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University of St Andrews, Full Time MSc Degrees in Geography

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This programme is aimed at students interested in making a change to society, environment and economy with a background in politics, sociology, environmental sciences, biology, mathematics or economics. Read more

MSc in Sustainable Development

This programme is aimed at students interested in making a change to society, environment and economy with a background in politics, sociology, environmental sciences, biology, mathematics or economics.

Postgraduate community

The postgraduate programmes in Sustainable Development have been growing very rapidly. The original MSc programme started with nine students in the 2009-2010 academic year and currently 30 students are registered. On this programme you attend an average number of 24 lectures lasting for three hours each in Semester 1 and an additional 15 lectures in Semester 2. There are also a number of tutorials, seminar presentations, student-led workshops, as well as field trips and away days. There is also a dissertation conference where you can present your research findings before you submit your dissertation.

The double MSc in Sustainable Energy takes place in both St Andrews and Moscow. The first year involves taking similar modules in the one-year programme at St Andrews with a more specific focus on energy issues. The second year challenges students to complete study abroad on a wide range of energy modules.

Sustainable Development students are extremely well catered for in several aspects. Firstly, you have the use of a dedicated postgraduate space in the Observatory. There are ports for physical laptop internet access. The room is also served by high speed WiFi connections. You have access to the room on a 24/7 basis. It offers a location for group or individual work, classes, events, receptions and even relaxation. The building is primarily for the use of Sustainable Development postgraduate students. Secondly, you have a close relationship with staff on the course. Class sizes are limited to provide a one-to-one service for students. This is a unique aspect of undertaking Sustainable Development research and teaching at St Andrews. Thirdly, the interdisciplinary nature of Sustainable Development allows you to interact with a wide range of students in other disciplines. This allows for the creation of an extended group of student and staff contacts. Fourthly, Sustainable Development students have the benefit of a number of targeted field trips, including the Glen Tanar estate trip, pictured opposite, where students reflect on issues from ecology to landownership.

The University is working with a range of key stakeholders to promote sustainable development across the higher education sector. As an active member of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) the University shares learning across the higher education and further education sector.

Why does sustainable development matter?

Humanity faces enormous environmental and developmental challenges in the twenty-first century. The United Nations has identified five global issues of particular concern: the provision of clean water and adequate sanitation, energy generation and supply, human health, food production and distribution, and the continuing threat to biodiversity.

Sustainable development is now widely regarded as the most promising framework within which these challenges can be addressed, moving humanity towards the creation of a more just and environmentally sustainable ‘global village’.

There is no single description of what sustainable development means, but one commonly used definition can be found in the 1987 Brundtland Report: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

We are living in a time of tremendous opportunity, as people are working together across the globe to address the serious challenges facing humankind. We must learn to live within environmental limits and embrace sustainability as the key concept that will allow us to develop in the twenty-first century and beyond.

Our postgraduate programmes in Sustainable Development, co-ordinated by the School of Geography & Geosciences, will enable you to develop the knowledge and understanding you need, not only to understand all these issues from multiple perspectives but also to utilise the knowledge you gain to tackle them and realise the opportunities they create.

Transition University of St Andrews

Transition University of St Andrews was launched in 2009 and is part of the UK-based Transition initiative, which has been expanding worldwide over the last five years. Transition operates within community groups on a grassroots level, founded and operated by the communities themselves, in response to the threats of climate change and peak oil. Through working on practical projects with different community groups, the initiative helps communities minimise their impact on the planet, become more self-sustaining, and strengthens community ties. It also benefits individuals by developing their skills and encouraging re-consideration of
the aspects of life that truly promote happiness and wellbeing. A number of MSc students in Sustainable Development have participated in Transition’s activities which complement a number of themes pursued in our programmes.

Careers

Your question should not be “What can I do with a degree in Sustainable Development?” but instead “Can you imagine a future where it could not be useful?” Sustainability impacts upon almost all aspects of life, so your future career could take you in one of many different directions. For example, you could:
• Work in industry addressing sustainability aspects of business management, engineering, planning, transport, project management, construction, waste, energy or environmental management.

