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Masters Degrees (Soil Ecology)

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Your programme of study. If you are interested in earth science, and environmental science but you want to specialise in the study of soil specifically the Aberdeen programme gives you in depth knowledge and a range of experts and alumni who consult at government level. Read more

Your programme of study

If you are interested in earth science, and environmental science but you want to specialise in the study of soil specifically the Aberdeen programme gives you in depth knowledge and a range of experts and alumni who consult at government level. Aberdeen is further supported by having the James Hutton Institute within the city limits, a notable institute specialising in soil science over the years known formerly the Macaulay Institute.

Soil Science is becoming increasingly important to our ability to sustain life on earth as we look at how to keep the soil clean from pollutants in water, air and polluting industries, pesticides and all sorts of changes to soil. There are also growing concerns that as the population increases and climate change also increases how do we farm in the future? The degree gives you all the skills and knowledge you need to work as a soil scientist either as a researcher, within government or regulation or as a consultant working with industry and other organisations devoted to soil science.

You learn about soil science, sustainability, land use planning, food security, GIS, and land use with intensive laboratory analysis from one of the top centres in the world for soil science. We also take you into the field to study specific situations and you are guided by our world renowned researchers in the environmental sciences. This is one of only a handful of Soil Science programmes with cutting edge technologies to help you analyse and study soil in depth. Soil science falls within agricultural sciences which were ranked No. 1 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014) and the highly acclaimed Environmental Science disciplines which Aberdeen has made a name for itself in over the years.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Core Skills in Environmental Science
  • Global Soil Geography
  • Soils for Food Security
  • Applications for GIS

Semester 2

  • Environmental Analysis
  • Land Use and the Changing Environment on Deesside

Optional

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Remediation Technology
  • Catchment Management
  • Ecological and Environmental Modelling

Semester 3

  • Project in Soil Science

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Research at Aberdeen within agricultural and earth sciences is ranked No.1 (REF)
  • You study all methods of analysis and field work to understand the full range of issues within soil and land use which affect the ability to grow crops
  • One of our team developed the award winning 'Cool Farm Tool.' Dr John Hillier developed this to calculate greenhouse gas. The tool is used by known brands such as Marks and Spencer, Costco and Heinz

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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A collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Faculty of Forestry, the inter-faculty Soil Science Graduate Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Read more
A collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Faculty of Forestry, the inter-faculty Soil Science Graduate Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Students are registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies through either the Faculty of Land and Food Systems or Faculty of Forestry, depending upon their research interests.

Areas of study include biometeorology, forest nutrition and nutrient cycling, mycorrhizal ecology, soil biology, soil quality and fertility, soil-plant interactions, ecosystem services, land an water systems.

Program Overview

Soil Science offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in the areas of soil microbial ecology, organic matter, soil physics, irrigation and drainage, biometeorology, soil pollution, soil and water conservation, soil management, and land use, with application to forest, agricultural, urban, and range soils, as well as a professional Master of Land and Water Systems (M.L.W.S.) degree. The Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees include a combination of courses in both basic and applied sciences, with research leading to the completion of a thesis/dissertation. The M.L.W.S. degree is intended for students seeking a post-baccalaureate degree for professional practice in the land and water resources management realm. The program is designed to be completed in one calendar year.

Soil Sciences programs are enriched through collaboration with: colleagues in other graduate programs, such as Forestry, Geography, Plant Science, Institute for Resources and Environment, Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems, and Landscape Architecture; and agencies such as Environment Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Forests and Range, and other provincial, municipal, and regional government agencies.

Research facilities are housed both within the MacMillan and Forest Sciences Buildings and, on a shared basis, in other buildings on campus. Research facilities within the MacMillan Building include modern analytical laboratories and other equipment for conducting chemical and biometeorological research, while excellent facilities for soil biological research are located in the Forest Sciences Centre.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Soil Science
- Subject: Agriculture and Forestry
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Career Prospects

Graduates of the soil science degree program often obtain positions with government or the private sector. Some graduates decide to continue in the area of research and academia with various universities and colleges. Examples of where some graduates are employed:
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- BC Ministry of Forests
- Canadian Forest Service
- Consultant
- Associate Professor, University of Guelph
- Associate Professor, Yale University
- Associate Professor, University of Northern BC
- Environment Canada
- Assistant Professor, University of Bengukulu, Indonesia
- Assistant Professor, University of Venda for Science and Technology, South Africa

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Make the connection. Explore the connections between living things and their environment with the Master of Science (Ecology). Find out more about the . Read more

Make the connection

Explore the connections between living things and their environment with the Master of Science (Ecology).

