Typical Course Length
Applications for this course close on the 21st of July 2017.
Supported by Aberystwyth University’s internationally renowned Centre for Glaciology, this unique MSc programme is designed to provide students with a range of skills appropriate for the practical and theoretical challenges of glaciological research. Graduates of this course emerge equipped fora wide range of career paths both within Physical Geographical/Earth Science contexts and beyond.
- Course Details
- Teaching & Learning
- Student Views
Why study MSc Glaciology at Aberystwyth University?
- Aberystwyth University’s Centre for Glaciology is a leading British research group whose interests cover contemporary and palaeo-glacial processes and products across the world.
- Opportunity to study in an internationally-renowned research institute and to be taught by lectures and researchers who are at the cutting edge of their disciplines.
- Conduct fieldwork in a glacierised environment - this course commences with a 6 day field course in the European Alps.
- Aberystwyth is located in a high quality outdoor physical environment and comprises a multi-national community
- The Department of Geography and Earth Science (DGES) is top in Wales, with 78% of its research classified as either ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the most recent research assessment - REF 2014
- DGES is in the top ten of UK Geography departments with regards to research power, which provides a measure of the quality of research, as well as of the number of staff undertaking research within the department
- Engage with research that aims to further human knowledge at a delicate stage in global affairs
- DGES receives funding from organisations such as United Nations, WHO, NERC and the European Research Council
- Benefit from a superb variety of outside and in-class learning environments, and state-of-the-art teaching facilities.
Department of Geography and Earth Science: lecturers are all qualified to PhD level or working towards a PhD.
One year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters:
September to January; January to June; June to September.
Approximately 8-10 hours a week in the first two semesters.
Assessment: The taught part of the course (Part1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises, case studies, course work and formal examinations. The subsequent successful submission of a 12,000 word research dissertation (Part 2) leads to the award of an MSc.
Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.
English Language Requirements:
If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.
Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.
Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.
Funding opportunities may be available, please check the funding calculator for details.
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
- Advanced Research Skills 1: science communication and data analysis
- Advanced Research Skills 2: research design and data acquisition
- Approaches to Glaciology
- Glacial Processes and Products
- Glaciological Field Techniques
- Research Dissertation in Glaciology
Our graduates have gone on to work for/as/within:
- The Met. Office
- The European Space Agency
- National parks
- Field technicians
- Environmental consultancy
- Oil and gas exploration and development
- Research work alongside prominent institutions/initiatives - REDD+ initiative, Norwegian Space Centre
- Policy advocacy work in the energy sector
- PhD researchers, post-doctoral researchers and lecturers in Higher Education.
- Other pathways our graduates have taken include:
- Commercial & Quality Assurance
- Strategic Research Consultancy
- Marketing and Strategy Development
- Planning roles across various market sectors
- Local and national government
- UK Parliament
- International, investment, and private banking
This course will empower you to:
- Engage with the practical and theoretical challenges of glaciological research
- Master the latest technological tools available for glaciologists
- Get to grips with an impressive array of systems and technologies including GIS, SDI, satellite imaging and remote sensing
- Gain subject-specific expertise, field skills, and technical experience
- Develop study and research skills, as well as a professional work ethic
- Enhance your presentation and communication skills
- Develop your ability to work independently and in a team-setting
- Improve your critical analysis and evaluation
- Develop and sustain a self-initiated programme of study underpinned by good time management skills
- Enhance your project management skills to deliver a demanding combination of research, analysis, communication and presentation
Teaching & Learning
How will I learn?
This course is a one year, full time programme, taught over three semesters and delivered in a combination of outdoor and indoor learning environments. In the first two semesters, students will be taught through a series of lectures, computer practical sessions, seminars, laboratory work and fieldwork. There is a large practical element to the course and students will use an array of technical equipment and undertake a significant amount of fieldwork.
During the final semester, students will arrange their level of contact time with their assigned dissertation supervisor.
What will I learn?
In the first two semesters, you will undertake a number of core and optional modules that will give you a strong theoretical understanding of glaciology and will also convert the purely academic theory of glaciological research and data collection into the proven know-how of experience. At the beginning of the course, as part of the module Glaciological Field Techniques, you will undertake a 6 day field course to the European Alps on a data-collection expedition.
In the final semester, you will undertake a 60 credit 15,000 word master’s dissertation, through which you will be able to prove your mastery of your chosen topic and directly contribute to the knowledge base of DGES.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment in the first two semesters is via a combination of reports, essays, written examinations, and seminar presentations. Successful submission of the master’s dissertation in semester 3 leads to the award of an MSc.
“The varied combination of skills formed a great base to set me up for my Ph.D and for others on my course to follow careers with the Met. Office, European Space Agency, and working as field technicians and in various national park roles across the UK.” -Morgan Gibson, former MSc in Glaciology student
“The MSc is the perfect opportunity to learn about glaciology, whether you're completely new to the subject or have had the opportunity to study aspects of it before. The course allows you to learn about a broad range of sub-disciplines within glaciology, including hydrology, sedimentology and ice dynamics, all taught by leading lecturers in the field. Through this you will develop and improve a wide range of key skills, but also GIS-based practical skills, which are favoured by many employers. Finally, you get the opportunity to undertake fieldwork at multiple times throughout the year, which, let's be honest, is one of the highlights” – Nathanial Baurley, current MSc in Glaciology student.