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Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change MSc


Course Description

The MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course places particular emphasis on recent global and regional environmental and climatic change, the scientific basis and limitations of models and data collection techniques. It combines the international research strengths of staff within the departments of Geography and Biosciences around environmental and climate dynamics (processes and mechanisms involved in stability and change), marine and ecosystem biology, and environmental management and sustainable development.

Graduates from the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course will have extensive 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.

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.

The aims of the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change course are:

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 Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change ‌degree you will study compulsory modules in addition to a range of optional modules. Compulsory modules are as follows:

Climate Change
Core Science Skills
Satellite Remote Sensing
Principles of Environmental Dynamics and Climatic Change

+ Two Optional Modules from the following selection:

Modelling Earth Systems
Environmental Assessment and Management
Ecosystems
Climate Change and Policy
Programming in Java
Geographical Information Systems
Followed by a research project in Part Two:

Dissertation

Fieldwork

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.

Research

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
Glaciology
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.

Facilities

The Department 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 Quotes

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 Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change MSc page on the Swansea University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Laura Cordero-Llana

979.jpg I arrived in Swansea in October 2007 to do an MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change. It was a big step, since I come from a different education system and background. I did Physics in Spain and the seven years I spent on it were purely theoretical. The MSc opened my mind to new parts of science. Although Physics is the base for all the mechanisms in the nature, the hard part is applying the knowledge to something less abstract. That is when I started to be quite enthusiastic about glaciology. I realised how important it is to study the cryosphere and to understand all the processes that drive glacier dynamics, and obviously all the physics and maths are involved there. In 2009 I started a PhD within the Glaciology group, here at Swansea, about Volume changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet from Satellite and Ground-based Measurements, and for me is a challenge. I feel really comfortable with all the people that work here and I am very grateful for this opportunity. Moreover I will have the opportunity of travelling to the Arctic, which will complement the computer work I develop everyday on my desk. Living in Swansea has been a great experience for me. I am meeting people from other cultures and that allows me to learn about other customs and to share mine.

(Student Profile)

David Hamersley

980.jpg 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. My role is a scientific and technical research assistant and although I did not study oceanography in university, I am using the transferable skills that I acquired from the MSc to monitor and measure global ocean circulation. This involves a lot of data analysis and also I am helping to organise two research cruises which will look at the ocean structure and state of ocean circulation via properties such as temperature, salinity and oxygen content of different water masses. The first cruise will run from Punta Arenas on the Southern tip of Chile across the Drake Passage to the West Antarctic Peninsula and back up to Uruguay. The second cruise will involve taking a transect of the South Atlantic Ocean between Uruguay and Namibia. I could not have hoped for a better starting job and I feel that the MSc in Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change prepared me well for this by giving me a good foundation from which to progress.


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for the Environmental Dynamics and Climate Change MSc is normally a 2.2 Honours degree in an appropriate subject. English language requirement IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or Swansea University recognised equivalent.

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