PDF version of Remote Sensing MSc

Contact details

Ms Fiona Mannion

Email: masters@geog.ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0575/7579

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,250 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£16,250 (FT)

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Contributing department

Contributing Department
Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Prospectus Entry


Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

65% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Remote Sensing MSc

The Remote Sensing MSc at UCL is the leading Master's level programme in remote sensing in the UK. It offers the opportunity to study at an advanced level the ways in which remote sensing instruments in space and on aircraft may be used to collect environmental information about the Earth.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

Students develop an all-round knowledge of remote sensing, including the fundamental principles, the current technological developments and the applications to local, regional and global problems. They gain highly developed, marketable practical skills to enable them to take leading roles in academic, government or industrial sectors of remote sensing.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding reputation for its research and teaching.

A distinctive feature of the programme is its intercollegiate nature which exposes students to a range of university departments and expertise across fields including monitoring and modelling vegetation and carbon stocks, solid earth and geology, fire impacts, new sensor technology and ocean processes.

The programme is integrated with the Geography MSc programmes providing additional flexibility in the course options.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Analytical and Numerical Methods
  • Scientific Computing
  • Image Processing and GIS
  • Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing


  • Terrestrial Carbon: Modelling and Monitoring
  • Global Monitoring of Environment and Society
  • Airborne Data Acquisition
  • Image Understanding
  • Ocean and Coastal Zone Management
  • Terrestrial Data Acquisition


All students undertake an individual research project. The department enjoys strong links with industry, and projects are often carried out in collaboration with organisations outside the college.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, demonstrations, individual and group coursework, and compulsory computer training. Student learning is supported by tutorials, transferable skills training and research supervision throughout the year. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, coursework, dissertation and an oral presentation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Acceptable degrees include oceanography, marine studies, geography, civil engineering, geology, mathematics, and physics. Extensive work experience covering related areas will be considered. Formal qualifications in mathematics are not a prerequisite for entry to the programme but students are expected to have an aptitude for mathematical studies and if necessary to undertake revision prior to the start of the programme.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The deadline for applications is 2 August 2013. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme will appeal to students looking to understand the role that remote sensing can play in understanding the environment. Students with backgrounds in environmental sciences and in more quantitative sciences (physics, engineering) who wish to develop their skills in this context will find the programme suitable.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Remote Sensing
  • why you want to study Remote Sensing at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of a challenging academic environment
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


This MSc will appeal to individuals interested in developing research training while acquiring vocational skills for work in remote sensing related positions in public and private sector institutions. Remote Sensing graduates find jobs in diverse companies from consultants such as Nigel Press Associates, through major international companies such as Logica, to government agencies such as the Ordnance Survey or QinetiQ. The programme is also a suitable training for those wishing to undertake higher level work as a prelude to a PhD in remote sensing. Many of the programme alumni now occupy academic positions throughout the remote sensing community.

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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