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Masters Degrees (Soil Science)

We have 151 Masters Degrees (Soil Science)

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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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A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Read more
A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Worldwide, population pressures and severe degradation, pollution and desertification problems are threatening this - for several countries relatively scarce - natural resource, and cause competition between agricultural or industrial purposes, urban planning and nature conservation. To guarantee a proper use and management of this for a nation basic commodity, well trained specialists with a thorough knowledge of the properties and characteristics of this natural resource, and a solid insight in factors and measures that may alter its actual state and value are warranted and call for a high standard scientific and practical education.

The main subject in Soil Science aims at training researchers, academics, government staff and expert consultants in the inventory and detailed characterization of land capacity, and of soils in particular. Graduates should be able to understand the development and evolution of soils under natural conditions or following human interference using field, map, laboratory and remote sensing data. They should have the scientific knowledge to use and manage soil and water in a sustainable way, and to optimize land use under different natural and environmental conditions.

Structure

The Master of Science degree programme in Physical Land Resources is a two year, full time course. The first year provides a fundamental basis in physical land resources, with a main subject in either Soil Science or Land Resources Engineering. The second year offers specialised courses in one of the two main subjects. The students have to prepare a master dissertation in the second year. Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of an Master of Science degree in Physical Land Resources. The course curriculum of the first year, and of the main subject in soil science of the second year is organised at the Ghent University, whereas all courses of the main subject in Land Resources Engineering of the second year are lectured at "Vrije Universiteit Brussel".

The academic year starts the last week of September. However students are advised to arrive in Ghent in the first week of September to follow the preparatory summer course.

Teaching methods
A wide variety of teaching methods are used in the PLR programme. All course units, except for “Internship” and “Master Dissertation” include lectures. Lectures are fundamental to provide students with the necessary basic knowledge in order to acquire the requested competences. Besides lectures the following teaching methods are very frequently used: practical classes, PC-room classes and coached exercises. Teaching methods like guided self-study, group work and microteaching are occasionally used. Field work and excursions are naturally an important component of the Physical Land Resources programme, especially in the first year.

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Science in Physical Land Resources is organized at both UGent and VUB and aims to contribute to an increased knowledge in Physical Land Resources both in terms of quantity (more experts with a broad knowledge) and of quality (knowledge and its use at an advanced scientific level). The incoming students have diverse backgrounds in geology-related sciences, civil engineering or agronomy and the large majority of students originate from developing countries.
-Possesses a broad knowledge at an advanced level in basic disciplines (soil physics, soil chemistry, soil mineralogy, meteorology and climatology) that provide a polyvalent scientific understandinga. needed to evaluate land potential for agricultural and environmental applications, understand the evolution of soils under natural and human-impacted conditions, and contribute to sustainable land use planning and integrated management of land and water (Soil Science); or in non-agricultural applications of land, such as geotechnical aspects, the role of soil and groundwater in water resources management and water supplies, and of land management in relation to other environmental and land use aspects (Land Resources Engineering).
-Possesses the basics to conduct field work (soil survey, soil profile description, soil sampling), interpret analytical data, classify the soil, and manage and interpret existing cartographic and remote sensing data using modern equipment, informatics and computer technology.
-Characterize soil physico-chemically and mineralogically with advanced techniques to understand soil processes, translate this to soil quality and assess the influences by and on natural and anthropogenic factors.
-Recognize interaction with other relevant science domains and identify the need to integrate them within the context of more advanced ideas and practical applications and problem solving.
-Demonstrate critical consideration of and reflection on known and new theories, models or interpretation within the specialty.
-Plan and execute target orientated experiments or simulations independently and critically evaluate the collected data.
-Develop and execute original scientific research and/or apply innovative ideas within research units.
-Formulate hypotheses, use or design experiments to test these hypotheses, report on the results, both written and orally, and communicate findings to experts and the general public.

Other admission requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted)
-TOEFL IBT 80.
-TOEFL PBT 550.
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing.
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre.
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced).

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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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The Master of Physical Land Resources has two specializations. Soil Science (organized by the Universiteit Gent) and Land Resources Engineering (organized by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Read more
The Master of Physical Land Resources has two specializations: Soil Science (organized by the Universiteit Gent) and Land Resources Engineering (organized by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel). During your training you acquire a profound knowledge of pedology, soil physics and chemistry, soil mineralogy, soil prospection and classification, statistics and computer science, climatology and meteorology. Depending on the chosen modules you can specialize in the fields of: land evaluation, soil fertility, soil-water management, etc.

