MSc Environmental Sciences (Part time)

Key facts

Environmental Sciences has been ranked 4th in the UK, 11th in Europe and 40th in the World according to the QS World University Rankings 2018.

Video

We have been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for 50 years of ground-breaking environmental science at UEA. The royal accolade from the Queen is the UK’s most prestigious higher education award.

Watch It
What are the links between the effects of climate change and pollution and the mismanagement and over exploitation of resources? How can we solve the environmental challenges we face today? What role can you play in making change happen? If these questions fascinate you, this course is for you. You’re passionate about studying the Earth’s natural processes and human impacts – and you want to prepare for a rewarding career in environmental sciences.

Take the MSc Environmental Sciences and develop your advanced scientific knowledge in your field along with essential transferable skills in data analysis, tools such as geographic information systems (GIS) and decision-making.

Overview

Environmental sciences is the interdisciplinary study of atmospheric, oceanic, freshwater and terrestrial environments, coupled with an assessment of the interactions with human society.

This MSc programme will give you a rigorous understanding of the Earth’s natural processes, the impacts of human activities on the global environment and the strategies required for the sustainable management of natural resources.

It will offer you a range of subjects to choose from and a wide array of career options, both in postgraduate research and vocational employment. Whether you’re an environmental sciences graduate seeking additional training, or you’ve studied a related subject and wish to widen your environmental knowledge and skills, this flexible course is ideal.

You’ll explore the science of climate change and the human adaptive response to increasing global temperatures and sea-level rise. Your training will also help you master the collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of diverse datasets and the application of analytical tools such as numerical models and geographic information systems (GIS) to aid complex decision-making.

These transferable skills are invaluable for the jobs market, and will support you to move into a rewarding career.

 

Course Structure

The MSc Environmental Sciences can be taken part-time. In that case the course has duration of 1 year and 46 weeks with taught components delivered over four semesters followed by the research project report submitted in early August of the second year.

The course is made up of 180 credits – with 100 credits gained from the taught components (usually five 20 credit modules) and 80 credits from your independent research project. 

Of the 80 credits for your research project, 20 credits are for your project proposal (coursework for the Research Skills module) while the remaining 60 credits are for your final project report. The usual expectation is that students studying part-time will take the Research Skills module in their first year of study. Accordingly, their project proposal will be submitted in the February of their first year of study and they will then be in a position to work on their research project through the rest of that year and throughout their second year of study. The research project report will be submitted in early August of the second year.

Through your choice of taught modules, you can carve your own curriculum pathway – which could focus on a specific area of environmental sciences or include a range of interdisciplinary subject. You’ll work with your advisors and course director to choose your 100 credits of modules from our wide selection. You can even choose modules from other Schools if they contribute to a clear programme of study in the field of environmental sciences.

In addition to our core MSc Environmental Sciences course, we also offer two environmental sciences pathways focusing specifically on sustainability. These are Science, Society and Sustainability and Ecology and Economics for Sustainability.

If you choose one of these sustainability pathways, you’ll take two additional 20-credit modules, leaving 60 credits for optional modules. For the Science, Society and Sustainability pathway your additional modules will be Science, Society and Sustainability and Sustainable Consumption. For the Ecology and Economics for Sustainability pathway you’ll take Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability, and Economics and Ecosystem Services.

You can also choose to take this MSc part time – take a look at MSc Environmental Sciences part time to find out more.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching

You’ll be taught through a combination of lecture and seminar classes, practical classes and field visits.  Naturally, as an MSc student you’ll be encouraged to extend your knowledge and understanding through directed reading and assessed coursework assignments. Your independent project is a major activity that permits the in-depth acquisition of knowledge and the opportunity to integrate understanding of your chosen topic.

Independent study

In the Research Skills module you’ll further develop your transferable skills – such as the use of IT facilities to find bibliographic material and techniques for data analysis and interpretation.

It will also provide a strategy for preparing your research proposal for the independent project. This proposal includes a statement of the hypothesis you’ll test, the data and methods you’ll use, and a plan of work that includes a list of deadlines and deliverables.

Your project planning will see you develop additional skills such as costing the research plan and liaising with staff over practical issues such as safety and general working practices. We will be on hand to support you during your independent project – particularly around training in diagram production, report presentation and writing.

Assessment

Depending on the modules you choose, we’ll use different methods of assessment to test your intellectual skills. These include essays, seminar presentations, position papers, short reports, problem sheets, mini-projects and an independent project report. You’ll perfect your ability to present arguments in a concise and coherent manner – a transferable skill that will prepare you for either vocational or research oriented careers.

