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Course content

The MSc by Research Glaciology enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The MSc by Research 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.

As a Glaciology research student, 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 the MSc by Research in Glaciology

Swansea is a research-led University and the Geography 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.

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

MSc by Research in Glaciology Programme Content

All Geography Research Degrees take 12 months of study, including the dissertation. For MSc by Research programmes you will be guided by internationally leading researchers through an extended one-year individual research project. There is no taught element.

The MSc by Research degree in Glaciology enables you to pursue a one year individual programme of research and 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.

The programmes including the MSc by Research in Glaciology, all have a recommended initial research training module (Science Skills & Research Methods), but otherwise has no taught element and is most suitable for you if you have an existing background in geography or cognate discipline and are looking to pursue a wholly research-based programme of study.

The first part of assessment shall take the form of a thesis embodying the methods and results of the research project. All theses should be presented in accordance with the University’s Guide to the Submission and Presentation of a Thesis for Research Students.

The second part shall take the form of an oral examination (viva voce).

Facilities

As a MSc by Research in Glaciology student 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

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

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