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Environmental Geography

Cardiff University
4 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

Program description

Environmental Geography

Environmental geographers use their scientific understanding of the natural and physical environment to find solutions to crucial environmental issues.

Our scientific understanding of the natural and physical environment is key to addressing issues like climate change, pollution, and land degradation.

On our Environmental Geography course, you will study how the Earth functions and the science behind human impact on the planet over time. You will look at environments across the world, from the extreme poles to tropical coral reefs, exploring both the pressures they face today and in the future. You will use the latest technologies and develop skills in geographical mapping, research, analysis and problem-solving. 

We make the most of our location and take regular day trips to Gower, the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, as well as overseas trips to locations such as the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Students on this course are usually concerned about the health of the planet and want to make a positive difference. They graduate with the skills needed to solve a range of complex environmental problems and with experience of hands-on fieldwork and cutting-edge research.

Admission requirements

Typical A level offer

Grades ABB - BBB, including one science or grades BBB-BBC with two science subjects. Science subjects include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Geology, Biology, Geography, Computer Science, Environmental Science. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted.

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

In your first year, you will study core modules designed to give you a strong foundation in Earth sciences and geography. Topics include oceans, climate, earth processes and global environments. You will develop essential geographical skills like map and chart work, GIS and basic geographical data analysis.

We will go on a residential field course to a coastal national park within Wales (either Pembrokeshire or Snowdonia) where you will learn key field skills including mapping and surveying techniques.

In your second year, you will build on the knowledge from year one and start exploring more advanced concepts like biogeochemistry, marine ecology and the ocean-atmosphere system. You will gain skills and experience in sampling, data collection and analysis ready for your research dissertation in year three.

We will go on an overseas residential field course to a coastal location in Europe where you will develop your skills in environmental monitoring and surveying.

In your third year, the core modules include your dissertation and investigating extreme environments from a biochemical perspective.

Year four is when you study for your Masters. Your core modules include your dissertation (60 credits) and a fieldwork module. For your optional modules, you can choose from topics like business and consultancy and scanning the research horizon.

You can choose to do your Masters dissertation on any topic related to Environmental Geography that we can supervise in the School.

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.

Tuition fees

The full tuition fees for UK and EU Students is £9,000.The tuition fees for Students from outside the EU is £21,950


The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the entire Programme students will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A systematic and critical understanding of spatial and temporal processes relating to a range of environments, including a broad comprehension of the inter-relationships between environmental, chemical and physical systems at a range of scales
  • A broad and critical understanding of environmental  resources and associated global challenges, including approaches to the governance of these
  • A critical and systematic understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of Environmental Geography, including its content, methods and philosophy, and an associated critical awareness of the need for integration of knowledge from cognate sciences, including those related to Earth System, ocean, atmospheric, physical and environmental sciences
  • A rigorous appreciation and application of the scientific process, including the design and testing of hypotheses, and the formulation of new concepts
  • Formulation, design and use of appropriate laboratory, field, and/or computational methodologies relevant to a high level research project

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the entire Programme students will be able to demonstrate the following :

  • Debate, interpret and evaluate the causes, scales and impacts of contemporary and future environmental issues whilst critically applying relevant ideas, concepts and methods
  • Collect, collate, synthesise and critically evaluate a wide variety of environmental data and information, drawing from relevant approaches in cognate areas of environmental science
  • Critically evaluate current research in selected aspects of environmental science, demonstrating an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of associated scientific understanding
  • Work effectively across disciplines to link knowledge and experience from allied sciences to critically understand the science related to a range of environments and to evaluate the relationship between environmental processes and society
  • Ability to solve complex scientific problems both creatively and independently
  • Model and interpret environmental geographical data to generate hypotheses that can be tested with additional data or observation

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the entire Programme students will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Critically analyse and interpret a range of different types of data related to the environment as part of research processes to investigate a range of topical environmental issues and theoretical concepts
  • Plan, design and execute research related to the environment, critically using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis in field, offshore, laboratory and desk-based studies
  • Critical application of methods used to acquire geospatial data and represent such data in appropriate cartographic and graphic formats using appropriate platforms, including GIS
  • Address research problems involving the integration and analysis of diverse and often incomplete and uncertain data using appropriate qualitative and quantitative methodologies and approaches
  • Demonstrate advanced practical skills and competence in information technology, geographical information systems, cartographic, statistical and other analytical techniques
  • Undertake effective project management and organisational skills through independent working and team work
  • Understand and the practical limitations, logistics, safety and ethical aspects of data gathering in various environments, and apply this understanding, as appropriate to advanced, applied research
  • An ability to independently plan a complex project at the frontier of a research topic
  • Model complex numerical environmental geographical data and draw appropriate conclusions from such modelling

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the entire Programme students will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • An ability to effectively communication of knowledge, ideas and arguments in a variety of formats using oral, written, and visual media to both specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • An ability to work competently individually or as part of a team in both problem-setting and problem-solving within a range of advanced, applied research environments where decision-making is complex and multi-disciplinary
  • An ability to undertake independent study and advanced personal scholarship, fostered through enhanced personal responsibility, initiative and self-learning experiences
  • A commitment to lifelong learning through engaging in the process of personal development planning and ownership of own learning
  • An ability in problem-solving as well as reliability, loyalty, social conduct, tact, attitude to learning and research, leadership, resilience, decision-making and reasoning

Career opportunities

Graduate Careers

  • Environmental Advisor
  • Geospatial Analyst
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Pollution Monitor
  • Conservationist

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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