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Masters Degrees (Planetary Sciences)

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Planetary Science is an exciting area of study, as new data returning from current planetary probes and rovers expands and deepens our understanding of the geology of other planets. Read more
Planetary Science is an exciting area of study, as new data returning from current planetary probes and rovers expands and deepens our understanding of the geology of other planets. If you have an undergraduate degree in earth sciences or geology, but want to increase your knowledge of planetary sciences, then this course will bring you up to date with developments in the field. The specialist knowledge you acquire could help you change career, or build a career within the planetary sciences and education, or enable you to progress onto doctoral research at PhD level.

You will be taught by academics who are actively engaged in cutting-edge planetary research that is expanding the boundaries of knowledge. We cover planetary surfaces and remote sensing, volcanic activity on Earth and other planets, the nature of comets, asteroids and meteorites, and the internal structure and origin of planets, as well as offering advanced modules in astronomy, scientific computing, and the design of, and participation in, an analogue field mission. You can choose from a range of modules and put together a programme that matches, expands and deepens your particular interests.

The course can be taken via distance-learning or face-to-face evening study.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This programme will teach you about cutting-edge developments in this exciting, constantly expanding field.
This programme is ideal if you have studied earth sciences or geology at undergraduate level and want to deepen your understanding of planetary sciences.
Our Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has been offering evening study courses for over 70 years and is ranked 6th in the UK.
You will learn in an environment of active research and be taught by lecturers who are working at the forefront of their specialisms.
Studying with us will give you access to world-class research facilities.
We retain close links with UCL's Department of Earth Sciences, sharing expertise, facilities and events across the 2 institutions, including live streaming of lectures and digital lecture notes.
We are part of the joint UCL-Birkbeck Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences (IEPS).

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In our joint submission with UCL, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck were rated 6th the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), while we achieved 100% for an environment conducive to research of the highest quality.

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Geology is an area of active research across a wide range of sub-disciplines. Through our modular course structure and use of web-based material for distance learning, we aim to provide up-to-date reviews of research topics across most aspects of the earth and planetary sciences. Read more
Geology is an area of active research across a wide range of sub-disciplines. Through our modular course structure and use of web-based material for distance learning, we aim to provide up-to-date reviews of research topics across most aspects of the earth and planetary sciences.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Can be used as a qualifying year for MRes or PhD study.
Offered as part-time study at Birkbeck or you can study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world (find out more about studying our distance learning courses).
An opportunity to take part in field classes to put your skills into practice (find out more about past fieldwork outings here).
The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is housed with the University College London (UCL) Department of Earth Sciences. Together, the 2 departments form the UCL-Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences. The Research School offers excellent facilities for research in environmental geology and planetary geology, as well as traditional geological and geophysical research.

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Environmental geology is a growing area of active research, because it provides insights into how the environment has evolved over geological time. Read more
Environmental geology is a growing area of active research, because it provides insights into how the environment has evolved over geological time. Through our modular course structure and use of web-based material for distance learning, we aim to provide up-to-date reviews of research topics across relevant aspects of the earth sciences.

Our teaching is informed by considerable research into environmental issues, which is ongoing in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Current research focuses on areas such as metal pollution, coastal erosion, mineralogy, earthquake prediction, palaeoclimatology and palaeontology.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Can be used as a qualifying year for MRes or PhD study.
Offered as part-time study at Birkbeck or you can study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world (check our distance-learning frequently asked questions for more information).
The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has strong links with University College London (UCL) Department of Earth Sciences. Together, the 2 departments form the UCL-Birkbeck Research School of Earth Sciences. The School offers excellent facilities for research in environmental geology and planetary geology, as well as traditional geological and geophysical research.

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This interdisciplinary MSc offers a wide programme of study related to the physics of planetary and space environments, including planetary interiors, atmospheres… Read more
This interdisciplinary MSc offers a wide programme of study related to the physics of planetary and space environments, including planetary interiors, atmospheres and magnetospheres; the impact of the space environment on human physiology; and research project work which provides potential opportunity to work with established planetary researchers at UCL and Birkbeck, some of whom are involved in active or planned space missions.

