Both natural environments and those heavily influenced and altered by human activities are ever-changing. This programme will allow you to explore the unique specialisms within our physical geography and environmental science research team, and to work closely on a specialist topic with an expert in your chosen field of interest. The support available is on a one-to-one basis and culminates in a substantial MSc dissertation. This can take the form of a traditional monograph, a research report or two draft manuscripts intended for publication in an international, peer-reviewed journal. This programme is ideal for those looking to continue on to PhD research or to work independently, for example, as a consultant.

Which topics can I study?

Projects available from our Earth Surface Science specialists change every year. Recent topics have included:

  • environmental impact of historical landfill
  • lateral moraine formation
  • analysis of glaciotectonic structures
  • assessment of rare species
  • analysis of braided river channel networks

Study Details:

MSc by Reseach 1 year Full time 2 years Part time

Module Details:

Core module:

  • Independent Research Project (120 credits)

Compulsory modules:

  • Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis (15 credits)
  • Environmental Science Research and Practice (15 credits)
  • Project-specific Research Training (15 credits)

Option modules:

  • Biogeosciences and Ecosystem Services (15 credits)
  • Desk Study (15 credits)
  • Flood Risk Management and Modelling (15 credits)
  • River Assessment and Restoration (15 credits)

Programme Funding

There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Student Destinations

This programme will equip students with a range of transferable skills and attributes sought by diverse graduate employers. In addition, the programme will provide students with knowledge and understanding relevant to employment in organisations such as Environment Agency, Defra, Natural England, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, British Geological Survey and environmental consultancies. The opportunity to develop links with partner organisations as part of the research project will create work experience opportunities and provide insights into the structure and operation of these organisations.


Home and EU students 2018/19 Academic Year Full time £8,700 Part time £4,350 International students 2018/19 Academic Year Full time £18,500 Part time £9,300

Entry Requirements

An upper second class honours degree or higher in a relevant subject from a UK university (or an equivalent international qualification) together with two supportive references is usually required. It is not a requirement to have previously studied geography and we encourage applications from students from a natural and environmental sciences background. Applicants must specify a topic from our list of research topics that they wish to investigate and include a research proposal with their application.

Please see our website for how to apply

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