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Masters Degrees (Physical Geography)

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Our MPhil/PhD research degree programme offers you. Wide variety of research interests. The Institute of Science and the Environment has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme. Read more
Our MPhil/PhD research degree programme offers you:

Wide variety of research interests
The Institute of Science and the Environment has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme. Our staff have expertise in river science, glacial geomorphology, environmental geology, GIS and remote sensing.

Excellent supervision
Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.

Resources
Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state of the art library facilities. The Physical Geography team at Worcester have an excellent range of resources available to support your learning and your research project, including; field equipment including a Teledyne StreamPro Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), a 2D Flow Tracker, six Valeport Electromagnetic current meters, three portable YSI multi-parameter water quality probes, an ISCO automatic liquid sampler, Solinst water level and water temperature data loggers, Tinytag water temperature data loggers and tipping bucket logging rain gauges. Two hydrological monitoring sites on local streams (Leigh Brook and Bow Brook) continuously monitor water level and various water quality parameters (pH, temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, turbidity) with data logged every 15 minutes and accessible online via telemetry in real-time. Each site also has an ISCO automatic liquid sampler The field equipment and hydrological monitoring sites are managed and maintained by a specialist Physical Geography technician and field equipment can booked out through him.

Survey equipment includes a Draganflyer X6 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) with three staff licensed with the Civil Aviation Authority to fly it in the UK, mapping and survey grade GPS, a Leica Terrestrial Laser Scanner, total stations, quickset levels and laser distance measurers.

The Institute of Science and the Environment has a fully-equipped GIS, Mapping and Visualization Suite, which provides access to high-end computers, industry-standard GIS (ArcGIS) and statistical analysis software (e.g. Primer-E, Matlab, SPSS) and other mapping and remote sensing software (e.g. ENVI and Photoscan Pro (Agisoft LLC)). This facility is run by GIS technicians, who provide advice and training to students and the suite also has its own A3 colour laser printer and A3 scanner for staff and student use. The Institute also has digital camcorders, cameras and microphones which students can use for data capture. A further six science and geography technicians offer support with field and laboratory based work.

Recent successful projects have included Dr Caroline Wallis who evaluated the Spatial Configuration and Temporal Dynamics of Hydraulic Patches in Three UK Lowland Rivers (2014), Dr Martin Wilkes who examined The Hydrodynamics of River Ecosystems: Towards an Objective and Ecologically Relevant Classification of Mesohabitat (2014), and Dr Amy Woodget who quantified Physical River Habitat Parameters Using Hyperspatial Resolution UAS Imagery and SfM-photogrammetry (2015). Some of our current research students are exploring The influence of physical habitat heterogeneity on macroinvertebrate community response to fine sediment deposition in river ecosystems (George Bunting).

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The School of Geography offers the opportunity to work at doctoral level alongside academics whose research has been internationally recognised. Read more
The School of Geography offers the opportunity to work at doctoral level alongside academics whose research has been internationally recognised.

You will have the chance to work within a supportive academic community, sharing ideas and experiences with the aim of advancing knowledge.

How You Study

Due to the nature of postgraduate research programmes, the vast majority of your time will be spent in independent study and research. You will have meetings with your academic supervisors, however the regularity of these may vary depending on your own individual requirements, subject area, staff availability and the stage of your programme.

How You Are Assessed

Students are required to demonstrate adequate and appropriate progress on an annual basis. Final assessment is by viva voce examination of a research thesis. You are also expected to demonstrate how your research findings have contributed to knowledge or developed existing theory or understanding.

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Become part of something bigger. Take part in a research-led physical geography programme and have an excellent, world-class learning experience. Read more

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.

Broad range of equipment and facilities

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:

  • Fully equipped palynology laboratory
  • SEM, TEM and Confocal microscopes (via the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre)
  • Classifynder automated microscope system prototype (see http://www.classifynder.com)
  • Laser particle size analyser
  • Sontek M9 river surveyor (ADCP flow meter)
  • Several electromagnetic flow meters
  • Chirp Sub-bottom sonar

Work readiness

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.

Globally-renowned expertise

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.

World-leading

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.

Gain expertise in an area of your choice

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:

  • Monitoring active landslides in glaciated valleys
  • Age estimation of ancient glaciated rockslides
  • Refining understanding of marine terrace development
  • Reconstructing the evolution of estuaries and coastal environmentsStatistical analyses of earthquake-induced landslides
  • 3D soil mapping
  • Pollen-based vegetation and climate reconstructions
  • Applications of automated palynology systems
  • Mapping floodplain geomorphology
  • Flood series extension

Why postgraduate study?

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.

The postgraduate study experience

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.

Not just more of the same

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.

Geography options

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.