• Make yourself heard as a sustainability researcher or policy adviser in local, regional or national government, NGOs and campaigning groups.

• Act as an adviser to supra-national bodies such as the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, and the OECD.

• Become a sustainability adviser and assessor working directly in private sector organisations, industry or as a consultant (in both mainstream and specialist businesses).

• Help others directly through development or aid work.

• Spread the word by outreach and education in sustainable living via public or third sector organisations (e.g. Councils or NGOs).

• Stay at university for a PhD, perhaps eventually going on to a teaching or research career.

• Recent graduates now work at: UNDP; the World Bank; Christian Aid in Africa; LCI consultancy; and at a global bank in Dubai.

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- Compulsory modules. Read more

MSc in Sustainable Development Energy

- Compulsory modules
Interrogating Sustainable Development – This module will introduce you to, or develop your knowledge across, areas such as the history and genesis of sustainable development, an understanding of earth systems science, the social and economic systems that shape humanity and impact on the environment, and an understanding of how these systems interact.

Quantitative Research Methods in Social Sciences – This module will introduce you to various quantitative and statistical approaches used to analyse social processes and phenomena and how to apply these in sustainable development.

Master Class in Sustainable Development – This module will enable an in-depth study of a number of areas. These areas will be investigated via group work with the research being initiated by invited lecturers from the appropriate areas.

Qualitative Research Methods in Social Sciences – This module will provide you with the necessary skills of dealing with qualitative data from interviews, participant observations, questionnaires and other sources.

Postgraduate community

The postgraduate programmes in Sustainable Development have been growing very rapidly. The original MSc programme started with nine students in the 2009-2010 academic year and currently 30 students are registered. On this programme you attend an average number of 24 lectures lasting for three hours each in Semester 1 and an additional 15 lectures in Semester 2. There are also a number of tutorials, seminar presentations, student-led workshops, as well as field trips and away days. There is also a dissertation conference where you can present your research findings before you submit your dissertation.

The double MSc in Sustainable Energy takes place in both St Andrews and Moscow. The first year involves taking similar modules in the one-year programme at St Andrews with a more specific focus on energy issues. The second year challenges students to complete study abroad on a wide range of energy modules.

Sustainable Development students are extremely well catered for in several aspects. Firstly, you have the use of a dedicated postgraduate space in the Observatory. There are ports for physical laptop internet access. The room is also served by high speed WiFi connections. You have access to the room on a 24/7 basis. It offers a location for group or individual work, classes, events, receptions and even relaxation. The building is primarily for the use of Sustainable Development postgraduate students. Secondly, you have a close relationship with staff on the course. Class sizes are limited to provide a one-to-one service for students. This is a unique aspect of undertaking Sustainable Development research and teaching at St Andrews. Thirdly, the interdisciplinary nature of Sustainable Development allows you to interact with a wide range of students in other disciplines. This allows for the creation of an extended group of student and staff contacts. Fourthly, Sustainable Development students have the benefit of a number of targeted field trips, including the Glen Tanar estate trip, pictured opposite, where students reflect on issues from ecology to landownership.

Why does sustainable development matter?

Humanity faces enormous environmental and developmental challenges in the twenty-first century. The United Nations has identified five global issues of particular concern: the provision of clean water and adequate sanitation, energy generation and supply, human health, food production and distribution, and the continuing threat to biodiversity.

We are living in a time of tremendous opportunity, as people are working together across the globe to address the serious challenges facing humankind. We must learn to live within environmental limits and embrace sustainability as the key concept that will allow us to develop in the twenty-first century and beyond.

Our postgraduate programmes in Sustainable Development, co-ordinated by the School of Geography & Geosciences, will enable you to develop the knowledge and understanding you need, not only to understand all these issues from multiple perspectives but also to utilise the knowledge you gain to tackle them and realise the opportunities they create.

