree

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

Core modules

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

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

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

Teaching and learning

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

Fieldwork

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

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

Careers

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

Recent career destinations for this degree

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

Employability

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

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

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

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

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Earth Sciences

92% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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

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

Assessment

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

Work placement scheme

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

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

Details on how to apply will be confirmed shortly.

Fieldwork opportunities

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

Course structure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Course Structure 

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

Core Modules:

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

Elective Modules available in previous years include:

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

Course Learning and Teaching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Course Structure

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

Core Modules: 

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

Elective Modules available in previous years include:

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

Course Learning and Teaching

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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This MSc is a uniquely broad and flexible programme that suits students' aspirations, background and experience. UCL Earth Sciences has strengths in geophysics, geochemistry, palaeobiology, mineral physics, geodynamics, geohazards, climate science, environmental geosciences and policy, and other areas. Read more

This MSc is a uniquely broad and flexible programme that suits students' aspirations, background and experience. UCL Earth Sciences has strengths in geophysics, geochemistry, palaeobiology, mineral physics, geodynamics, geohazards, climate science, environmental geosciences and policy, and other areas. Students choose from a wide range of optional modules from within the department and more widely across UCL, building an MSc tailored to their interests.

About this degree

The programme aims to integrate theoretical studies with essential practical skills in the Earth sciences, both in the field and in the laboratory. Students develop the ability to work on group projects, prepare written reports, acquire oral skills and gain training in the methods of scientific research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), six optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Research Methods
  • Project Proposal
  • Earth and Planetary Systems Science

Optional modules

  • Earth and Planetary Materials
  • Melting and Volcanism
  • Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
  • Earthquake Seismology & Earthquake Hazard
  • Tectonic Geomorphology
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns
  • Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
  • Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
  • Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Analysis
  • Advanced Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Studies

Students can also choose relevant elective modules from UCL Geography.

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory and fieldwork exercises. Student performance is assessed through coursework, written assignments, unseen written examination and the dissertation.

Fieldwork

Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Analysis is a fieldwork only module without a classroom element.

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

Careers

Geoscience students have gone on to pursue careers in many varied areas, such as planning and surveying, governmental organisations, academic research.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • PhD in Climatology, Cardiff University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)
  • PhD in Geoscience, UCL
  • Engineer, Geo-Info
  • Lecturer in Geology, University of Benin
  • Oil and Gas Analyst, EIC (Energy Industries Council)

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

Graduate students benefit from our lively and welcoming environment and world-class facilities, which include the UK's only NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility and access to the University of London Observatory in north London.

The department also hosts the UCL Hazard Research Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Earth Sciences

92% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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The School of Earth Sciences has strong international links and the presence of researchers from all over the world makes for an exciting and stimulating environment. Read more
The School of Earth Sciences has strong international links and the presence of researchers from all over the world makes for an exciting and stimulating environment. Research involves the full breadth of the earth sciences and has benefited from major investment in new laboratories and equipment in the past few years. Important initiatives include experimental and theoretical studies of physical, chemical and biological processes of the Earth.

Please note: If you are applying for this programme, you need to select Geology as the programme choice when completing your online application form.

Research groups

The research programme at Bristol is characterised by an expanding range of exciting subject areas. Research in the School of Earth Sciences encourages interdisciplinary collaboration between its five research groups, which in turn nurtures revolutionary research.

Geochemistry
The Geochemistry group uses fundamental chemical techniques to understand natural processes on a range of temporal and spatial scales. This can be from single atoms on mineral surfaces and the environmental geochemistry of the modern Earth to the large-scale chemical structure of planets and the birth of the solar system. The group has considerable expertise in isotopic measurements, spectroscopy and first-principles calculations.

Geophysics
Geophysics uses physical properties of the solid Earth to measure structure and processes on scales from the single crystal to the entire planet. Members of the Bristol Geophysics group use gravity, seismic and satellite data to image the Earth in a variety of different contexts. These include the Earth's core, mantle and tectonic processes, volcanoes, oil and gas reservoirs and mines.

Palaeobiology
The Palaeobiology group uses the fossil record to study the history of life. Research focuses on major diversifications, mass extinctions, dating the tree of life, phylogenomics and molecular palaeobiology, morphological innovation, biomechanics, and links between evolution and development; the organisms of interest range from foraminifera to dinosaurs.

Petrology
The Petrology group uses a combination of high-pressure and high-temperature experiments, petrology, geochemistry and mineral physics to attack a wide range of problems in the solid Earth - from the core to the surface.

Volcanology
The Volcanology group at Bristol aims to understand the physical processes underlying volcanic phenomena and develop methods of hazard and risk assessment that can be applied to volcanoes worldwide.

Recent case studies and collaborators include the Met Office, Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland and INGEOMINAS in Columbia.

Research centres

The School of Earth Sciences is involved in a number of collaborative research groups on an international level. Inter-faculty research centres such as the Biogeochemistry Research Centre and the Cabot Institute involve collaboration across several departments and faculties.

