The MSc by Research (MScRes) is a one-year full-time research programme that differs from a taught Masters programme by placing more emphasis on research, and by being examined much more like a PhD, by viva voce (oral) examination, rather than by grading of coursework and dissertation. This degree will equip you with confidence and competence in the latest research skills (including generic skills such as literature searching, legal and ethical aspects, project planning, grant proposal writing, and statistical manipulation of data) and allow you to apply for further research training (PhD) programmes, or to directly apply for research positions in universities or research institutes. Specific funded projects leading to this degree may be advertised from time to time, but you are welcome to discuss options at any time with potential supervisors. Details of research specialisms and contact details for staff can be found on the School Research pages. As well as offering strong support for research activities, the School offers unique opportunities for students to conduct project work under internationally recognised supervisors. Students also benefit from our extensive local, national and international links with state and private sector organisations.
Marine Sciences studies how marine systems and processes operate naturally and how they change through human intervention.
Seas and oceans play an important role in our day-to-day lives, and over 65% of the world's population lives or works in coastal areas. Vital for our economy and health – as well as for climate, food, and biodiversity – seas and oceans have immense societal significance. However, the oceans are changing rapidly as human-induced pollution and CO2 emissions lead to global warming and ocean acidification. The impact on organisms, ocean chemistry, and currents on short to long timescales is uncertain, affecting both business and policy making.
As part of your two-year Master's programme in Marine Sciences, students will learn how marine systems and processes operate naturally – and how they change through human intervention. The programme offers multidisciplinary cutting-edge information in this rapidly developing field.
The Marine Sciences Master’s programme will enable you to specialize in the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes taking place in seas and oceans. You will investigate how seas and oceans functioned in the past, are functioning at present, and will function in the future.
Society urgently needs experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and Earth System sciences. Climate change and issues of air quality and extreme weather are matters of global concern, but which are inadequately understood from the scientific point of view. Not only must further research be done, but industry and business also need environmental specialists with a strong background in natural sciences. As new regulations and European Union directives are adopted in practice, people with knowledge of recent scientific research are required.
Upon graduating from the Programme you will have competence in
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The six study lines are as follows:
Aerosol particles are tiny liquid or solid particles floating in the air. Aerosol physics is essential for our understanding of air quality, climate change and production of nanomaterials. Aerosol scientists investigate a large variety of phenomena associated with atmospheric aerosol particles and related gas-to-particle conversion using constantly improving experimental, theoretical, model-based and data analysis methods.
Hydrospheric geophysics studies water in all of its forms using physical methods. It includes hydrology, cryology, and physical oceanography. Hydrology includes the study of surface waters such as lakes and rivers, global and local hydrological cycles as well as water resources and geohydrology, the study of groundwater. Cryology focuses on snow and ice phenomena including glacier mass balance and dynamics, sea ice physics, snow cover effects and ground frost. Physical oceanography covers saline water bodies, focusing on describing their dynamics, both large scale circulation and water masses, and local phenomena such as surface waves, upwelling, tides, and ocean acoustics. Scientists study the hydrosphere through field measurements, large and small scale modelling, and formulating mathematical descriptions of the processes.
Meteorology is the physics of the atmosphere. Its best-known application is weather forecasting, but meteorological knowledge is also essential for understanding, predicting and mitigating climate change. Meteorologists study atmospheric phenomena across a wide range of space and time scales using theory, model simulations and observations. The field of meteorology is a forerunner in computing: the development of chaos theory, for example, was triggered by the unexpected behaviour of a meteorological computer model. Meteorology in ATM-MP is further divided into dynamic meteorology and biometeorology. Dynamic meteorology is about large-scale atmospheric dynamics, modelling and observation techniques, whereas biometeorology focuses on interactions between the atmosphere and the underlying surface by combining observations and modelling to study the flows of greenhouse gases and energy with links to biogeochemical cycles, for example.
