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Geographic Information and Climate Change MSc

Course Description

The MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change course provides cross-disciplinary training in the scientific basis of GIS, Satellite Remote Sensing and Earth System Modelling alongside aspects of Climate Change.

The Geographic Information and Climate Change course places particular emphasis on the technical aspects of GIS and Earth Observation as well as the past, present and future global and regional environmental and climatic change.

Graduates from the Geographic Information and Climate Change course will develop hands-on technical knowledge in GIS and Remote Sensing together with a broad knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climate change, and the practical problem solving, ICT, and communication skills required for a successful career in either industry or regulating bodies.

It is envisaged that graduates from the course will enter careers in utilities, county councils, the environmental service industry or regulating body, or indeed be well prepared for a future career in academia.

Key Features

Geographers at Swansea benefit from exceptional computing facilities that include fifteen 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.

Graduates from this course will have broad knowledge of the current scientific issues underpinning climatic change and environmental and ecosystem dynamics, and the practical problem solving, ICT, and communication skills required for a successful career in the environmental service industry, regulating bodies or academia.


To provide advanced training in understanding the scientific issues associated with environmental dynamics and climatic change.

To provide graduates entering the environmental service industry or a regulating body with the required practical problem solving, ICT, and communication skills; as well as a basic knowledge of current climate policy and environmental management.

To provide graduates continuing their academic career with the required subject specific and transferable skills.

As a student on the MSc Geographic Information and Climate Change ‌degree you will study compulsory modules in addition to a range of optional modules. Compulsory modules are as follows:

Climate Change
Geographical Information Systems
Modelling Earth Systems
Satellite Remote Sensing

Optional Modules:

Climate Science and Policy
Environmental Assessment and Management
Principles of Environmental Dynamics
Core Science Skills
Programming in Java

Followed by a research project in Part Two:

Research Project in Geographic Information and Climate Change


The Stackpole residential field course introduces students taking the “Principles of Environmental Dynamics” to some of the major themes of the module: environmental systems, sea-level change and human impact on the environment, in a congenial setting in Pembrokeshire. The environmental issues facing the Stackpole Estate are discussed and placed into a historical perspective through lectures and the analysis of long term environmental records.


We aim to be one of the foremost international centres for research in human and physical geography, and to provide our students with excellent teaching and superb facilities in a friendly atmosphere.

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
Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation
Migration, Boundaries and Identity
Social Theory and Urban Space

We host a large community of postgraduate researchers studying for PhD degrees, and run one-year MRes, MSc and MA courses.


The Department of Geography is well-resourced to support research: there are two dedicated computer laboratories: One of 24 computers in conjunction with Library and Information Services (LIS) providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing; One of 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications.

We have 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, we have recently spent £1.8million on state-of-the-art teaching spaces, including IT facilities, laboratories and flexible teaching spaces.

Student profiles

"I originally came to Swansea University to study for a BSc in Geography. Although this course covered a wide range of both human and physical topics that were all very interesting and provided a broad spectrum of skills from GIS and remote sensing to environmental modelling, my main interest was in the physical aspects. I graduated in 2007 with a 1st Class BSc (Hons) in Geography and wanted to continue my studies into the field of climate change. I decided that the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change would be an appropriate route to take in order to pursue this field. The MSc, focused on many characteristics of the global environment, like impacts on ecosystems, and how the varying processes associated with climate change can be monitored, measured and modelled. This choice of topics was complimented by the fact that the modules were run by lecturers working at the cutting-edge of global environmental change. The culmination of what I learned over the course of the year was put into practice with the dissertation, which allowed me to focus on an area of particular interest. The group of friends that I had on the course were brilliant and I will take away a lot of fond memories of our time together at Swansea. Now, after finishing the MSc I have a job working for the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton".

David Hamersley, MSc Environmental Dynamics & Climatic Change, 2007-2008

Visit the Geographic Information and Climate Change MSc page on the Swansea University website for more details!

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Student Profiles

100 Swansea University Master's Scholarships - 20+ Awards

Swansea University is offering 100 Master’s Scholarships, each worth £3000 towards tuition fees for UK/EU students starting eligible master’s courses in September 2017.Eligible courses include:All LLM programmes (including LLM by Research)All MA programmes (including MA by Research)All MRes programmesAll MSc programmes (including MSc by Research)Please note that MPhil, GDL/CPE and LPC programmes are not eligible for the Swansea University Master’s Scholarship scheme.

Value of Scholarship(s)



You must have, or expect to achieve, a minimum 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent).You must hold an offer to study on an eligible master’s course at Swansea University from September 2017. Programmes commencing in January, April and July 2017 are not eligible.

Application Procedure

Please visit our website for more details on how to apply.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for the Geographic Information and Climate Change MSc is normally a 2:2 degree in an approved subject. Applicants are expected to have good mathematical and computing skills. English language requirement IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or Swansea University recognised equivalent.

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Recipient: Swansea University

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