Centre for Environmental and Geophysical Flows
This interdisciplinary research centre brings together expertise from the Schools of Earth Sciences, Geographical Sciences, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. This creates diverse research activities and interests, from traffic flow to explosive volcanic flows, meteorology to oceanography.

Biogeochemistry Research Centre
The Biogeochemistry Research Centre involves staff from the Schools of Earth Sciences, Geographical Sciences and Chemistry. The research aims to develop our understanding of the biogeochemistry of modern-day and ancient environments and the way that it is affected by natural processes and the actions of mankind.

Bristol Isotope Group
The Bristol Isotope Group is a world-class research facility for isotope measurements directed at understanding natural processes, from the formation of the solar system, the origin of Earth - its deep structure and atmosphere, through to the evolution of that atmosphere and contemporary climate change.

Interface Analysis Centre
The Interface Analysis Centre specialises in the application of a wide range of analytical techniques and is used by the Schools of Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics.

The Cabot Institute
The Cabot Institute carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainty in a changing environment. Interests include climate change, natural hazards, food and energy security, resilience and governance, and human impacts on the environment.

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The MSc Food Safety and Quality Management e-learning programme is aimed at professionals working in and supporting the supply of safe and wholesome food to consumers who want to deepen their technical knowledge of the industries they are engaged. Read more

The MSc Food Safety and Quality Management e-learning programme is aimed at professionals working in and supporting the supply of safe and wholesome food to consumers who want to deepen their technical knowledge of the industries they are engaged. The programme will enable you to gain employment in the food industry, and will support career progression.

You will consolidate your knowledge of the causal agents of foodborne illness and the control measures that need to be applied to ensure that food and feed are safe and wholesome. You will study safety and quality management systems based upon the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) following the 'farm to fork' approach. You will also study the role of national food control systems, food law and enforcement in the context of national and international standards and the promotion of international trade. In addition, you will investigate safety and quality issues of a wide range of commodities and manufactured foods. The programme is designed to be delivered entirely by e-learning, to allow students to learn at the pace that fits in with their specific work/life balance.

This programme is based upon the successful taught programme offered by the university since 2001 and is based upon the expertise and experiences of the Natural Resources Institute's (NRI) food safety and quality management team, which has carried out research and capacity-building work for over 40 years. Over 300 students have graduated from the taught programme and many now occupy senior leadership positions in the food industry as well as national and local governments around the world.

Degree structure

To be awarded an MSc, students must have successfully completed 180 credits of study. The design of the programme enables professionals to take exit awards of PGCert (60 credits) and PGDip (120 credits), and re-enter the programme if required, to match the demands of their professional lives. 

Natural Resources Institute

The programme team is made up of scientists working within the award-winning Natural Resources Institute, a specialist research institute of the University of Greenwich which has an international reputation founded on excellence in teaching, training and research.

Work/life balance

The e-learning programme has been designed for technical staff working in the food supply chain who do not have time to attend the programme in the contact mode. The e-learning format enables professionals working in the food chain to address their continuing professional development (CPD) needs whilst studying at times that fit into their professional life style.

Teaching and assessment

Experiential learning is supported by teaching and learning resources including digital and broadcast media, as well as traditional written materials. Students will be supported to engage in a range of digital resources for the purposes of teaching, learning and for formative and summative assessments. Digital engagement will be tailored to meet the specific needs of students and academic staff and allows students to interact socially whilst learning. E-learning broadcasts of key topics and tutorials will be included on the platform. All teaching and learning activities will be supported by online academic counselling, study skills tuition, pastoral guidance by personal tutors based upon the University academic requirements.

Careers

Graduates from this programme will have the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in food safety and quality management in a variety of positions along the food chain, including working within Competent Authorities in areas of the development of legislation and standards to food analysis and inspection. Graduates can also seek roles in the food industry such as quality and technical managers.

Scholarships

Partial fee scholarships are available at present which mean that the cost of the programme for both home and international students is £5,400 for the full MSc, which equates to £900 for 30 credits studied.

Come and get a feel for what learning and life is like with us.



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We have a broad range of civil engineering water resource research. Our expertise ranges from climate modelling to developing practical responses to global change challenges. Read more
We have a broad range of civil engineering water resource research. Our expertise ranges from climate modelling to developing practical responses to global change challenges. Our research has global consequences and our academics are leaders in their field.

Our School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences has a successful research group that focuses on water resources. Our mission is to foster, promote and conduct research of international quality. This means that we attract high quality graduates and researchers and train them to international standards.