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We offer MPhil and PhD supervision across a wide range of human and physical geography topics. Our research engages with applied issues and public policy concerns, as well as more abstract cultural and theoretical issues. Read more
We offer MPhil and PhD supervision across a wide range of human and physical geography topics. Our research engages with applied issues and public policy concerns, as well as more abstract cultural and theoretical issues.

We were recently ranked within the top 30 geography departments in the world (QS World University Rankings by subject). Almost all our research is world-leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework, 2014).

Our staff provide supervision in a range of specialisms. Our research focusses on four research clusters:

Physical geography

Our research strengths in physical geography include:
-Paleoclimatology
-Landscape evolution
-Applied geomorphology and natural hazards
-Quaternary geochronology
-Glaciology
-Water science

We carry out research through active collaboration with colleagues in Newcastle University and beyond. Our research takes us to a wide variety of environments across the globe, including:
-The UK
-Greenland
-Iceland
-Patagonia
-Turkey
-USA
-Tibet
-Japan

Economic geographies

Our research in economic geographies is theoretically-informed and politically-engaged. It covers the production, forms, experiences and impacts of uneven geographies of:
-Commodities
-People
-Finance
-Knowledge
-Technology

Our location in the north east is a European periphery. Our researchers in this theme explore 'ordinary', diverse and/or marginalised economies and subjectivities. They also scrutinise orthodox socio-economic models and practices in the following contexts:
-Western industrialised
-Post-socialist
-Post-colonial

Power, space, politics

In power, space, politics our research focuses on the expression of political power across space and includes topics around:
-Borders and boundaries
-Critical geopolitics
-International development
-Militarism and military geographies
-The politics of representation
-Issues of resistance, justice and peace

We conduct research on a range of scales. From the international and national to the individual, with reference to a range of global contexts. Our work is methodologically innovative, drawing on:
-Interactional research
-Ethnographic research
-Discourse analysis
-Participatory research
-Visual research

This enables us to produce grounded, empirically-informed reflections on the multiple ways in which concepts of power, space and politics intersect.

Geographies of social change

In geographies of social change we explore and extend an applied, critical understanding of cities and urbanism. Ideas that run through our research include:
-Identity
-Families and households
-Health
-Welfare and care
-Infrastructures
-Community

These lead us to connect with issues of:
-Gender
-Race
-Ethnicity
-Migration
-Youth
-Religion
-Class
-Size
-Generation

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Our Geography MA, MSc course provides you with an excellent foundation in advanced Geography. The. course will offer you comprehensive study opportunities in the geographical fields of your choice. Read more

Our Geography MA, MSc course provides you with an excellent foundation in advanced Geography. The

course will offer you comprehensive study opportunities in the geographical fields of your choice:

  • The MA pathway concentrates on human geography, including environment and development, environmental policies and politics, geopolitics, urbanisation and globalisation.
  • The MSc focuses on physical geography, particularly modules available on the Environmental Monitoring, Modelling & Management course.

Key benefits

  • You will be studying innovative modules in a range of disciplines taught by staff who are recognised leaders in their fields.
  • Our recently refurbished accommodation offers high-quality teaching and social facilities.
  • Our Geography department is one of the largest in the UK.
  • The study programme is highly flexible and can be tailored to reflect your academic interests.

Description

The Geography MA, MSc study course is made up of optional and required modules. You must take modules with a total of between 180 and 190 credits to complete the course.

In addition to a required dissertation, you will select from a range of related modules. Your choice of modules will determine whether you take the MA or MSc pathway. If you are enrolling for the Geography MA course, you are expected to choose options in human geography, whereas the Geography MSc course will mean you will study physical geography.

If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will be delivered over two years, you will take the required module in the first year, and the dissertation in your second year.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Per 20-credit module:

Lectures, seminars and feedback: The total contact time for each 20-credit taught module is 20 hours. These sessions will include lectures, teacher-led and student-led group discussions based on the main areas of study

Self-study:180 hours of self-guided learning time (some modules may involve lab work or e-learning).

Dissertation modules:

Lectures, seminars and feedback: Usually four dissertation workshops/ tutorials and five contact hours of one-to-one or group consultation with supervisors.

Self-study: 587 hours.

Assessment

Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary method of assessment for this course is a combination of essays/reports, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination.

Career prospects

Our graduates usually continue on to further research, but many have also entered the fields of national and international consultancies and NGOs, governments, charities, research organisations, journalism and teaching.

Sign up for more information. Email now

Have a question about applying to King’s? Email now



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As the only course to explicitly address the topic of sustainable cities, our Sustainable Cities MA, MSc is unique in the UK. It is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies and environments. Read more

As the only course to explicitly address the topic of sustainable cities, our Sustainable Cities MA, MSc is unique in the UK. It is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies and environments. We also offer the opportunity to gain practical experience through an internship.

Key benefits

  • Unique in the UK as the only MA/MSc to address sustainable cities explicitly.
  • An exciting interdisciplinary course
  • Internships are available.