Degree information

Students develop insights into the techniques used in current projects, and gain in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area through project work as a member of a research team. The programme provides the professional skills necessary to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a choice of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research essay (30 credits); full-time nine months is offered.

Optional modules 1 (15 credits each) - students choose three from:
-Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
-Earth and Planetary Materials
-Planetary Atmospheres
-Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
-Remote Sensing and Planetary Surfaces
-Physics of Exoplanets

Optional modules 2 (15 credits each) - students choose three from the following:
-Earth and Planetary System Science
-Melting and Volcanism
-Solar Physics
-Astronomical Spectroscopy
-Physics of the Earth
-Space Medicine and Extreme Environment Physiology
-Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites
-Advanced Topics in Planetary Science

Alternatively students may also choose a fourth module from the Optional modules 1 list and two from the Optional modules 2 list above.

Dissertation/report
All students submit a critical research essay and MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation and oral presentation.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical classes, computer-based teaching, fieldwork, and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.

Careers

Physics-based careers embrace a broad band of areas, e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. Graduates of MSc programmes at UCL go on to a variety of careers as research associates, postdoctoral fellows, consultants, and systems test engineers.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Chartered Surveyor, Dunphys
-PhD in Planetary Science, The Open University (OU)

Employability
An MSc qualification from UCL is highly regarded by employers. Students engage in a variety of learning activities, including undertaking their own research projects, which encourages the development of problem-solving skills, technical and quantitative analysis, independent critical thinking and good scientific practice. In addition, teamwork, vision and enthusiasm make physics graduates highly desirable members in all dynamic companies.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the leading departments in the UK for graduate study. The curriculum of the Planetary Science MSc draws on a variety of other academic departments within UCL including Space & Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory), Earth Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology and Birkbeck's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. The programme thus has a strong interdisciplinary flavour, in line with the ethos of the Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck.

The combination of taught courses, tutorials and project work allows prospective students to study a wide variety of topics related to planetary and space environments, such as: planetary interiors, atmospheres and magnetospheres; the impact of the space environment on human physiology and life; and the application of current knowledge to investigations of extrasolar planets, i.e. worlds in other stellar systems.

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Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. Read more
Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. This programme provides an excellent opportunity for you to develop and enhance your general, transferable and specialist research skills. You will gain insight into different research methods and acquire valuable experience of conducting large-scale research projects.

Our key research interests include: igneous petrology and geochemistry; sedimentology; environmental geochemistry and mineralogy; stratigraphy and palaeontology; structural geology; geophysics; palaeoclimatology; planetary geology; and earthquake studies.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In our joint submission with UCL, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck were rated 6th the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), while we achieved 100% for an environment conducive to research of the highest quality.

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The Master of Science by Research degree in Biomedical Sciences is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Biomedical Sciences, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews. Read more
The Master of Science by Research degree in Biomedical Sciences is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Biomedical Sciences, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews.
The candidate will be based in the interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC), based at the North Haugh Science Campus, St Andrews. The BSRC comprises research groups undertaking highly innovative, multi-disciplinary research in eleven broad areas of biomedical research, employing state-of-the-art techniques to address key questions at the leading edge of the biomedical and biological sciences.

There are eleven research themes running through the BSRC: Biophysics; Chemical Biology; Chemistry; Enzymology; Microbiology; Molecular Biology; Molecular Medicine; Parasitology; Structural Biology; Translational Biology; Virology. These interdisciplinary approaches bring together molecular biologists, chemists, computer scientists, geneticists, bioinformaticians and clinicians to challenge and further our understanding of disease, in terms of basic biological function through to medical intervention. Further details about the BSRC can be found here: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/bsrc/.

