Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This degree is the leading Master's programme in remote sensing and environmental mapping 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 (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper 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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

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.

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, written and other communication skills 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 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 40 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.


Graduates are highly-employable across a wide range of sectors. Recent graduates have been employed in: international space agencies, commercial geospatial and environmental companies; new start-ups using UAVs and satellite data; government agencies; charities and NGOs. The programme is also suitable training for those wishing to undertake 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.


Students will benefit from the expertise of our world-class researchers and due to the inter-disciplinary nature of our work, you can develop your knowledge across subjects, learning from academics not only in Geography but the wider UCL community as well. The department also hosts annual careers events where alumni share their experience of post-graduation training and employment across the wide variety of opportunities available to geography graduates.

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, posters, a dissertation and oral presentation.

Each 15 credit module involves 150 learning hours per module. This includes taught time (lectures, demonstrations, tutorials and seminars), computer training, peer-to-peer learning, coursework, assessment and assessment preparation, and independent study.

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: 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: 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 convenor's approval.

Term three: dissertation planning commences in term one, research and writing are conducted in term three and the summer with submission at the end of August, followed by an assessed poster session. There are opportunities to undertake dissertations with outside organisations as well as within UCL.

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 (in total over 2 years) may be taken outside of Geography and CEGE, subject to the programme convenor's 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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

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 and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100 £7,550
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

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

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

Aziz Foundation Scholarships in Social and Historical Sciences

Value: Full tuition fees (equivalent to 1yr full-time) (1yr)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and 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 (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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