Description

Our Sustainable Cities MA, MSc course will give you advanced understanding of contemporary debates about sustainable cities, with a specific focus on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies and environments.

We aim to:

  • Develop your critical understanding of the interrelationships between urbanization and human lifestyles, politics, economy, ecology and environment.
  • Develop your critical understanding of human impacts on physical processes in cities, and the implications for habitation and liveability. 
  • Develop your ability to evaluate advanced scholarship in the field of urban policy critically, with reference to sustainable cities.
  • Promote initiative and develop your independent critical judgment in identifying, analysing and solving problems at an advanced level. 
  • Develop your relevant transferable skills which are embedded in our learning and assessment schemes. 
  • Develop your practical skills in data handling, interpretation and use, and develop your skills in connecting physical dynamics to social, political and management processes.
  • Enable you to focus on the challenges of managing cities in an integrated and sustainable manner, regardless of your first degree discipline.
  • Enable you to deploy scientific, social and economic theory within a sustainability framework which takes into account the need to address the needs of society, the economy and the protection of environmental resources.

The course combines pure and applied research methods from human and physical geography, giving you an advanced level understanding of contemporary debates about sustainable cities. We focus on the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies, environments and social processes.

Course purpose

The degree combines pure and applied research methods from human and physical geography leading to an advanced level understanding of contemporary debates about sustainable cities. Specific foci will be the human and physical processes shaping urban ecologies, environments and social structure and process.

Course format and assessment

Teaching

We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, normally for 20 hours for a 20-credit module. In addition we expect you to complete 180 hours of independent study per module. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide four workshops and five hours of one-to-one supervision to complement your 587 hours of independent study.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

Career prospects

The skills that you develop on this course will allow you to excel in a wide range of careers in international organisations, agencies, consultancies, national and city governments, charities, research organisations and academia.

Sign up for more information. Email now

Have a question about applying to King’s? Email now



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Goal of the pro­gramme. Students who graduate from the Master’s programme in geography have strong theoretical and practical skills. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Students who graduate from the Master’s programme in geography have strong theoretical and practical skills. The education in geography offers a broad understanding in current social and environmental issues. Our students can work as experts in their field, both independently and as members of multi-professional teams.

The teaching within the programme is connected with the work of the geography research groups. It is often possible to write the final thesis as part of work in a research group or a research institute in a related field. 

The Master’s programme in geography is divided into three study tracks (described in section 4).  Our students have been very successful in the job market after completing our programme.

The strengths of students who have completed our Master’s programme when it comes to research and expertise are:

  • their ability to apply theoretical knowledge 
  • a broad understanding of multi-layered regional issues 
  • strong interaction skills within multi-disciplinary groups of specialists
  • their ability to communicate in writing, orally, and graphically about geographical phenomena and research findings
  • their ability to utilise and interpret various kinds of research data
  • their versatile knowledge of methodology in geography
  • their ability to apply the newest methods in geoinformatics and cartography
  • their embracing of responsible and ethical scientifc practices

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

The first year of the advanced module of the Master’s programme contains the method courses of your chosen study track, elective courses, and advanced literature. During this year you will start planning your Master’s thesis.

In the autumn of the second year, you will join a Master’s seminar and take exams on literature related to the MSc thesis. In the spring, you should be ready to present your finished MSc thesis (Pro gradu). In addition, you can take optional courses in both years that support your study track. If you are studying to be a teacher, you will take courses in pedagogy during your second year.

Studying takes many forms. A large part of the instruction is contact teaching. Method and specialisation courses are usually implemented in groups of 10-20 students, where it is easy to discuss professional issues and gain deeper insights. Independent study is supported through workshops supervised by older students, and reading circles. The Master’s programme also includes extensive exams on literature in the field.

Se­lec­tion of the study track

The Master’s programme in geography is divided into study tracks. The study tracks offer students the opportunity to specialise in different areas of geography. The Master’s programme contains both general and study track-specific courses. The teaching within the Master’s programme in geography is seamlessly connected with the Master’s programme in urban studies and planning, which is jointly implemented with Aalto University. 

The study tracks in the Master’s programme for geography are:

  • physical geography
  • human & urban geography and spatial planning
  • geoinformatics


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In 2010 the UN estimated that more than half of the planet’s population live in cities and projected that this will increase to 66% by the middle of the century. Read more

In 2010 the UN estimated that more than half of the planet’s population live in cities and projected that this will increase to 66% by the middle of the century. Cities have become the nodes of a global economic network and are the foci for flows of people, goods, energy, food etc. In addition, although occupying less than 1% of the Earth’s surface they transform the natural environment radically and are the main geographical drivers of environmental change at local, regional and global scales. At the same time, cities are social constructions that can be changed and managed through human intervention to enhance well-being and liveability.

