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Environmental Modelling MSc

There is a growing need for qualified professionals with expertise in environmental modelling. The UCL Environmental Modelling MSc is a cross-disciplinary degree that provides rigorous technical and scientific training for the next generation of environmental modelling professionals.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£10,110 (FT) £5,085 (PT)
£20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have a first or upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (e.g. computer science, environmental science, geography, oceanography, engineering, mathematics, physics or biology) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with relevant professional experience will also be considered.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree information

You will gain a well-rounded training in the role, implementation and application of models in environmental science. Core modules provide a critical perspective on model-based science, and introduce essential computational and numerical methods. The programme is contextualised with reference to the challenges of understanding both natural and human-induced changes to a variety of environmental systems.

Students take modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 12 weeks, part-time one year) is offered.

Core modules

  • Models in Environmental Science
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Scientific Computing
  • Analytical and Numerical Methods

Optional modules

Options may include:

  • Climate Modelling
  • Coastal Change
  • Environmental GIS
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Hydro-Ecological Systems
  • Lakes
  • Ocean Circulation and Climate Change
  • Surface Water Modelling
  • Terrestrial Carbon: Monitoring and Modelling

Other MSc modules offered across UCL may be taken at the discretion of the MSc convenor


All students undertake an independent research project, culminating in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory and computer-based practical classes. Assessment is through independent project work, practical-based and written coursework, written examinations and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Environmental Modelling MSc


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


The programme has been designed to provide an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with environmental monitoring and protection agencies, industry and environmental consultancies. Graduates have gone on to careers as management consultants, business analysts and university researchers.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Research Fellow, University of Girona and studying PhD Sanitas, Universitat de Girona (University of Girona)
  • Risk Analyst, Canopius


Modelling was identified as the highest priority UK skills gap in a government review of the environmental sector. This MSc programme exposes students to the full range of environmental modelling which places graduates in a strong position to find employment. We anticipate that graduates of this MSc are either employed in the private environmental consulting sector or undertake a PhD.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Environmental Modelling MSc is run by UCL Geography which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching. Research groups contributing to the MSc include those concerned with environmental modelling and observation, past climates, and recent environmental change and biodiversity.

The programme draws on the unrivalled strengths of UCL in environment modelling. Our expertise encompasses state-of-the-art global climate models, regional ocean models, advanced hydrodynamic and hydrological simulations, palaeoclimate reconstruction over geological to recent historical timescales, earth observation-derived vegetation and carbon cycle modelling, and model-based assessment of climate change impacts on coastal, estuarine and freshwater systems.

Department: Geography

Student / staff numbers › 43 staff including 15 postdocs › 170 taught students › 70 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography
76% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"Students will really appreciate the networks that exist in London, and the opportunities that arise from them. I am interested in how tropical cyclones (such as hurricanes and typhoons) are included in climate models. It is through changes in extreme weather that I feel the impacts of climate change will be most visible in the coming century."

Chris Brierley

Environmental Modelling MSc and Climate Change MSc
UCL Geography

Application and next steps


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?

This MSc is designed to appeal to students looking to obtain a good grasp of the model-based approach to environmental science and management. It will appeal not only to those with backgrounds in environmental sciences but also to those with a background in other sciences or engineering who wish to develop their skills in an environmental science context.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Environmental Modelling
  • why you want to study Environmental Modelling 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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 27 October 2016 at 11:10 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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