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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 Geographic Information and Climate Change course provides cross-disciplinary training in the scientific basis of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Satellite Remote Sensing and Earth System Modelling alongside aspects of climate change. The Geographic Information and Climate Change course places particular emphasis on the technical aspects of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Earth Observation as well as the past, present and future global and regional environmental and climatic change.

Key Features of the Geographic Information 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.

Geographic Information and Climate Change Course Content

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

  • Climate Change
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Modelling Earth Systems
  • Satellite Remote Sensing

Optional Modules:

  • Climate Science and Policy
  • Environmental Assessment and Management
  • Ecosystems
  • Principles of Environmental Dynamics
  • Core Science Skills
  • Programming in Java

Followed by a research project in Part Two:

  • Research Project in Geographic Information and Climate Change

Fieldwork

The Stackpole residential field course introduces 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 profiles

“I chose to study MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea as I had already enjoyed my undergraduate degree here. I really enjoyed that the course is quite full on, with a lot of independent work but a willingness from lecturers to help with any issues you have. Anyone considering this course I would advise to come to the university and speak with the lecturers about the potential interests they have. You get out what you put in. I want to go into a field that requires some expertise, although I feel as though I will need more experience once in or looking for a job, Swansea has provided the stepping stone for my future career. The lecturers helped me because they take a back seat, but I understand that they are there to support me when I need it. They have allowed me to be independent.”

Alice Nolan, MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change

After completing his MSc in Geographic Information and Climate Change, Thomas went on to earn a position at the Associated British Ports Marine Environmental Research. He said of his time at Swansea – “I chose MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change at Swansea University because of the funding Available (Access to Master's Scheme) and specific course content (Climate Change and GIS modules). I enjoyed studying topics in greater depth than at undergraduate level, and the opportunity to undertake my dissertation in partnership with an external organisation. The lecturers were highly approachable throughout the course, and were always available for advice outside of lectures and seminars. Studying at Master's level in Swansea provided the opportunity to build upon the knowledge and skills I acquired as an undergraduate. For example, completing my Master's dissertation in partnership with an external company enabled development of my communication and organisational skills, as well as my ability to synthesize research. These skills have been vital for development of my career in the marine consulting sector.”

Thomas Perks, MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change


Visit the Geographic Information and Climate Change MSc page on the Swansea University website for more details!

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