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Masters Degrees (Palaeoclimate)

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This course offers comprehensive and flexible postgraduate training in the established yet dynamic field of Quaternary science, with the academic emphasis being on the time-dependent processes affecting environmental change. Read more
This course offers comprehensive and flexible postgraduate training in the established yet dynamic field of Quaternary science, with the academic emphasis being on the time-dependent processes affecting environmental change.

By the end of the course you will have acquired and demonstrated specialist disciplinary knowledge and understanding of key issues pertaining to Quaternary science, in particular the core linking themes of high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records, high-precision dating, and multi-proxy approaches to the investigation of past environmental changes.

You will also be provided with advanced training in techniques used to assess the causes, scale and rapidity of past climate and environmental fluctuations; encompassing field, laboratory, statistical and computing methods used in the acquisition, interpretation and modelling of proxy climatic and environmental data.

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

Why choose this course?

- The staff and facilities of the Centre for Quaternary Research (CQR) at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) provide a wide range of opportunities for postgraduate training and research including participation in internationally significant research programmes in Quaternary science and links with potential employers.

- This consortium of staff constitutes the strongest teaching team in the UK for the provision of Masters' teaching in the field of non-marine Quaternary earth science and environmental change.

- The Department is one of the leading centres for international geographical research in the UK. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework our research environment was recognized as overwhelmingly world class. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) recognizes this course as "Excellent".

- You will be provided with the temporal perspective necessary for the understanding of many contemporary environmental issues, such as climate change, biological responses to environmental change and soil erosion.

- The distinctive aspects of the research at the CQR are the emphases on high-precision dating, multiproxy palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, quantitative palaeoclimate estimates, high resolution stratigraphy/sedimentology and the influence of Quaternary climate change on early human evolution and dispersal.

Department research and industry highlights

The CQR was established in 1990 and has grown to become one of the leading international research centres in Quaternary science.

Since its inception the CQR has attracted funding from an increasingly diverse range of sources (NERC, AHRC, ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, EC Framework Programs, British Academy). Major research partnerships and initiatives have been forged (e.g. with the Natural History Museum, Museum of London, British Geological Society, English Heritage and Oxford University), which are fostering important advances in understanding Quaternary landscape evolution, quantitative palaeoclimate reconstruction, geochronology, biostratigraphy and Palaeolithic and environmental archaeology. The CQR has also benefited from recent £1.5M SRIF investment in laboratory refurbishment that has enhanced the centre’s research capabilities in OSL dating, tephrochronology, analytical chemistry and soil micromorphology.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

acquired and demonstrated specialist disciplinary knowledge and understanding of key issues pertaining to Quaternary Science, in particular the core linking themes of:
- high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records
- high-precision dating
- multi-proxy approaches to the investigation of past environmental changes.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, practical exercises, field reports and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

Destinations of our graduates include the British Geological Survey, Natural England, the Environment Agency, journal publishing houses, Research Councils, environmental archaeology and museums, as well as academic positions within universities. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies; around 70% of Quaternary Science graduates over the last decade have gone on to a PhD.

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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There is a growing need for qualified professionals with expertise in environmental modelling. The UCL Environmental Modelling MSc is a cross-disciplinary degree that provides rigorous technical and scientific training for the next generation of environmental modelling professionals. Read more
There is a growing need for qualified professionals with expertise in environmental modelling. The UCL Environmental Modelling MSc is a cross-disciplinary degree that provides rigorous technical and scientific training for the next generation of environmental modelling professionals.

Degree information

You will gain a well-rounded training in the role, implementation and application of models in environmental science. Core modules provide a critical perspective on model-based science, and introduce essential computational and numerical methods. The programme is contextualised with reference to the challenges of understanding both natural and human-induced changes to a variety of environmental systems.

Students take modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year) is offered.

Core modules
-Models in Environmental Science
-Global Environmental Change
-Scientific Computing
-Analytical and Numerical Methods

Optional modules - options may include:
-Climate Modelling
-Coastal Change
-Environmental GIS
-Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-Ecological Systems
-Lakes
-Ocean Circulation and Climate Change
-Surface Water Modelling
-Terrestrial Carbon: Monitoring and Modelling
-Other MSc modules offered across UCL may be taken at the discretion of the MSc convenor

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project, culminating in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is through independent project work, practical-based and written coursework, written examinations and the dissertation.

Careers

The programme has been designed to provide an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with environmental monitoring and protection agencies, industry and environmental consultancies. Graduates have gone on to careers as management consultants, business analysts and university researchers.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Research Fellow, University of Girona and studying PhD Sanitas, Universitat de Girona (University of Girona)
-Risk Analyst, Canopius

Employability
Modelling was identified as the highest priority UK skills gap in a government review of the environmental sector. This MSc programme exposes students to the full range of environmental modelling which places graduates in a strong position to find employment. We anticipate that graduates of this MSc are either employed in the private environmental consulting sector or undertake a PhD.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Environmental Modelling MSc is run by UCL Geography which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching. Research groups contributing to the MSc include those concerned with environmental modelling and observation, past climates, and recent environmental change and biodiversity.

The programme draws on the unrivalled strengths of UCL in environment modelling. Our expertise encompasses state-of-the-art global climate models, regional ocean models, advanced hydrodynamic and hydrological simulations, palaeoclimate reconstruction over geological to recent historical timescales, earth observation-derived vegetation and carbon cycle modelling, and model-based assessment of climate change impacts on coastal, estuarine and freshwater systems.

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