We’ll assess your practical skills mainly through your coursework. In essays and reports we’ll look for the skill with which bibliographic material has been obtained and discussed within the context of the assignment. You’ll also complete problem-solving and project-based work, which allows us to assess your numerical and practical skills.

We’ll assess your transferable skills mainly based on your research project proposal, which you’ll submit in support of your independent project. Your independent project and accompanying dissertation will give us an assessment of your overall skills and ability as an environmental scientist.

After the course

Our degrees lead to a range of specialist environmental careers in areas such as sustainable environmental management, biodiversity conservation, renewable energy, carbon reduction, catchment management, weather forecasting, geophysics, natural hazard analysis, risk management, and teaching and education.

We’re proud to say that past students have been successful in gaining jobs within various sectors including government organisations (eg the Environment Agency and Norfolk County Council), NGOs (eg Green Alliance) and consulting firms such as JBA and CH2M. Some students have also chosen to progress to PhD research.

Career destinations

Examples of careers that you could entre include;

  • Government organisations
  • NGOs
  • Consultancies
  • PhD research

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of course-related costs.

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 20 credits:

Name Code Credits

RESEARCH SKILLS

This module provides support and training for the dissertation to ensure that the necessary research is well planned in advance. Advice is given on how to make the best use of UEA library resources, how to undertake a literature review, ethics procedures and how to write a dissertation proposal. A substantial part of semester one is devoted to how to use statistics for the analysis of different types of projects. Supporting lectures and practicals in social science research skills are provided in semester two. These include: social science research design; questionnaire survey design; interviewing techniques; focus groups methods; and techniques analysing qualitative data. This module must be taken before the Dissertation Module.

ENV-7119Y

20

Students will select credits from the following modules:

Students may select between 40 and 60 credits to make a total of 100 credits from Option Range A over the 2 years. Students may also choose modules from other Schools, subject to their approval and to timetable compatibility, with the agreement of the Course Director and of the School concerned.

Name Code Credits

CLIMATE CHANGE: PHYSICAL SCIENCE BASIS

Climate change and variability have played major roles in shaping human history, and the prospect of human-caused global warming is a pressing challenge for society. But how and why has climate changed, how do we predict future climate and how do our choices affect future climate? Throughout this module, you will learn how climate science can answer these questions. Discover the approaches, methods and techniques for understanding the history of climate change and for developing climate projections for the next 100 years. You'll also explore the scientific evidence about climate change and where the uncertainties lie. Starting with an introduction to the changing climate and the main themes in current climate research, your study will be structured around three topics. (1) Fundamentals of the changing climate including the Earth's energy balance, causes of climate change and the greenhouse effect. (2) Research methods, consisting of empirical approaches to climate reconstruction (such as tree-ring research), analysis of observational data (focusing on the global temperature record and causes of recent climate change), and an introduction to energy balance models and general circulation models. (3) Climate change and causal mechanisms, concentrating on the period from 1000 CE to the present and climate projections out to 2100 CE. Studying the physical science basis of climate change will enable you to understand what controls our climate, to explain the causes of the changes we have observed, and to interpret projections of future climate change.

ENV-7014A

20

ECOLOGICAL SURVEY METHODS

This is a practical module that provides training for anyone who intends to carry out ecological research or who needs to interpret and evaluate the results of ecological surveys carried out by a third party. It offers vocational training for work with conservation agencies and ecological consultancies and preparatory training for students who will do ecological fieldwork for their MSc dissertation, or subsequent PhD. The module includes lectures, workshops, practical classes and field trips and covers the key considerations underpinning effective ecological survey design and implementation. Following initial lectures on research planning and study design, you will explore and gain first-hand experience in a variety of methods for surveying plants, animals and habitats, including the use of remote census techniques such as radio-tracking and trail cameras.

BIO-7028Y

20

ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

In this module, you will examine energy transitions for climate change mitigation from a range of perspectives. You will consider how current energy resources, technologies and services produce greenhouse gas emissions. You will draw on both historical evidence and theories of change to explore prospects and potentials for transforming the energy system.

ENV-7029B

20

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT EFFECTIVENESS

Environmental Assessment is considered to be more effective when conducted at strategic levels of decision making, and is usually perceived to have a goal of achieving sustainable development. This module provides experience of conducting a particular form of strategic assessment, Sustainability Appraisal (SA), which incorporates environmental, social and economic considerations into plan making. Through practice of SA, a field course involving hands-on application of environmental assessment techniques, and consideration of effectiveness theory, this module will examine what makes assessment effective.Please note that there will be a charge for attending this field course (in the range of GBP300-GBP400) to cover attendance.