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

The Ecology Group at Massey has a large teaching and support staff, with diverse expertise. As a postgraduate student undertaking masters studies you will have the opportunity to specialise in stimulating subjects ranging from:

  • Biodiversity and biogeography
  • Community ecology
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Lake and river management
  • Plant ecology
  • Modelling animal populations
  • Soil communities and ecosystem function

You will benefit from Massey’s strong collaborative links with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, Landcare Research, AgResearch, NIWA, Fish & Game NZ, regional, district and city councils and private sector environmental consulting firms.

Facilities and equipment

The ecology complex at Massey has an excellent range of facilities and equipment including controlled temperature and light rooms, glasshouses and a workshop for making field equipment. There are labs for microscopy and image analysis, chemical analysis, ancient DNA, freshwater fish and invertebrates, insects and plant ecology, animal behaviour and soil invertebrate extraction.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but very rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science (Ecology) 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 you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

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 and undertaking research.



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An internationally significant career. Use your knowledge of soils to open doors to international careers in sustainable food. Find out more about the . Read more

An internationally significant career

Use your knowledge of soils to open doors to international careers in sustainable food.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

This qualification will give you the in-depth knowledge of soils that will open up meaningful, relevant careers that address sustainable food production globally.

As an aspiring soil scientist you will deal with the productive capacity of the land and how its management impacts on the environment. At Massey we have a reputation for producing high calibre graduates that go on to work in the international agricultural research scene.

Make our expertise your own

When you study soil science, you will be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise in land-related disciplines. We have a wide and relevant group of expertise within the university, from agriculture, horticulture and earth science to ecology, environmental management and social sciences.

You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers in these fields, with a huge depth of knowledge and experience. Whatever focus you’d like to have in your postgraduate study and research, there is likely to be an expert at Massey who can help you dig deeper into your area of interest.

Some examples of areas you could focus your research on include:

  • Sustainable nutrient management
  • Soil resource mapping and interpretation
  • Soil conservation
  • Irrigation, drainage, water fooprinting.
  • Water quantity and quality
  • Greenhouse gas mitigation.
  • Nutrient cycling in crop and pasture systems

Join a world-leading agriculture university

Massey University’s proud record dates back to 1927 when we offered New Zealand’s first degrees in agriculture and horticulture.

Massey is world-ranked and New Zealand’s No 1 university in agriculture according to the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings. We are also ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide for agriculture by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

As a student, you will benefit from our internationally recognised capability and leadership in this area.

Relevant and topical

We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means that you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers. Massey has strong links with industry, used to help you find relevant and topical research projects.

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.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. 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. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.



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Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. Read more
Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. In the field, you will learn identification skills for a wide range of species in several key taxonomic groups. You will also learn industry-standard survey techniques such as Phase One Habitat Surveying, Habitat Condition Assessments, National Vegetation Classification and Bird Territory Mapping. Laboratory sessions will include use of microscopes in taxonomy and analysis of environmental parameters, such as water oxygen levels and soil nutrient status, to enable better understanding of species-environment interactions.


There will be numerous opportunities to work on on-going projects with linked organisations including wildlife trusts, zoos and wildlife parks, charities and public authorities. It is an expectation that assignments, and especially dissertation work, will have direct impact on understanding and management of species and their environments.

The course is underpinned by the applied research expertise of the teaching team in applied ecology, including conservation of species in the wild and in captivity, biotic responses to climate change, avian and mammal biology, insect behaviour and evolution, non-native species introductions, population and community ecology, and environmental biology. An additional theme of citizen science develops awareness of the role of public engagement in surveying and conserving species in their environment.

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The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate… Read more
The Institute of Science and Environment’s educational and research expertise within Ecology and Environmental Management encompass a range of topics; climate change and the degradation and loss of ecosystem services, grassland management and its botanical enhancement, habitat restoration, creation and maintenance, plant community ecology and vegetation dynamics, ecology and management of wild boar, ex-situ species conservation and management, soil and water analysis and management. It can be studied full time over three years, or part time over a maximum of six years.

The Programme aims to prepare students:

- For doctoral level study.
- To engage in a career in in ecological or environmental management in a research, consultancy or wider sector context.
- To meet the global need for highly trained individuals who can make informed decisions on future research directions.
- To think for themselves in the development of a critical approach to the analysis of data and interpretation of published research.