This MSc looks at urban environments holistically by integrating the perspectives of human and physical geography to explore urban environments. Exploration is complemented by developing fieldwork and geospatial skills. The key objective of the course is to address the challenge of achieving global sustainability by making resource efficient, smart and liveable cities.

The use of the vibrant, dynamic city of Dublin as an urban laboratory will provide an opportunity for collaboration on external projects with a range of urban stakeholder groups, developing professional networks and skillsets accordingly. This is complemented within the School of Geography, a top-100 department in QS subject rankings, by dedicated geospatial facilities for research students.

Programme Outcomes

The MSc Urban Environment focuses on how we might progress towards global sustainability by focusing on the development of more resource efficient, smart and liveable cities. The programme integrates the perspectives of human and physical geography to explore urban environments as complex physical and social systems. The vibrant, dynamic city of Dublin is an ideal urban laboratory within which we can develop and engage in collaborative projects. We value holistic approaches to learning and active, sustained engagement with issues of societal importance. We challenge our students to develop as spatially-sensitive global citizens and encourage them to be reflective and critical thinkers. In this programme, we particularly value the application of academic learning to the urban environment of Dublin in particular through collaborative engagement with external stakeholders. The School of Geography provides a high quality learning and research environment for graduate students and has pioneered innovative teaching and learning methodologies in the online and face-to-face environment. As well as small-group seminars, project-based learning and teamwork, fieldwork is a core element of the MSc Urban Environment programme.

  • Focussed on integrating technical skills (e.g. GIS) with fieldwork and lectures to provide a comprehensive understanding of dynamic urban environments.
  • International perspective on global cities but uses Dublin (a multi-cultural city that is undergoing transformation) as a testbed for exploring urban environments.
  • Draws upon expertise at UCD across a range of disciplines. Provides freedom to specialise in areas of interest.

Careers & Employability

The MSc Urban Environment is designed to provide students with the key knowledge and practical transferable skillsets that will be a benefit in many careers. Graduates may progress to careers in: further research, academic and professional; professional training in related disciplines; consultancy; GIS; and research careers in the private sector, public service or with community groups.



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The PGCE. The. Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). is the most widely recognised UK post graduate award and is transferable. It is accepted, across the UK and internationally, as an assurance that the candidate has achieved the high standard expected for entry to the teaching profession. . Read more

The PGCE

The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is the most widely recognised UK post graduate award and is transferable. It is accepted, across the UK and internationally, as an assurance that the candidate has achieved the high standard expected for entry to the teaching profession. 

Introduction

If you are passionate about geography this course will equip you with the skills to provide secondary school students across the 11-16 age range plus post 16 enhancement, with an understanding of the complex geographical systems in the world around them. The course is designed to provoke thought, challenge assumptions and help develop you as a reflective practitioner of the subject, so that you can enter the teaching profession with clear educational priorities and the skills with which to achieve them. You will have the opportunity to explore and develop your knowledge of key issues including globalisation, global interdependence and how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate. The use and application of GIS is embedded within the course. In addition, the programme is designed to develop you as professional geographers confident to challenge misconceptions and teach with passion and authority.

You will study ten modules: six are spent in schools in a programme that gives you an opportunity to gain an advanced understanding of secondary schools and skills in classroom management and lesson delivery. During the year you will gain experience of teaching in at least two secondary schools and will acquire high level skills in the application of new technologies in teaching and learning.

Key Feature

A key feature of the course are the ‘Special Focus Weeks’ where you can, as geographers, spend time exploring the teaching of geography in a primary school setting and leading fieldwork in the local area with Gifted and Talented pupils, enabling you the time you need to develop your own areas of professional interest.

The programme consists of 36 weeks of full-time study (from early September to the beginning of July), and you can expect to spend at least 24 of those weeks in schools. You will gain experience of teaching in at least two secondary schools and will acquire high level skills in the application of new technologies in teaching and learning. You can also expect to engage with several key strands which will furnish you with valuable knowledge and enable you to develop into an effective classroom practitioner including:

• Extending locational knowledge whilst deepening spatial awareness of key global regions

• Comparing and contrasting human and physical features across the globe

• Exploring key geographical processes relating to physical geography such as coasts and hydrology

• Investigate the complexities of human geography such as population and urbanisation

• Develop a range of geographical skills, ranging from the use of topographical maps to the use of GIS

• Experience a wide range of practical fieldwork

Due to the dynamic nature of geography, you will be provided with opportunities to engage in a range of visits, conferences, experiences and working parties.

School Experience

All students complete placements in secondary schools – usually in the West Midlands area. You will benefit from Newman’s excellent partnerships with Birmingham schools, providing you with support and encouragement from colleagues in the field.

Teaching Methods and Assessment

Our lecturers and visiting teachers use a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, workshops and special projects. Assessment is through coursework, presentations, project work and practical teaching ability.

