Skip navigation

Enter your details to receive an email with a link to a downloadable PDF of this course and to receive the latest news and information from Northumbria University

* By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Campus Management Corp. (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here

CLOSE

This programme offers a remarkable opportunity to learn cutting-edge technological techniques underpinned by advanced theoretical knowledge from some of the world’s foremost authorities in environmental monitoring, modelling and reconstruction.

Throughout the course you will develop your practical skills and theoretical understanding of contemporary measurements, by intertwining them with reconstruction of past environments and computer modelling of the behaviour of past and future environmental systems.

A week-long fieldtrip in an Arctic location (e.g. Abisko, Sweden) will provide you with an excellent opportunity to practice your high-level data collection skills, developed within our thriving and inspiring research culture.

Our applied approach will allow graduates from any scientific background to develop the in-demand skills and theoretical understanding to succeed in industry, environmental management and consultancy, or further academic research.

This innovative new Masters offers:

A stepping stone from any scientific discipline to a range of careers in environmental management and consultancy, geosciences or further academic research

A taught course with a skills focus – you will learn how to apply high-level skills required for core environmental roles in the workplace or further academic research

A tailored experience – you will design and carry out your own research in conjunction with staff who are leading experts in environmental geosciences

A field trip to the Arctic – a remarkable opportunity to practise a wide range of high-level data collection and analysis skills in a unique location (included in the course fee).

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year Full Time

Department
Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2019

Fee Information

Module Information

Discover more / Geography and Environmental Sciences

Watch Senior Lecturer Dr Emma Hocking talk about this Masters in a Minute (or so), get inspired by Dr Kate Winter's Antarctic adventures, and explore the wider department.

Arctic Field Trip / Abisko, Sweden

As part of the MSc you'll travel to Abisko for an exhilarating week practising your data collection and analysis skills. We've been on a recce to make sure everything is set up ready for your experience - watch the video and photos below to get a feel for the place and the activities you'll be undertaking.

Book an Open Day / Experience Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Experience an Open Day event to get an inside view of what it's really like to study Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction at Northumbria. Hear from staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

You will be part of a cohort of dedicated students, learning in small groups through seminars and practical skills workshops. 

The first semester will include a contextual module ‘Frontiers in Geoscience’, which will allow you to identify the big scientific questions and learn how fundamental principles underpin both applied and theoretical studies. You will also study two intensive practical and analytical modules exposing you to new data collection and laboratory skills, focusing on monitoring and reconstruction respectively. 

In ‘Environmental Monitoring’ you will develop skills across a wide range of advanced techniques. These will include assessment of erosion using drones and laser scanning; air pollution and toxicity in soils or water in relation to policy and legal enforcement; river quality assessment through ecological and geochemical analyses; sea level change and ocean acidification. In ‘Environmental Reconstruction’ you will be taught multi-proxy methods to reconstruct past climates, and advanced statistical methods for addressing palaeoenvironmental research questions.

In semester two you will learn and apply new computational skills. You will learn through technical demonstrations and project work, as well as having the opportunity to run complex computational models in a variety of industry-leading, research-grade computer languages regularly used by SMEs in the sector. You will also study ‘Communicating Geoscience’ to equip you with the critical skills required to articulate your ideas and analyses. In parallel with this, you will begin to design your major project in a topic of your choice, working closely alongside academic staff. 

Towards the end of this semester you will go on a week-long field trip in the Arctic (e.g. Abisko in northern Sweden). There you will undertake advanced monitoring techniques with substantial responsibility for scientific decision-making in the field, to prepare you for professional life.

In the final semester you will undertake independent study and present the findings of your work to academics and peers, developing the strong scientific communication skills that will be vital in your future career.

Watch / Research into teaching

Discover more about how your research-rich learning experience will prepare you for a career in academia or industry, from Senior Lecturer Dr Leanne Wake.

Interactive map / Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Your tutors and fellow students undertake research and work with partners all over the globe. Discover a project that inspires you through our interactive map.

Book an Open Day / Experience Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Visit an Open Day to get an inside view of what it's really like to study Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Our internationally respected Cold and Palaeo-Environment Group (CAPE) attracts world-leading academics, staff who are at the forefront of creating new subject-specific knowledge and keen to inspire the next generation of environmental scientists.