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Your programme of study. Ecology is an important discipline to inform many different environmental management issues which often involve wider impacts being assessed for planning and other purposes. Read more

Your programme of study

Ecology is an important discipline to inform many different environmental management issues which often involve wider impacts being assessed for planning and other purposes. There is an increasing desire to utilise sites which are environmentally sensitive and this puts pressure on ecology and habitat survival. There are many other types of environmental impacts which are often hidden but also affect Ecology such as the many different pollutants which are often highlighted monthly. Species decline is becoming a well known issue globally and the ability to maintain and continue species and grow is important in a declining environment.

The programme comes from a very strong department which has been ranked consistently at number 1 in soil science and soil ecology in the UK (REF 2014). The Master's in Ecology has very solid foundations as it has been taught to generations for over 50 years and with this comes considerable knowledge and experience. With this programme you get a chance to influence how we utilise our environment and manage it to the best ability to preserve our ecology.

Our MSc programme provides flexibility to enable you to gain knowledge and skills to meet your career aspirations, whether in research or as a practicing ecologist. The programme runs through a full year, starting with a field course and culminating in a major research project. You will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience of everything from field survey to chairing discussions, from statistics and modelling to report writing and from identifying important ecological questions to researching them and writing a scientific paper. Previous graduates have gone on to the top of their chosen profession in research, consultancy, conservation, policy, education and advocacy.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Introduction to GIS
  • Plant Ecology
  • Population and Community Ecology

Optional Courses

  • Statistics for Complex Study Designs
  • Introduction to Ecological Field Research in Northern Scotland
  • Molecular Ecological Techniques
  • Soils for Food Security
  • Aquaculture
  • Introduction to Bayesian Inference

Semester 2

Compulsory

  • Research Project Planning

Optional

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Spatial Information Analysis
  • Marine Spatial Management and Top Predators
  • Readings in Ecology, Conservation and Environment
  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Catchment Management
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Applied Forest Ecology
  • Advanced Modelling for Ecology and Conservation

Semester 3

  • Project in Ecology

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Ecology has been taught at Aberdeen for over 50 years and Plant Ecology and Soil Science is No 1 in the UK (REF 2014)
  • You will be taught be known ecologists who are active in research, management and nature conservation
  • Aberdeen is ideally situated to take full advantage of coastal, inland, rural and wild landscapes and environments

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time and Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences master's programme in Wageningen has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Read more

Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences master's programme in Wageningen has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Students will gain insight into the socio-economic causes and the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, including the effects on human beings, the atmosphere, ecosystems and other organisms. This two-year programme is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Students learn to develop analytical tools and models, as well as technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental and sustainability issues.

Study programme

The Environmental Sciences MSc programme of Wageningen University is an international programme containing one year of course work and and one year of research. It is thesis-oriented with the individual research project (major) as its core. Compulsory elements are kept at a minimum, thus enabling the coursework to be tailored to the wishes and needs of the individual student. Study adviser and thesis supervisor both assist the student in selecting the most relevant courses from what Wageningen University has to offer.  Read more about the background of the programme.

Thesis tracks

Within the master's programme you can choose from the following Thesis tracks to meet your personal interests:

Your future career

Graduates find jobs at many different organisations. Professional job possibilities can be found as:

  • A researcher at a university or a research institute
  • An adviser at governmental authorities (ministries, provinces and municipalities) or waterboards
  • An engineer or a consultant in the industry

Read more about the career perspectives and opportunities.

Related programmes:

MSc Climate Studies 

MSc Urban Environmental Management

MSc Earth and Environment 

MSc Forest and Nature Conservation

MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management.



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MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to crop science, soil science, ecological (organic) agriculture, and agricultural water management. Read more
MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by research active academic staff. Our range of research areas relate to crop science, soil science, ecological (organic) agriculture, and agricultural water management.

Crop science

Genes and physiological traits, such as:
-Resistance to crop pests and diseases
-Molecular-assisted selection and breeding methods
-Plant environment interactions and their relationships to stress biology
-Physiological basis of crop yield and quality
-Biotransformation of synthetic compounds and natural products in plants
-Herbicide selectivity in cereals and competing weeds

Soil science

-Soil ecology and the contribution of soil biodiversity to soil quality
-Soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics
-Interpretation of soil and landscape processes to improve understanding of recent and historical environmental change
-Land degradation processes and their control

Ecological (organic) agriculture

-Functional biodiversity for control of pest, disease and weed pressure
-Long term factorial systems comparison experiments for in depth study of different aspects of conventional and organic farming systems

Agricultural water management

-Irrigated agriculture
-Interactions between land-use and hydrological response in a semi-arid environment
-Soil hydrological processes affecting management of salinity in irrigated land

Delivery

We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification, including full-time and part-time supervised research projects. We attract postgraduates via non-traditional routes, including mature students and part-time postgraduates undertaking study as part of their continuing professional development. Off-campus (split) research is also offered, which enables you to conduct trials in conditions appropriate to your research programme.

