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Masters Degrees in Environmental Physics

We have 6 Masters Degrees in Environmental Physics

Masters degrees in Environmental Physics equip postgraduates with the skills to use principles in Physics to understand properties and processes within the environment, including the atmosphere and oceans.

Related postgraduate specialisms include Ecotoxicology and Applied Meteorology. Entry requirements typically include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Environmental Science or Physics.

Why study a Masters in Environmental Physics?


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This programme takes a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainable solutions for future energy needs, with an in-depth knowledge of the new emerging alternative technologies. Read more
This programme takes a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainable solutions for future energy needs, with an in-depth knowledge of the new emerging alternative technologies. It will prepare you for immediate contribution to the renewable energy sector, entering public, environmental, industry and commercial industries.

Why Renewable Energy and Environmental Modelling at Dundee?

Climate change is possibly the most significant threat that humanity has ever faced. A new generation of scientists, engineers and policy-makers will need to be equipped with skills to enable them to make informed decisions on all aspects of this important and rapidly developing subject.

Our Masters degree in Renewable Energy and Environmental Modelling is designed to produce graduates with a broad and balanced skills base.

We provide the opportunity for you to go on field trips and external conferences as a part of your coursework, and you will have the option of undertaking either an industry-based or research-related project.

What's great about this course at Dundee?

The Dundee MSc is intended to interact with the renewables industry on many levels, enabling frequent networking opportunities during the year. The conference-style modules also allow delegates from industry to attend and enhance their skills in an informal and friendly setting. Graduates from this degree will be able to make an immediate contribution to the renewable energy sector.

Dundee University Centre for Renewable Energy (DUCRE)

DUCRE brings together a wide range of scientists with strong interests in renewable energy and evironmental issues. Staff and students in the Centre are engaged in a wide range of diverse renewable energy and environmental research. Projects range from electric vehicle technologies, to wind, solar, and hydro technologies, and from energy policy issues to Third World environmental development analysis.

Who should study this course?

The MSc in Renewable Energy and Environmental Modelling suits students and professionals from diverse backgrounds, including scientists, engineers, environmentalists, and policy-makers.

The programme has been designed to appeal to graduates with first degrees in the physical sciences, engineering, environmental science and related subjects. However, all applications will be assessed on their merits, regardless of background, and any relevant experience will also be taken into consideration.

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

This course utilizes conference-style teaching - delivered in one week intensive bursts.

The taught element will be delivered using a lively mix of lectures, seminars, peer-based problem-solving, practical sessions and site visits.

What you will study

Modules cover environmental physics, law and policy, renewable energy technologies, environmental monitoring, and the hydrogen economy.

You will study/take part in:

Foundation in renewable energy
Energy regulation law and security of supply
Hydrogen economy (incorporating fuel cells)
Physical concepts: A primer in energy, electromagnetism & electronic materials
Renewables technologies: In depth investigation of existing & emerging technologies, supply & demand issues, conservation & architectural issues
Environmental modelling: hydrology, carbon cycling, wind, wave & solar modelling
Field trips

How you will be assessed

Students are assessed on written and practical work, formal presentations and a project dissertation.


Graduates from this programme will be able to make an immediate contribution to the renewable energy sector and make informed decisions that will have an impact on the development of national programmes to meet future targets.

Each graduate will have a firm grasp of the predominant and emerging technologies, and will be able to set these in context using a range of environmental monitoring techniques.

"The MSc provided a good base to research renewable technologies and understand how they fit into the energy mix and government policy. After graduation, I am now employed as Chief Technical Officer at Scottish Renewables."
David Cameron, class of 2008

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An increasing number of chemicals is used by society today, which are also released into the environment. Ecotoxicology is concerned with their potential impacts on the ecosystem. Read more

About the Program

An increasing number of chemicals is used by society today, which are also released into the environment. Ecotoxicology is concerned with their potential impacts on the ecosystem. It aims to investigate and discover effects of chemicals on biological systems in order to develop methods for risk management, as well as to predict ecological consequences.