Our staff have a vast range of experience across global academic and industrial research projects, including work with NASA, the British Antarctic Survey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, amongst many others.

They continue to work on innovative research, and will involve you in their work as it progresses over the course of your Masters. You will learn from lecturers and technicians and at the top of their game in cutting-edge technology, and can draw on their diverse experience and expertise to support any major project topic.

Teaching staff / Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Here are just a few of the world-leading academics who will be sharing their knowledge with you on this course. Click through to 'All staff profiles' to explore the full list.

Fieldwork / Around the world

Our staff and students regularly undertake fieldwork in locations across the globe. Follow the Cold and Palaeo-Environment Group's Flickr photostream to discover more.

Book an Open Day / Experience Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Visit an Open Day to get an inside view of what it's really like to study Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Working at Masters level will give you access to all of our department’s state-of-the-art fieldwork, laboratory and computational technologies.

You will spend much of your time in our Palaeo and Environmental Research Laboratories, where Northumbria’s ongoing investment in STEM facilities has created world-leading resources for collaborative research. Perform analyses in our Stable Isotope Laboratory, analyse ‘big data’ using climate and ice-flow models on our High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster, and monitor previously inaccessible landscapes with Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS).

Our facilities are run by a team of expert technical staff who are on hand to support you throughout your studies.

Facilities / Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Explore our state-of-the-art facilities within the CAPE research group and across the wider department.

Book an Open Day / Experience Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Visit an Open Day to get an inside view of what it's really like to study Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

From day one of your course you will be immersed in a thriving research community, as part of Northumbria’s world-leading Cold and Palaeo-Environment Group (CAPE) and supported by the wider Extreme Environments multidisciplinary research theme.

Everything we teach on this course is based on our areas of research strength, the topics we truly care about and in which we are excited to share our expertise with Masters students. You will be there with us as co-investigators to develop scientific understanding and gain exposure to collaborative partnerships across the globe.

You will develop advanced skills and aptitudes necessary to carry out your own independent research, preparing you for your final major project. If you wish to continue your research, then this Masters would also be the perfect preparation for one of our funded PhDs as part of the prestigious new NERC One Planet Doctoral Training Partnership.

Research / Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Discover more and get inspired by the research-rich learning environment at Northumbria.

NEWS / Ambitious UK-US Antarctic research mission begins

Northumbria academics are an integral part of a five-year quest to understand the contribution that the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica will make to global sea level. Watch the video to discover more.

Book an Open Day / Experience Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Visit an Open Day to get an inside view of what it's really like to study Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

You will graduate from this highly practical and skills-focused Masters with the technical skills and critically applied expert knowledge that are demanded by industry.

The need to process overwhelming volumes of data in a meaningful way is one of the biggest challenges in almost every industry, and you will be equipped with the skills to make a valuable contribution. The emphasis on science communication throughout the course will prepare you to articulate your contributions clearly to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, as well as giving you valuable access to regional employers.

Your focus on modelling, monitoring and reconstruction of the environment will equip you for careers in the environmental consultancy and management sectors, with organisations such as the Environment Agency, Natural England or the UK atomic Energy Authority. Within this sector you will be fully prepared for a wide range of highly diverse roles such as Environmental Advisor, Pollution Monitor, Risk Analyst or Environmental Engineer.

This MSc is also an ideal stepping stone into full-time research, allowing you to refine and maintain your future career options in a competitive marketplace.

Career opportunities / ONE Planet DTP

This Masters is the ideal preparation if you're interested in applying to the NERC-funded ONE Planet Doctoral Training Partnership.

Book an Open Day / Experience Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction

Visit an Open Day to get an inside view of what it's really like to study Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have: 

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in relevant subjects including geography, natural and earth sciences, as well as physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics, or computing related subjects. Applicants with professional or voluntary experience will also be considered.

International qualifications 
 
If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry 
 
English Language requirements 
 
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
 
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £7,740

Full EU Fee: £7,740

Full International Fee: £15,750

ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no additional costs. The costs related to the field trip to Abisko, Sweden (£750) are included in the course fee.

Scholarships and Discounts

Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.