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Several agencies at a national and international level are required to manage our environment sustainably by implementing policy and legislation. Read more
Several agencies at a national and international level are required to manage our environment sustainably by implementing policy and legislation. The study of Applied Environmental Science is critical for establishing policies in environmental assessment, evaluating potential change in environmental quality in response to various land use and other activities, and in the development of management and conservation strategies, as well as contributing to policy formulation.

This programme provides graduates with a thorough knowledge of Environmental Science and there is a heavy emphasis on practical training in fieldwork, laboratory analyses, information sourcing, data analysis,planning, reporting and communication. You will work with an interdisciplinary team of experts covering the key aspects of Environmental Science, encompassing marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems, to make this an exceptionally practical multidisciplinary programme.

Key Fact

This Applied Environmental Science course has been running for over 20 years, it’s the only such MSc in Ireland to include a major input from civil engineering, relating particularly to water quality, hydrology and waste treatment processes. This MSc also offers a 2 month work placement in the environmental sector providing relevant work experience.

Core Modules

Samples of modules include:
• Water Resources Engineering
• Vegetation Ecology
• Environmental Impact Assessment
• Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Data Analyses
• Freshwater Resources Assessment
• Remote Sensing
• Global Change Ecology
• Ecological Modelling
• Wildlife & Resources Management
• Integrated Municipal Solid Waste
• Marine/Coastal Ecology
• Soil Ecology
• Water, Waste & Environment Modelling
• Environmental Geology
• Ecotoxicology & Air Quality Monitoring


The course gives due consideration to key legislative requirements and policy developments. Modules and topics shown are subject to change and are not guaranteed by UCD.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates are building successful varied careers in environmental resources assessment, management and protection. A considerable number have been employed in consultancy positions and some are also with the Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Department of the Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some graduates have also continued their studies at PhD level in the areas of fisheries, biomass fuels, soil, water engineering and invertebrate ecology.

Facilities and Resources

The School of Biology and Environmental Science has 14 state-of the-art research laboratories that are equipped to support a very wide range of research activities at the cellular or whole organism level. The UCD Rosemount Environmental Research Station can also support glasshouse or field-based experiments.

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Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. Read more

Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. With the global human population set to rise from seven to over nine billion by 2050, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.

Our trees and forests face new plant health threats which in turn threaten areas of great natural beauty and diversity, and affect both rural and urban landscapes. Our unique MSc Sustainable Plant Health will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the vital role of plant health, applying your skills by conducting laboratory and field studies.

This programme is primarily aimed at graduates wishing to pursue a career in plant protection in agriculture, horticulture, forestry or urban settings, and also careers in policy development and implementation, plant health inspection, academic and industrial research, consultancy and conservation management, and private industry.

Programme structure

This 12 month programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. Students will take 80 credits of compulsory courses, with the opportunity to choose two optional courses. Field trips will also form a crucial part of this course.

Compulsory courses typically will be*:

  • Fundamentals of Plant Health
  • Forensic Plant Health
  • Plant Health in a Global Context
  • Research Skills and Field Trip
  • Dissertation

Option courses may include* (select two):

  • Applications in Ecological Economics
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Case Studies in Sustainable Development
  • Ecology of Ecosystem Services
  • Ecosystem Service Values
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Forests and Environment
  • Foundations in Ecological Economics
  • Frameworks to Assess Food Security
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
  • Interrelationships in Food Systems
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Soil Ecology and Taxonomy
  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Soil Science Concepts and Application
  • Sustainability of Food Production
  • Understanding Environment and Development

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course our graduates will have gained:

  • Specialist knowledge and understanding of plant health, and its evaluation, impact and management
  • Skills to detect and identify agents detrimental to plant health
  • An understanding of the nature and diversity of plant health interactions
  • The ability to develop strategies for plant health management taking into account their impact on agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems
  • Knowledge of the relevance of plant health to sustainability and food security
  • Improved analytical skills and critical thinking

Career opportunities

Plant health scientists are employed in a range of vocations: environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, urban planning, policy development, plant inspection and management. Long term career prospects are strong as agricultural scientists will continue to be needed to balance increased output with protection and preservation of ecosystems.

