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Course content

Our MPhil/PhD research degree programme offers you:

Wide variety of research interests
The Institute of Science and the Environment has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme. Our staff have expertise in river science, glacial geomorphology, environmental geology, GIS and remote sensing.

Excellent supervision
Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.

Resources
Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state of the art library facilities. The Physical Geography team at Worcester have an excellent range of resources available to support your learning and your research project, including; field equipment including a Teledyne StreamPro Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), a 2D Flow Tracker, six Valeport Electromagnetic current meters, three portable YSI multi-parameter water quality probes, an ISCO automatic liquid sampler, Solinst water level and water temperature data loggers, Tinytag water temperature data loggers and tipping bucket logging rain gauges. Two hydrological monitoring sites on local streams (Leigh Brook and Bow Brook) continuously monitor water level and various water quality parameters (pH, temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, turbidity) with data logged every 15 minutes and accessible online via telemetry in real-time. Each site also has an ISCO automatic liquid sampler The field equipment and hydrological monitoring sites are managed and maintained by a specialist Physical Geography technician and field equipment can booked out through him.

Survey equipment includes a Draganflyer X6 Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) with three staff licensed with the Civil Aviation Authority to fly it in the UK, mapping and survey grade GPS, a Leica Terrestrial Laser Scanner, total stations, quickset levels and laser distance measurers.

The Institute of Science and the Environment has a fully-equipped GIS, Mapping and Visualization Suite, which provides access to high-end computers, industry-standard GIS (ArcGIS) and statistical analysis software (e.g. Primer-E, Matlab, SPSS) and other mapping and remote sensing software (e.g. ENVI and Photoscan Pro (Agisoft LLC)). This facility is run by GIS technicians, who provide advice and training to students and the suite also has its own A3 colour laser printer and A3 scanner for staff and student use. The Institute also has digital camcorders, cameras and microphones which students can use for data capture. A further six science and geography technicians offer support with field and laboratory based work.

Recent successful projects have included Dr Caroline Wallis who evaluated the Spatial Configuration and Temporal Dynamics of Hydraulic Patches in Three UK Lowland Rivers (2014), Dr Martin Wilkes who examined The Hydrodynamics of River Ecosystems: Towards an Objective and Ecologically Relevant Classification of Mesohabitat (2014), and Dr Amy Woodget who quantified Physical River Habitat Parameters Using Hyperspatial Resolution UAS Imagery and SfM-photogrammetry (2015). Some of our current research students are exploring The influence of physical habitat heterogeneity on macroinvertebrate community response to fine sediment deposition in river ecosystems (George Bunting).

Visit the Physical Geography MPhil page on the University of Worcester website for more details!

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