This master offers

 Knowledge and skills which enable you to start and build a successfull career as scientist specialised in either Soil Science or Land Resources Engineering in a professional way.
 The ability to formulate hypotheses and design experiments to test them, report results and findings to both your peers and to a general public.
 You to learn to think analytically, synthetically, creatively and in a problem solving way
 The ability to work both autonomously and in a team.
 The ability to apply knowledge as required for the overall development policy of your country
 The skills to function in fundamental as well as in applied research at universities, research institutions and (other) government or private institutions and companies.

International Course Programme

This programme is one of the International Course Programmes supported by the Flemish Interuniversity Council - University Development Cooperation (VLIR-UOS). A limited number of scholarships is available for students coming from specific developing countries.

Structure

The Master of Science degree programme in Physical Land Resources is a two year, full time course.

The first year provides a fundamental basis in physical land resources, with a main subject in either Soil Science or Land Resources Engineering. The second year offers specialised courses in one of the two main subjects. The students have to prepare a dissertation. Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of an Master of Science degree in Physical Land Resources.
The course curriculum of the first year, and of the main subject in soil science of the second year is organised at the Ghent University, whereas all courses of the main subject in Land Resources Engineering of the second year are organised at the "Vrije Universiteit Brussel". Students in Land Resources Engineering have to reside in Brussels during the second year.

The academic year starts the last week of September. Students are expected to arrive in Gent ten days before the start of the programme. There are two examination periods, in January and in June respectively. For students who fail, there is a re-examination session in August-September.

Curriculum

For the specialization Land Resources Engineering the curriculum is available on http://www.vub.ac.be/en/study/physical-land-resources/programme

For the specialization Soil Science the curriculum is available on http://www.plr.ugent.be/main.htm#course

Student profile

You want to know what (a) soil is?
You want to know which factors and properties determine the soil suitability to be used for both agricultural and non-agricultural purposes and how this is established?
You want to know how the soil can be improved to suit specific applications?
You want to know how to address problems of degradation and desertification?
You want to know how to manage the land and how to protect it?
You want to know what the impact of the soil factor is in the dynamics of natural ecosystems and how this knowledge can be applied in the area of nature conservation?
You want to know what the soil teaches us about current environmental issues?
You want to know how soil and water management can be improved in the frame of sustainable agriculture?
You want to know how we can manage our scarce water supplies?

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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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A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Read more
A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Worldwide, population pressures and severe degradation, pollution and desertification problems are threatening this - for several countries relatively scarce - natural resource, and cause competition between agricultural or industrial purposes, urban planning and nature conservation. To guarantee a proper use and management of this for a nation basic commodity, well trained specialists with a thorough knowledge of the properties and characteristics of this natural resource, and a solid insight in factors and measures that may alter its actual state and value are warranted and call for a high standard scientific and practical education.

The main subject in Land Resources Engineering offers training in non-agricultural use and application of soil, and includes geotechnical aspects (use of soil as a building material or for foundations, slope stability and stability of excavations), the role of soil- and groundwater for water management and supply, soil management in relation to environment and land use (erosion, sediment transport, coastal development and protection).

Structure

The Master of Science degree programme in Physical Land Resources is a two year, full time course. The first year provides a fundamental basis in physical land resources, with a main subject in either Soil Science or Land Resources Engineering. The second year offers specialised courses in one of the two main subjects. The students have to prepare a master dissertation in the second year. Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of an Master of Science degree in Physical Land Resources. The course curriculum of the first year, and of the main subject in soil science of the second year is organised at the Ghent University, whereas all courses of the main subject in Land Resources Engineering of the second year are lectured at "Vrije Universiteit Brussel".

The academic year starts the last week of September. However students are advised to arrive in Ghent in the first week of September to follow the preparatory summer course.

Teaching methods
A wide variety of teaching methods are used in the PLR programme. All course units, except for “Internship” and “Master Dissertation” include lectures. Lectures are fundamental to provide students with the necessary basic knowledge in order to acquire the requested competences. Besides lectures the following teaching methods are very frequently used: practical classes, PC-room classes and coached exercises. Teaching methods like guided self-study, group work and microteaching are occasionally used. Field work and excursions are naturally an important component of the Physical Land Resources programme, especially in the first year.