Biogeochemistry studies the processes involved in cycling of elements in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by integrating physics, meteorology, geophysics, chemistry, geology and biology. Besides natural ecosystems, it also studies systems altered by human activity such as forests under different management regimes, drained peatlands, lakes loaded by excess nutrients and urban environments. The most important elements and substances studied are carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, water and phosphorus, which are vital for ecosystem functioning and processes such as photosynthesis. Biogeochemistry often focuses on the interphases of scientific disciplines and by doing so, it also combines different research methods. It treats ecosystems as open entities which are closely connected to the atmosphere and lithosphere. You will thus get versatile training in environmental issues and research techniques. As a graduate of this line you will be an expert in the functioning of ecosystems and the interactions between ecosystems and the atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere in the context of global change. You will have knowledge applicable for solving global challenges such as climate change, air pollution, deforestation and issues related to water resources and eutrophication.
Remote sensing allows the collection of information about the atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces. Various techniques are applied for monitoring the state and dynamics of the Earth system from the ground, aircraft or satellites. While Lidar and radar scan from the surface or mounted on aircraft, instruments on polar orbiting or geostationary satellites permit measurements worldwide. In atmospheric sciences remote sensing has found numerous applications such as observations of greenhouse and other trace gases, aerosols, water vapour, clouds and precipitation, as well as surface observations, for example of vegetation, fire activity, snow cover, sea ice and oceanic parameters such as phytoplankton. Synergistic satellite data analysis enables the study of important processes and feedback in the climate system. Remote sensing advances climate research, weather forecasting, air quality studies, aviation safety and the renewable energy industry.
Atmospheric chemistry studies the composition and reactions of the molecules that make up the atmosphere, including atmospheric trace constituents and their role in chemical, geological and biological processes, including human influence. The low concentrations and high reactivity of these trace molecules place stringent requirements on the measurement and modelling methods used to study them. Analytical chemistry is the science of obtaining, processing, and communicating information about the composition and structure of matter and plays an essential role in the development of science. Environmental analysis consists of the most recent procedures for sampling, sample preparation and sample analysis and learning how to choose the best analytical methods for different environmental samples. Physical atmospheric chemistry studies focus on the reaction types and reaction mechanisms occurring in the atmosphere, with emphasis on reaction kinetics, thermodynamics and modelling methods.
The University of British Columbia Geological Engineering programme is a postgraduate course awarding a research-based Master of Applied Science or a taught Master of Engineering.
Students complete training and research projects according to their qualification pathway.
The Geological Engineering Program is intended for students interested in the application of earth sciences principles to engineering problems. While most geological engineering degree programs are based in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, students may also base their studies in allied Applied Science departments such as Civil or Mining Engineering. The program is highly interdisciplinary and draws upon courses, laboratories, and faculty members from the departments of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Civil Engineering, Mining Engineering, Forestry, Geography, and others. Graduate students are often co-supervised by faculty members from different departments.
Geological engineering faculty members in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences have research interests in the following general areas:
- landslides, debris flows, engineering geology, slope stability
- groundwater hydrology, groundwater contamination and remediation, reactive transport modeling, environmental geochemistry
- rock engineering, rock slopes, and tunneling
Other research areas include geotechnical engineering, environmental geology, engineering geology, economic geology, and applied geophysics. The specific fields of study may involve geomorphology and terrain analysis, groundwater hydrology, natural hazards, slope stability, petroleum and coal geology, coalbed methane, mineral prospecting and valuation, and other similar subjects. Students are encouraged to consult individual faculty members for information about current research areas.
Admission to graduate studies in geological engineering is open only to students with an undergraduate degree in engineering or, at the discretion of the program director, to students with sufficient engineering work experience.
- Degree: Master of Applied Science (research-based), Master of Engineering (course-based, 1 year)
- Specialization: Geological Engineering
- Subject: Engineering
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Faculty: Faculty of Science
The following postgraduate funding may be available to study Geological Engineering at the University of British Columbia.