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Course content

The MSc by Research in Earth Observation enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The Earth Observation programme would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.

You will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.

Key Features of MSc by Research in Earth Observation

Swansea is a research-led University and the Department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a postgraduate Geography student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.

In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, 95% of Geography research at Swansea was judged to be of international quality, and 60% was regarded as World-leading or internationally excellent.

Facilities

As a student of the Earth Observation programme you will have access to:

  • Computer laboratory with 24 computers providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Computer laboratory with 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications
  • Specialist laboratory suites for stable isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation

In addition, the computing facilities include 15 dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ Supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.

Research

All academic staff in Geography are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture and a strong postgraduate community.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.

Research groups include:

  • Environmental Dynamics
  • Glaciology
  • Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation
  • Migration, Boundaries and Identity
  • Social Theory and Urban Space

The Geography Department’s research groups are involved in a number of projects including:

  • Advancing application of stable isotopes in tree rings as indicators of climate/environmental change
  • Quantification of the past and future contribution of glaciers and ice sheets to Sea level rise
  • Understanding the response of the biosphere to variations in climate
  • Understanding international migration patterns and processes associated with both forced migration and labour migration and ‘mixed flows’
  • Cities and Urban Theory - with a focus on the interface between Human Geography and Continental Philosophy, especially with respect to deconstruction, structuralism and poststructuralism

Visit the Earth Observation MSc by Research page on the Swansea University website for more details!

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