ENV-7021K

20

ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION - SCIENCE, POLICY AND MANAGEMENT

This module engages you in understanding complex interdisciplinary challenges associated with environmental pollution management via detailed studies of selected pollution issues. You will develop skills in quantifying and analysing problems and developing and presenting effective policy responses. Environmental pollution is a growing human footprint on the Earth system and is a contributing factor to major environmental challenges we face today, for example: provision of clean water; the sustainable production of safe food, and; mitigation of impacts on health human and ecological receptors. We will examine 3 major types of environmental pollution, involving the atmosphere, aquatic systems and soils, in depth. Your learning will come through lectures, seminars and self-directed study. There is also some practical work to help you to develop hands-on skills. The seminar discussions will give you the chance to discuss and debate your ideas on competing societal priorities, such as the conflicts between food production and the pollution arising from the use of fertilisers. The assessments are a short essay aimed at a general science audience (33%) and a report (67%). On successful completion of this module you will be able to evaluate complex arguments relating the chemistry and toxicology of pollutants to policy issues, political decisions and social perceptions of the environment. You will develop chemical understanding of pollutants as well as numerical skills and an understanding of how mathematical models assist in predictions of pollutant behaviour. You will also improve your communication of complex evidence and your ideas, empathise with other viewpoints and give balanced evaluation.

ENV-7030B

20

EVIDENCE-BASED GLOBAL CONSERVATION

This interdisciplinary module focuses on the critical evaluation of scientific evidence as a basis for effective biodiversity conservation policy, strategy and interventions, in a world challenged by climate change, population growth and the need for socio-economic development and environmental justice. You will attend an initial block of lectures examining socio-economic drivers of biodiversity loss and motivations for conservation, challenging common assumptions and outlining conceptual frameworks for conservation interventions. A series of seminars by global conservation practitioners provide insights to implementation and employability. Coursework assessments designed to develop skills of evaluating, synthesising and communicating scientific evidence, are supported by feed-forward formative exercises.

ENV-7041A

20

GEOENGINEERING THE CLIMATE: SCIENCE AND POLICY

This module studies a set of different proposed techniques, called geoengineering, that seek to modify the Earth's climate by reducing the degree of anthropogenic radiative forcing, either by reflecting more sunlight back to space or by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is a complex, controversial and highly uncertain area of science that requires a strongly interdisciplinary approach. The potential role of geoengineering techniques as a complement to mitigation and adaptation in tackling future climate change raises a number of important questions, not least for international policy making.

ENV-7031A

20

GIS AND ITS APPLICATIONS FOR MODELLING ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

This module will provide essential GIS tools and principles that will be applied to modelling ecological responses to environmental change. Core GIS skills will be delivered. These include field data collection and extraction of data from national and global databases. It will include the manipulation of such files and particular attention will be paid to understanding the uncertainties associated with such analyses. These skills are important in many areas of ecological and environmental research, but are particularly useful for the creation of variables needed for modelling environmental change. There will be extensive emphasis on practical GIS skills.

ENV-7034A

20

MODELLING ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES

Our aim is to show how environmental problems may be solved from the initial problem, to mathematical formulation and numerical solution. Problems will be described conceptually, then defined mathematically, then solved numerically via computer programming. The module consists of lectures on numerical methods and computing practical's; the practical's being designed to illustrate the solution of problems using the methods covered in lectures. We will guide students through the solution of a model of an environmental process of their own choosing. The skills developed in this module are highly valued by prospective employers.

ENV-7003A

20

MODERN METHODS IN AIR POLLUTION SCIENCE

Air pollution is one of the most significant environmental problems of the 21st century, with serious implications for human health, ecosystem and infrastructure damage, and global atmospheric and climate change. In this module, you will study the current methods used to monitor air pollutants at urban, regional and global scales, and how these measurements are interpreted using a variety of numerical models and graphical tools.

ENV-7040B

20

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

Environmental economics provides a set of tools and principles which can be useful in understanding natural resource management issues. This module introduces you to key principles and tools of environmental economics for students who have not studied the subject previously. It then explores how these principles can be applied to address a number of complex economy-environment problems including climate change, over-fishing and water resources management. In this module you will have the opportunity to practically apply cost-benefit analysis as a framework for decision-making and will gain knowledge on the key non-market valuation techniques that are used to monetarily value environmental goods and services. At the end of the module you will have gained insights into how environmental economics is used in developing natural resource management policy as well as some of the challenges in using environmental economics in policy-making.