Candidates may approach potential supervisors in the BSRC directly (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/phd-study/phd-study-supervisors/phd-study-bsrc-supervisors/) or via advertised projects listed here (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/mscres/). We strongly recommend that potential candidates make contact with a potential supervisor before applying.
The School of Biology provides a unique and supportive environment for scholarship, amid a beautiful setting for university life. We are a highly research active School, with a diverse and vigorous post-graduate community. The School comprises a large number of research groups organised into three interdisciplinary Research Centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules through to planetary environmental dynamics. Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive and welcoming environment, including the student-led ‘Bionet’ society that provides a wide range of networking and social opportunities.

Progression and Assessment

Students in the MSc(Res) program will be assigned an Internal Examiner (IE) and Post-Graduate Tutor by the School. There will be a progress review meeting at three months to monitor and evaluate student progression, convened by the IE, with the student and Tutor in attendance.

In addition to the project-specific training that you will receive during your degree, Msc(Res) students will also have access to a wide range of training in transferable skills through the award-winning University of St Andrews GradSkills program, run by our Professional Development Unit CAPOD. Specific post-graduate programs run within the School of Biology may also offer additional training, for instance in statistical, bioinformatics or molecular techniques.
The degree requires submission and examination of a dissertation at the end of the one-year program. This thesis will consist of up to 30,000 words. The thesis will be evaluated by the IE and an External Examiner appointed at time of submission. Evaluation will be based on the written submission and there is no requirement for a viva voce examination.

Fees

For details of post-graduate tuition fees relevant to our research degrees including the MSc(Res), please visit:
http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/fees-and-funding/research-fees/

Application

Please apply via the University’s Post-Graduate Application portal: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pgr/home.htm

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This postgraduate qualification is designed for those with an academic or professional interest in space science and the technology that underpins this discipline. Read more
This postgraduate qualification is designed for those with an academic or professional interest in space science and the technology that underpins this discipline. It equips students with the skills to carry out scientific investigations using space-based instrumentation, both individually and as a team. Students learn how to use a programming language in support of space science applications and develop other skills that are relevant to further research or employment in the space sector. The qualification also requires students to conduct an in-depth research project on a topic in space science or space technology.

Key features of the course

•Develops skills in conducting science in the space environment through the use of robotic experiments
•Explores current debates in space and planetary sciences using data from space missions
•Develops technical and professional skills according to individual needs and interests
•Culminates with an in-depth individual research project in space science or space technology.

This qualification is eligible for a Postgraduate Loan available from Student Finance England. For more information, see our fees and funding webpage.

Modules

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

60 credits from the compulsory module:

• Space science (S818) NEW

Plus

30 credits from List A: Optional modules

• Managing technological innovation (T848)
• Project management (M815)
• Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849)

Plus

30 credits from List B: Optional modules

• Finite element analysis: basic principles and applications (T804)
• Manufacture materials design (T805)
• Software development (M813)
• Software engineering (M814)

a 60-credit compulsory module:

Compulsory module

The MSc project module for MSc in Space Science and Technology (SXS810)

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

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The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is actively engaged in a wide range of observational and theoretical researc​h on solar system dynamics, stars, stellar systems, the interstellar medium, the Galaxy, galaxies, quasars, clusters of galaxies, cosmology, and problems in general relativity. Read more
The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is actively engaged in a wide range of observational and theoretical researc​h on solar system dynamics, stars, stellar systems, the interstellar medium, the Galaxy, galaxies, quasars, clusters of galaxies, cosmology, and problems in general relativity. The department has close ties with the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA), the Centre for Planetary Sciences (CPS), and the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (Dunlap), which further enhance the opportunities for our students to interact with leading researchers.

Faculty and students use the major optical, radio, and satellite observing facilities of the world. Of particular importance are the national facilities: the Canada France-Hawaii optical telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell radio telescope,​ and the Gemini telescopes located at the world's finest observing sites.

The Herschel Space Observatory and Planck were launched recently and will soon be followed by the James Webb Space Telescope, ALMA, and the Thirty Metre Telescope. We have an active experimental program using telescopes on long-duration stratospheric balloons and a complementary program designing and building instrumentation for large optical telescopes, and for cosmological and Galactic research.

