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Environmental Mapping - MSc/PGCert

Course Description

The Environmental Mapping MSc is designed to appeal to students looking to map and understand the environment. It provides the opportunity to study at an advanced level the ways in which spatial data can be collected, processed and analysed to qualify and understand environmental issues across a wide range of applications.

Degree information

Students receive core training in mapping science, analytical methods, geographic information systems (GIS), image processing, and other fundamentals of geomatics. They develop techniques for the acquisition of data including satellite remote sensing, global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and LIDAR, alongside techniques for the analysis, processing, interpretation, and display of spatial data.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of six core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits). A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year is offered.

Core modules
-Analytical and Numerical Methods
-Scientific Computing
-Mapping Science
-Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing

Optional modules - options may include the following:
-Climate Modelling
-Airborn Data Acquisition
-Surface Water Modelling
-Terrestrial Carbon: Monitoring and Modelling
-Global Monitoring of Environment and Society
-Image Understanding

All students undertake an individual research project. The department has links with industry, and projects may be carried out in collaboration with organisations outside UCL.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, tutorials, transferable skills training, compulsory computer training and research supervision. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, coursework, and a dissertation (including a poster presentation).


The MSc will appeal to individuals interested in developing research training while acquiring vocational skills for work in mapping and monitoring positions in public and private sector institutions. The quantitative skills the degree provides have proved attractive to employers, particularly the grounding in programming, data handling and analysis, image processing and report writing. These skills are generic and have allowed graduates to go into a range of careers in mapping and spatial analysis but also areas such as conservation and management and policy. Environmental Mapping graduates find jobs in diverse companies from consultants and NGOs carrying out environmental and spatial analysis, and governmental and government-affiliated agencies such as DECC and the National Physical Laboratory. The programme is also a suitable training for those wishing to undertake higher-level work as a prelude to a PhD

The range of generic, transferable skills provided by the programme has proved to be attractive to a range of employers. Students acquire fundamental understanding of the key principles of mapping and data handling and analysis, as well as the ability to communicate their ideas. These principles can and are applicable across a wide range of career options. The interdisciplinary, intercollegiate nature of the degree gives students a unique perspective, not just at UCL, but across the wider world of mapping and environmental science.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding reputation for its research and teaching, and has a long pedigree in producing highly employable graduates for industry, research, policy and many other areas.

This MSc offers students an all-round knowledge of monitoring methods and environmental understanding, including the fundamental principles, and current technological developments and applications to local, regional and global problems.

Graduates of the programme are equipped with highly developed practical skills to enable them to take leading roles in academic, governmental or industrial sectors. The degree is integrated with other Geography MSc programmes to provide greater flexibility when choosing optional modules.

Visit the Environmental Mapping - MSc/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas equivalent (e.g. oceanography, marine studies, geography, civil engineering, geology, mathematics, physics). Relevant work experience will be considered.

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