The international "Master of Science program in Ecotoxicology" integrates concepts of Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology and Ecology and includes Social Sciences and Economics as well. Due to its interdisciplinary and applied approach, the Program enables its graduates to analyze complex problems and to develop practical solutions.

As environmental problems reach far beyond national borders, an international approach is necessary and the situation in developing countries needs special solutions.

The Master in Ecotoxicology is carried out under the Institute for Environmental Sciences.

For the latest news about our Institute of Ecotoxicology you can also check our Ecotox-Blog under:

Program Structure

All students take the 9 required modules, as well as a 10-week Research Project Course and an Applied Module at External Organisations of 8 weeks to obtain a deep knowledge in the field of Ecotoxicology. Afterwards, studentes personalize the Program by choosing 2 Modules of the 5 Specialty Areas. The Master Thesis with colloquium round out the 4-semester Program.

Specialty Areas:

Applied Environmental Chemistry & Environmental Physics,
Applied Ecology,
Geoecology and
Socioeconomics & Environmental Management

Applied Module at External Organizations (AMEO)

The module AMEO is an 8-week internship, which can be performed at an external university or a governmental or industrial research institute in Germany or abroad. Students become familiar with working practice, requirements of the job market and career opportunities and can establish business contacts. They apply, confirm and expand knowledge and competences achieved during their study.

Following an introductory discussion with the supervisors, the students perform the (research) work on their own and discuss the obtained results regularly with their supervisors. The content depends on the actual research questions in the selected research organizations. Topics or possible positions will be suggested by the staff of the Institute for Environmental Sciences or maybe suggested by the students. The topics should be directly related to applied problems relevant in these external organisations and should ideally offer the students opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in areas, which are not the particular research areas at the Institute for Environmental Sciences in Landau. They include, but are not restricted to the following areas:

Engineering aspects (e.g. hydrology, mitigation techniques)
Multimedia modelling
Food web modelling
Fish, bird or mammal ecotoxicology and risk assessment
Agricultural sciences
Specific aspects in regulatory ecotoxicology
Risk communication, economic or societal aspects

Research Project Course (RPC)

The students work independently on a research topic of the university for a total time of about 10 weeks. The topics depend on the actual research conducted in the various research groups. However, all topics do have an interdisciplinary character covering at least two different disciplines (e.g. chemistry and ecology, or physics and risk assessment). The students submit proposals for topics selected from a list provided by the teaching staff including a time and resource planning as well as an independently conducted literature search. Following an introductory discussion with the supervisor, the students perform the research work on their own and discuss the obtained results regularly with their supervisor. Following the practical work, the students write a report including the theoretical background, the methods used, the results obtained and a discussion of the results based on the relevant scientific literature. The students present and defend the outcome of their work at an oral presentation. Following successful completion the students are able to plan a scientific work package, conduct the work, evaluate the results based on the relevant literature and present the outcomes.

The content depends on the actual research questions in the research groups associated with the Institute for Environmental Sciences. They include, but are not restricted to the following areas:

Chemical experiments in the lab
Environmental colloid chemistry
Environmental organic chemistry
Physical transport or transfer processes of environmental chemicals
Ecotoxicological lab tests
Ecotoxicological field studies
In situ or monitoring work in the field
Molecular genetics
GIS data analysis
Literature reviews
Exposure, effect or landscape modelling
Assessment or management of risks

More information on the program structure and contents can also be found under:

Employment outlook

The Program enables the graduates to conduct independent scientific work and prepares in particular for independent and leading positions in the numerous emerging fields of Ecotoxicology. The graduates are able to take responsibility in a professional manner in: Scientific facilities and research institutes, Authorities, public offices and ministries with a regulatory role, Non-governmental organizations, Industry and consulting enterprises. The international orientation of the program qualifies graduates for a global job market. In addition, the Master program prepares for a PhD study.