Learning outcomes

The Master of Science in Physical Land Resources is organized at both UGent and VUB and aims to contribute to an increased knowledge in Physical Land Resources both in terms of quantity (more experts with a broad knowledge) and of quality (knowledge and its use at an advanced scientific level). The incoming students have diverse backgrounds in geology-related sciences, civil engineering or agronomy and the large majority of students originate from developing countries.
-Possesses a broad knowledge at an advanced level in basic disciplines (soil physics, soil chemistry, soil mineralogy, meteorology and climatology) that provide a polyvalent scientific understandinga. needed to evaluate land potential for agricultural and environmental applications, understand the evolution of soils under natural and human-impacted conditions, and contribute to sustainable land use planning and integrated management of land and water (Soil Science); or in non-agricultural applications of land, such as geotechnical aspects, the role of soil and groundwater in water resources management and water supplies, and of land management in relation to other environmental and land use aspects (Land Resources Engineering).
-Possesses the basics to conduct field work (soil survey, soil profile description, soil sampling), interpret analytical data, classify the soil, and manage and interpret existing cartographic and remote sensing data using modern equipment, informatics and computer technology.
-Characterize soil physico-chemically and mineralogically with advanced techniques to understand soil processes, translate this to soil quality and assess the influences by and on natural and anthropogenic factors.
-Recognize interaction with other relevant science domains and identify the need to integrate them within the context of more advanced ideas and practical applications and problem solving.
-Demonstrate critical consideration of and reflection on known and new theories, models or interpretation within the specialty.
-Plan and execute target orientated experiments or simulations independently and critically evaluate the collected data.
-Develop and execute original scientific research and/or apply innovative ideas within research units.
-Formulate hypotheses, use or design experiments to test these hypotheses, report on the results, both written and orally, and communicate findings to experts and the general public.

Other admission requirements

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted)
-TOEFL IBT 80.
-TOEFL PBT 550.
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing.
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre.
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced).

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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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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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This programme aims to introduce students to the concepts of soil for the 21st century and is suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in land-based management or environmental protection. Read more

This programme aims to introduce students to the concepts of soil for the 21st century and is suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in land-based management or environmental protection.

Soils underpin the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and are key to food production. Soils form the basis of all agricultural production, but they also store water, mediate the impact of pollutants, provide biological habitats, have an impact on the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, are involved in dealing with society’s waste, are a source of extractable minerals and provide the foundations for the housing and roads on which society depends.

You will learn about soil function and management, and soil classification, assessment and analysis, with a strong emphasis on practical skills. You will gain expertise in the relationship between soil and sustainable approaches to land resource use.

This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Applicants who applied after 12 December 2016 receiving an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, may be required to pay a tuition fee deposit. Please see the fees and costs section for more information.

Programme structure

This programme involves two semesters of compulsory and option taught courses followed by a period of individual dissertation project work.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Soils Science Concepts and Application
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of optional courses^. We particularly recommend:

  • Analysing the Environment
  • Analysing the Environment Study Tour
  • Culture, Ethics & Environment
  • Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
  • International Development in a Changing World
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Principles of GIS
  • Project Appraisal
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Frameworks to Assess Food Security
  • Integrated Resource Management
  • Spatial Modelling
  • Ecosystem Values and Management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Sustainability of Food Production
  • Interrelationships in Food Systems

Courses are subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Field trip

An integral, week-long study tour lets you refresh skills learned on the programme and develop new tools and techniques, useful during the dissertation process. The tour has historically been held in Mende, France. In addition to the formal taught component, students had the opportunity to go rafting and visit the Aven Armand caves.

There may also be a short tour during induction week, to give students a chance to get to know each other.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • gain a knowledge and understanding of the relationship between soils and sustainable land management
  • gain an understanding of soil sampling and analysis, interpretation and reporting
  • be able to assess soil management issues and develop improved management plans
  • understand the function of soils in relation to sustainable land use and societal needs

Career opportunities

A recent report by the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) identified soil science as an area in which there are critical skills shortages, meaning graduates will be in high demand.

Soil scientists are employed in a broad range of vocations including environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, environmental impact assessment and analysis, site reclamation and remediation, and conservation as well as advising on government policy, archaeological excavations and laboratory analyses, forensics, and landscape design.

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.