Our graduates will gain particularly valuable skills due to our programme's unique approach looking at impacts across ecosystems. They also benefit from the applied nature of the course allowing them to use their practical skills in a range of field trip environments with expert supervision.



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International Student Fees 2017/2018. Read more

International Student Fees 2017/2018

If you want to protect species against decline and extinction by working in either research, consultancy or conservation professions this programme gives you advanced skills in Ecology and linked subject areas such as Environmental Science, GIS, EIA and Catchment Management Planning. You attend a field research trip at Bettyhill on the North coast of Sutherland followed by training in plant ecology, animal population GIS design and analysis. You learn applied Ecology and conservation in an interdisciplinary context. Many environmental consultancies and government bodies require Ecologists as part of their environmental teams, and there are further charities and activist organisations which require Ecologists as part of their teams. The degree provides many useful and overlapping skills within environmental science such as EIA Environmental Impact Assessments. These are reports and studies used to determine issues and challenges to the natural environmental from economic development of all types.

You learn relevant skills environmental policy, legislation, risk assessment models, environmental analytical instrumentation and implementing models. Employment options may be within consultancies, regulators and NGOs. Regulation of economic impact on the natural world has never been so highlighted across the worlds media as it is now in terms of how to protect species and highlight decline.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Plant Ecology
  • Core Skills in Environmental Science
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Applications of GIS

Semester 2

  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Catchment Management
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Ecological and Environmental Modelling
  • Land Use and the Change Environment on Deesside

Semester 3

  • Project in Environmental and Ecological Sciences

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Environmental and Soil Science is rated within the top 10 in the UK at Aberdeen and the soil ecology group has been ranked No.1 for overall research excellence (REF 2014)
  • You are taught be established and renowned researchers with 50 years experience of teaching Ecology. Many graduates can be found in leadership professions in Ecology around the world.
  • You are invited to seminars, conferences and talks held at Aberdeen across the Environmental and Soil Science  disciplines and centres.

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • 12 Months Full Time or 24 Months Part Time
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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As the global population exceeds seven billion, the agricultural industry is one of the largest and most vital in the world. However, it is fundamentally unsustainable. Read more

As the global population exceeds seven billion, the agricultural industry is one of the largest and most vital in the world. However, it is fundamentally unsustainable. The need to produce enough to feed our population, without compromising future generation's' ability to do the same, is becoming ever more important.

This MSc combines cutting-edge theory with the practical, applied skills you'll need to become an effective researcher or industry specialist. Our teaching draws directly from our research, meaning you'll be working with academics who are leading the field. You'll benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and expertise from Department of Biology staff with close links to the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products and the York Environmental Sustainability Institute.

This course is an ideal next step for students with a BSc who are interested in pursuing a career in research or the environmental sector.

Key features

-Learn how basic biomedical research is conducted and translated by scientists in one of the UK’s top-ranked biological sciences departments

-Develop the skills to pursue a PhD in biodiversity and ecosystem research or other specialist career paths within the environmental  sector, either in the UK or overseas.

Taught modules

-Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Ecology

-Data Analysis and Programming in the Biosciences

-Research, Professional and Team Skills

-Optional modules in topics including Conservation ecology & biodiversity, Environmental microbiology, Plant-Soil Interactions

Research projects

You will complete an independent study project during the Summer Term, which is designed to give you experience in managing and completing a project in a cutting-edge research context. This is an opportunity to further develop and apply your skills to a current research question, and specialise in a particular area or research technique within biodiversity research​.

Most students choose to complete a project in collaboration with an academic supervisor within the University, but you may opt to complete this project as an external placement. You will have full access to our dedicated Masters workspace whilst completing your project.

Research and transferable skills

We will equip students with the key skills of the modern researcher, including critical thinking, data interpretation, statistics, programming, and the written, oral and graphical presentation of scientific data and ideas.



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Goal of the pro­gramme. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Would you like to be involved in finding solutions to future challenges of food and energy production, such as climate change, population growth and limited energy resources? Are you interested in animal welfare, clean soil, environmental issues or the newest methods in biological and genetic engineering? Would you like to learn about automation and robotics in agriculture?

Join the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences on the Viikki Campus to find solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow. The University of Helsinki is the only university in Finland to offer academic education in this field.

