Our Climate Change: Environment, Science & Policy MSc course is an opportunity for graduates of geography, physical sciences, engineering and computer sciences to explore specific issues relating to climate and environmental change at an advanced level. You will explore a wide range of critical topics focusing on human-originated influences on the terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments, and their biological, physical and societal consequences.
Gain an up-to-date understanding of the nature and processes of environmental changes occurring in Earth’s terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments.
Study the methods used to examine the potential future consequences of environmental changes.
Learn to evaluate and analyse environmental change research critically and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses and potential societal implications of the science.
Develop an understanding of the scientific evidence needed for policymakers and society to respond to the problems associated with global and regional environmental changes impacting the Earth.
The Climate Change: Environment, Science & Policy MSc is a flexible course allowing you to study either a Policy or a Science pathway. Our course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the processes and the nature of environmental changes occurring in the Earth’s terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments. You will also develop essential research, analysis and critical-thinking skills that will help you to understand and interpret scientific evidence and also respond to the problems associated with global and regional environmental changes in the Earth’s system.
The study course is made up of optional and required modules and you must take the minimum of 180 credits for the course. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete. You will take the required combination of required and optional modules over this period of time, with the dissertation in your second year.
Course format and assessment
We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 20 hours of this per module. We also expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study for each module. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide four workshops and five hours of one-to-one supervision to complement your 587 hours of independent study.
As part of a two-year schedule, part-time students typically take the required 40-credit taught module and 40 credits of optional module in year 1. They will then take a 60 credit dissertation module and 40 credit optional modules in year 2. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.
Our MSc is designed to prepare you for a career in environmental change research, consultancy and/or policy development. It provides interdisciplinary research training for those going onto a PhD in environmental and/or Earth system science within King's or elsewhere, and students entering the job market immediately after graduation are expected to be highly marketable in three main areas: local and national governmental and non-governmental agencies (eg Environment Agency, County Councils, Nature Conservancies); environmental consultancies and businesses (eg environmental informatics providers; environmental businesses - including carbon trading; insurance; waste management and energy industries), and policy development organisations (eg such government departments as Defra). The Seminars in Environmental Research, Management and Policy module offers you the chance to hear and meet practitioners in many of these key areas.