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About the course

The MSc in Environmental Change, Impact and Adaptation is your opportunity to study the latest understanding of environmental change and our efforts to plan for and manage future change. Having completed your undergraduate degree in a related field, this MSc will enable you to bring your skills and knowledge up to date with a view to continuing in employment or further research.

A series of new modules have been developed specifically for this programme and ensure you will receive a balanced appreciation of many aspects of environmental change. You will critically assess the evidence for environmental change across ecosystems and different temporal scales; gain experience in field-based data collection; examine the historic, present and future risks posed to human societies; and critically eval­uate solutions proposed to address challenges arising from climatic and environmental change.

The course begins with an overseas fieldtrip in week one where you will learn to devise your own field-based experiments to investigate environmental change. Training will be given in a range of advanced techniques such as quantification of CO2 emissions from soils and interpretation of evidence for past climate and environments in the landscape. There are no written exams, instead we use a variety of alternative assessment methods including short-film making, white papers, tender reports, computing practicals, field-based experiments, reviews and essays.

This course is delivered by the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, which has links to Natural Resources Wales and the Centre for Alternative Technology. You will also be assigned a personal tutor and a dissertation coordinator to support your personal and academic needs.

This course will help you develop the latest technological, theoretical and practical understanding of the subject and a range of transferable skills to support your employability. You will be able to: expertly debate the subject in written, oral and on-line forums; develop alternative approaches to research; work independently and as part of a team; undertake self-regulation of work regimes and time management; and collate, process and interpret data sets efficiently.

Our lecturers are active researchers working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, and you will benefit from being taught the latest geographical theories and techniques. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2014) DGES retained its crown of the best Geography department in Wales, with 78% of the research being undertaken classified as either "world leading" or "internationally excellent”. DGES is also in the top ten of UK Geography departments with regard to research power, which provides a measure of the quality of research, as well as of the number of staff undertaking research within the department.

This degree will stand you in good stead for a career in risk management, development, disaster relief, environmental management or consultancy. This course is also highly suitable to prepare you for future research at PhD level.

Course content

Core modules:

Advanced Research Skills 1: science communication and data analysis
Environmental Change Dissertation
Environmental Change: a Palaeo Perspective
Global Climate Change: Debates and Impacts
Investigating Environmental Change: Fieldwork
Managing Environmental Change in Practice
Risk Management and Resilience in a Changing Environment

Contact time

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first two semesters. During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


The programme comprises 180 credits. There are 120 credits of taught modules completed during Semester 1 and Semester 2. This is followed by a research dissertation (60 credits) in semester 3.


This degree will suit you:

- If you want advanced training in environment based topics from one of the UK's leading research departments
- If you have a 2:1 degree or higher in a related discipline
- If you wish to gain academic expertise, field skills and technical experience in an environmental discipline
- If you wish to enter a career in environmental management or consultancy, development, disaster relief, risk management as well as future doctoral research.

Upon completing the Aberystwyth Masters in Environmental Change, Impact and Adaptation, you will be suited to specialist environment-related employment and more general areas of work. As a specialist, you will be a highly competent contributor to any work relating to climate change, human impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, environmental risk assessment and environmental policy analysis. In more generic employment situations, your strengths will be broad and deep because you will be able to demonstrate mastery in any planning, research, analysis and reporting skills that your employer will require.

Studying for this Masters degree will allow you to sharpen all your core scientific disciplines, your professional work ethos and your presentation and communication skills. Once secured by obtaining your Masters Degree, you will have gained confidence in the level of your academic expertise and practical field skills, which in turn will enhance your employability in both highly specialised related professions and also on broader, unrelated professional paths. All employers, whether subject-related specialists or more general corporate bodies and consultancies, place a high value on first-rate technical aptitude, clarity in research and analysis and fluency in communication.

Visit the Environmental Change, Impact and Adaptation - MSc page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!




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