Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The degree is the leading Master's programme in remote sensing and environmental mapping available in the UK. It offers the opportunity to study at an advanced level the ways in which remote sensing from ground-based to spaceborne platforms may be used to collect environmental information about the terrestrial biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and cryosphere at a range of scales and across wavelengths.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications closed


Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

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: Advanced

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

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

Who this course is for

This MSc will appeal to students looking to understand and apply remote sensing and mapping 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 also benefit from studying this programme.

What this course will give you

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 and atmospheric processes.

The degree is integrated with other Geography MSc programmes, providing greater flexibility when choosing optional modules.

The foundation of your career

The range of generic, transferable skills provided by the degree programme are attractive to a range of employers. Students gain a fundamental understanding of the key principles of remote sensing, mapping, environmental data handling and analysis. Skills training includes data analysis (statistics and modelling), and programming using Python particularly. Students also develop communication skills via written work, reports, oral presentations and posters. 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, mapping and environmental science.


MSc RSEM graduates are highly-employable across a wide range of sectors. Recent graduates have been employed in: commercial sector companies including consultancy organisations carrying out environmental and spatial analysis for environmental impacts; major international geospatial companies; new start-ups using UAVs and satellite data for agricultural activities; government and government-affiliated agencies; charities and NGOs. The programme is also suitable training for those wishing to undertake higher level work as a prelude to a PhD in a quantitative environmental discipline and a number of our graduates have gone on to become leading researchers in the UK and overseas.

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.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits), full-time 12 weeks, flexible study up to two years is offered.



You will undertake 8 taught modules and the research dissertation.

Full time structure:

Term one: you will take 4 compulsory courses which will include lectures and computer practical work, modules will be taken in Geography and in Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE)

Term two: you will take 4 optional courses from a list of Geography and CEGE modules available that year, a maximum of 2 modules may be taken outside of Geography and CEGE, subject to the programme convenors approval.

Term three: the dissertation planning commences in term one with the research and writing conducted in term three and the summer with the dissertation submitted at the end of August.


Part time structure:

Year One: You will normally take 2 compulsory modules in term one and 2 optional modules in term two from a list of Geography and CEGE optional modules available that year, a maximum of 2 modules may be taken outside of Geography and CEGE, subject to the programme convenors approval..

Year Two: You will normally take the remaining 2 compulsory modules in term one and 2 optional modules in term two.  In term three and over the summer you will complete the research dissertation.

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping.


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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Funding your studies

The Funding your studies session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Funding and Student Recruitment teams, provides information and guidance about the various scholarships and funding opportunities for graduate study at UCL.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £12,900 £6,450
Tuition fees (2022/23) £26,600 £13,300

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Students may incur a small cost for printing their dissertation posters, but this is not mandatory. Poster templates are provided that allow students to print their posters as separate A4 or A3 sheets on standard UCL printers. However many students choose to pay to have their posters printed in A0 format, using UCL's printing service, the Geography Department Drawing Office or commercial printers. This is typically < £20

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

Funding your studies

None None

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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Aziz Foundation Scholarships in Social and Historical Sciences

Deadline: 11 July 2022
Value: Full tuition fees (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping
  • why you want to study Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

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