School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

MSc Sustainable Geoscience

Geoscience provides essential guidance on how we can manage many of society’s most pressing future challenges. Whether it is reducing the impact of natural threats, exploiting resources more responsibly or developing new economic livelihoods, geoscientific knowledge has a critical role to play in effective geo-environmental decision making. With a holistic scientific approach and interdisciplinary problem-solving skills, our geoscience graduates will be at the forefront of sustainable thinking.

New for September 2018 entry.

Halong Bay, Vietnam. Unesco World Heritage Site. Most popular place in Vietnam. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Key features

  • Plymouth’s Sustainable Earth Institute provides the ideal research platform to explore how interdisciplinary thinking can build a more resilient world.
  • With a hinterland that includes UNESCO-designated 'Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape', 'Jurassic Coast' and 'English Riviera Geopark', we live in a region where geology underpins local communities.
  • South-west England’s long heritage of metal and clay mining provides a cultural and environmental legacy of both the benefits and costs of geological exploitation.
  • Active engagement with local and international mining, quarrying and energy companies - including the newest UK metals mine on our doorstep – this provides industrial links and career opportunities.
  • International fieldwork in areas celebrated for their geodiversity and geo-resources provide excellent natural laboratories for exploring sustainable geoscience.
  • A research-based project allows you to apply your broad geoscience skill set to real-world problems, working with industry, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), or leading research academics.
  • Modules are assessed 100 per cent by coursework, designed to reflect the outputs of the industry, readying you for what you are likely to be asked to do in your job.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • The programme will outline the broad context of sustainable geoscience, showcasing a range of geological issues that challenge the modern world. Mineral, energy and water resources are the engine of economic development and national security, yet also a critical threat to the health and well being of ourselves and our environment, so we examine the societal issues around resource management. The programme also explores how the natural diversity of rocks and landscapes maintain cultural heritage and sustain tourism, providing communities with alternative economic livelihoods. More broadly, the programme sets geoscientific concerns in the wider national and global sustainable development framework and the interdisciplinary thinking that underpins it to give a holistic geo-perspective on sustainability science.

    Core modules
    • GEES515 Professional Practice in the Environmental Sector

      This module examines the place of sustainability and environmental management in modern business practice, and prepares students for professional work experience in semester 2. It also provides students with a critical understanding of the principles, ethics and methods of environmental law and regulation, and examines the role of economics in characterising and addressing human interaction with the environment

    • GEES516 Science, Society and Environmental Governance

      This module provides students, firstly, with a critical understanding of key debates in the principles, ethics and methods of both scientific and societal understandings of environmental issues. Secondly, the module makes a critical examination of the systems of governance and policy-making that have been established to regulate resource management, environmental degradation and nature conservation.

    • GEES517 Environmental Assessment

      This module examines current legislation and guidance on, and methods of, environmental assessment, focussing on strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and environmental impact assessment (EIA). Through critical investigation of case studies, students will learn how to use methodologies to evaluate impacts on environmental receptors and communicate outcomes, including impact statements, to professional standards.

    • GEES520 MSc Dissertation

      The student will complete an independent research project that they have designed in semester 1 as part of their research skills development. The record of the research will communicate the project aims, research problem, methodology, data analysis, interpretation, discussion/synthesis and conclusions in the format specified and to a professional standard.

    • GEOL5006 Sustainable Geoscience: Research and Communication

      This module will examine geological issues at the interface with society. Using a range of contested geoscientific issues, the module investigates how geoscientific knowledge is gained and disseminated to contrasting stakeholder groups. Students will receive guidance on a range of research methodologies and training in generic research skills (e.g. project planning, ethics, health and safety) and end-user engagement.

    • GEOL5007 Sustainable Minerals and Mining

      This module examines the concepts that underpin the application of sustainable development in the mining sector. This includes developing awareness of issues in mining related to water use, energy consumption, land disruption, waste reduction, and the human and environmental impact. Best practice in the industry will be reviewed in relation to the UN¿s 2105 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

    Optional modules
    • GEES518 Professional Experience in Environmental Management

      The work-based learning module provides you with the opportunity, via a placement with a relevant environmental organisation, to develop your skills, learn more about professional careers in the environmental sector, develop contacts with potential employers, and refine your career aspirations.

    • GEOL5008 Geodiversity and Geoheritage

      This module examines current practices for the evaluation of geodiversity and the effective management and sustainable use of geoheritage, including in the context of Geoparks. The module includes an extended practical and critical evaluation of geodiversity practice at a selected site(s), evaluating current practice and developing a management plan for the future.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MScSustainableGeoscience ProgrammeSpecifiction September2017 5791

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

UK / EU

You'll normally be a graduate with an upper second class (2:1) degree or higher from a geoscience subject looking to broaden their scope and knowledge within the sustainable geoscience sector. If you apply with a 2:2 and relevant experience, this would also be acceptable.

Equally you could be a graduate from related (e.g. environmental, geographical, chemistry, or biological) disciplines who has worked within the sector and is looking to gain a specialist qualification.

INTERNATIONAL

If you are an overseas applicant you can check the comparability of your qualifications with the UK equivalent through the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC), who provide an advisory service.

English language requirements.

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The level of proficiency that is required can vary with the type of programme for which you are applying. For further advice on the appropriateness of overseas qualification and proficiency in the use of English, please contact our International Office.

The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU Check with School To be confirmed
International Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

Applying for postgraduate taught study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

If you would like any further information please contact the Postgraduate and Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

 

Applying for postgraduate research study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. The Doctoral College is available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.  If  you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

If you would like any further information please contact the Doctoral College:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 587640

Email: doctoralcollege@plymouth.ac.uk


Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.