Subject Knowledge Enhancement

If your degree does not include enough mathematics, or if you just need a refresher course, places may be available on our Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses.



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An MRes is a degree in which students undertake a one year research project (with taught courses) supervised by academic members of staff. Read more
An MRes is a degree in which students undertake a one year research project (with taught courses) supervised by academic members of staff. It is essentially a “mini PhD” as the projects are directly related to ongoing departmental research.

Core Modules

• Dissertation
Optional Modules (two)

• Introduction to GIS
• Programming for Spatial Scientists
• Spatial Information Science
• Research Design and Methods in Geography
• Geographical Visualisation
• Earth Observation and Remote Sensing
• Global Climate and Environmental Change
• Environmental Economics
• Sustainable Management of Biological Resources
• Living with Environmental Change
• Ecological and Environmental Assessment

Teaching and Learning

The 40 taught credits are delivered by a variety of methods including lectures, seminars, self-paced learning, directed reading and practicals.

Opportunities/Reasons to Study

The flexibility of the MRes in Geography allows students to develop their domain knowledge and research skills under the direct supervision of a member of staff. The relationship between staff and student is more direct than that under traditional MSc supervision. Each student will take 40 taught credits from existing modules and the dissertation component of the MRes allows the student to develop and explore a deep understanding of their topic. It is expected that the MRes will result in publications. The MRes is an ideal basis for pursuing a research career through a PhD.

Within this course, there is a high range of research topics which are split into the following themes:

Human Geography
Physical Geography
Geographical Information Science

For information on some of our latest MRes research topics see http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/geography/newsevents/new-physical-geography-mres-topics-listed

You are also encouraged to contact members of staff and develop your own topic.

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The MA Geography is aimed at students who wish to develop a deeper understanding of key geographical ideas and themes, embrace opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills, undertake independent research in an area of specialist interest, and enhance their geospatial skills set. Read more

The MA Geography is aimed at students who wish to develop a deeper understanding of key geographical ideas and themes, embrace opportunities to develop their critical thinking skills, undertake independent research in an area of specialist interest, and enhance their geospatial skills set. This Masters programme provides students with a range of academic and transferable skills that will be a benefit in many careers including teaching; research; consultancy; Geographical Information Systems; and careers in the public sector. We value holistic approaches to learning and active, sustained engagement with issues of societal importance. We challenge our students to develop as spatially-sensitive global citizens and encourage them to be analytical, reflective and critical thinkers. The capacity to engage in collaborative learning and problem-solving is a key competence of our graduates. The UCD School of Geography provides a high quality learning and research environment for graduate students and has pioneered innovative teaching and learning methodologies in the online and face-to-face environment. As well as small-group seminars, project-based learning and teamwork, fieldwork is a core element of the MA Geography programme.

  • A series of fieldtrips in Dublin and surroundings emphasising key geographical skills and landscape interpretation.
  • Solid programme emphasizing a broad training in political, economic, urban, environmental, climate, and physical geography.
  • Opportunity to undertake an independent research project on a relevant topic chosen in consultation with your supervisor.

Programme Outcomes

  • Display competency in a range of geospatial technologies, with a particular emphasis on the application of Geographical Information Systems
  • Think critically and illustrate their research skills through the development and execution of an independent research project
  • Articulate the importance of geographical context in addressing issues of major societal or environmental importance
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of, and mastery of the literature in, at least one particular geographic subfield
  • Work collaboratively and effectively in teams both in class-based activities and in the field.
  • Communicate effectively, through a range of formats, about concepts and problems in geography and the environment.


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What is the Master of Geography all about?. The Master of Science in Geography is a two-year advanced study programme jointly organised by KU Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Read more

What is the Master of Geography all about?

The Master of Science in Geography is a two-year advanced study programme jointly organised by KU Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The interuniversity master programme provides the students with comprehensive training in geography's approaches to social geographical and/or natural geographical phenomena. The objective of this programme is to provide a deeper understanding of geographical problems and methods, knowledge to the theoretical debate within the discipline, and training in the use of geographical working techniques.

The global aim of the master is to generate geographers that can play an active role in our contemporary society. Teaching is based on scientific research. Therefore the KU Leuven and the VUB work together for their master in geography, since their focal points of research are similar. The following specialties are offered in English:

  • Earth and Climate;
  • City, Society and Space;
  • GIS and Spatial Modelling.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Structure

The full programme comprises 120 ECTS. In addition to core courses on human-environment interactions and research methods in geography (27 ECTS), you take the compulsory courses within your chosen specialisation (33-34 ECTS) as well as a number of specialised electives in your field (29-30 ECTS). The remaining 30 ECTS are allocated to the master’s thesis.

