UCL Department of Geography
MSc Aquatic Science
  
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MSc Aquatic Science

Overview

Environmental issues such as pollution, habitat degradation and climate change threaten the sustainability and quality of our aquatic resources. Responding to these threats the MSc in Aquatic Science at UCL equips students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments from upland catchments to the coastal zone, encompassing lakes, ponds, rivers, floodplains, wetlands, groundwaters, estuaries and shallow seas.

The MSc Aquatic Science provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment within environmental protection and conservation agencies, the water industry and environmental consultancies.

The MSc Aquatic Science seeks to:

      1. develop a strong interdisciplinary understanding of the structure and functioning of aquatic environments.
      2. provide structured training and practical skills in practical field sampling, study design, numerical analysis, monitoring and modelling.
      3. provide training in the identification (in the field and laboratory) of a range of aquatic organisms including aquatic macrophytes, wetland plants, algae, fishes, amphibians and invertebrates.
      4. inform students of the institutional, legislative and decision making background to key issues in aquatic conservation.

 

Structure

All students take four core Aquatic Science modules in the first term and choose a further four modules from a range of options in the second term. Additionally, students undertake a piece of original research leading to a dissertation (60 credits) of up to 15,000 words with the support of an academic supervisor.

Term one will include two residential fieldcourses.

The following modules will be available 2012/13. Please note these may be subject to change.

COMPULSORY MODULES (Term One)

Module code

Module title

UCL Credit value

GEOGG070 Aquatic Systems
15 credits
GEOGG072 Aquatic Monitoring
15 credits
GEOGG104
Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation

15 credits
GEOGG102 Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis
15 credits
OPTIONAL MODULES (Term Two)

Module code

Module title

UCL Credit value

GEOGG043 Politics of Climate Change
15 credits
GEOGG057 Wetlands
15 credits
GEOGG061 Marine Conservation
15 credits
GEOGG065 Environmental GIS 15 credits
GEOGG074 Lakes
15 credits
GEOGG100 Coastal Change 15 credits
GEOGG101 Surface Water Modelling
15 credits
GEOGG103 Aquatic Macrophytes
15 credits
GEOGG123 Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-ecological Systems
15 credits
GEOGG135 Biological Proxies of Environmental Change
15 credits
GEOGG136 Non-biological Proxies of Environmental Change
15 credits

 

Highlights

PondDistinctive features of the programme include the integration of aquatic ecology with hydrological and geomorphological processes, the reconstruction of past aquatic environmental change using sediment core studies and the design and application of aquatic monitoring and modelling approaches for understanding current and predicting future aquatic system dynamics.

The course provides students with ‘cutting edge’ knowledge of key issues in aquatic conservation and the legislative background that underpins them. Graduating students will thus have an insight into the challenges that face managers and conservationists when it comes to protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems.

Fees and Applications

Students at Stiffkey Marshes, Norfolk

Fees information is at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/money/2014-2015_fees/2014-15_postgrad_taught

Please note that optional choice modules in term 2 may incur additional costs for accommodation and transport associated with residential fieldclasses or fieldwork.

To apply online or download a Graduate Application Form please click here.

Funding

For information on UCL scholarships, please visit: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/

 

Other sources of funding

There are a number of other potential sources of financial assistance for UCL Aquatic Science students.

Other sources from which UK MSc students have received funds include:

  1. Laurence Attwell Charity: Skinner's Hall, 8 Dowgate Hill, London EC4R 2SP
  2. The Ian Karten Charitable Trust: The Mill House, Newark Lane, Ripley, Surrey GU23 6DP
  3. The Mercers' Company: Educational Grants Secretary, The Mercers' Company, Mercers' Hall, Ironmonger Lane, London EC2V 8HE
  4. The Richard Newitt Fund: The Correspondent, The Richard Newitt Fund, Trustee Department, The Lawn, Speen, Newbury, Berks. RG13 1QN
  5. The Radley Trust: Philip Radley, The Radley Trust, 53 Sherlock Close, Cambridge CB3 0HP
  6. The Percy Sladen Memorial Fund: The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1V 0LQ
  7. The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust: 1 York Street, Baker Street, London W1H 1PZ

Potential applicants are expected to have a first or upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Environmental Science, Geography, Oceanography, Biology, Chemistry or Engineering) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with relevant professional experience in aquatic science or environmental management will also be considered.

To apply, please contact the Graduate Admissions Secretary (geog-masters@ucl.ac.uk) to request a Graduate Application Pack.

Application materials may also be downloaded at:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate-study/application

Academic enquiries may be addressed to geog-aquatic@ucl.ac.uk

Further Information

River Stiffkey, Norfolk, EnglandMSc Aquatic Science is taught by members of Departmental research groups specialising in Environmental ChangeEnvironmental Modelling and Environment Landscape and Society. The course also has specialist input from the UCL Thames Estuary Partnership, and from Environmental Scientific Services Ltd (an in-house consultancy).

Staff contributing to the course come from a diversity of scientific backgrounds and include both freshwater and coastal specialists in subjects ranging from aquatic biology and ecology, limnology and palaeolimnology, aquatic pollution, biogeochemistry, groundwater and wetland hydrology, estuarine and coastal geomorphology, water policy, aquatic conservation and the social science of aquatic environmental management.

Speakers from other universities and environmental protection, research and conservation organisations such as the UK Environment Agency, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Natural England, the UK Wildlife Trusts, the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (CEFAS) and the Broads Authority are invited to lecture on the course and take part in fieldwork. Furthermore, student dissertations are often undertaken in collaboration with these organisations. By bringing students continuously into contact with active researchers and practitioners in aquatic system management and by linking closely with other UCL MSc programmes such as the MSc in Conservation, we aim to create a vibrant and informal academic environment involving mutual discovery and on-going debate.

Potential applicants are expected to have a first or upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Environmental Science, Geography, Oceanography, Biology, Chemistry or Engineering) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with relevant professional experience in aquatic science or environmental management will also be considered.

To apply, please contact the Graduate Admissions Secretary (geog-masters@ucl.ac.uk) to request a Graduate Application Pack.

Application materials may also be downloaded at:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate-study/application

Academic enquiries may be addressed to geog-aquatic@ucl.ac.uk


MSc Aquatic Science Flyer

MSc Aquatic Science Handbook
A short brochure can be downloaded here. A more detailed course handbook can be downloaded here.