The degree is the leading Master's programme in remote sensing available 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 at a range of scales.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £10,110 (FT) £5,085 (PT)
- £20,540 (FT) £10,430 (PT)
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.
A minimum of a second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or overseas qualification of equivalent standard (e.g. oceanography, marine studies, geography, civil engineering, geology, mathematics, and physics) is required. Relevant work 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.
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:
Students develop an all-round knowledge of remote sensing, including fundamental principles, current technological developments and applications to local, regional and global problems. They gain highly developed, marketable practical skills to enable them to take leading roles in academic, government and industrial sectors.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules in term one (60 credits), four optional modules in term two (60 credits) and a research project in term three (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), full-time 12 weeks, flexible study up to two years is offered.
- Analytical and Numerical Methods
- Scientific Computing
- Mapping Science
- 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
- Climate Modelling
All students undertake an individual research project. The department has links with industry, and projects may be carried out in collaboration with organisations outside UCL.
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.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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. The quantitative skills the course provides have proved attractive for employers, particularly the grounding in programming, data handling and analysis, image processing and report writing. These skills are generic and have allowed graduates to go into a range of careers in remote sensing and spatial analysis but also areas such as conservation and management, data analysis, computing, policy and commercial application.
Remote Sensing graduates find jobs in diverse companies: from consultancies carrying out environmental and spatial analysis through to major international companies, or government and government-affiliated agencies. The programme is also suitable training for those wishing to undertake higher level work as a prelude to a PhD in remote sensing.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Civil Engineer, Irrigation Department
- Remote Sensing and Forest Ecology, The University of Edinburgh
- IT Operations Analyst, Ford
- Image Analyst, Civil Service
- PhD Geography, University of Cambridge
The range of generic, transferable skills provided by the degree programme have proved to be attractive to a range of employers. Students gain a fundamental understanding of the key principles of remote sensing and data handling and analysis, as well as the ability to communicate their ideas. Such skills and knowledge are applicable across a wide range of careers. The long heritage of the programme - over 30 years - and its interdisciplinary, intercollegiate nature provides students with a unique perspective, not just from UCL, but across the wider world of remote sensing and environmental science.
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 MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding reputation for its research and teaching, and has a long pedigree in producing highly employable graduates for industry, research, policy and many other areas.
A distinctive feature of the programme is its intercollegiate nature which exposes students to a range of university departments and expertise across fields including terrestrial vegetation and carbon stocks, solid earth and geology, fire impacts, new sensor technology and ocean processes.
The degree is integrated with other Geography MSc programmes providing greater flexibility when choosing optional modules.
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
"I wanted to immerse myself in a new topic with global scope which exposed me to other areas such as computer vision which I am becoming increasingly interested in. Remote Sensing technology gives us the power to monitor global trends in many critical environmental parameters and at the same time can be applied on a smaller scale for local surveying, and thus was a good fit for the career I hope to enter."
James O'ConnorRemote Sensing MSc
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 will appeal to students looking to understand and apply remote sensing methods in environmental monitoring and modelling. Students with backgrounds in environmental sciences; quantitative sciences such as physics or engineering; and also applied degrees, e.g. geography, forestry, and environmental management, will benefit.
- 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 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.
- Application procedure
- Programme content