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Course content

There is a pressing national and international need to understand the nature and consequences of climatic change and to develop adaptation strategies. The UCL Climate Change MSc provides rigorous scientific and vocational training for the next generation of climate change professionals.

About this degree

The programme provides you with a knowledge and understanding of the Earth system (incorporating the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere) and the nature and causes of climate variability and change. It combines observationally based climate and environmental science with state-of-the-art modelling, specifically concerned with understanding the impacts of climate change. It seeks to place climate change within the context of broader anthropogenic environmental change and social policy dimensions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consist of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year) is offered.

Core modules

  • Climate Dynamics
  • Models in Environmental Science
  • Past Climates
  • Global Environmental Change

* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals

Optional modules

Options may include:

  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Climate Modelling
  • Coastal Change
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Environmental GIS
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological systems
  • Non-biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Ocean Circulation and Climate Change
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Terrestrial Carbon: Modelling and Monitoring
  • Surface Water Modelling

Other MSc modules offered across UCL may be taken at the discretion of the MSc convenor. *Availability of modules is dependent on staff sabbaticals.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is through independent project work, practical-based and written coursework, and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Climate Change MSc

Careers

The programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with a wide range of private industries, non-governmental organisations, government agencies and environmental consultancies. Graduates have gone on to careers in the commercial, non-profit and academic sectors. Examples include government policy implementation, sustainability consultancy, science communication and research. A significant proportion of students go onto further study such as a PhD.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Policy Manager, Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)
  • MSc Environmental Economics, UCL
  • PhD in Hydrology, University of Leeds

Employability

Climate change is big issue with many governmental, non-governmental and commercial cosequences. This programme will give graduates an edge when applying for jobs in the private sector relating to adaptation and mitigation - such as the insurance industry and carbon monitoring companies respectively. It also provides a great stepping-stone to a PhD.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

As one of the world's top universities, UCL excels across the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

The Climate Change MSc brings together the strong expertise of the department, offering a distinctive blend of fundamental climate science, environmental modelling, impacts and adaptations, delivered from both natural and social science perspectives.

By bringing together students and researchers we aim to create a vibrant and informal academic environment of mutual discovery and ongoing debate.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography

81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


Visit the Climate Change (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) page on the University College London website for more details!

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