Top in Scotland for Environmental Science
Source: National Student Survey 2016
This programme will bridge the interface between two important disciplines: Environmental Science and Ecology. It aims to help you develop the knowledge and practical skills required to tackle important environmental issues by applying appropriate ecological theory.
This programme is studied on campus.
The line that separates ecological and environmental sciences has become less distinct in recent years due to the increased demand for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work. This programme will give you an understanding of both these disciplines, as well as allowing you to integrate knowledge across these disciplines.
By taking this degree, you will be equipped with relevant skills in environmental policy, legislation, risk assessment models, environmental analytical instrumentation, understanding the use and implementation of environmental models, placing ecology within the landscape, looking at ecological niches and exploring how ecology impacts society.
These skills will make you an ideal candidate for positions within both the environmental science and ecological science sectors such as consultancies, regulators and NGOs. Furthermore, you will develop key research skills preparing you for a PhD and career in ecological and environmental research.
Integrated lectures, field trips, data exercises and discussions provide a broad overview of theoretical plant ecology and its practical applications. You will participate in data collection in sand dune, heathland and woodland habitats becoming familiar with a range of plant species. Key skills in vegetation survey, monitoring and research are taught. Class field data are used as the basis for understanding ecological processes and for learning vegetation analysis methods. You will practice writing skills in a data report and essay, supported by “clinics” and by individual help to students. Detailed feedback helps your writing in subsequent courses.
The course will provide the students with valuable skills required in developing their research and general study skills, essential for their progression during the MSc programme, as well as to the rest of their academic and professional careers. The course introduces basic statistical analysis, teaches data handling skills and exposes students to literature searching and reference styles. During the course, students will get experience in handling real-life, large data sets and will work together with the lecturer and demonstrators in analysing the data and presenting the results.
Enables students to increase and enhance their understanding of atmospheric, aquatic and terrestrial environmental pollution issues;
Addresses the management, monitoring and control of environmental pollutants;
Allows students to engage with stake holders from a number of different sectors;
Uses both qualitative and quantitative data to understand the impact of environmental pollutants.
This advanced soil science course provides additional teaching of physical, chemical and biological properties of soils in the context of food security. You will learn a variety of processes that affect soil productivity, accompanied by practical sessions that will teach relevant analytical methods. The wide range of soil processes taught will be brought together at the end of the course to provide a working knowledge of agronomy, including the interactions between crops and specific chemical or physical properties of soils. Students are introduced to modelling of agricultural impacts on soils and the environment so that mitigation strategies can be assessed.
Applications of GIS (15 credit points)
This course will give you an understanding of fundamental concepts in geographical information systems (GIS), an appreciation of the ways in which GIS can be used in ecology and environmental science, and practical skills in using ArcGIS software to answer questions and solve problems in a spatial context. The course is designed to broaden your portfolio of research skills and enhance your employability. Most of the activity involves practicing on a range of real-world examples from research in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, before choosing a case study and devising your own questions to demonstrate your command of the conceptual underpinnings and proficiency with the software.
The course catalogue will be updated with this information shortly.
Field visits to examine river systems and forested catchments provide context and opportunities to discuss a diverse set of environmental management problems with professionals working in the field.
Practical sessions provide structured activities focused on the identification of freshwater invertebrates and applications of GIS approaches for analysing data to support catchment management planning.
You apply theoretical and practical knowledge to a case study, demonstrating your capacity to evaluate site specific data and to interpret relevant legislation and regulation.Working individually and with a group you will write and present a management plan for a location of your choosing.
Six themes that reflect current theory and practice in the interface between ecology, conservation and society are explored through structured in-class activities challenging you to consider problems and evidence from different perspectives.
Case studies drawn from different disciplinary perspectives (e.g., anthropology, economics, human geography, philosophy) increase capacity for self-reflection and awareness of ethical and moral issues embedded in problems often framed as ecological.
Four short discussion essays are required; you will get detailed feedback for improving your writing skills.