Our research themes include:
-Catchment hydrology and sustainable management
-Flood risk and coastal management
-Climate change impacts and adaptation

We supervise MPhil and PhD students in the following areas:
-Flow and transport processes in surface and subsurface systems. This includes river mechanics and contaminant and sediment transport
-Planning and control of hydraulic networks
-Sustainable management of the water environment, including urban, rural agricultural and forestry environments
-Climate change impact assessment, including flood risk
-Environmental hazard assessment and mitigation, including landslide hazard
-Integrated surface and groundwater pollution controls
-Integrated assessment of coupled natural, technological and human systems

Our research has access to facilities and centres within the Newcastle Institute for Sustainability:
-Water Resource Systems Research Laboratory
-Centre for Earth Systems Engineering Research (CESER)
-Centre for Land Use and Water Resources Research (CLUWRR)

Delivery

We offer the MPhil and PhD on a full time and part time basis. You will have formal training in research skills and methods. Discipline-specific training is available if you need it. You may be able to undertake paid laboratory demonstrating to gain teaching experience.

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"The course structure and the core modules cover the fundamentals of system safety in such depth and breadth as to be applicable to any safety standard, for example the ISO 26262. Read more
"The course structure and the core modules cover the fundamentals of system safety in such depth and breadth as to be applicable to any safety standard, for example the ISO 26262. I chose the modules Human Factors for Safety Critical Systems and Computers and Safety and believe this to be a very good combination for anybody working in the automotive industry. Unlike previous degree courses I refer to my York notes a great deal since they are extremely relevant to my day to day safety activities.”
Robert, Jaguar Land Rover

“As a clinician, I have found this course to be absolutely essential. I would recommend that anyone working in healthcare with an interest in patient safety should take the Foundations of System Safety Engineering module at the very least. For those who have a more focused safety role, particularly in healthcare technology, the University offers a number of modules to choose from, working up to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or MSc Safety Critical Systems Engineering.”
Beverley, Department of Health Informatics Directorate

The discipline of SSE has developed over the last half of the twentieth century. It can be viewed as a process of systematically analysing systems to evaluate risks, with the aim of influencing design in order to reduce risks, i.e. to produce safer products. In mature industries, such as aerospace and nuclear power, the discipline has been remarkably successful, although there have been notable exceptions to the generally good safety record, e.g. Fukushima, Buncefield and the Heathrow 777 accident.

Various trends pose challenges for traditional approaches to SSE. For example, classical hazard and safety analysis techniques deal poorly with computers and software where the dominant failure causes are errors and oversights in requirements or design. Thus these techniques need extending and revising in order to deal effectively with modern systems. Also, in our experience, investigation of issues to do with safety of computer systems have given some useful insights into traditional system safety engineering, e.g. into the meaning of important concepts such as the term hazard. The course therefore has a number of optional modules looking at software safety.

Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide you with a thorough grounding and practical experience in the use of state-of-the-art techniques for development and operation of safety critical systems, together with an understanding of the principles behind these techniques so that you can make sound engineering judgements during the design, deployment and operation of such a system. On completing the course, you will be equipped to play leading and professional roles in safety-critical systems engineering related aspects of industry and commerce.

New areas of teaching are developed in response to new advances in the field as well as the requirements of the organisations that employ our graduates.

We aim to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and practical application of the essential components of Safety Critical Systems Engineering, to complement previously gained knowledge and skills. As a York Safety Critical Systems Engineering graduate, you will have a solid grounding of knowledge and understanding of the essential areas, as represented by the core modules. The optional modules give you the opportunity to gain knowledge in other areas which are of interest and these are taught by recognised experts in those areas.

Transferable Skills

Information-retrieval skills are an integrated part of many modules; you are expected to independently acquire information from on-line and traditional sources. These skills are required within nearly all modules, are an essential part of project work.

Numeracy is required and developed in some modules. Time management is an essential skill for any student on the course. The formal timetable has a substantial load of lectures and practical sessions. You are expected to fit your private study in around these fixed points. In addition, Open Assessments are set with rigid deadlines, so you must balance your time between the different commitments.

All students in the University are eligible to take part in the York Award in which they can gain certified transferable skills. This includes the Languages for All programme which allows students to improve their language skills.

Projects

For both full-time and part-time students, the project(s) enable(s) students to:
-Demonstrate knowledge of an area by means of a literature review covering all significant developments in the area and placing them in perspective;
-Exhibit critical awareness and appreciation of best practice and relevant standards;
Investigate particular techniques and methods for the construction of safe systems, possibly involving the construction of a prototype;
-Evaluate the outcome of their work, drawing conclusions and suggesting possible further work in the area.

The project(s) address(es) a major technical problem concerned with real issues. It should, if possible, include the development and application of a practical method, technique or system. It is a natural progression from the taught modules, and builds on material covered in them. Ideally it addresses the problem from a system perspective, including hardware, software and human factors. It will typically have an industrial flavour. If you are a part-time student, you are encouraged, with the help of your managers and academic staff, to select a project which is relevant to your own work in industry.

The project begins at the start of the Summer term after completion of the taught modules, and lasts 18 months part-time / 6 months full-time. For part-time students there are three weeks attendance at York during the project, for progress assessment and access to library facilities: in July near the start of the project; and in the following January and July. Full details are provided during the course.

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