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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Environmental Sciences

    Geography

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time; 2 years part-time; 3 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    For current fees visit our website

  • Last Updated

    21 August 2018

Course content

The MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course places particular emphasis on recent global and regional environmental and climatic change, the scientific basis and limitations of models and data collection techniques. It combines the international research strengths of staff within the Departments of Geography and Biosciences around environmental and climate dynamics (processes and mechanisms involved in stability and change), marine and ecosystem biology, and environmental management and sustainable development.

Graduates from the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course will have extensive knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climate change and environmental and ecosystem dynamics, and the practical problem solving, ICT and communication skills required for a successful career in the environmental service industry, regulating bodies or academia.

Key Features of Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change

Geographers at Swansea benefit from exceptional computing facilities that include fifteen 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.

Graduates from this course will have broad knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climatic change and environmental and ecosystem dynamics, and the practical problem solving, ICT, and communication skills required for a successful career in the environmental service industry, regulating bodies or academia.

Aims:

  • To provide advanced training in understanding the scientific issues associated with environmental dynamics and climatic change.
  • To provide graduates entering the environmental service industry or a regulating body with the required practical problem solving, ICT, and communication skills; as well as a basic knowledge of current climate policy and environmental management.
  • To provide graduates continuing their academic career with the required subject specific and transferable skills.

Modules

Modules of the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change ‌programme include:

  • Science Skills and Research Methods
  • Principles of Environmental Dynamics
  • Satellite Remote Sensing
  • Climate Change - Past, Present and Future
  • Environmental Assessment and Management
  • Ecosystems: Ecology, Conservation & Resource Management
  • Programming in Java
  • Modelling Earth Systems
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Climate Science and Policy

Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change Course Content

As a student on the MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change ‌degree you will study compulsory modules in addition to a range of optional modules. Compulsory modules are as follows:

  • Climate Change
  • Core Science Skills
  • Satellite Remote Sensing
  • Principles of Environmental Dynamics and Climatic Change

+ Two Optional Modules from the following selection:

  • Modelling Earth Systems
  • Environmental Assessment and Management
  • Ecosystems
  • Climate Change and Policy
  • Programming in Java
  • Geographical Information Systems

Followed by a research project in Part Two:

  • Dissertation

Fieldwork

The Stackpole residential field course introduces Environmental Dynamics and Climatic Change programme students taking the “Principles of Environmental Dynamics” to some of the major themes of the module: environmental systems, sea-level change and human impact on the environment, in a congenial setting in Pembrokeshire. The environmental issues facing the Stackpole Estate are discussed and placed into a historical perspective through lectures and the analysis of long term environmental records.

Facilities

The Department of Geography is well-resourced to support research: there are two dedicated computer laboratories: One of 24 computers in conjunction with Library and Information Services (LIS) providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing; One of 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications.

We have 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, we have recently spent £1.8million on state-of-the-art teaching spaces, including IT facilities, laboratories and flexible teaching spaces.

Careers

Many students choose Geography because of the scope it provides for studying a wide range of current themes and issues, the important insights it offers for understanding our contemporary world, and the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice through fieldwork. However, what many students do not realise before coming to university is that a Geography degree also offers a broad range of employment opportunities, allowing graduates to pursue a flexible and varied career path.

Research

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

Student profile

I originally came to Swansea University to study for a BSc in Geography. Although this course covered a wide range of both human and physical topics that were all very interesting and provided a broad spectrum of skills from GIS and remote sensing to environmental modelling, my main interest was in the physical aspects. I graduated in 2007 with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) in Geography and wanted to continue my studies into the field of climate change. I decided that the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change would be an appropriate route to take in order to pursue this field. The MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change focused on many characteristics of the global environment, like impacts on ecosystems, and how the varying processes associated with climate change can be monitored, measured and modelled. This choice of topics was complimented by the fact that the modules were run by lecturers working at the cutting-edge of global environmental change. The culmination of what I learned over the course of the year was put into practice with the dissertation, which allowed me to focus on an area of particular interest. The group of friends that I had on the course were brilliant and I will take away a lot of fond memories of our time together at Swansea. Now, after finishing the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change I have a job working for the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton".

David Hamersley, MSc Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change


Visit the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change MSc page on the Swansea University website for more details!

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