There are approximately 100 faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and staff in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, CITA, CPS, and Dunlap. Students benefit from direct interactions with the broad range of external speakers invited to weekly seminar programs and colloquia.

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The Geoscience MSc at UCL aims to provide a set of programmes that suit each student's aspirations, background and experience. The MSc offers several pathways to ensure a coherent programme of study. Read more
The Geoscience MSc at UCL aims to provide a set of programmes that suit each student's aspirations, background and experience. The MSc offers several pathways to ensure a coherent programme of study: Earth Systems Science; Palaeobiology; Earth and Planetary Physics; Environment; and Hydrogeology.

Degree information

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 two core modules (30 credits), six optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules
-Research Methods
-Project Proposal

Optional modules
-Earth and Planetary Systems Science
-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

Relevant modules can also be chosen 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.

Careers

First destinations of recent graduates include:
-Neftex Petroleum Consultants Ltd: Geologist
-TWP Architects and Surveyors: Geotechnical Surveyor
-UCL Earth Sciences Rock and Ice Physics Laboratory: Research Assistant
-UCL: Research Degree, Earth Sciences

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

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 Aon Benfield 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.

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Our recent graduates have gone on to work mainly in the mineral exploration and petroleum sectors, geosciences, geophysics, and environmental geoscience consulting, government research in natural resources, academe. Read more
Our recent graduates have gone on to work mainly in the mineral exploration and petroleum sectors, geosciences, geophysics, and environmental geoscience consulting, government research in natural resources, academe. We generally have about 30-40 students that work with research-active faculty with strong links with provincial (NB-DNR) and federal (GSC) geological surveys.

One of our key features is that we offer field-based student research, which is conducted throughout Canada. Students have access to cutting edge labs and facilities; such as, the Laser Ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, geochemical and spectroscopic analytical facilities, geophysical equipment and software, electron and light microscopy, experimental petrology, sample preparation and thin section preparation (UNB Earth Sciences maintains one of the best thin section preparation facilities in Canada).

Our students work in a collegial environment and have a well-organized graduate student society (AGES). The Planetary and Space Science Centre (PASSC) have some graduate students that are directly studying lunar soil and Martian meteorites affected by the impact of asteroids and comets.

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Research degrees may be undertaken in the three main areas of research interest in the Laboratory. The growing number of academic staff are supported in their research by the technical staff and post-doctoral research fellows. Read more
Research degrees may be undertaken in the three main areas of research interest in the Laboratory. The growing number of academic staff are supported in their research by the technical staff and post-doctoral research fellows.

We make every attempt to allocate you to a supervisor directly in your field of interest, consistent with available funding and staff loading. When you apply, please give specific indications of your research interest – including, where appropriate, the member(s) of staff you wish to work with – and whether you are applying for a studentship or propose to be self-funded.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/212/physics

About The School of Physical Sciences

The School offers postgraduate students the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking science in the realms of physics, chemistry, forensics and astronomy. With strong international reputations, our staff provide plausible ideas, well-designed projects, research training and enthusiasm within a stimulating environment. Recent investment in modern laboratory equipment and computational facilities accelerates the research.

The School maintains a focus on progress to ensure each student is able to compete with their peers in their chosen field. We carefully nurture the skills, abilities and motivation of our students which are vital elements in our research activity. We offer higher degree programmes in chemistry and physics (including specialisations in forensics, astronomy and space science) by research. We also offer taught programmes in Forensic Science, studied over one year full-time, and a two-year European-style Master’s in Physics.

Our principal research covers a wide variety of topics within physics, astronomy and chemistry, ranging from specifically theoretical work on surfaces and interfaces, through mainstream experimental condensed matter physics, astrobiology, space science and astrophysics, to applied areas such as biomedical imaging, forensic imaging and space vehicle protection. We scored highly in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with 25% of our research ranked as “world-leading” and our Functional Materials Research Group ranked 2nd nationally in the Metallurgy and Materials discipline.