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The M.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture aims to provide advanced knowledge in the field of agricultural systems as well as skills to develop and manage sustainable production systems. Read more

Sustainable agriculture

The M.S. degree in Sustainable Agriculture aims to provide advanced knowledge in the field of agricultural systems as well as skills to develop and manage sustainable production systems.

Programme Summary

The context of the topics is international, having as its main area of investigation warm-temperate environments at a global level. The graduate in Sustainable agriculture must work to achieve food security objectives associated with improving the quality and wholesomeness of food products. The graduate must know the issues related to biodiversity, global change and ecosystem services, which are analyzed according to a systemic and adaptive approach, considering also the traceability of processes.
To address the global challenges, students are equipped with a wide learning platform, and are able to make comparisons between different production systems at the international level in terms of environmental, socio-economics, and regulatory environments.

Dual degree with USA

With the aim of strengthening this global approach to sustainability and food security, the degree program has been included in an internationalization project in collaboration with the University of Georgia, USA, which enables students to achieve a dual degree in "Sustainable Agriculture" (Italy) and "Crop and Soil Science" (USA).

Who is the MSc candidate?

The course is intended for highly-motivated national and international students and is conceived for Bachelor graduates with a main interest in agricultural and environmental sciences.

What career opportunities does the MSc provide?

The graduate in Sustainable Agriculture is able to perform a wide range of activities in a professional and efficient manner:
1) Operate internationally by conducting activities of planning, management, monitoring, coordination and training in agricultural production processes to meet the needs of the international market;
2) Be involved in activities of experimentation and research in both the public and private sectors (eg. Biotechnology companies);
3) Fill a position or interact with international organizations such as FAO, EU and World Bank;
4) Be involved in the transfer of technologies (innovation broker);
5) Manage technical and international business related to agricultural products and processing, and related to agricultural mechanization;
6) Play an active role in private and public structures aimed at land management and the management of water resources, including historical, cultural and landscape values of agricultural land;
7) Collaborate in the establishment and operation of projects in basic and applied research in the field of agricultural production in the international arena.

How is the programme organised?

The training course in Sustainable Agriculture, lasting two years, includes two main areas of study:
1) Production: training in the areas of agronomy, crop and animal productions, soil science, plant breeding, and integrated management of pests and diseases, all aimed at the sustainability of the production process and its social implications;
2) Technology: training in the areas of management and protection of air-soil-water, use of biomass of agricultural plants and animals, land management, and management of the production process (at different geographic scales) considering both innovative technologies and socio-economic aspects.
Learning is based on active studies covering activities in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the field as well as the possibility of using the contribution of Italian and foreign teachers, and industry experts that can provide specific case studies. The program offers intensive individual tutoring of students, as well as the opportunity to intern for six months, in companies in the public and private sectors, possibly abroad, for the study of cases of excellence in preparation of the thesis

Visit the MSc “Sustainable agriculture” page on the Università di Padova web-site http://www.unipd.it/en/educational-offer/second-cycle-degrees/school-of-agricultural-sciences-and-veterinary-medicine?ordinamento=2016&key=AV2293 for more details.

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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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This course aims to develop knowledge and skills relating to the sustainable management of soil and water resources. Specifically, it aims to provide students with the ability to evaluate the potential of sites for plant growth and determine the soil and water factors affecting production. Read more
This course aims to develop knowledge and skills relating to the sustainable management of soil and water resources. Specifically, it aims to provide students with the ability to evaluate the potential of sites for plant growth and determine the soil and water factors affecting production. The course also focuses on the availability of water from surface or groundwater supplies and how this is utilised by irrigation and drainage. The course is underpinned by research and consultancy activities in the Crop Production & Science and Engineering departments.

The course

Soil and water are key resources for agriculture that determine levels of food production and thus food security on a local, national and global scale. Effective management of soil and water is essential for society in general, but critical for agriculture. Management of water is also of key importance as water is likely to become an increasingly limited resource in a world subject to climatic and environmental change.

This course aims to develop knowledge and skills relating to the sustainable management of soil and water resources. Specifically, it aims to provide students with the ability to evaluate the potential of sites for plant growth and determine the soil and water factors affecting production.

The course also focuses on the availability of water from surface or groundwater supplies and how this is utilised by irrigation and drainage. The course is underpinned by research and consultancy activities in the Crop and Environment Sciences, and Engineering departments.

A new Soil and Water Management Centre was launched at Harper Adams University in 2012.

How will it benefit me?