Transition University of St Andrews

Transition University of St Andrews was launched in 2009 and is part of the UK-based Transition initiative, which has been expanding worldwide over the last five years. Transition operates within community groups on a grassroots level, founded and operated by the communities themselves, in response to the threats of climate change and peak oil. Through working on practical projects with different community groups, the initiative helps communities minimise their impact on the planet, become more self-sustaining, and strengthens community ties. It also benefits individuals by developing their skills and encouraging re-consideration of
the aspects of life that truly promote happiness and wellbeing. A number of MSc students in Sustainable Development have participated in Transition’s activities which complement a number of themes pursued in our programmes.

Careers

Your question should not be “What can I do with a degree in Sustainable Development?” but instead “Can you imagine a future where it could not be useful?” Sustainability impacts upon almost all aspects of life, so your future career could take you in one of many different directions. For example, you could:
• Work in industry addressing sustainability aspects of business management, engineering, planning, transport, project management, construction, waste, energy or environmental management.

• Make yourself heard as a sustainability researcher or policy adviser in local, regional or national government, NGOs and campaigning groups.

• Act as an adviser to supra-national bodies such as the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, and the OECD.

• Become a sustainability adviser and assessor working directly in private sector organisations, industry or as a consultant (in both mainstream and specialist businesses).

• Help others directly through development or aid work.

• Spread the word by outreach and education in sustainable living via public or third sector organisations (e.g. Councils or NGOs).

• Stay at university for a PhD, perhaps eventually going on to a teaching or research career.

• Recent graduates now work at: UNDP; the World Bank; Christian Aid in Africa; LCI consultancy; and at a global bank in Dubai.

Read less
The MSc in Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics is a one-year, full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development. Read more

Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics MSc

The MSc in Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics is a one-year, full-time taught postgraduate programme run by the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development. Sharing teaching elements from the MSc in Sustainable Development, this programme takes an interdisciplinary approach and draws on economic analysis and thinking to understand the links between people and their environment, resulting in a programme of study which is both intellectually stimulating and highly relevant to today’s job market.

During the taught portion of the programme, students take six modules which are taught via lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, student-led workshops, as well as field trips and away days. Modules are assessed through written examinations and coursework including class tests, presentations and review essays.

Over the course of the programme, but with particular focus during the summer months, students will research and write a 12,000-word dissertation, and present their research at a dissertation conference.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2015-2016 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for entry to the 2016-2017 academic year.

Compulsory modules
•Development and the Environment
•Interrogating Sustainable Development: provides an introduction to sustainable development.
•Master Class in Sustainable Development: trains students to critically reflect on the potential and limitations of sustainable development.
•Economics for the Environment: introduces the contributions that environmental economics can make to helping us understand and manage a wide range of environmental problems.
•Public Policy and the Environment: introduces advanced debates in development and environmental economics.

Optional modules

Students choose two optional modules. Alternative MSc-level modules may be taken from Schools across the University, with approval of the Head of School.

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered (see the University’s position on curriculum development), but currently recommended modules include:
•Quantitative Research in Social Science: a user-friendly introduction to the fundamental concepts of quantitative analysis.
•Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Management: introduces students to the basic principles, including the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and an introduction to the use of remotely sensed data for spatial analysis.
•Responsibility, Sustainability and Accountability in Organisations: an introduction and analysis of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, the meaning, tensions and conflicts that these concepts entail and the role that accountability can play in their achievement.
•Advanced Geographic Research Methods: allows students to specialise in a research area using a research method or technique that most interests them.
•Qualitative Methods in Social Research: offers both a theoretical and practical introduction to the collection, analysis and writing of qualitative social science research.
•Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences: introduces the basic theoretical approaches in the social sciences, encouraging you to make connections between the methodological and epistemological issues involved in conducting social scientific research.

Dissertation

The dissertation gives students the chance to fully engage with the area of sustainable development about which you are most passionate, by researching and writing a 12,000-word dissertation which is the culmination of your degree. Advised by a member of academic staff, you will work across the summer months on your individual dissertation.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.