ENV-7116B

20

OIL AND GAS ENGINEERING

The aim of this module is to expose you to the technical and commercial realities of the oil and gas industry. An overview of the subject leads to a number of specific case studies provided by practising engineers. A number of assessment techniques are used, from individual presentations to analysis of reserves or research for a briefing document addressing issues of health and safety risk management. Each year the case studies will reflect the expertise of the visiting practising engineers. Although there are no pre-requisites this module is a good follow on to the Fossil Fuels module.

ENG-7012A

20

RESEARCH TOPICS IN EARTH SCIENCE

You will engage in Earth science topics at an advanced level and develop advanced study skills. The module will be strongly research lead and based around your learning. It will involve engagement with appropriate research seminars in the School of Environmental Sciences and directed research on key topics with discussions and seminars. The topics included vary from year to year but they are likely to include topics in sedimentology, palaeoclimate, geological hazards, Earth history, the Earth system. The module will develop your research and communication skills in addition to imparting specialist knowledge. To take this module, you should either be taking MSci in one of the following or already have a BSc degree in Earth Science, Geology, Geophysics, Physical Geography or on with similar.

ENV-7018A

20

SCIENCE, SOCIETY AND SUSTAINABILITY

How can science and society work better together to solve sustainability challenges? How can society be properly engaged and accounted for in addressing pressing issues like climate change, energy transitions and natural hazards? These questions, that lie at the core of this module, have become major concerns for scientists, governments, businesses, NGOs and citizens the world over. Throughout the module you will gain a rich appreciation of key theories, approaches and practical methods for understanding and improving relations between science, technology and society in sustainability settings. You'll explore the nature of science and how it relates to society. You'll discover a wealth of approaches for public engagement with science, and consider how sustainability can be more effectively governed. You'll also learn how to critically evaluate and communicate these ideas through written, oral and self-reflective means. You'll begin the module by considering how relations between science and society have evolved over time and are viewed differently by different disciplines. The fascinating interdisciplinary field called science and technology studies (STS) will provide a key resource that you will become an expert in as you progress. The module's three main parts will take you on a journey to develop your own critical insights. In part 1 you will consider the nature of science and its relation to society, through examining science controversies like 'climategate' and GM crops. In part 2 you will explore new forms of public engagement with science and technology, such as science communication, deliberative democracy, citizen science, and smart technologies in the home. In part 3 you will study pioneering new ways of governing science and sustainability in fairer and more socially responsible ways, through responsible innovation of climate geoengineering for example. You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, practical classes, in-class debates, and self-directed study. Your new knowledge and skills will be put into practice by creating a blog to communicate your ideas, as well as through written work and presentations. You'll also benefit from the module being taught by staff in the Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Research Group, which houses some of the world's leading experts on societal engagement with sustainability.

ENV-7038B

20

STABLE ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY

From supernovae and the early condensation of the solar system, through the climate history of the planet and on to studies of stratospheric chemistry, research using stable isotopes has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the processes that shape the Earth. You'll explore the theory and practice of isotope geochemistry, covering analytical methods and mass spectrometry, fractionation processes, and isotope behaviour in chemical cycles in the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. Teaching is by a mix lectures, student led seminars and practicals, including hands-on experience in the stable isotope laboratory.

ENV-7024A

20

STATISTICS AND MODELLING FOR SCIENTISTS USING R

How do you test a hypothesis? How do you compare biological traits between wild populations? And how do you best test and visualise differences between samples? Scientists use a wide array of methods for statistical analysis and plotting data, and increasingly, these tasks are carried out using R. R is a free programming language for statistical computing and graphics, including general and generalised linear models, time-series analysis, and community analysis, and also specialised analyses in many scientific subfields. Learning R will equip you with a flexible statistical, modelling, and graphics tool. Learning the basics of running R in the RStudio programming environment, you'll spend most of your time on general and generalised linear models, which unify the range of statistical tests that are classically taught separately: t-test, ANOVA, regression, logistic regression, and chi-square, plus residuals analysis. Additionally, you'll learn how to use R to write simple programs and carry out community analyses such as principal components analysis. Finally, throughout the class, you'll learn R methods for data formatting, graphics, and documentation. On successful completion of this module you'll be able to use R to carry out and present results from the most widely used statistical tests in current scientific practice, giving you sufficient knowledge to continue learning statistical analysis on your own. A pre-requisite of first and/or second year statistical modules is required.