The programme offers three specialisations:

  • Earth and Climate: this specialization focuses on terrestrial ecosystems and environmental changes, emphasising timely and relevant research topics in the geosciences like global warming, ice-climate interaction, soil and water conservation, long-term landscape development, natural hazards and risk assessment.
  • City, Society and Space: in a strongly urbanised world there is a growing need to better understand social, economic, cultural, and political dynamics of urban areas. This specialisation focuses on the multifaceted issues that cities are experiencing in the current era of globalisation.
  • GIS and Spatial Modelling: within this specialisation you will become acquainted with new approaches and techniques for acquiring, managing, analysing and mapping spatial data.

Within this specialisation you can also opt to include a two-month GIS internship in your study programme.

Courses are taught at KU Leuven’s Arenberg Campus in Heverlee and at the VUB campus in Etterbeek. A joint degree will be awarded upon the successful completion of the programme.

Departments

This highly competitive programme is jointly offered by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at KU Leuven and the Department of Geography at VUB and is firmly rooted in current research at both universities. Both departments continuously develop and maintain innovative and internationally recognised research programmes on fundamental and applied aspects of the geosciences, covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Within the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at KU Leuven, geographical research activities are focused on earth surface processes and climate, human-environment interactions, society and space, tourism, and education in the geosciences. Research in the Department of Geography at VUB is focused on the dynamics of glacial systems, the study of hazardous geomorphological and volcanological processes, small-scale cartography and map projections, remote sensing, and the geography of world cities. 

Objectives

The Master of Geography aims to gain the analytical and synthetical ability, necessary to understand independently and critically the scientific and social aspects of the environmental problems in our country, in a European dimension and on global level. It aims to enable the student to approach the relation between society and environment in an integrated way. The student will learn to overview and to function within the realm of the geographer. This is possible in the area of fundamental and applied geographical research, as well as in the area of communication and education of geographical sciences.

In the master thesis the research activities are emphasized, next to the acquiring of knowledge and abilities on an advanced level.

The global aim of the master is to produce geographers that can play an active role in our current society. Teaching is based on scientific research. To be able to realize this the KU Leuven and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel work together for their Master of Geography, since their focusses of research are similar. The following specialties are offered in English:

  • Earth and Climate
  • City, Society and Space
  • GIS and Spatial Modelling

Career perspectives

Geographers study the interaction between human societies and their environments, characterize the regions and localities that result, and analyze the spatial distributions and processes of particular natural and human phenomena. Being equally a natural science and a social science equipped with geographical information science techniques, geography integrates the physical and human environments. Thus, geographers have long applied integrated multidisciplinary approaches to solve real-world problems at all spatial scales from local to global.

Undoubtely there exists a growing demand for competent professionals in the broad field of geo-sciences. As a graduate from the interuniversity master programme geography, you may be recruited by surveying companies, mapping agencies, service and utility providers and public entities. You will also be placed high on the recruitment list of international and national administrations dealing with urban and rural land use planning, disaster management, environmental conservation and management. Careers can also be perused in research and education, whereby this Master programme is most often complemented by a relevant PhD programme.



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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

The MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course places particular emphasis on recent global and regional environmental and climatic change, the scientific basis and limitations of models and data collection techniques. It combines the international research strengths of staff within the Departments of Geography and Biosciences around environmental and climate dynamics (processes and mechanisms involved in stability and change), marine and ecosystem biology, and environmental management and sustainable development.

Graduates from the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course will have extensive knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climate change and environmental and ecosystem dynamics, and the practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills required for a successful career in the environmental service industry, regulating bodies or academia.

Students of the MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change at Swansea will benefit from exceptional computing facilities that include fifteen dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.

The aims of the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change programme are:

To provide advanced training in understanding the scientific issues associated with environmental dynamics and climatic change,

To provide graduates entering the environmental service industry or a regulating body with the required practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills; as well as a basic knowledge of current climate policy and environmental management,

To provide graduates continuing their academic career with the required subject specific and transferable skills.

Modules

Modules of the MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change ‌programme include:

Climate Change

Core Science Skills

Satellite Remote Sensing

Principles of Environmental Dynamics and Climatic Change

Please visit our website for a full description of modules for the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change MSc.

Fieldwork

The Stackpole residential field course introduces Environmental Dynamics and Climatic Change programme students taking the “Principles of Environmental Dynamics” to some of the major themes of the module: environmental systems, sea-level change and human impact on the environment, in a congenial setting in Pembrokeshire. The environmental issues facing the Stackpole Estate are discussed and placed into a historical perspective through lectures and the analysis of long term environmental records.

Research

The Department of Geography aima to be one of the foremost international centres for research in human and physical geography, and to provide our students with excellent teaching and superb facilities in a friendly atmosphere.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.