By completing the course you will be able to identify soil, plant and climatic variables for cropping systems in a range of geographical locations, and critically identify the social and environmental impacts of water use on catchments at a local and national scale. You will also be able to produce irrigation and drainage schemes that pay due regard to agronomic, social, economic and environmental requirements for a range of geographic locations.

You will learn to effectively source, review and analyse key information and disseminate findings and concepts relating to efficient water use in food production systems to a range of audiences. The research project will allow you to test hypotheses relevant to soil and water management through the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of appropriate experiments.

Careers

Students will be suitably qualified for careers in agri-business, agricultural consultancy and statutory bodies such as the Environment Agency.

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Penn’s Master of Science in Applied Geosciences is engineered for your success. Read more
Penn’s Master of Science in Applied Geosciences is engineered for your success
Whether you’re an experienced geoscientist or are preparing to enter the field, Penn’s rigorous Master of Science in Applied Geosciences (MSAG) is a highly practical program that helps you build on your experience and prepare for your next professional move ahead. With a faculty of leading academic researchers and experienced government and industry experts, we know what you need to move forward in your career, and we’ve designed the program for your success.

The Penn Master of Science in Applied Geosciences connects you with the world-class resources of an Ivy League institution and provides you with theoretical and technical expertise in geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology and engineering geology. You will also hone essential project management skills necessary for leadership in environmental remediation and pollution prevention. While you’re completing your studies, the program also facilitates your preparation for professional licensure and certification processes.

An advanced degree in applied geosciences prepares you to take on a range of pressing environmental problems in a field where you can make a real, practical difference. You’ll master approaches to mitigating soil and water contamination, solving waste disposal challenges and responding to human-induced natural disasters such as landslides and floods, and learn cutting-edge methods for clean energy extraction.

Designed for your ongoing advancement
We provide you with a rigorous, elite educational experience that you can access without interrupting your career. With day and evening classes available, you can complete the 12-course program, either full or part time, in just two to four years. Depending on your work or internship status, you can change your enrollment status from full time to part time and back, from one semester to the next as needed.

Amplify your expertise
For working professionals in the environmental or geoscience fields, the Master of Science in Applied Geosciences offers the opportunity to accelerate your career by expanding and refreshing your expertise, enhancing your leadership skills and training for Professional Geologist licensure. All courses are available in the evening, so you can enroll in classes while you continue to advance in your current job.

The Master of Science in Applied Geosciences program offers significant benefits even to highly experienced professionals. We’ve partnered with the prestigious Organizational Dynamics program faculty at Penn to provide a comprehensive project management course, designed to teach you innovative best practices for leading your workplace at a higher level. This project management course is a core element of our program at Penn, and prepares you to lead with confidence in your increasing project and people management responsibilities.

Finally, the culminating element of our curriculum, Project Design, both tests and defines your program mastery. During the Project Design exercise, you will propose and defend a complex project of your choice, which allows you to stake out a new professional niche and demonstrate your abilities to current or prospective employers.

Your gateway to a career in the geosciences
If you’ve recently graduated from college and have a strong background in the sciences, the Master of Science in Applied Geosciences offers you exceptional preparation to enter professional geology. In the program, you will apply your undergraduate degree knowledge in physical sciences, math or engineering, providing you with the tools and confidence to become a competitive candidate for potential employers.

The Master of Science in Applied Geosciences program also helps you discover and pursue your individual interests within the applied geosciences. Our faculty members bring an incredible wealth of industry experience and expertise to help you define your career direction. In addition, many of our students are experienced professionals themselves, and program alumni say that the connections they made with their classmates have been invaluable for their professional prospects.

Ivy League preparation for certifications and licensure
Our rigorous coursework also provides the academic depth needed for licensure as a Professional Geologist (PG) in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. When you complete the degree, your “professional geological work” requirement is shortened from five years to four.

We also subsidize and streamline certification programs like OSHA’s Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER), bringing the test to campus for you.

New possibilities with the MSAG

Our alumni are pursuing fulfilling careers in a variety of cutting-edge jobs — including green infrastructure, storm water management, environmental remediation and large-scale construction siting — across government, education and corporate sectors. As part of the Penn alumni network, you’ll join a group of professionals that spans the globe and expands your professional horizons.

We welcome you to contact a member of our program team to learn more about the possibilities that await you through experiences in the Master of Science in Applied Geosciences program at Penn.