In the Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences, you can pursue studies in plant production sciences, animal science, agrotechnology, or environmental soil science, depending on your interests and previous studies. For further information about the study tracks, see Programme contents.

Upon completing a Master’s degree, you will:

  • Be an expert in plant production science, animal science, agrotechnology, or environmental soil science.
  • Be able to assess the sustainability and environmental impact of food and energy production.
  • Be able to apply biosciences, ecology, chemistry, physics or statistics, depending on your study track, to the future needs of agriculture.
  • Have mastered the key issues and future development trends of your field.
  • Have mastered state-of-the-art research and analysis methods and techniques.
  • Be able to engage in international activities, project work and communication.
  • Be able to acquire and interpret scientific research information in your field and present it orally and in writing.
  • Have the qualifications to pursue postgraduate studies in a doctoral programme or a career as an expert or entrepreneur.

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

Pro­gramme con­tents

The Master’s Programme in Agricultural Sciences comprises four study tracks:

Plant production sciences – plants as sources of food, feed, energy, beauty and wellbeing

During your studies, you will have the opportunity to apply biology to the breeding, cultivation, protection and production ecology of crop or horticultural plants. Producing sufficient food is one of the great challenges facing humanity. Plant production sciences have an important mission in finding solutions to this challenge. Plants are cultivated not only for food and feed, but also for bioenergy, green landscapes and ornamental purposes; plant production sciences seek new, improved solutions for all these purposes.

Animal science – animal health and wellbeing

During your studies, you will become familiar with issues pertaining to the wellbeing, nutrition and breeding of production and hobby animals as well as with the relevant biotechnology. In this study track you will apply biochemistry, animal physiology, genetics and molecular biology for the benefit of sustainable animal production. The Viikki Research Farm, in urban Helsinki, provides plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning!

Agrotechnology – technology with consideration for the environment

This study track provides you with the opportunity to study technologies that are key to agricultural production and the environment, from the basics to the latest innovations. Advances in technology and automation offer new horizons to fearless inventors interested in developing machinery and engineering for the reorganisation, implementation and adjustment of production in accordance with the needs of plants and animals.

Environmental soil science – dig below the surface

These studies allow you to literally dig beneath the surface. The soil is a central factor for the production of renewable natural resources, the diversity of nature, and the quality of water systems. As an expert in environmental soil science you will know how the soil serves as a substrate for plants and affects the quality of food, and how it can be improved.

For further information about study contents, visit the programme home page.



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Your programme of study. University of Aberdeen Environmental and Forest Management programmes comes from one of the oldest forest management research areas in the UK. Read more

Your programme of study

University of Aberdeen Environmental and Forest Management programmes comes from one of the oldest forest management research areas in the UK. Aberdeen has been teaching Forestry for decades. Forestry is combined with environmental management to provide a very useful range of skills and knowledge to apply across environmental areas. With increasing deforestation there are also opportunities to provide more forests, sustainable forests and carefully managed forests. You visit local forests and take a resident field trip with a project you can undertake anywhere in the world. There will always be a requirement for specialists within forestry management to ensure the longevity of crops and sustainability of environmental resources.

On this MSc programme you will to study the principles of forest and woodland management as well as general environment management and their application both in the UK and overseas. The programme is aimed at people interested in a career in environmental management, environmental services, timber production, community forestry or a combination of these. You learn the important aspects affecting forestry which include plant ecology, environmental pollution, GIS mapping, harvesting, statistical information, remediation , EIA, Analysis, Ecology and conservation and environmental management planning. All of these modules allow you to specialist and become a specialist in your chosen area.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

Optional

  • Core Skills in Environmental Science
  • Experimental design and Analysis
  • Statistics for Complex Study Designs
  • Plant Ecology
  • Global Soil Geography
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Ecosystems Processes
  • Application of GIS
  • Timber Harvesting and Measurement

Semester 2

Optional

  • Remediation Technology
  • European Forests Field Course
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Woodland Conservation and Management
  • Catchment Management
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Applied Forest Ecology

Semester 3

  • Environmental and Forest Management Project

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • University of Aberdeen has been associated with teaching and researching the forestry discipline for decades the subject ties into its strengths in environmental and soil science
  • The programme is ranked No.1 in Scotland for research excellence in earth systems and sciences
  • Field work takes place in the region with plenty of natural resources on Royal Deesside, Cairngorms National Park, agricultural Aberdeenshire and Caledonian pine forests

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time and Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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