 

 

If you'd like to receive news and information from us in the future about the course or finance then please complete the below form

* By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Campus Management Corp. (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here

Modules Overview 2019/20

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

KE7029 -

Environmental Monitoring (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn how to plan and implement measurements to assess the status of the natural environment. You will learn how to develop appropriate sampling strategies and how to conduct a wide range of methods spanning chemical, physical and biological to gain a thorough understanding of the environment. You will develop a broad range of highly employable skills in collection, modelling and analysis of environmental and socially important data-sets.

Key topics include:

Atmosphere and Air Quality: - How to monitor air quality and climate conditions, and determine if pollutant concentrations could be considered harmful to people. You will become skilled in how to monitor an outbreak of air pollution, and how to apply atmospheric dispersion modelling systems (ADMS) within a GIS environment. You will gain experience in measuring concentrations and isotopic composition on climate
relevant greenhouse gases (e.g. CO2 & CH4). Research examples of GES staff research in applying these techniques will be presented (e.g. application of air pollution monitoring across Newcastle city centre and greenhouse gas tracing in the Arctic).

Contaminated Land and Hydrology: - You will gain skills in assessing land and river state, specifically associated with toxic elements and their behaviour in the environment (e.g. food contamination). You will learn how to assess ecological status in land and waters and their context of national and EU frameworks (e.g. UK water framework directive). You will gain highly employable skills in ‘R’ language coding and use these techniques to assess flood risk assessments.

Coasts and Cliffs: You will learn how to monitor changes in cliff and coastlines using state-of-the-art structure for motion (SfM) mapping of drone data, and how to apply these skills to diverse datasets tracking threats to critical infrastructure (e.g. roads and people) or natural environment (erosion from sea-level rise). You will create digital terrain models using a variety of contemporary platforms in order to monitoring change, e.g. cliff erosion. Research examples of GES staff research applying these techniques to determine coastal retreat rates across North East coastlines, and to assess landslide risks to critical infrastructure will be provided for context.

More information

KE7030 -

Frontiers in Geoscience (Core,40 Credits)

Through a week-long fieldwork, you will learn advanced methods of collecting, handling, selecting and presenting data, as well as an appreciation of method limitations.

You will make your own measurements of spatial variability in key Arctic environmental variables (e.g. hydrochemistry, vegetation structures for atmosphere- land surface modelling, coring for paleoenvironmental reconstruction), which will provide data you will use in subsequent modules. For the rest of the semester through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops you will learn about research topics at the frontiers of knowledge in earth sciences such as future and past climate changes: what are the big unknowns, what are the urgent problems that need addressing in the near future, and what are some of the ways forward.

More information

KE7031 -

Environmental Modelling (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn to simulate the behaviour of, and interactions between, a selection of Earth’s systems (for example, the cryosphere, atmosphere, ocean, solid Earth). As well as a thorough appreciation of state-of-the-art representation of these systems in the computational domain you will develop an objective understanding of the limitations of such computational models with respect to the processes they intend to capture.

As you learn to operate these Earth System Models (ESMs), you will gain transferable skills in programming languages widely used in both industry and academia. Using these cutting-edge computational models, our teaching staff produce internationally excellent research on the past and future evolution of the polar ice sheets and global climate change. In this module, you will follow on from introductory MATLAB material taught in KE7017: Frontiers in Geoscience in semester 1 and develop advanced programming skills in MATLAB to enable you to contribute the Department’s research activities. You will have the opportunity to explore other languages such as Unix and FORTRAN. You will also gain experience in using Northumbria University’s multi-core High Performance Computing Facility (HPC), “Oswald”, to perform modelling experiments.

More information

KE7032 -

Environmental Reconstruction (Core,20 Credits)

On this module, you will learn new field, laboratory and analytical methods in Environmental Reconstruction and apply these skills to addressing a palaeoenvironmental research question. By the end of this module, you will be able to:

* Extract sediment cores for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions and choose the best sites for analysis.

* Understand the theory and application of a range of common proxy analyses (biological, geochemical) for environmental reconstruction.

* Understand the theory and application of radiocarbon dating methods and the construction of age-depth models to establish a chronological framework to understand palaeoenvironmental change.

* Work confidently in the laboratory undertaking data analysis.

* Apply advanced statistics for the analysis of multivariate data.

* Write a report in the style of a peer-reviewed paper.

