Postgraduate Research Course

MSc (by Dissertation) Environmental Sciences

MSc (by Dissertation) Environmental Sciences

Overview

The details
Environmental Sciences
October 2020
Full-time
2 years
Colchester Campus

Our research covers a wide range of areas, from the genome to communities and ecosystems, allowing the opportunity for developing novel ideas and inter-disciplinary projects. We offer supervision in a wide range of environmental science topics including sustainable agriculture, pollution, aerosol science, the impact of nanoparticles on the environment, marine biology, environmental resource management and environmental microbiology.

As a research student at Essex, you’ll work at the heart of our internationally acknowledged and well-connected research community. We offer world-class supervision and training opportunities, and encourage you to engage with other researchers, professionals, practitioners and research users, where possible for example using the generous funding from Proficio to attend conferences and training courses.

Part-time research study is also available. A PhD and MPhil are also available.

Why we're great.
  • Collaborate alongside our research groups working on important international and national problems using cutting-edge techniques
  • You will be part of our collaborative Research Groups that work on important international and national problems using cutting-edge techniques, and who have strong links with a range of organisations such as Public Health England, the Environment Agency, Cefas, Defra, oil companies and Anglian Water
  • The quality of our work is reflected in the large number of publications in high-profile academic journals our staff feature in
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Within our School of Life Sciences, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may be jointly supervised.

The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.

Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.

Your technical and intellectual development will be enhanced by becoming part of a Research Group, and participating in School Seminars.

Specialist facilities

Our School provides a comprehensive range of facilities for environmental science research which include:

  • a state-of-the-art tropical coral-reef research facility
  • high-throughput molecular ecology facilities
  • analytical facilities for measuring trace gases, hydrocarbons and lipids
  • a greenhouse with GM containment and controlled environment growth facilities
  • a Plant Phenomics facility for high throughput screening of model plant species
  • extensive microbial cultivation facilities

A dedicated study room allows all our postgraduate research students to have access to a desk and a computer outside of the research laboratories. This provides a focal point for our postgraduates, facilitating reading and writing as well as good communication and a sense of community.

Your future

Our postgraduates go on to a range of careers. Many choose to continue their scientific research by taking up postdoctoral positions in the UK or overseas. Others go on to work with industry, governmental and non-governmental organisations and environmental agencies. We support your career development by a mentoring scheme and employability events.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

You will need a good honours degree or a Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.

You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall, or equivalent, with a score of 5.5 in all other components.

Structure

Example structure

A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.

Assessment

The aim of undertaking your MSD within our School of Life Sciences is to train you to become independent researchers who can critically assess research work, and who have a comprehensive understanding of at least one area of biology.

An MSD involves a minimum of one year of full-time research or two years part time followed by production of a dissertation. Students enrolled on an MSD programme can upgrade to an MPhil or PhD subject to satisfactory progress.

Dissertation

Within our School of Life Sciences, you must attend two formal supervisory board meetings each year where you submit literature reviews and research reports to the Board members prior to the meeting. At these meetings, such documents are discussed with you and your progress is assessed.

Your MSD thesis is generally completed within one to two years and has a maximum length of 30,000 words.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£5,103

International fee

£17,900

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, graduate employability, student support and more
  • talk to our Fees and Funding team about scholarship opportunities
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline and we aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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