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Climate Change MSc

There is a pressing national and international need to understand the nature and consequences of climatic change and to develop adaptation strategies. The UCL Climate Change MSc provides rigorous scientific and vocational training for the next generation of climate change professionals.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£11,470 (FT)
£5,770 (PT)
Overseas:
£23,340 (FT)
£11,830 (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 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

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject (such as environmental science, geography, oceanography, biology, chemistry, physics or engineering) from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with relevant professional experience in climate science or environmental management 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:

About this degree

The programme provides you with a knowledge and understanding of the Earth system (incorporating the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere) and the nature and causes of climate variability and change. It combines observationally based climate and environmental science with state-of-the-art modelling, specifically concerned with understanding the impacts of climate change. It seeks to place climate change within the context of broader anthropogenic environmental change and social policy dimensions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

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

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

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Climate Change. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Climate Change. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Climate Change.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Climate Dynamics
  • Models in Environmental Science
  • Past Climates
  • Global Environmental Change

* modules running are dependent on staff sabbaticals

Optional modules

Options may include:

  • Options may include:
  • Biological Indicators of Environmental Change
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Climate Modelling
  • Climate Change Impacts to Hydro-ecological systems
  • Climate Proxies
  • Environmental GIS
  • Ocean Circulation and Climate Change
  • Politics of Climate Change
  • Surface Water Modelling
  • Terrestrial Carbon: Modelling and Monitoring

Other MSc modules offered across UCL may be taken at the discretion of the MSc convenor. *Availability of modules is dependent on staff sabbaticals.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates 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, and the dissertation.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

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

Careers

The programme provides an ideal foundation for PhD research, or for employment with a wide range of private industries, non-governmental organisations, government agencies and environmental consultancies. Graduates have gone on to careers in the commercial, non-profit and academic sectors. Examples include government policy implementation, sustainability consultancy, science communication and research. A significant proportion of students go onto further study such as a PhD.

Employability

Climate change is big issue with many governmental, non-governmental and commercial cosequences. This programme will give graduates an edge when applying for jobs in the private sector relating to adaptation and mitigation - such as the insurance industry and carbon monitoring companies respectively. It also provides a great stepping-stone to a PhD.

Why study this degree at UCL?

As one of the world's top universities, UCL excels across the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The MSc is run by UCL Geography, which enjoys an outstanding international reputation for its research and teaching.

The Climate Change MSc brings together the strong expertise of the department, offering a distinctive blend of fundamental climate science, environmental modelling, impacts and adaptations, delivered from both natural and social science perspectives.

By bringing together students and researchers we aim to create a vibrant and informal academic environment of mutual discovery and ongoing debate.

Department: Geography

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

Applications

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students with a geographical or scientific background who are interested in acquiring a thorough understanding of the Earth's climate system and techniques for measuring and modelling its variability.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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 Climate Change
  • why you want to study Climate Change 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020