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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Graduate Taught  /  MSc Environmental Modelling

MSc Environmental Modelling



The MSc Programme Environmental Modelling equips students with a well-rounded training in the role, implementation and application of models in environmental science. It is aimed not only at environmental science students, but also to those with a background in other sciences or engineering, who wish to develop their skills in an environmental science context.

The UCL MSc Environmental Modelling Programme is a multidisciplinary degree that provides rigorous technical and scientific training for the next generation of environmental modelling professionals. There is a growing need for these skills, not just from the scientific community but also from the perspective of environmental management. There is a pressing national and international need to understand the nature and consequences of climatic change and to develop adaptation strategies. Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of the Earth System (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere) and the nature and causes of climate variability and change.

The Programme draws upon the unrivalled strengths of UCL Geography in modelling across a broad range of environmental science disciplines. Our expertise encompasses state-of-the-art global and regional general circulation and ocean models, advanced hydrodynamic and hydrological simulations, palaeoclimate reconstruction over geological to recent historical timescales, and earth observation-derived vegetation and carbon cycle modelling. We also have a particular focus on model-based assessment of climate change impacts on coastal, estuarine and freshwater systems.


The MSc Environmental Modelling Programme is completed in one (calendar) year full time. All students study four core modules in the first term (autumn) to build a solid skillset about the design and application of environmental models. In term two (spring) students take four advanced courses focusing on particular sub-disciplines from a range of options. Students subsequently undertake a piece of original research leading to a dissertation of up to 12,000 words (60 credits) with the support of an academic supervisor.

Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value
GEOG0109 Models in Environmental Science 15 credits
GEOG0110 Analytical and Numerical Methods 15 credits
GEOG0111 Scientific Computing 15 credits

In addition to the three compulsory modules listed above, students choose one module from:

Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value
GEOG0044 Mitigation and Adaptation to Environmental Change 15 credits
GEOG0118 Climate Dynamics 15 credits


The four optional modules are normally selected from the following list, but not exclusively so. Due to sabbaticals and staff changes, not all modules are available every year, and module availability is subject to change. If you have questions relating to a specific optional module available in the forthcoming year, please contact the course convenor.

Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value
GEOG0034 Coastal Geohazards 15 credits
GEOG0035 Environmental GIS 15 credits
GEOG0067 Surface Water Modelling 15 credits
GEOG0101 Ocean Circulation and Climate Change 15 credits
GEOG0112 Climate Change Impacts to Hydro-ecological Systems (not running in 2021-22 due to staff sabbaticals) 15 credits
GEOG0113 Terrestrial Carbon: Modelling and Monitoring 15 credits
GEOG0121 Climate Modelling 15 credits


Students on the MSc Programme embark on a Dissertation (60 credits) in May, which lasts until the end of the programme in September. The Department enjoys strong links with industry, and projects are regularly carried out in collaboration with organisations outside the college. With the range of expertise available in the department and across UCL, this leads to a very wide variety of possible topics for investigation.

Information on fees and funding can be found on the main UCL website.

  1. Fees
  2. Scholarships


    You can apply for a place on this Programme via UCL Admissions.

    Potential applicants are expected to have a First or Upper Second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. oceanography, marine studies, geography, civil engineering, geology, mathematics, and physics) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

    Applicants with relevant professional experience in environmental science or environmental management will also be considered. Formal qualifications in mathematics are not a prerequisite for entry, but students are expected to have an aptitude for mathematical studies and if necessary to undertake revision prior to the start of the Programme. Academic enquiries can be emailed to the Geography Department. Overseas applicants will need a recognised English language qualification. To find out if your degree is recognised by UCL please contact UCL Admissions.


    Graduate careers are diverse and include environmental consultancy, catastrophe modelling, government planning and PhD research. Take a look at our Careers page to see where some of our students have gone on to work.