Courses and Curriculum

The Master of Science in Applied Geosciences (MSAG) degree is structured to give you a well-rounded grounding in applied scientific knowledge, as well as to train you in the project management and leadership skills necessary to effectively put that knowledge into action in the field. To that end, the curriculum is structured with a combination of foundation courses and concentration electives, which allow you to focus on topics best suited to your interests and goals.

The MSAG requires the completion of 12 course units (c.u.)* as follows:

Seven foundation courses
Three electives in a professional concentration
Project Management
Project Design thesis

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The MRes in Animal and Plant Science is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Read more
The MRes in Animal and Plant Science is a full-time programme running over 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Applications will be accepted for a start date in October or January. The programme consists of (a) a major research thesis and (b) taught modules on generic and transferable skills, with an emphasis on scientific writing, oral presentations, and general research skills. Part-time study for this programme is not available.

Prospective students must talk to their proposed supervisor about possible project areas (see below) and have a project approved by interview with the supervisor and Head of Discipline prior to application via http://www.pac.ie (PAC code: CKS81).

Visit the website: https://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/courses/postgrad/

Course detail

Students undertake a total workload equivalent to 90 credits over the 12 month programme, the principal element of which is the completion of a major research thesis of approximately 25,000 words. In parallel, students must take and pass taught modules to the value of 20 credits.

Modules

Students take 20 credits from the following available modules:

BL6010 Characteristics of the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL6012 Marine Megafauna (10 credits)
BL6016 Marine Ecology and Conservation (10 credits)
BL6019 Ecological Applications of Geographical Information Systems (5 credits)
BL6020 Genetics and the Marine Environment (5 credits)
BL4004 Frontiers in Biology (5 credits)
BL4005 Research Skills in Biology (5 credits)
BL4006 Food Production (5 credits)
PS6001 Plant Genetic Engineering (5 credits)
PS4024 Crop Physiology and Climate Change (5 credits)
PS4021 Environmentally Protective Management of Plant Pests and Pathogens (5 credits)
ZY4021 Evolutionary Ecology (5 credits)

Students may elect to take other, relevant modules (subject to availability) that are offered by the University that are not listed above to fulfil the elective requirement with approval from the MRes coordinator, research supervisor and Head of School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science.

Students will also undertake independent research towards completion of a research thesis to a student workload equivalent of 70 credits on a selected topic in Animal or Plant Science.

Current projects:

- The effect of lactation housing on the behaviour and welfare of pigs
- Understanding viral pathways in marine environments
- Distribution and diet of otters in a rural/urban streamscape
- Novel approaches in the use of freshwater macroinvertebrates for biomonitoring
- The ecology of Sika/Red/Fallow deer in Ireland
- Catching prey; the role of Ultraviolet radiation in attracting insects by carnivorous plants
- Birds as dispersers of plant propagules
- Does the phytotoxicity of nanoparticles depend on environmental parameters?
- The role of biochar as a sustainable soil amendment
- Effects of Eutrophication in shallow subtidal marine systems
- Use of Brachypodium sylvaticum as a model for growth regulation in perennial forage grasses
- Effect of temperature on spring growth of perennial ryegrass cultivars

Programme Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

- Carry out an independent and original research project to address an emerging question in Animal or Plant Science.
- Prepare and write a dissertation of their research project in a critical, logical and systematic manner, in keeping with the standards of postgraduate research.
- Display advanced theoretical knowledge and practical understanding within a research area of Animal or Plant Science.
- Understand the basis and application of field and laboratory methods used in Animal and Plant Science and a knowledge of their limitations
- Avail of relevant workshops or modules to increase scientific technical skills (e. g. biostatistics).
- Source, review, critically assess and evaluate relevant primary literature and summarize material for presentation to peers and for inclusion within the research dissertation.
- Design, write and defend a scientific research proposal based on their current research topic or a proposed topic.
- Evaluate their skill set and identify skills that should be acquired.
- Develop professional practice skills including team-work, negotiation, time-management, scientific writing and oral communication

How to apply

Students should consult the MRes Animal and Plant Science Brochure: https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/schoolofbees/documents/MResinAnimalandPlantScience.pdf

Prospective students should also consult the following guide to procedures realting to applying for the MRes Animal and Plant Science: https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/schoolofbees/documents/MResinANimalandplantscience-Studentguidetoproceduresbeforeandafterentrytotheprogramme24March2016.pdf

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