Study support

- Postgraduate resources

The University has good facilities for modern research in physical sciences. Among the major instrumentation and techniques available on the campus are NMR spectrometers (including solutions at 600 MHz), several infrared and uvvisible spectrometers, a Raman spectrometer, two powder X-ray diffractometers, X-ray fluorescence, atomic absorption in flame and graphite furnace mode, gel-permeation chromatography, gaschromatography, analytical and preparative highperformance liquid chromatography (including GC-MS and HPLC-MS), mass spectrometry (electrospray and MALDI), scanning electron microscopy and EDX, various microscopes (including hot-stage), differential scanning calorimetry and thermal gravimetric analysis, dionex analysis of anions and automated CHN analysis. For planetary science impact studies, there is a two-stage light gas gun.

- Interdisciplinary approach

Much of the School’s work is interdisciplinary and we have successful collaborative projects with members of the Schools of Biosciences, Computing and Engineering and Digital Arts at Kent, as well as an extensive network of international collaborations.

- National and international links

The School is a leading partner in the South East Physics Network (SEPnet), a consortium of seven universities in the south-east, acting together to promote physics in the region through national and international channels. The School benefits through the £12.5 million of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), creating new facilities and resources to enable us to expand our research portfolio.

The School’s research is well supported by contracts and grants and we have numerous collaborations with groups in universities around the world. We have particularly strong links with universities in Germany, France, Italy and the USA. UK links include King’s College, London and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. Our industrial partners include British Aerospace, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Ophthalmic Technology Inc, Canada. The universe is explored through collaborations with NASA, ESO and ESA scientists.

- Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Nature; Science; Astrophysical Journal; Journal of Polymer Science; Journal of Materials Chemistry; and Applied Optics.

- Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme (http://www.kent.ac.uk/graduateschool/skills/programmes/tstindex.html) for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subjectspecific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Careers

All programmes in the School of Physical Sciences equip you with the tools you need to conduct research, solve problems, communicate effectively and transfer skills to the workplace, which means our graduates are always in high demand. Our links with industry not only provide you with the opportunity to gain work experience during your degree, but also equip you with the general and specialist skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace.

Typical employment destinations for graduates from the physics programmes include power companies, aerospace, defence, optoelectronics and medical industries. Typical employment destinations for graduates from our forensic science and chemistry programmes include government agencies, consultancies, emergency services, laboratories, research or academia.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Research degrees may be undertaken in the three main areas of research interest in the Laboratory. The growing number of academic staff are supported in their research by the technical staff and post-doctoral research fellows. Read more
Research degrees may be undertaken in the three main areas of research interest in the Laboratory. The growing number of academic staff are supported in their research by the technical staff and post-doctoral research fellows.

We make every attempt to allocate you to a supervisor directly in your field of interest, consistent with available funding and staff loading. When you apply, please give specific indications of your research interest – including, where appropriate, the member(s) of staff you wish to work with – and whether you are applying for a studentship or propose to be self-funded.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/18/chemistry

About The School of Physical Sciences

The School offers postgraduate students the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking science in the realms of physics, chemistry, forensics and astronomy. With strong international reputations, our staff provide plausible ideas, well-designed projects, research training and enthusiasm within a stimulating environment. Recent investment in modern laboratory equipment and computational facilities accelerates the research.

The School maintains a focus on progress to ensure each student is able to compete with their peers in their chosen field. We carefully nurture the skills, abilities and motivation of our students which are vital elements in our research activity. We offer higher degree programmes in chemistry and physics (including specialisations in forensics, astronomy and space science) by research. We also offer taught programmes in Forensic Science, studied over one year full-time, and a two-year European-style Master’s in Physics.

Our principal research covers a wide variety of topics within physics, astronomy and chemistry, ranging from specifically theoretical work on surfaces and interfaces, through mainstream experimental condensed matter physics, astrobiology, space science and astrophysics, to applied areas such as biomedical imaging, forensic imaging and space vehicle protection. We scored highly in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with 25% of our research ranked as “world-leading” and our Functional Materials Research Group ranked 2nd nationally in the Metallurgy and Materials discipline.

