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Both natural environments and those heavily influenced and altered by human activities are ever-changing. This programme allows you to explore the unique specialisms within our physical geography and environmental science research team, and to work closely on a specialist topic with an expert in your chosen field of interest. The support available is on a one-to-one basis and culminates in a substantial MSc dissertation. This can take the form of a traditional monograph, a research report or two draft manuscripts intended for publication in an international, peer-reviewed journal. This programme is ideal for those looking to continue on to PhD research or to work independently, for example, as a consultant.

Which topics can I study?

Projects available from our Earth Surface Science specialists can change every year and a list of research topics is available here. Recent topics have included:

  • environmental impact of historical landfill
  • lateral moraine formation
  • analysis of glaciotectonic structures
  • assessment of rare species
  • analysis of braided river channel networks

This programme:

  • places you with one or more internationally acknowledged experts in physical geography or environmental science, with superb research and analytical facilities that ensure a top-quality research environment 
  • offers you the opportunity to work with partner organisations, providing insight into their structure and operation
  • combines a smaller taught element that will provide you with key research methodology, skills, approaches and debates relevant to your field of study, along with a substantial element of independent work to focus on a specific area of research
  • provides you with a range of transferable skills suitable for further research and employment, including analytical field and laboratory skills, data modelling, statistical analysis, project management and critical evaluation of information.


The programme is made up of 180 credits. For full details on our modules please go to the online module directory

Core module:

  • Independent Research Project (120 credits)

Compulsory modules:

  • Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis (15 credits)
  • Environmental Science Research and Practice (15 credits)
  • Project-specific Research Training (15 credits)

Option modules:

  • Biogeosciences and Ecosystem Services (15 credits)
  • Desk Study (15 credits)
  • Environmental Pollution (15 credits)
  • Flood Risk Management and Modelling (15 credits)
  • Physical Modelling of Fluvial Processes (15 credits)
  • River Assessment and Restoration (15 credits)

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students. You are assigned an Academic Adviser who will guide you in both academic and pastoral matters throughout your time at Queen Mary.


All modules are assessed through coursework, including essay writing, report writing, and presentations.


The Independent Research project which is a key component of this programme is assessed by 100% dissertation. The project may involve working with a partner organisation and it may therefore have an applied focus or contribute to the work of that organisation.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £9,150

Part time £4,575

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time £19,450

Part time £9,725


There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU studentsand for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079


Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Visit the Environmental Science by Research MSc page on the Queen Mary University of London website for more details!





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