ENV-7033B

20

SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION

If everyone on Earth lived like a typical UK citizen we'd need three planets-worth of resources. But we only have one. Why do we consume the way we do? What drives our behaviour and how might we persuade people to live more sustainably? What do we mean by a sustainable lifestyle, anyway? These are questions academics, businesspeople, campaigners and policymakers struggle with every day and there are no easy answers. In this module you'll get to grips with competing visions about what sustainable consumption is. You'll gain an understanding of a range of theoretical approaches to understanding consumption behaviour and you'll learn how to apply these theories to develop strategies for achieving sustainable consumption. You'll begin by examining the impacts of western-style consumerism on the Earth's social, economic and environmental systems. Using concepts such as ecological footprinting, needs and wellbeing, you'll take a closer look at how economic and environmental systems interact. You'll contrast a 'green growth' approach to sustainable consumption with a more radical 'de-growth' model. Drawing on interdisciplinary social science theories from economics, psychology, sociology and ethnography, you'll go on to investigate a range of strategies for achieving change, by government, business, civil society, and individual consumers. You'll get hands-on experience testing and applying these ideas yourselves, in participative workshops, alongside award-winning innovative teaching methods. In lectures, you'll learn about topics such as Ethical Consumption, Limits to Growth, Collaborative Consumption, Community-based initiatives, Life Cycle Analysis and Behaviour-change campaigns. Understanding the theoretical debates behind everyday actions for sustainability will make you better able to design and implement sustainability strategies in the workplace - whether in the public or private sector, or civil society. You'll be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in sustainable consumption campaigns and policies, and offer theoretically-informed solutions.

ENV-7025A

20

THEORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Environmental assessment is a term used to describe procedures for evaluating the potential environmental consequences of policies, programmes, plans and projects. It is a well established tool for environmental policy integration, being routinely employed in more than 100 nations and by many international aid and funding agencies. This multidisciplinary module focuses on the theory and methods of environmental assessment and the decision-making contexts in which they are employed. It explains the procedural stages of, and selected methodologies for, environmental assessment and provides practical experience in applying them.

ENV-7020A

20

WAVE, TIDAL AND HYDRO ENERGY ENGINEERING

This module studies renewable energy sources that use the energy stored in water to produce electrical energy. An examination is made into the potential energy and kinetic energy stored in water, either implicitly through waves/tide or explicitly in hydro. Devices for energy extraction from waves are examined but an essential focus is on wave forces on structures. Tidal energy extraction devices including barrages, lagoons and tidal stream turbines are also studied. The design and operation of hydroelectric turbines is studied with a particular focus on pipe flow and pipe networks using commercial software.

ENG-7004B

20

Students must study the following modules for 60 credits:

Name Code Credits

DISSERTATION

The dissertation is an individual research project which you will complete independently under the guidance of an academic supervisor within one of the research groups in the School. In addition, you may also choose to undertake a project placement with an outside organisation, with the possible guidance from an outside collaborator. Research undertaken normally involves the analysis and interpretation of data collected in the field, from measurements of a sample in the laboratory or from data gathered from other sources including the media, questionnaire surveys, interviews, etc. This module is reserved for MSc students and requires you to have completed the Research Skills Module as a prerequisite.

ENV-7120X

60

Students will select credits from the following modules:

Students may select between 40 and 60 credits to make a total of 100 credits from Option Range A over the 2 years. Students may also choose modules from other Schools, subject to their approval and to timetable compatibility, with the agreement of the Course Director and of the School concerned.

Name Code Credits

CLIMATE CHANGE: PHYSICAL SCIENCE BASIS

Climate change and variability have played major roles in shaping human history, and the prospect of human-caused global warming is a pressing challenge for society. But how and why has climate changed, how do we predict future climate and how do our choices affect future climate? Throughout this module, you will learn how climate science can answer these questions. Discover the approaches, methods and techniques for understanding the history of climate change and for developing climate projections for the next 100 years. You'll also explore the scientific evidence about climate change and where the uncertainties lie. Starting with an introduction to the changing climate and the main themes in current climate research, your study will be structured around three topics. (1) Fundamentals of the changing climate including the Earth's energy balance, causes of climate change and the greenhouse effect. (2) Research methods, consisting of empirical approaches to climate reconstruction (such as tree-ring research), analysis of observational data (focusing on the global temperature record and causes of recent climate change), and an introduction to energy balance models and general circulation models. (3) Climate change and causal mechanisms, concentrating on the period from 1000 CE to the present and climate projections out to 2100 CE. Studying the physical science basis of climate change will enable you to understand what controls our climate, to explain the causes of the changes we have observed, and to interpret projections of future climate change.