* Generate new knowledge in the study of past environmental change.

More information

KE7033 -

Communicating Geoscience (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn how cutting edge research into the geosciences is communicated. You will explore many ways in which geoscientific knowledge is produced, disseminated and debated. The fundamental importance of peer-review in the production and dissemination of scientific research will be discussed and you will learn to recognise contemporary scientific challenges. A key skill set that will be introduced is how to summarise and disseminate your understanding to a wide variety of audiences from the expert to the non-expert.

You will develop skills to confidently communicate (orally, graphically and textually) and debate the limitations of current scientific knowledge in specific areas of geoscience with leading researchers.

The skills that you learn will be useful throughout your professional life where understanding how to tailor your presentation style to an audience is of paramount importance.

More information

KE7034 -

Masters Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

This module is designed to support you in developing and applying advanced academic and/or practice-based research skills within the context of an appropriate area of contemporary geoscience research. This research area will be your own choice, but will be grounded in, or informed by, staff research and/or local industry links. This could include anything from monitoring coastal change along the north east using drones, to reconstructing tropical environmental change, or computer modelling the behaviour of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. You will ultimately conduct an extended piece of original independent research that contributes to the creation of new knowledge. You will work closely with a research supervisor who will provide you with 1:1 guidance throughout all stages of your dissertation, from the initial project design through to submission of the final extended research project.

You will develop expertise in:

* Planning, developing and executing a substantial piece of independent research.

* Evaluating and applying concepts, models and theories to consolidate and extend your knowledge in your chosen field of study.

* Sourcing, reviewing and synthesising a variety of information sources.

* Gathering, analysing and presenting complex data.

* Effective written, verbal and visual communication to a variety of audiences.

* Applying creative and innovative approaches to problem solving.

* Reviewing appropriate ethical, health and safety, commercial and/or confidential data protection issues associated with your research.

More information

Modules Overview 2020/21

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

KE7029 -

Environmental Monitoring (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn how to plan and implement measurements to assess the status of the natural environment. You will learn how to develop appropriate sampling strategies and how to conduct a wide range of methods spanning chemical, physical and biological to gain a thorough understanding of the environment. You will develop a broad range of highly employable skills in collection, modelling and analysis of environmental and socially important data-sets.

Key topics include:

Atmosphere and Air Quality: - How to monitor air quality and climate conditions, and determine if pollutant concentrations could be considered harmful to people. You will become skilled in how to monitor an outbreak of air pollution, and how to apply atmospheric dispersion modelling systems (ADMS) within a GIS environment. You will gain experience in measuring concentrations and isotopic composition on climate
relevant greenhouse gases (e.g. CO2 & CH4). Research examples of GES staff research in applying these techniques will be presented (e.g. application of air pollution monitoring across Newcastle city centre and greenhouse gas tracing in the Arctic).

Contaminated Land and Hydrology: - You will gain skills in assessing land and river state, specifically associated with toxic elements and their behaviour in the environment (e.g. food contamination). You will learn how to assess ecological status in land and waters and their context of national and EU frameworks (e.g. UK water framework directive). You will gain highly employable skills in ‘R’ language coding and use these techniques to assess flood risk assessments.

Coasts and Cliffs: You will learn how to monitor changes in cliff and coastlines using state-of-the-art structure for motion (SfM) mapping of drone data, and how to apply these skills to diverse datasets tracking threats to critical infrastructure (e.g. roads and people) or natural environment (erosion from sea-level rise). You will create digital terrain models using a variety of contemporary platforms in order to monitoring change, e.g. cliff erosion. Research examples of GES staff research applying these techniques to determine coastal retreat rates across North East coastlines, and to assess landslide risks to critical infrastructure will be provided for context.

More information

KE7030 -

Frontiers in Geoscience (Core,40 Credits)

Through a week-long fieldwork, you will learn advanced methods of collecting, handling, selecting and presenting data, as well as an appreciation of method limitations.

You will make your own measurements of spatial variability in key Arctic environmental variables (e.g. hydrochemistry, vegetation structures for atmosphere- land surface modelling, coring for paleoenvironmental reconstruction), which will provide data you will use in subsequent modules. For the rest of the semester through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops you will learn about research topics at the frontiers of knowledge in earth sciences such as future and past climate changes: what are the big unknowns, what are the urgent problems that need addressing in the near future, and what are some of the ways forward.