“I value very much the excellent education and the close individual support from the teaching staff during my studies that allowed me to pursue own research ideas and to find my field of interest. A cooperation of the university with the German Federal Environment Agency enabled me to gain experience in the environmental risk assessment of pesticides. I qualified for a traineeship in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and am now working in the field of pesticide risk assessment.” Klaus Swarowsky (Master Ecotoxicology, EFSA)

Internationally Networked

The Institute for Environmental Sciences is globally connected through international research projects and student exchange programs. The international nature of the Program is achieved through numerous international research and teaching staff, regular seminars from guest lecturers from abroad, and possible internships all over the world.
You will find a map which displays the locations our cooperation partners under:


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Join a world-class Department with internationally leading research. Study at one of only four universities to be part of the Met Office Academic Partnership. Read more
  • Join a world-class Department with internationally leading research
  • Study at one of only four universities to be part of the Met Office Academic Partnership
  • Work on a research project with one of over 30 industrial partners
  • Gain hands-on experience through our field course, atmospheric observatory and professional forecaster training delivered by the Met Office

What will you study?

Sample modules:

  • Atmospheric physics
  • Operational forecasting systems and applications
  • Hazardous weather
  • Measurements and instrumentation
  • Experiencing the weather field course

For an idea of what topics you may be able to study, view our 2017/18 modules list (2018/19 modules may differ).

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

As one of our graduates, you will be well placed to pursue a scientific career in weather forecasting and meteorological research.

In recent years, our students have been recruited by the Met Office, MeteoGroup, FUGRO Geos, Arup, AIR and RMS. Others pursue careers associated with diverse aspects of environmental measurement, risk management and policy development.

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The M.Sc. in Engineering for Natural Risk Management aims to train professionals capable of working in all sectors of safety and civil protection, both public and private, at national and international level. Read more

The M.Sc. in Engineering for Natural Risk Management aims to train professionals capable of working in all sectors of safety and civil protection, both public and private, at national and international level. Thanks to its multidisciplinary nature, the program will provide the skills to coordinate the activities of a complex system such as civil protection.

The student of the M.Sc. in Engineering for Natural Risk Management at the end of his studies will have the following knowledge and understanding capabilities:

a) Knowledge of physical phenomena that generate disasters

b) Capacity of understanding of the mechanisms of interaction between natural events and industrial activities that can generate technological risk

c) Ability to understand and evaluate the legal implications related to the management of emergency situations.

The acquired knowledge may be applied for the:

a) Use the most advanced technologies in order to assess risk exposure and vulnerability, predict the occurrence of catastrophic events and post disasters impact assessment.

b) Assessment of environmental impact of natural disasters

c) Definition of emergency plans for the integrated risk management and decisions support in emergency situations

The courses are fully taught in English. The fourth semester is mainly devoted to internships and thesis work to facilitate international exchanges and contacts with the labour market.

The program has the support of CIMA Foundation, expert center of the national civil protection, which is based in the University Campus of Savona. CIMA has the University of Genoa, the Department of Civil Protection, the Liguria Region and the Province of Savona as founding members. CIMA will provide laboratories, researchers and administrative staff to support the teaching activities.

Students are offered the opportunity to carry out internships/periods of study at Italian and foreign institutions and universities.

Graduates in Engineering for Natural Risk Management may find career opportunities in:

1. public organizations and administrations;

2. international organizations that deal with emergencies and disasters;

3. international development cooperation;

4. humanitarian organizations;

5. private sector, insurances;

6. professional services;

7. research facilities;

8. operational centers for forecasting natural disasters and decision support.

Typical career opportunities for graduates in Engineering for Natural Risk Management are:

a. responsible for managing emergencies in public institutions/government (civil protection);

b. responsible in entities involved in the management of emergency conditions (eg. the fire-fighters, Forestry Police);

c. expert in risk monitoring in public bodies and international organizations;

d. responsible for planning the phases of management of emergencies in public bodies;

e. risk expert in insurance companies;

f. expert in operational management of emergencies in international governmental organizations, non-governmental and development cooperation;

g. expert in mapping of hazardous conditions with reference to security from natural and industrial risks working for professional offices, public/private institutions, public administration.

