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MSc Soil Science; MRes Soil Science

Course Description

Meeting Career Aspirations

The University of Aberdeen has been producing high quality Soil Science graduates for over 60 years, with world leading researchers, renowned consultants and senior government staff amongst our alumni. You will receive intensive training in soil and environmental sciences, with a large focus on field and laboratory based teaching. Our department maintains expertise in all core areas of soil science (biology, chemistry, physics and pedology), so you can be assured of teaching by experts in the field. The final component of the MSc is a research project, conducted under the supervision of either departmental staff or institutions and agencies with whom we have close links.

Course Content

The MSc Soil Science aims to provide you with:
•A fundamental understanding of the nature and properties of soils.
•An ability to apply knowledge in academic and real world contexts, such as food security or environmental sustainability.
•Opportunities to learn from world renowned researchers from a range of specific topics in soil science.

Why Choose Aberdeen for Soil Science?

•You will receive training by active researchers which ensures topical, research based teaching and a wide range of cutting-edge project topics.
•As the only dedicated MSc Soil Science remaining in the UK, and one of the few remaining in Europe, you can be assured of a specialist programme.
•In the field, you will be introduced to soil science by following a series of excursions developed by the famous University of Aberdeen pedologist, E.A. Fitzpatrick. This gives unique access to a range of interesting soils formed in NE Scotland that demonstrate a wide range of soil formation processes.
•The skills you will learn and the professional network that you will have access to may benefit you in your future career.
•We provide ‘hands-on’ teaching in field trips and laboratory tutorials, providing transferable skills useful for future employment. We consult with industry to ensure delivery of the core skills they require from graduates.
•The department boasts cutting-edge technologies for soil science, including analytical equipment, model development, X-Ray CT to study soil structure, molecular biology and isotopic approaches.
•Core skills in writing, data analysis, presentation, field working and laboratory methods are an important component of the programme.
•You will learn essential research skills that will better prepare you, should you choose to progress to PhD level.
•We are ranked number 1 in Scotland in terms of overall research excellence in agricultural sciences (REF 2014).
•Dr Jon Hillier and his team at the University developed the award winning ‘Cool Farm Tool’ a greenhouse calculator used by Unilever, Marks & Spencer’s, Costco and Heinz.

Visit the MSc Soil Science; MRes Soil Science page on the Aberdeen University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Aberdeenshire Regional Scholarships - 20+ Awards

We are offering assistance to workers left unemployed as a result of the downturn, specifically in the UK oil and gas sector by offering a 20% discount across a range of postgraduate energy programmes.The offer is open to people who live in Aberdeen City or Shire and have been working in the oil and gas sector.The discount applies to full-time and part-time programmes starting in September 2016 (and some starting in January 2017) spanning several disciplines including engineering, business, law, geosciences, natural and computing sciences, and biological sciences.

Value of Scholarship(s)

20% fee discount


You will live in an Aberdeen City or Aberdeenshire postcode and have been working in the oil and gas sector
You must apply and be accepted for an eligible programme
When applying online you must upload a separate document evidencing how the downturn in the oil and gas sector has resulted in your unemployment
You must not be eligible to receive any other University scholarship or discount

Application Procedure


Further Information



SAAS Tuition fee and living cost loans - 20+ Awards

Postgraduate tuition fee loan
The funding available is a loan to help you pay all or some of your tuition fees up to a maximum of £3,400 for full-time courses, and up to £1,700 for part-time courses. If you choose to take out a loan to pay all or some of the fees, you will do so on the same terms as a student loan for living costs.
If you withdraw from your course, you may not be eligible for a loan to help with the cost of your fees. However, your university may still charge you fees for the time you have been on the course.Postgraduate living cost loan
Eligible full-time postgraduate students can apply to us for a living-cost loan up to £4,500. To be eligible for the living-cost loan, in addition to meeting our eligibility conditions above, you must:
•be under 50 on the first day of the first academic year of your course of education (the relevant date); or
•Be aged 50 to 54 on the relevant date and plan to return to employment after completing your course
If you change course and are aged 55 or over on the relevant date of your new course, regardless of which year you enter your new course, you will not be entitled to a living-cost loan for your new course.
The living-cost loan is not available to part-time postgraduate students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£3,400 + £4,500


UK and EU students must have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the EU or Switzerland for the three years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of the course (the relevant date, usually 1 August). You must also be ordinarily resident in Scotland on the relevant date. If you are not a UK or other EU national, you must also have ‘settled status’ in the UK (as set out in the Immigration Act 1971) on the relevant date. If you have not been living in the UK, you may still qualify depending on your circumstances.

Application Procedure

see http://www.saas.gov.uk/how_to_apply/pg.htm

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Enquiries are welcomed from all prospective students, regardless of first degree subject, who can demonstrate an adequate level of competence and ability for postgraduate training. In recent years students have come from backgrounds including biology, ecology, chemistry, physics, engineering, geology, geography and agriculture.Prospective students should normally have, or expect to be awarded, a minimum of a 2:2 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject and from a recognised university. All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

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