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Geochemistry is at the heart of earth sciences, and provides the techniques and knowledge that allow scientists to answer such fundamental questions as. Read more

MSc in Geochemistry

Geochemistry is at the heart of earth sciences, and provides the techniques and knowledge that allow scientists to answer such fundamental questions as: how has the mantle evolved through time, was there ever life on Mars, what was the chemistry of Earth’s and Mars’ ancient atmospheres, and what are the rates and drivers of past and current climate change on Earth? Geochemistry has widespread applications to understanding and solving contemporary problems in Earth surface chemistry, such as pollution of soils and water or rates of ocean acidification. It is a forensic part of Earth science and is used to address questions that are both diverse and profound.

The St Andrews MSc in Geochemistry delivers postgraduate level knowledge and skills training in geochemistry and modern geochemical methods, involving extensive hands-on laboratory training and experience with state-of-the-art equipment. This comprehensive and rigorous course is relevant preparation for pursuing a PhD in geochemistry by incorporating a lab-based research dissertation, as well as employment in industry through incorporation of economic and environmental geochemistry
modules. Staff in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and the School of Chemistry contribute to the core laboratory training and teaching within subject modules.

Features

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences has 20 full-time academics, 8 research fellows and 4 technical staff members, with a student population of about 170. We have a wide range of expertise in the field of geochemistry underpinned by new state-of-the-art laboratory facilities developed as a result of the recent appointment of early career academics over the past five years. Geochemistry research spans investigations into the origins of life, evolution of the Earth and other terrestrial planets, composition of
oceans, rivers and atmospheres, and the pulse of past and current climate change.

Postgraduate community

A dynamic and research-intensive atmosphere is encouraged and supportive of all students. The size of our Department engenders cohesive and friendly collaborations between staff, postdoctoral research fellows and postgraduate students, and co-authored papers are routinely published in the top journals for geochemistry, such as Nature, Nature Geoscience, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta and Science. We are part of the ‘IAPETUS’ NERC Doctoral Training programme, along with the universities of Durham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Stirling, and the British Geological Survey.

Facilities

The Department houses state-of-the-art stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry and geobiology laboratories, including culturing facilities for corals and microbes. Our research equipment includes five high-precision isotope mass spectrometers (two MAT 253s, two Nu Plasma, and one Neptune Plus installed in 2015), two Class 100 clean labs, an XSeries quadropole ICP-MS, ICP-OES, and a Finnegan Delta Plus XP gas source mass spectrometer. All materials, and particularly gases, liquids, minerals, rocks, organisms, and soils, can be analysed for isotopes and major and trace elements within research projects that cover the breadth of earth and environmental science. We host an experimental petrology facility capable of simulating conditions from the mid-crust to upper mantle (pressures of between 0.5-4.5 GPa and 300- 2000°C). A range of spectroscopic, SEM, electron microprobe and X-ray diffraction and fluorescence techniques are also part of our analytical facilities.

Careers

The range of research areas and applications of geochemistry is so broad that career opportunities span the whole of earth and environmental sciences. Geochemists are employed in the energy sector (hydrocarbon industries, petrochemicals, nuclear and renewables), in mining and mineral exploration, extraction and processing, and in environmental industries and agencies focused on pollution monitoring and environmental remediation. Masters-level training in geochemistry would provide a suitable platform for a career in materials science outside of earth and environmental sciences specifically. MSc Geochemistry graduates are also in demand as specialised research technicians in academic institutes worldwide and as PhD students in geochemistry-focused research.