Research groups include:

Environmental Dynamics

Glaciology

Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation

Migration, Boundaries and Identity

Social Theory and Urban Space

We host a large community of postgraduate researchers studying for PhD degrees, and run one-year MRes, MSc and MA courses.

Facilities

The Department of Geography is well-resourced to support research: there are two dedicated computer laboratories: One of 24 computers in conjunction with Library and Information Services (LIS) providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing; One of 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications.

We have specialist laboratory suites for: stable-isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation.

In addition, we have recently spent £1.8million on state-of-the-art teaching spaces, including IT facilities, laboratories and flexible teaching spaces.

Student profiles

I originally came to Swansea University to study for a BSc in Geography. Although this course covered a wide range of both human and physical topics that were all very interesting and provided a broad spectrum of skills from GIS and remote sensing to environmental modelling, my main interest was in the physical aspects. I graduated in 2007 with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) in Geography and wanted to continue my studies into the field of climate change. I decided that the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change would be an appropriate route to take in order to pursue this field. The MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change focused on many characteristics of the global environment, like impacts on ecosystems, and how the varying processes associated with climate change can be monitored, measured and modelled. This choice of topics was complimented by the fact that the modules were run by lecturers working at the cutting-edge of global environmental change. The culmination of what I learned over the course of the year was put into practice with the dissertation, which allowed me to focus on an area of particular interest. The group of friends that I had on the course were brilliant and I will take away a lot of fond memories of our time together at Swansea. Now, after finishing the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change I have a job working for the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton".

David Hamersley, MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change



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The MA Cultural Geography (Research) was founded in 1995 as one of the first masters programmes in the world to offer students focused engagement with the then emerging sub-discipline of Cultural Geography. Read more

The MA Cultural Geography (Research) was founded in 1995 as one of the first masters programmes in the world to offer students focused engagement with the then emerging sub-discipline of Cultural Geography.

Twenty years later and Cultural Geography is one of the most dynamic sub-disciplines in contemporary geography. Our course reflects this dynamism, exploring the relationships between our physical world, human identity and mobility. We combine core concepts with research methods training and interdisciplinary scholarship and practice. We develop this alongside innovative placements and research engagements with some of world’s top cultural institution, located on our doorstep in London. 

The MA in Cultural Geography (Research) combines the vibrant research of the outstanding Social, Cultural and Historical Geography group with cutting edge teaching.

Thematically cultural geography focuses on the interconnections between place, landscape, environment, mobilities and identity, and thus has profound relevance for the contemporary world. Our graduates go on to work in a range of sectors, including the arts and cultural sector, publishing, planning and urban policy, private and public sector research work as well as many carrying on to further doctoral study.

The course attracts a diverse range of students from a range of backgrounds, not just those with geography degrees. To see more about the activities around the MA Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway, please look at our research group blog Landscape Surgery.

  • Study in a department ranked 2nd in the UK for research by the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • Enjoy placements and research engagements with top cultural institutions including the V&A Museum, the Museum of London, the British Library, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Geographical Society.
  • Graduate with excellent employability prospects or progress to doctoral study.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Cultural Geographies - Key Ideas
  • Cultural Geographies - Contemporary Debates
  • Social Science Methods for Cultural Geographers
  • GeoHumanities Research Methods for Cultural Geographers
  • Research Training
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

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.

  • Cultural Engagements
  • Cultural Engagements Placement

Teaching & assessment

Assessment is by coursework only. Formative feedback and detailed ongoing discussion of work before final submission is a central part of the teaching ethos of the course. Students also have significant autonomy in the selection of topics for coursework and dissertation allowing them to develop particular interests and specialisms.

  • Essay 1 and Essay 2 - 5000 words each (20 credits each)
  • Workshop Report 1 and Workshop Report 2 - 5000 words each (20 credits each)
  • Research proposal - 2000 words (20 credits)
  • Dissertation presentation - 20 minutes
  • Dissertation Viva - 1 hour - (0 credits)
  • Blog post (s) - 4000 words - (20 credits)
  • Video/podcast - 10 mins/30 mins
  • Placement Reflection - 5000 words (20 credits)
  • Dissertation - 15000 words (60 credits)

This programme is delivered in a single stage, equating to either one-year of full-time study or up to five years of part-time study.

Your future career

Study Cultural Geography (By Research) at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll be well placed to progress to PhD study or to a rewarding career in your chosen field. This research-based programme sees more than 50% of graduates progress to doctoral study.

This programme is structured to maximise graduate employability and further education prospects, with transferable skills sessions, career development sessions and workshops taking place to help graduates you achieve your career ambitions. We help our students to work on their PhD applications, and also help to arrange placements with some of the world’s top cultural institutions – including the V&A Museum, the Museum of London, the British Library, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Royal Geographical Society.

  • 90% of Royal Holloway graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • More than 50% of Cultural Geography students progress to PhD study.
  • Transferable skills sessions, career development sessions and workshops help you to achieve your career ambitions. 


