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Environmental Geochemistry MSc-PGDip

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  • Objectives
    The basic aims of the course are to develop: a) geochemical knowledge relevant to the environment; b) a quantitative approach to geochemistry; c) understanding of analytical chemical methods and their application; d) the skills needed to practise geochemistry professionally. Each aspect of this training is important in learning to develop a coherent strategy for the use of chemical or physical techniques to solve environmental geochemical problems.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements * English language requirements: For applicants whose first language is not English, the University’s minimum English language requirement is a TOEFL score (paper-based test) of at least 550 with 4.0 on the Test of Written English TWE or 220 with 4.0 on essay writing (computer based test) or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in listening and reading, not less than 5.0 in speaking and writing. * Academic entry requirements: The course will appeal to graduates in the geological, geographical, environmental, biogeochemical and/or chemical sciences, provided they have an adequate scientific background including chemistry at least equivalent to A-level. Candidates with a second class honours degree or better will normally attend the course over twelve months, commencing in late September each year. Candidates with lower qualifications may be admitted in exceptional circumstances, for example if they possess sufficient relevant experience. Such candidates may be required to take a preliminary period of study, up to one year in duration, prior to commencing the main MSc course. Overseas students should note that they will be required to provide evidence of an adequate knowledge of both written and spoken English, before proceeding with the course.
  • Academic Title
    Environmental Geochemistry MSc/PGDip
  • Course description
    The course is intended to provide a concentrated one-year training in environmental geochemistry to enable appropriate graduates, entering with basic chemistry equivalent at least to A-level, to work proficiently as a geochemists in environmental consultancy, regulatory agencies or government laboratories. Graduates from the course would also be suitably prepared to embark on a research degree in environmental science.

    The School of Earth and Environment provides a stimulating learning experience for students of earth, environmental science and environmental management. Our research was rated as grade 5 in the HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise. We have over 80 academic staff in the school covering a wide variety of research which is undertaken by four institutes within the School.

        * Sustainability Research Institute is dedicated to the development and application of interdisciplinary environmental analysis in realisation of the principles of sustainable development:
        * Institute of Atmospheric Science is dedicated to understanding the physical and chemical processes that govern the behaviour of Earth's atmosphere. Atmospheric processes are investigated using numerical models and field and laboratory experiments from the Earth's surface to the stratosphere.
        * Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics is dedicated to understanding the structure and evolution of the Earth and neighbouring planets. Detection and measurement of resources in the crustal layer and understanding of geological hazard; measurement of gravity, magnetism, seismic waves and electrical properties, theoretical and computer modelling, and surface structural mapping.
        * Institute for Geological Sciences researches the physical, biological and geochemical processes to understand controls on the modern environment (both land and sea) and how man is affecting that system.

    What you study
    The course comprises 180 credits overall with 150 credits of compulsory modules (including 60 Credit Research Project) plus 30 credits of options, which include modules covering management and legal aspects.

    These cover a range of theoretical, applied and practical aspects of Environmental Geochemistry together with an individual project which leads to the submission of a dissertation, the main purpose of which is to show that a student can organise, carry out and write up a piece of work of their own choosing. These projects are often designed and carried in association with outside bodies such as private industry, public authorities or government laboratories.

    The course takes place mainly within the School of Earth & Environment, with some optional modules in other relevant departments. It normally begins in late September and consists of:

        * Two terms of lectures and laboratory classes.
        * Approximately four months (May to August) of individual work leading to the submission of a dissertation at the end of August.
        * A series of supervised field courses throughout the year, but largely undertaken during the first two terms, including the Easter vacation.

    The course is assessed by a combination of written examination, continuous assessment, marked reports and seminar presentations and the dissertation. Written examinations are held after the Christmas break in January and in April. The dissertation is examined at the end of September; all candidates present a seminar on their thesis project in the presence of the External Examiner and will be expected to answer questions on their project at an oral examination.

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