ENV-7014A

20

ECOLOGICAL SURVEY METHODS

This is a practical module that provides training for anyone who intends to carry out ecological research or who needs to interpret and evaluate the results of ecological surveys carried out by a third party. It offers vocational training for work with conservation agencies and ecological consultancies and preparatory training for students who will do ecological fieldwork for their MSc dissertation, or subsequent PhD. The module includes lectures, workshops, practical classes and field trips and covers the key considerations underpinning effective ecological survey design and implementation. Following initial lectures on research planning and study design, you will explore and gain first-hand experience in a variety of methods for surveying plants, animals and habitats, including the use of remote census techniques such as radio-tracking and trail cameras.

BIO-7028Y

20

ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

In this module, you will examine energy transitions for climate change mitigation from a range of perspectives. You will consider how current energy resources, technologies and services produce greenhouse gas emissions. You will draw on both historical evidence and theories of change to explore prospects and potentials for transforming the energy system.

ENV-7029B

20

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT EFFECTIVENESS

Environmental Assessment is considered to be more effective when conducted at strategic levels of decision making, and is usually perceived to have a goal of achieving sustainable development. This module provides experience of conducting a particular form of strategic assessment, Sustainability Appraisal (SA), which incorporates environmental, social and economic considerations into plan making. Through practice of SA, a field course involving hands-on application of environmental assessment techniques, and consideration of effectiveness theory, this module will examine what makes assessment effective.Please note that there will be a charge for attending this field course (in the range of GBP300-GBP400) to cover attendance.

ENV-7021K

20

ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION - SCIENCE, POLICY AND MANAGEMENT

This module engages you in understanding complex interdisciplinary challenges associated with environmental pollution management via detailed studies of selected pollution issues. You will develop skills in quantifying and analysing problems and developing and presenting effective policy responses. Environmental pollution is a growing human footprint on the Earth system and is a contributing factor to major environmental challenges we face today, for example: provision of clean water; the sustainable production of safe food, and; mitigation of impacts on health human and ecological receptors. We will examine 3 major types of environmental pollution, involving the atmosphere, aquatic systems and soils, in depth. Your learning will come through lectures, seminars and self-directed study. There is also some practical work to help you to develop hands-on skills. The seminar discussions will give you the chance to discuss and debate your ideas on competing societal priorities, such as the conflicts between food production and the pollution arising from the use of fertilisers. The assessments are a short essay aimed at a general science audience (33%) and a report (67%). On successful completion of this module you will be able to evaluate complex arguments relating the chemistry and toxicology of pollutants to policy issues, political decisions and social perceptions of the environment. You will develop chemical understanding of pollutants as well as numerical skills and an understanding of how mathematical models assist in predictions of pollutant behaviour. You will also improve your communication of complex evidence and your ideas, empathise with other viewpoints and give balanced evaluation.

ENV-7030B

20

EVIDENCE-BASED GLOBAL CONSERVATION

This interdisciplinary module focuses on the critical evaluation of scientific evidence as a basis for effective biodiversity conservation policy, strategy and interventions, in a world challenged by climate change, population growth and the need for socio-economic development and environmental justice. You will attend an initial block of lectures examining socio-economic drivers of biodiversity loss and motivations for conservation, challenging common assumptions and outlining conceptual frameworks for conservation interventions. A series of seminars by global conservation practitioners provide insights to implementation and employability. Coursework assessments designed to develop skills of evaluating, synthesising and communicating scientific evidence, are supported by feed-forward formative exercises.

ENV-7041A

20

GEOENGINEERING THE CLIMATE: SCIENCE AND POLICY

This module studies a set of different proposed techniques, called geoengineering, that seek to modify the Earth's climate by reducing the degree of anthropogenic radiative forcing, either by reflecting more sunlight back to space or by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is a complex, controversial and highly uncertain area of science that requires a strongly interdisciplinary approach. The potential role of geoengineering techniques as a complement to mitigation and adaptation in tackling future climate change raises a number of important questions, not least for international policy making.

ENV-7031A

20

GIS AND ITS APPLICATIONS FOR MODELLING ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

This module will provide essential GIS tools and principles that will be applied to modelling ecological responses to environmental change. Core GIS skills will be delivered. These include field data collection and extraction of data from national and global databases. It will include the manipulation of such files and particular attention will be paid to understanding the uncertainties associated with such analyses. These skills are important in many areas of ecological and environmental research, but are particularly useful for the creation of variables needed for modelling environmental change. There will be extensive emphasis on practical GIS skills.