More information

KE7031 -

Environmental Modelling (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn to simulate the behaviour of, and interactions between, a selection of Earth’s systems (for example, the cryosphere, atmosphere, ocean, solid Earth). As well as a thorough appreciation of state-of-the-art representation of these systems in the computational domain you will develop an objective understanding of the limitations of such computational models with respect to the processes they intend to capture.

As you learn to operate these Earth System Models (ESMs), you will gain transferable skills in programming languages widely used in both industry and academia. Using these cutting-edge computational models, our teaching staff produce internationally excellent research on the past and future evolution of the polar ice sheets and global climate change. In this module, you will follow on from introductory MATLAB material taught in KE7017: Frontiers in Geoscience in semester 1 and develop advanced programming skills in MATLAB to enable you to contribute the Department’s research activities. You will have the opportunity to explore other languages such as Unix and FORTRAN. You will also gain experience in using Northumbria University’s multi-core High Performance Computing Facility (HPC), “Oswald”, to perform modelling experiments.

More information

KE7032 -

Environmental Reconstruction (Core,20 Credits)

On this module, you will learn new field, laboratory and analytical methods in Environmental Reconstruction and apply these skills to addressing a palaeoenvironmental research question. By the end of this module, you will be able to:

* Extract sediment cores for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions and choose the best sites for analysis.

* Understand the theory and application of a range of common proxy analyses (biological, geochemical) for environmental reconstruction.

* Understand the theory and application of radiocarbon dating methods and the construction of age-depth models to establish a chronological framework to understand palaeoenvironmental change.

* Work confidently in the laboratory undertaking data analysis.

* Apply advanced statistics for the analysis of multivariate data.

* Write a report in the style of a peer-reviewed paper.

* Generate new knowledge in the study of past environmental change.

More information

KE7033 -

Communicating Geoscience (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will learn how cutting edge research into the geosciences is communicated. You will explore many ways in which geoscientific knowledge is produced, disseminated and debated. The fundamental importance of peer-review in the production and dissemination of scientific research will be discussed and you will learn to recognise contemporary scientific challenges. A key skill set that will be introduced is how to summarise and disseminate your understanding to a wide variety of audiences from the expert to the non-expert.

You will develop skills to confidently communicate (orally, graphically and textually) and debate the limitations of current scientific knowledge in specific areas of geoscience with leading researchers.

The skills that you learn will be useful throughout your professional life where understanding how to tailor your presentation style to an audience is of paramount importance.

More information

KE7034 -

Masters Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

This module is designed to support you in developing and applying advanced academic and/or practice-based research skills within the context of an appropriate area of contemporary geoscience research. This research area will be your own choice, but will be grounded in, or informed by, staff research and/or local industry links. This could include anything from monitoring coastal change along the north east using drones, to reconstructing tropical environmental change, or computer modelling the behaviour of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. You will ultimately conduct an extended piece of original independent research that contributes to the creation of new knowledge. You will work closely with a research supervisor who will provide you with 1:1 guidance throughout all stages of your dissertation, from the initial project design through to submission of the final extended research project.

You will develop expertise in:

* Planning, developing and executing a substantial piece of independent research.

* Evaluating and applying concepts, models and theories to consolidate and extend your knowledge in your chosen field of study.

* Sourcing, reviewing and synthesising a variety of information sources.

* Gathering, analysing and presenting complex data.

* Effective written, verbal and visual communication to a variety of audiences.

* Applying creative and innovative approaches to problem solving.

* Reviewing appropriate ethical, health and safety, commercial and/or confidential data protection issues associated with your research.

More information

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

bc.applicantservices@northumbria.ac.uk

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints

Order your prospectus

If you're a UK/EU student and would like to know more about our courses, you can order a copy of our prospectus here.

Get a downloadable PDF of this course and updates from Geography and Environmental Sciences

Enter your details to receive an email with a link to a downloadable PDF of this course and to receive the latest news and information from Northumbria University

* By submitting your information you are consenting to your data being processed by Northumbria University (as Data Controller) and Campus Management Corp. (acting as Data Processor). To see the University's privacy policy please click here

+

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

+
+

Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

Back to top