Research areas

- Applied Optics Group (AOG):

Optical sensors
This activity largely covers research into the fundamental properties of guided wave interferometers, and their application in fields ranging from monitoring bridge structures to diagnostic procedures in medicine.

Biomedical imaging/Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
OCT is a relatively new technique which can provide very high-resolution images of tissue, and which has a major application in imaging the human eye. We are investigating different time domain and spectral domain OCT configurations.

The Group is developing systems in collaboration with a variety of different national and international institutions to extend the OCT capabilities from systems dedicated to eye imaging to systems for endoscopy, imaging skin and tooth caries. Distinctively, the OCT systems developed at Kent can provide both transverse and longitudinal images from the tissue, along with a confocal image, useful in associating the easy to interpret en-face view with the more traditional OCT cross section views.

The Group also conducts research on coherence gated wavefront sensors and multiple path interferometry, that extend the hardware technology of OCT to imaging with reduced aberrations and to sensing applications of optical time domain reflectometry.

- Forensic Imaging Group (FIG):

The research of the forensic imaging team is primarily applied, focusing on mathematical and computational techniques and employing a wide variety of image processing and analysis methods for applications in modern forensic science. The Group has attracted approximately £850,000 of research funding in the last five years, from several academic, industrial and commercial organisations in the UK and the US. The Group also collaborates closely with the Forensic Psychology Group of the Open University.

Current active research projects include:

- the development of high-quality, fast facial composite systems based on evolutionary algorithms and statistical models of human facial appearance

- interactive, evolutionary search methods and evolutionary design

- statistically rigorous ageing of photo-quality images of the human face (for tracing and identifying missing persons)

- real and pseudo 3D models for modelling and analysis of the human face

- generating ‘mathematically fair’ virtual line-ups for suspect identification.

- Functional Materials Group (FMG):
The research in FMG is concerned with synthesis and characterisation of functional materials, as exemplified by materials with useful optical, catalytic, or electronic properties, and with an
emerging theme in biomaterials. The Group also uses computer modelling studies to augment
experimental work. The research covers the following main areas:

- Amorphous and nanostructured solids
- Soft functional material
- Theory and modelling of materials

- Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science (CAPS):
The group’s research focuses on observational and modelling programmes in star formation, planetary science and early solar system bodies, galactic astronomy and astrobiology. We gain data from the largest telescopes in the world and in space, such as ESO’s Very Large Telescope, the New Technology Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory. We also use our in-house facilities which include a two-stage light gas gun for impact studies.

Staff are involved in a wide range of international collaborative research projects. Areas of particular interest include: star formation, extragalactic astronomy, solar system science and instrumentation development.

Careers

All programmes in the School of Physical Sciences equip you with the tools you need to conduct research, solve problems, communicate effectively and transfer skills to the workplace, which means our graduates are always in high demand. Our links with industry not only provide you with the opportunity to gain work experience during your degree, but also equip you with the general and specialist skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the workplace.

Typical employment destinations for graduates from the physics programmes include power companies, aerospace, defence, optoelectronics and medical industries. Typical employment destinations for graduates from our forensic science and chemistry programmes include government agencies, consultancies, emergency services, laboratories, research or academia.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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The Master of Science by Research degree in Marine Biology is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the area of Marine Biology, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews. Read more
The Master of Science by Research degree in Marine Biology is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the area of Marine Biology, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews.

The candidate will be based in the interdisciplinary Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), based at East Sands, St Andrews. The SOI is home to the world famous Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), and hosts a wide-range of researchers with interests ranging from the deep oceans to the coasts, and from the people who use and interact with the sea, to the biological and physical processes that make the oceans function.

There are four research themes running through the SOI: Global Change and Planetary Evolution; Ecology, Fisheries and Resource management; Developmental and Evolutionary Genomics; the Sea Mammal Research Unit. As such, the SOI brings together behavioural and population ecologists, evolutionary biologists, geneticists, conservationists, mathematicians and environmental scientists to contribute towards understanding and managing the future of our oceans and the organisms, big and small, that live within them. Further details about the SOI can be found here: http://soi.st-andrews.ac.uk/.