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It is an exciting time to be studying physics in the 21st century. it is an enabling science that expands our knowledge of the universe and underpins new technologies that benefit our society. Read more

It is an exciting time to be studying physics in the 21st century: it is an enabling science that expands our knowledge of the universe and underpins new technologies that benefit our society. The School of Physics is well established and is internationally respected for its research excellence, broad-based undergraduate courses, and a challenging and rewarding postgraduate experience.

Our programs in astrophysics, theoretical particle and experimental particle physics explore questions relating to the origin, evolution and fate of our universe, addressing some of the most important and fundamental problems of our age. Research collaborations include the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, the LIGO gravitational wave detector, and the MWA low frequency radio telescope.

The School has strengths in the exploration of matter and light interactions, particularly in advanced materials utilising diamond and silicon, quantum information science, photonics, advanced electron microscopy, nanoscale imaging, nanoelectronics, all the way down to the single atom and photon. Working closely with the Australian Synchrotron, the School hosts the Centre for Coherent X-Ray Science, and the Victorian node of the Centre for Quantum Computer Technology.

Students in the Master of Science (Physics) who have a weighted average mark of 80% or higher in the prerequisite undergraduate major, are eligible for consideration for the Graduate Research Program in Science. This is a five-year course of study comprising the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)Find out more.

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Analyse how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations;
  • Apply abstract concepts to real-world situations;
  • Manage time effectively in order to be prepared for group discussions and undertake the assignments and examinations.


As a graduate, you may find a rewarding career in:

  • Research and development – as a scientist, software engineer, technical manager and informatics statistician; or in public health, meteorology and climate change
  • Government – in policy advising, budget forecasting, research, or defence
  • Business – in IT, sales, financial modelling and services, as a management consultant, or business analyst
  • Manufacturing – in engineering, forecasting, logistics, or demand management
  • Science communications – in publishing, editing, writing, or marketing
  • Education – as a teacher or trainer

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The MSc in Science of Energy consists of.  six taught modules.  worth 10 ECTS each. These are structured around a . Read more

The MSc in Science of Energy consists of six taught modules worth 10 ECTS each. These are structured around a cross-cutting introductory module. The introductory module is designed to furnish students with all of the basic physics, chemistry and engineering concepts that are required to become an "Energy Scientist". These basics are complemented by essential "Economics of Energy" and "Principles of Energy Policy".

Now with the ability to understand and analyse the competing aspects of all of the essential science, engineering and economics pertinent to the energy discipline, the students proceed to Five specialised technically orientated core modules; "Conventional Energy Sources & Technologies", "Electric Power Generation and Distribution", "Sustainable Energy Sources & Technologies I & II", and "Managing the impact of Energy Utilisation".

With these modules completed and examined in the months September to April, students proceed to a 15 week research project worth 30 ECTS in a leading research laboratory or in industry in the months of May-August.

Course Structure

The curriculum is designed to allow students from a science, engineering, or other backgrounds with relevant experience, to gain the scientific knowledge needed to contribute to the energy sector. This can be through industry, business, academia, government policy or media communication. Students will examine the fundamental and applied science of how energy resources could be diversified from conventional polluting sources (e.g. CO2, NOX, SMOG) to renewable sources, where the sustainability of both the energy source and the conversion technology is presently unknown.

Programme at a Glance

1. Introductory Module - September to November

  • Energy Policy and Economics of Energy
  • Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer & Reaction Kinetics
  • Energy Generation & Storage Electromagnetism
  • Greenhouse Gases and the Carbon Cycle

2. Specialised Modules - December to March

  • Conventional Energy Sources & Technology
  • Electric Power Generation and Distribution
  • Sustainable Energy Sources & Technologies
  • Managing the Impact of Energy Consumption

3. Dissertation by Research - April to August

  • 15 week Research Placement in Industry or Academia

Programme Information

The programme includes interactive lessons, workshops and group projects. Students can also undertake research in the form of a company project instead of the standard dissertation.

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