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Our PGDipEd (QTS) Geography course is recognised as one of the strongest in the country. The course benefits from its supportive partnerships with geography mentors in a variety of schools in the West Midlands. Read more

Our PGDipEd (QTS) Geography course is recognised as one of the strongest in the country. The course benefits from its supportive partnerships with geography mentors in a variety of schools in the West Midlands. It offers opportunities to learn in a range of settings, including a week of residential fieldwork with children. The course encourages you to combine the theory and practice of geographical education, whilst also developing your professional understanding and competence as a geography teacher. The programme also includes a residential Geography fieldcourse. 

For those who are eligible, a scholarship of £28,000 and bursaries of £26,000 are currently available for applicants.

At the University of Birmingham we believe we should provide student teachers with the highest level of teacher training possible, and this is why we offer a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDipEd) rather than a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Both qualifications lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) but the PGDipEd also offers the equivalent of 120 credits at Master’s level (out of 180), which makes it a highly rewarding course by combining both theory and practice.

Following satisfactory completion of this course, plus a successful induction year in school and references, you can return to complete an MA in Teaching Studies (data collection and a 15,000 word dissertation). Additionally, the School also offers a number of specialised Professional Development programmes which will enable you to further develop your career.

Course details

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham has a long tradition of delivering teaching training courses. It's teaching has been graded as 'outstanding' for the third consecutive time by Ofsted inspectors which reaffirms the University’s status as one of the UK’s leading institutions for excellence in teacher training. 

The Initial Teacher Education course

The PGDipEd course lasts 36 weeks, of which 24 are spent in our partnership schools.

Teaching practice will take several forms: school placements and also team teaching while at the University. You will also get involved in small scale research projects for your assignments so that you can evaluate the theory in practice and integrate this learning into your own teaching.

The PGDipEd(QTS) Geography course is delivered through seminars, lectures, group work, practical school experience, ICT and field studies. It places a clear emphasis on the central role of the learner.

The course provides the necessary skills to organise geography lessons successfully and deal with the daily challenges of teaching in a comprehensive school. Time is spent on the preparation of lessons, teaching strategies, use of equipment and classroom management. The appropriate use of ICT in geography education is stressed.

You will learn about the role of geography education in the secondary school curriculum. Principles of evaluation, assessment, record keeping and reporting in geography education will be investigated. You will be expected to take a reflective and active stance towards your own development.

The PGDipEd Geography recognises the essential nature of geographical fieldwork, and includes a compulsory residential fieldwork experience where students have a hands-on experience of learning outside the classroom. A financial contribution is required towards the cost of this fieldwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

Equal Opportunities

The School of Education is committed to equal opportunities in the access to and provision of education. For more information please see the following documents:

Information on our other PGDipEd subjects may be found on the Postgraduate Diploma Secondary Education course page. 

Learning and teaching

Course Structure

A variety of teaching styles and approaches to learning are used in the presentation of the themes. These include University-based lectures, small group seminars and workshops, school-based work with pupils and teachers, and work undertaken individually or with other groups of students.

The course includes the following areas of study: 

  • Subject-based teaching methods 
  • School-based work 
  • Whole-school issues

Subject-based teaching methods

You follow your specialist programme, working with your tutor and with peers in your subject, during University days which make up 12 weeks in total across the year. Assessment is based on coursework undertaken during the year. 

School-based work  

School-based work is an important part of the programme, with students normally spending a total of 24 weeks in schools. During the programme you benefit from both carefully supported introductory work in different schools and the experience of spending a significant length of time in two schools.

The final assessment of teaching is based on the spring/summer term school placement. Assessment is shared between University tutors, staff responsible for students in schools, and external examiners. All aspects of your contribution to the life of the school are taken into account, in particular the teaching of your main subject.

During the course supervised experience and practice are arranged in schools of various kinds across the 11–18 age range. We are fortunate in being able to work with a wide range of partnership schools, including mixed comprehensives, single-sex schools, sixth-form colleges and our own University Training School (http://www.uobschool.org.uk). Many of the schools offer opportunities to work with pupils from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.  

Whole-school issues

This area of study is concerned with aspects of education that are of importance to all intending teachers, irrespective of their particular teaching subjects. It is designed to provide you with a breadth of awareness, depth of insight and development of skills through a range of themes studied by all students. Themes currently include Managing Inclusion, Monitoring and Assessment, and Pastoral Care and Citizenship.  

Tutoring and support

You will personally be allocated a university tutor who will guide and support you throughout your PGDipEd (QTS), along with a dedicated school mentor when on placements.

Progression

Once you have completed your PGDipEd (QTS) and successfully passed your induction year you may return to study with us on a part-time basis to complete a 60 credit dissertation and obtain an MA in Teaching Studies



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