Read less
Geochemistry is at the heart of earth sciences, and provides the techniques and knowledge that allow us to solve such fundamental questions as. Read more

MSc in Geochemistry

Geochemistry is at the heart of earth sciences, and provides the techniques and knowledge that allow us to solve such fundamental questions as: how did life evolve; what was the chemistry of ancient atmospheres and oceans; how do we understand the rates and drivers of past and current climate change? It is the forensic part of earth science and the types of research questions are diverse and unlimited. This taught MSc degree provides postgraduate-level knowledge and skills training in geochemistry and modern geochemical methods. The course is aimed at providing high levels of practical laboratory skills training and extensive experience with state-ofthe-art equipment. This comprehensive and rigorous training is relevant preparation for a PhD in geochemistry by incorporating a lab-based research dissertation, and also for employment in industry through incorporation of economic and environmental geochemistry modules. Core training and subject modules are provided by staff in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and the School of Chemistry.

Features

The University of St Andrews, as a small institution with a strong unified academic community, is exceptionally well placed to offer students the benefits of interdisciplinary studies. In the contemporary complex world students need to be prepared to call upon a strong background incorporating skills and a wider academic knowledge which crosses the boundaries of the traditional subject silos. Students taking one of our interdisciplinary degrees can be exposed to excellent academic researchers at the forefront of their discipline and will benefit from the rich dialogue that results from a diverse postgraduate class setting.

Graduates from these programmes can expect to have developed effective communication skills, intercultural understanding and the ability to critically analyse information to solve complex interdisciplinary problems. These strengths are valued by future employers and are equally valuable to those wishing to pursue a research career with an interdisciplinary aspect.

* Unique opportunities to study interdisciplinary subjects in an environment where academics regularly exchange ideas and develop interdisciplinary debate through a vibrant and active seminar, workshop and conference programme.

* An excellent Special Collections library resource.

* Our teaching arises from a foundation of world-class research.

* In our historic town, the academic disciplines are nestled side-by-side stimulating a thriving environment of intellectual discussion between postgraduates, undergraduates and academic staff.

Read less
Interdisciplinary teaching provides multiple perspectives. – you will be taught by experts from disciplines across the University and beyond. Read more

MSc in Sustainable Development and MSc in Sustainable Energy

• Interdisciplinary teaching provides multiple perspectives
– you will be taught by experts from disciplines across the University and beyond.

• Understand and embrace sustainability from multiple perspectives and take a holistic approach.

• The ability to integrate knowledge is atthe core ofthe degree.

• Develop your ability to understand the complex nature of these problems and how to create strategies that will allow you to overcome them, both now and in the future.

• Practical experience supplements leading theory – the lecturers and visiting speakers all have practical experience of advising government, business and communities on aspects of sustainable development as well as being leaders in their academic fields.

• Coupled with the leading role the University plays in implementing sustainable development initiatives in its own estate, you will get the benefit of access to current practice as well as leading theory.

• Field trips bring the subject alive – exploring practical applications of sustainable development brings you out of the classroom and into real-world contexts.

• Our degree structure caters for students with differing levels of initial sustainable development specialist knowledge.

There is a dual track entry process for the first six weeks, after which you will be taught as a full cohort.

Features

The University of St Andrews, as a small institution with a strong unified academic community, is exceptionally well placed to offer students the benefits of interdisciplinary studies. In the contemporary complex world students need to be prepared to call upon a strong background incorporating skills and a wider academic knowledge which crosses the boundaries of the traditional subject silos. Students taking one of our interdisciplinary degrees can be exposed to excellent academic researchers at the forefront of their discipline and will benefit from the rich dialogue that results from a diverse postgraduate class setting.

Graduates from these programmes can expect to have developed effective communication skills, intercultural understanding and the ability to critically analyse information to solve complex interdisciplinary problems. These strengths are valued by future employers and are equally valuable to those wishing to pursue a research career with an interdisciplinary aspect.

* Unique opportunities to study interdisciplinary subjects in an environment where academics regularly exchange ideas and develop interdisciplinary debate through a vibrant and active seminar, workshop and conference programme.

* An excellent Special Collections library resource.

* Our teaching arises from a foundation of world-class research.

* In our historic town, the academic disciplines are nestled side-by-side stimulating a thriving environment of intellectual discussion between postgraduates, undergraduates and academic staff.

Read less

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