Weekly student-led discussions allow you to develop your capacity for attentive exchange, informed argument and reasoning, and skills in facilitating discussion.
The mixture of applied science and theoretical work places you in a valuable position for understanding the procedures and applications in modern environmental science. A number of laboratory classes allows you to familiarise yourself with the current analytical instrumentation in environmental science. The course uses examples of environmental issues allowing you to understand the problem, how the analysis was conducted and the implications of the results. The main assessment in this course is a practical write up that is written in the style of a scientific report giving you an opportunity to perfect this style of writing.
The three-month individual Research Project can cover any area of environmental/ecological sciences and is undertaken under the supervision of a member of staff who is an expert in your chosen field. Many projects are also done in collaboration with an external organisation. The project provides opportunities for you to develop your abilities and skills, generate hypotheses and design ways of testing them and to analyse, report and discuss your findings. You will learn to take responsibility for implementing your own plans and modifying them as necessary. The project is written up in the form of a scientific paper manuscript.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
A wide range of teaching methods are used at Aberdeen to ensure that you are able to learn in a way that suits your learning style and enables you to achieve the best possible outcome. Our class sizes are small and we have a low student to tutor ratio, meaning you will have the full support of your group tutors.
Our great diversity in teaching methods is coupled by the use of latest digital technology to ensure course content is accessible to all students through a wide range of electronic formats.
The MSc also provides students with ample opportunity to learn outside the classroom so you can apply both theory and practice to real life situations. The majority of courses regularly extend activities and learning to outdoor field work, visits by industry experts and insights into real-life situations and problem-solving. The MSc programme includes, without additional cost, a one week residential field course (at Ballater, Aberdeenshire) plus several day-long field trips from Aberdeen.
The dedicated research project you will undertake as part of your MSc provides training in study design, technical skills, recording results and observations and analysing results. Great flexibility is available in project selection; projects can be chosen from a list of developed by the students themselves in collaboration with supervisors. Projects can be field, lab and/or computer based and flexible to fit the student’s interests, aspirations and skill set.
The programme is assessed entirely by continuous assessment. There are no exams. The assessments have been developed to provide training in key transferable skills. For example, presentations, paper reviews, graphical abstracts and reports. Additional assessments for more applied courses includes a management plan. The final assessment is your project report submitted in the form of a manuscript.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
A UK 2:1 honours degree (or international equivalent), in a biological, environmental or physical science, geography, or other relevant subject; applicants with a 2ii (or equivalent), particularly with some relevant experience, may also be considered. We also consider individuals with degrees in a wider range of disciplines who are clearly motivated by the programme and have some relevant experience.
Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.
To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54
Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:
OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
|Home / EU / RUK Students||£8,300|
|Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year|
|Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year|
The following options are available to support your studies. Please click the links for full details and eligibility criteria:
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
The programme focuses on providing training in state-of-the-art methods that will be invaluable both for careers in academic research and outside of academia. This programme brings together a range of courses that will equip you with the knowledge and skills suited for the environmental sector.
In addition to acquiring discipline-specific skills, the course work activities within our programme are designed to provide you with ample opportunity to develop generic skills required by employers including critical thinking, time management, problem-solving, team work, presenting work both as written reports and as oral presentations.
On graduating you will have several career options available to you, some of which include:
Source: National Student Survey 2016
Professor Pete Smith and his team conduct research that underpins international climate policy around greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.
Vasilis is an ecologist with a strong interest in wetland ecology and aquatic and terrestrial animal movement and emigration. He also has an interest on mosquito larval ecology and malaria transmission and teaches on various courses on the MSc.
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Our plant growth facilities include controlled environmental growth chambers and glasshouses for teaching and experimental work.
The Cruickshank Botanic Garden is situated on our King's College campus. It is used to support both our teaching and research; existing to promote the diversity and importance of plants and their role in the natural world.
Our laboratory facilities include advanced analytical equipment to study soil chemical, physical and biological properties. Students have the opportunity to access state-of-the-art facilities such as mass spectroscopy, GC-MS and XRay CT imaging.