Candidates may approach potential supervisors in the SOI directly (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/phd-study/phd-study-supervisors/phd-study-soi-supervisors/) or via advertised projects listed here (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/mscres/). We strongly recommend that potential candidates make contact with a potential supervisor before applying.

The School of Biology provides a unique and supportive environment for scholarship, amid a beautiful setting for university life. We are a highly research active School, with a diverse and vigorous post-graduate community. The School comprises a large number of research groups organised into three interdisciplinary Research Centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules through to planetary environmental dynamics. Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive and welcoming environment, including the student-led ‘Bionet’ society that provides a wide range of networking and social opportunities.

Progression and Assessment

Students in the MSc(Res) program will be assigned an Internal Examiner (IE) and Post-Graduate Tutor by the School. There will be a progress review meeting at three months to monitor and evaluate student progression, convened by the IE, with the student and Tutor in attendance.

In addition to the project-specific training that you will receive during your degree, Msc(Res) students will also have access to a wide range of training in transferable skills through the award-winning University of St Andrews GradSkills program, run by our Professional Development Unit CAPOD. Specific post-graduate programs run within the School of Biology may also offer additional training, for instance in statistical, bioinformatics or molecular techniques.

The degree requires submission and examination of a dissertation at the end of the one-year program. This thesis will consist of up to 30,000 words. The thesis will be evaluated by the IE and an External Examiner appointed at time of submission. Evaluation will be based on the written submission and there is no requirement for a viva voce examination.

Fees

For details of post-graduate tuition fees relevant to our research degrees including the MSc(Res), please visit:
http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/fees-and-funding/research-fees/

Application

Please apply via the University’s Post-Graduate Application portal: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pgr/home.htm

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The Master of Science by Research degree in Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews. Read more
The Master of Science by Research degree in Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution is a 12-month, research only degree, in which the candidate will undertake a supervised research project in the broad area of Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution, in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews.

The candidate will be based in the interdisciplinary Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD), based in the centre of St Andrews. The CBD links researchers in evolution, behaviour, ecology, molecular biology and biodiversity, plus researchers in other Schools across St Andrews. Research themes include: the mechanistic causes and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of animal behaviour, with strengths in behavioural ecology, animal cognition, social evolution and social learning; evolutionary and population genetics, including the genetic basis of population divergence and speciation; animal-plant interactions, including pollinator biology; conservation biology, focusing in particular on the measurement of broad-scale patterns of biodiversity and biodiversity change. These themes are underpinned and guided by theoretical evolutionary ecologists and geneticists, asking fundamental questions about the causes and consequences of organismal interaction. Our final objective is to advance this scientific understanding of the diversity of life to contribute pro-actively to policy that helps protect and nurture biological diversity.

Candidates may approach potential supervisors in the CBD directly (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/phd-study/phd-study-supervisors/phd-study-cbd-supervisors/) or via advertised projects listed here (https://synergy.st-andrews.ac.uk/research/mscres/). We strongly recommend that potential candidates make contact with a potential supervisor before applying.

The School of Biology provides a unique and supportive environment for scholarship, amid a beautiful setting for university life. We are a highly research active School, with a diverse and vigorous post-graduate community. The School comprises a large number of research groups organised into three interdisciplinary Research Centres: the Scottish Oceans Institute (SOI), the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex (BSRC) and the Centre for Biological Diversity (CBD). Together these centres encompass the full spectrum of research in biological sciences, spanning investigations on the properties and behaviour of individual molecules through to planetary environmental dynamics. Our postgraduate students enjoy a supportive and welcoming environment, including the student-led ‘Bionet’ society that provides a wide range of networking and social opportunities.

Progression and Assessment

Students in the MSc(Res) program will be assigned an Internal Examiner (IE) and Post-Graduate Tutor by the School. There will be a progress review meeting at three months to monitor and evaluate student progression, convened by the IE, with the student and Tutor in attendance.

