UCL Graduate degrees


Remote Sensing and Environmental Mapping

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 4 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£12,500 (FT)
£6,250 (PT)
£25,800 (FT)
£12,900 (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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

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 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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

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

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.

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 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.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a 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.

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

  • Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing
  • Analytical and Numerical Methods
  • Scientific Computing
  • Geospatial Science

Optional modules

  • Terrestrial Carbon: Modelling and Monitoring
  • Climate Modelling
  • Spatial-Temporal Data Analysis and Data Mining (STDM)
  • Reality Capture and Precision 3d Sensing
  • Sensors and Location
  • Mining Social and Geographic Datasets
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Cartography and Data Visualisation
  • Coastal Geohazards
  • Environmental GIS
  • Surface Water Modelling


All students undertake an individual independent research project of 12,000 words (60 credits). The dissertation process includes an assessed poster presentation following dissertation submission, counting for 10% of the overall dissertation mark. The department has a range of links with industry, charities and other academic and non-academic partners, and dissertation projects may be carried out in collaboration with these organisations.

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.

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.


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


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


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.


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.

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 and atmospheric processes.

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

Department: 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
4 May 2021

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 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.

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021