ENV-7034A

20

MODELLING ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES

Our aim is to show how environmental problems may be solved from the initial problem, to mathematical formulation and numerical solution. Problems will be described conceptually, then defined mathematically, then solved numerically via computer programming. The module consists of lectures on numerical methods and computing practical's; the practical's being designed to illustrate the solution of problems using the methods covered in lectures. We will guide students through the solution of a model of an environmental process of their own choosing. The skills developed in this module are highly valued by prospective employers.

ENV-7003A

20

MODERN METHODS IN AIR POLLUTION SCIENCE

Air pollution is one of the most significant environmental problems of the 21st century, with serious implications for human health, ecosystem and infrastructure damage, and global atmospheric and climate change. In this module, you will study the current methods used to monitor air pollutants at urban, regional and global scales, and how these measurements are interpreted using a variety of numerical models and graphical tools.

ENV-7040B

20

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

Environmental economics provides a set of tools and principles which can be useful in understanding natural resource management issues. This module introduces you to key principles and tools of environmental economics for students who have not studied the subject previously. It then explores how these principles can be applied to address a number of complex economy-environment problems including climate change, over-fishing and water resources management. In this module you will have the opportunity to practically apply cost-benefit analysis as a framework for decision-making and will gain knowledge on the key non-market valuation techniques that are used to monetarily value environmental goods and services. At the end of the module you will have gained insights into how environmental economics is used in developing natural resource management policy as well as some of the challenges in using environmental economics in policy-making.

ENV-7116B

20

OIL AND GAS ENGINEERING

The aim of this module is to expose you to the technical and commercial realities of the oil and gas industry. An overview of the subject leads to a number of specific case studies provided by practising engineers. A number of assessment techniques are used, from individual presentations to analysis of reserves or research for a briefing document addressing issues of health and safety risk management. Each year the case studies will reflect the expertise of the visiting practising engineers. Although there are no pre-requisites this module is a good follow on to the Fossil Fuels module.

ENG-7012A

20

RESEARCH TOPICS IN EARTH SCIENCE

You will engage in Earth science topics at an advanced level and develop advanced study skills. The module will be strongly research lead and based around your learning. It will involve engagement with appropriate research seminars in the School of Environmental Sciences and directed research on key topics with discussions and seminars. The topics included vary from year to year but they are likely to include topics in sedimentology, palaeoclimate, geological hazards, Earth history, the Earth system. The module will develop your research and communication skills in addition to imparting specialist knowledge. To take this module, you should either be taking MSci in one of the following or already have a BSc degree in Earth Science, Geology, Geophysics, Physical Geography or on with similar.

ENV-7018A

20

SCIENCE, SOCIETY AND SUSTAINABILITY

How can science and society work better together to solve sustainability challenges? How can society be properly engaged and accounted for in addressing pressing issues like climate change, energy transitions and natural hazards? These questions, that lie at the core of this module, have become major concerns for scientists, governments, businesses, NGOs and citizens the world over. Throughout the module you will gain a rich appreciation of key theories, approaches and practical methods for understanding and improving relations between science, technology and society in sustainability settings. You'll explore the nature of science and how it relates to society. You'll discover a wealth of approaches for public engagement with science, and consider how sustainability can be more effectively governed. You'll also learn how to critically evaluate and communicate these ideas through written, oral and self-reflective means. You'll begin the module by considering how relations between science and society have evolved over time and are viewed differently by different disciplines. The fascinating interdisciplinary field called science and technology studies (STS) will provide a key resource that you will become an expert in as you progress. The module's three main parts will take you on a journey to develop your own critical insights. In part 1 you will consider the nature of science and its relation to society, through examining science controversies like 'climategate' and GM crops. In part 2 you will explore new forms of public engagement with science and technology, such as science communication, deliberative democracy, citizen science, and smart technologies in the home. In part 3 you will study pioneering new ways of governing science and sustainability in fairer and more socially responsible ways, through responsible innovation of climate geoengineering for example. You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, practical classes, in-class debates, and self-directed study. Your new knowledge and skills will be put into practice by creating a blog to communicate your ideas, as well as through written work and presentations. You'll also benefit from the module being taught by staff in the Science, Society and Sustainability (3S) Research Group, which houses some of the world's leading experts on societal engagement with sustainability.

