Study Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll receive comprehensive postgraduate training on the time-dependent processes that affect environmental change, helping you to understand and confront some of the most profound issues of our time.
This flexible Masters programme is offered jointly with London’s prestigious Natural History Museum, and The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) recognizes this course as 'Excellent'.
You’ll acquire an advanced knowledge and understanding of key issues within Quaternary Science, including high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records, high-precision dating and multi-proxy approaches to the investigation of past environmental changes.
The Department of Geography 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 staff and facilities of the Centre for Quaternary Research (CQR) at Royal Holloway provide a wide range of opportunities, 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. You’ll have the chance to contribute to this leading research culture with your own individual research project.
Study a Masters degree in Quaternary Science and you’ll develop a thorough understanding of many contemporary environmental issues, including climate change, biological responses to environmental change and soil erosion. and be well placed to pursue a rewarding career in your chosen field.
In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
You will benefit from small group learning and an intense but friendly atmosphere, and will receive individual mentoring and career advice from our staff (both from your personal tutor and a dissertation supervisor).
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, practical exercises, field reports and a dissertation.
Study Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway and you’ll graduate with excellent employability prospects. Our recent alumni have gone on to enjoy careers in 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.
Over the past decade, around 70% of Quaternary Science graduates have gone on to study at PhD level, with the Royal Holloway Centre for Quaternary Science providing opportunities to participate in internationally significant research programmes.
Plants, animals, and microbes all play a key role in the sustainability of life on Earth. The Master's programme in Environmental Biology offers you the opportunity to explore different organisational levels of life – from genes, cells, and organisms to populations and entire ecosystems.
In this programme, you will study the fundamental life processes of plants and microbes. The interdisciplinary course content also offers you the chance to examine animal behaviour from an ecological and evolutionary perspective.
Within the Environmental Biology Master, you can select a specialised track from the following:
Alternatively, you can develop an individualised curriculum suited to your unique interests. We offer you considerable flexibility in choosing specific subfields or topics within Environmental Biology. See the study programme and courses page.
Bioarchaeology is an exciting and fast-moving interdisciplinary field which combines archaeology with the natural sciences to discover how ancient populations lived. Study for this Masters in Bioarchaeology at Liverpool John Moores University and gain hands-on experience of archaeology excavations at the Poulton Project, carry out novel research and discover new laboratory techniques.
You will study the following modules:
Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Please email [email protected] if you require further guidance or clarification.
Become part of something bigger
Take part in a research-led physical geography programme and have an excellent, world-class learning experience.
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
Massey’s Master of Sciences (Geography) will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and help solve some of the world’s most important environmental issues like flooding, coastal erosion, sea level change, landslide hazards and environmental change.
You will have access to a wide range of techniques and equipment, making it easier to progress your research in a timely and comprehensive fashion. From ground survey equipment like a Trimble RTK differential GPS and S6 robotic total station and a ground penetrating radar to a range of coring apparatus e.g., lake/bog corers, percussion corer and vibracorer and Schmidt hammers for relative age dating of boulders we have the specialist equipment to help your research meet global standards.
Other equipment includes:
Our strong relationship with industry and counciis and the masters programmes research element make our graduates very attractive to potential employers such as environmental consultancies and regional councils.
Let our experts help you develop your own expertise.
Massey’s geography lecturers have an extensive range of experience and expertise. The ratio of staff to students is high. Your lecturers will be your mentors, working alongside you to fully engage you in the practical and theoretical aspects of advanced physical geography study, to prepare you for life in the workplace in a specialist sense or preparing you for research at a higher level.
Massey’s geography programmes are ranked as some of the best globally. Out of 800 of the world’s leading universities we were ranked in the top 200 in the QS World University Rankings.
The physical geography team at Massey research and have expertise in fluvial processes, coastal processes, slope processes, palynology, biogeography, palaeoecology and river solutions. During the course of your studies you can choose to further your knowledge and apply your learning on an exciting research project like:
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.
Some courses in the geography major are taught in block mode, which means you come onto campus for a period. This gives you the opportunity to come to Massey for a semester and spend valuable time with lecturers and fellow students in lectures, seminars, student-led presentations and seminars, lab work, field work day trips, small group discussions, and residential field work.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, time management, setting goals and milestones and undertaking research.
The Master of Science (Geography) may comprise a selection of courses from across both physical and human geography. However, normally students taking this programme will focus on physical geography and it is this experience that is described in these pages.
Students should also consult the Master of Arts (Geography) programme pages for a description of the equivalent experience in human geography.