In addition to the project-specific training that you will receive during your degree, Msc(Res) students will also have access to a wide range of training in transferable skills through the award-winning University of St Andrews GradSkills program, run by our Professional Development Unit CAPOD. Specific post-graduate programs run within the School of Biology may also offer additional training, for instance in statistical, bioinformatics or molecular techniques.

The degree requires submission and examination of a dissertation at the end of the one-year program. This thesis will consist of up to 30,000 words. The thesis will be evaluated by the IE and an External Examiner appointed at time of submission. Evaluation will be based on the written submission and there is no requirement for a viva voce examination.

Fees

For details of post-graduate tuition fees relevant to our research degrees including the MSc(Res), please visit:
http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/pg/fees-and-funding/research-fees/

Application

Please apply via the University’s Post-Graduate Application portal: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pgr/home.htm

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The sustainable extraction, supply, use and disposal/re-use of natural resources is increasingly critical to business, policymakers, and civil society around the world. Read more
The sustainable extraction, supply, use and disposal/re-use of natural resources is increasingly critical to business, policymakers, and civil society around the world. This new degree investigates the topics of a circular economy, resource efficiency, and sustainable resource management, and will qualify students with the skills and knowledge to become leaders in this field.

Degree information

The curriculum fully reflects the global nature of the subject. Students will gain in-depth expertise at the intersection of the environmental, social and economic aspects of the management and governance of sustainable resources from both public policy and industrial perspectives. Key concepts will comprise resource efficiency and circular economy, the resource nexus and supply chain security.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

Core modules
-Introduction to Sustainable Resources: Challenges and principles
-Introduction to Resource Economics and Policy
-The Demand Drivers for Resource Use
-Tools for Assessing Sustainable Resources
-Future Resource Pathways and Visions

Optional modules
-International Commodity Trade
-Metrics, Modelling and Visualisation of the Resource Nexus
-Resource Governance and the Global South
-Eco-Innovation, Business and Market Development
-Earth Resources and Sustainability
-Climate Risks to Hydro-Ecological Systems

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, project group work and presentations from visiting speakers from a range of businesses and other organisations. Assessment is through examination, assessed coursework, group work, and a dissertation.

Fieldwork
Students will participate in a field trip to Ironbridge (the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution). There will be no additional costs to students for this trip.

Careers

This programme equips students for challenging, rewarding and socially beneficial employment in a wide range of sectors including business, national and local government, NGOs and global organisations concerned with economy-resource-environment interactions. The programme includes a careers event with speakers from a variety of organisations, providing an opportunity to discuss opportunities with potential employers.

Students become members of the Sustainable Resources MSc alumni network and will be invited to attend alumni events and benefit from networking opportunities with fellow students.

Employability
On graduation students should possess a sound understanding of the key challenges surrounding sustainable resource use, supply and demand drivers and future strategies for global natural resource management. Students should also be technically competent in a range of economic, social science and modelling skills and techniques including integrated assessments, life cycle analysis, material flows analysis, foresight analysis/scenario analysis, system dynamics, and computable general equilibrium models (CGE).

Students develop 'key skills' valuable for future employment, including communication skills (written and oral), teamwork, breaking down complex problems, decision-making under uncertainties, intercultural communication, working in interdisciplinary environments, and awareness of the business context.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Sustainable Resources (ISR) has a world-leading research portfolio in the area of sustainable use of resources, economics and the environment. ISR is particularly strong in analysis related to actors and their decision-making as well as strategies.

The exciting multidisciplinary programme includes contributions from economics, law, political science, development planning, engineering and the natural sciences as appropriate for understanding planetary boundaries, the circular economy, people and the resource nexus, and developing response options.

Learning key employment skills is an integral part of the programme. The residential field trip to Ironbridge offers a valuable opportunity for student and staff interaction and staff at the start of the year. Regular seminars are held across UCL and there will be opportunities to undertake industry-focused dissertation projects.

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