ENV-7038B

20

STABLE ISOTOPE GEOCHEMISTRY

From supernovae and the early condensation of the solar system, through the climate history of the planet and on to studies of stratospheric chemistry, research using stable isotopes has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the processes that shape the Earth. You'll explore the theory and practice of isotope geochemistry, covering analytical methods and mass spectrometry, fractionation processes, and isotope behaviour in chemical cycles in the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. Teaching is by a mix lectures, student led seminars and practicals, including hands-on experience in the stable isotope laboratory.

ENV-7024A

20

STATISTICS AND MODELLING FOR SCIENTISTS USING R

How do you test a hypothesis? How do you compare biological traits between wild populations? And how do you best test and visualise differences between samples? Scientists use a wide array of methods for statistical analysis and plotting data, and increasingly, these tasks are carried out using R. R is a free programming language for statistical computing and graphics, including general and generalised linear models, time-series analysis, and community analysis, and also specialised analyses in many scientific subfields. Learning R will equip you with a flexible statistical, modelling, and graphics tool. Learning the basics of running R in the RStudio programming environment, you'll spend most of your time on general and generalised linear models, which unify the range of statistical tests that are classically taught separately: t-test, ANOVA, regression, logistic regression, and chi-square, plus residuals analysis. Additionally, you'll learn how to use R to write simple programs and carry out community analyses such as principal components analysis. Finally, throughout the class, you'll learn R methods for data formatting, graphics, and documentation. On successful completion of this module you'll be able to use R to carry out and present results from the most widely used statistical tests in current scientific practice, giving you sufficient knowledge to continue learning statistical analysis on your own. A pre-requisite of first and/or second year statistical modules is required.

ENV-7033B

20

SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION

If everyone on Earth lived like a typical UK citizen we'd need three planets-worth of resources. But we only have one. Why do we consume the way we do? What drives our behaviour and how might we persuade people to live more sustainably? What do we mean by a sustainable lifestyle, anyway? These are questions academics, businesspeople, campaigners and policymakers struggle with every day and there are no easy answers. In this module you'll get to grips with competing visions about what sustainable consumption is. You'll gain an understanding of a range of theoretical approaches to understanding consumption behaviour and you'll learn how to apply these theories to develop strategies for achieving sustainable consumption. You'll begin by examining the impacts of western-style consumerism on the Earth's social, economic and environmental systems. Using concepts such as ecological footprinting, needs and wellbeing, you'll take a closer look at how economic and environmental systems interact. You'll contrast a 'green growth' approach to sustainable consumption with a more radical 'de-growth' model. Drawing on interdisciplinary social science theories from economics, psychology, sociology and ethnography, you'll go on to investigate a range of strategies for achieving change, by government, business, civil society, and individual consumers. You'll get hands-on experience testing and applying these ideas yourselves, in participative workshops, alongside award-winning innovative teaching methods. In lectures, you'll learn about topics such as Ethical Consumption, Limits to Growth, Collaborative Consumption, Community-based initiatives, Life Cycle Analysis and Behaviour-change campaigns. Understanding the theoretical debates behind everyday actions for sustainability will make you better able to design and implement sustainability strategies in the workplace - whether in the public or private sector, or civil society. You'll be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in sustainable consumption campaigns and policies, and offer theoretically-informed solutions.

ENV-7025A

20

THEORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Environmental assessment is a term used to describe procedures for evaluating the potential environmental consequences of policies, programmes, plans and projects. It is a well established tool for environmental policy integration, being routinely employed in more than 100 nations and by many international aid and funding agencies. This multidisciplinary module focuses on the theory and methods of environmental assessment and the decision-making contexts in which they are employed. It explains the procedural stages of, and selected methodologies for, environmental assessment and provides practical experience in applying them.

ENV-7020A

20

WAVE, TIDAL AND HYDRO ENERGY ENGINEERING

This module studies renewable energy sources that use the energy stored in water to produce electrical energy. An examination is made into the potential energy and kinetic energy stored in water, either implicitly through waves/tide or explicitly in hydro. Devices for energy extraction from waves are examined but an essential focus is on wave forces on structures. Tidal energy extraction devices including barrages, lagoons and tidal stream turbines are also studied. The design and operation of hydroelectric turbines is studied with a particular focus on pipe flow and pipe networks using commercial software.

ENG-7004B

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences or related disciplines. It is also suitable for graduates with single-discipline degrees in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Computing, Engineering, Economics and Politics.
  • Degree Classification Bachelors degree (minimum 2.1 or equivalent)

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 50 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2019/20 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,700 (full time)
  • International Students: £16,100 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

 

Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

Scholarships

A variety of Scholarships may be offered to UK/EU and International students. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study. Please click here for more detailed information about funding for prospective students.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515