This master's programme focuses on the analysis of dynamic environments: past. present, and future. Concerns over human impacts on the environment have stimulated demand from governments and industry for the monitoring, analysis and modelling of natural processes in environmental systems. This is essential if we are to improve understanding of the interrelation of environmental variables in order to predict and manage their responses to anthropogenic perturbations.
You will gain:
-Advanced theoretical knowledge and practical expertise in order to collect, interpret and analyse contemporary and past environmental data.
-Modelling skills, in order to investigate the interrelationships between environmental variables, and to predict their responses to changing internal and external conditions.
-Intellectual and practical skills, in order to design and undertake field and/or laboratory experiments in contemporary environmental process-monitoring, or palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, and to design and test appropriate environmental models with the data you collect.
These skills are highly relevant if you wish to pursue a career in environmental management, or consultancy, and provide a firm grounding for research in the environmental sciences. Dr Jason Dortch directs the course, with input from other physical geographers working on a wide variety of aspects of environmental change. Current research includes:
-Measurements and predictions of climate change
-Glaciers and ice sheets (past and present)
-Upland geomorphology (low relief, e.g. British uplands, and high relief, e.g. Himalayas)
-Remote sensing for environmental management
-Moorland erosion control
-Water resource management
We also use the proximity of Manchester to the upland areas of the Peak District; several past MSc students completed dissertation work in close collaboration with various organisations responsible for land management in the Peak District, giving their work direct policy relevance.
Teaching focuses on training in theory, concepts and research skills in the first semester, and practical applications and research experience in the second semester.
We teach course units in small-group interactive styles with a mix of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals and presentations. A range of physical geographers provide training in their specialised fields, covering both content and practical research methods.
In a typical week, expect to spend some time in the library, preparing for seminars; in the laboratory, completing practicals; in the dedicated postgraduate computer laboratory, or writing reports; and in the classroom.
The second semester in particular gives you increased opportunities to go out into the field, both for practicals and to gain research experience by doing field research with members of staff. We maintain an intensively monitored catchment on the moors near the Snake Pass in the Peak District and this is the focus of several practical exercises, as well as a source of data to support dissertation work.
Field and laboratory research are essential to your learning process in environmental monitoring, and these form integrated parts of both the taught units and dissertation work.
In the second semester, various speakers from environmental employers visit the department to give a flavour of their work and advice on employment.
The MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction has an excellent track record in providing a springboard for students to go on to careers in environmental industries, consultancies and government agencies, or to further research for higher degrees.
Recent graduates have found employment in agencies like the UK Atomic Energy Authority, The Environment Agency, Natural England and a range of environmental consultancies. Others have moved on to undertake full-time research for a PhD.