About this course
Explore the evolving Earth system through the lens of sustainable environmental management. This integrated Masters course combines geology, geography, oceanography and environmental science, giving you the freedom to specialise in subjects ranging from environmental law to marine pollution.
As an environmental geoscientist, you'll be able to assess the impact of human activity on the planet and society whilst working to mitigate this impact and find solutions for our future. You'll graduate with practical and transferable skills that are sought after across environmental science industries and other sectors.
This 4-year programme will develop and enhance your knowledge beyond the BSc, and provide a greater emphasis on individual research skills and project work.
You'll study at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), one of the world's largest centres for research and technology development in ocean and Earth science. Here, you'll have the unique opportunity to work on research projects with NOCS scientists, whilst also having access to specialist facilities.
You'll develop your practical and professional skills by:
participating in marine and terrestrial field trips and residential field courses
boosting your career prospects with our industry links in geological and marine companies
building your data collection, interpretation and digital skill set, including through the use of geographic information systems (GIS)
accessing our range of facilities, including over 150 laboratories and the National Oceanographic Library
On this course, you’ll study topics like:
terrestrial and marine pollution and environmental impact
environmental law and science policy
Earth resource management
This course will also allow you to specialise in terrestrial, or marine sciences, giving you the freedom to explore the elements of the programme that interest you most.
You can download the course details, including modules, in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window (PDF, 286.24 KB).
Location and awarding body
The course location is Waterfront (National Oceanography Centre Southampton) in Southampton and Highfield campus in Southampton. The awarding body is University of Southampton.
Transfer between courses
International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) offer
Please see the University of Southampton International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) StatementPDF opens in a new window (PDF, 62.17 KB) for further information.
Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Scottish Qualification offers
Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement (PDF, 111.01 KB) for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Find a list of accepted international qualifications listed by country.
This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.
Other ways to qualify
You might meet our criteria in other ways if you do not have the qualifications we need. Find out more about:
our Access to Southampton scheme for students living permanently in the UK (including residential summer school, application support and scholarship)
skills you might have gained through work or other life experiences (otherwise known as recognition of prior learning)
Find out more about our Admissions Policy.
All modules are compulsory in the first year to build the foundations for the rest of the course to come. As you progress towards year 3, the focus will shift towards research and exposure to the latest thinking within Earth sciences.
This will culminate in year 4, with your own independent research project.
Your academic tutor will help guide you in the customisation of your course.
For full information on the geoscience and marine pathways, view the programme specification in the 'About this course' tab.
You'll begin with a broad grounding in geoscience, oceanography and environmental science theories and research techniques.
All modules in year 1 are compulsory.
Explore a greater range of topics on the interactions between the Earth system and human activity.
You'll explore subjects like:
environmental impact assessments
Earth resource management
geographic information systems (GIS)
Year 2 will expand your skills with fieldwork, laboratory sessions and opportunities to specialise with your module choices.
Hone your skills by specialising in modules relating to terrestrial sciences (geoscience pathway) or marine sciences (marine pathway).
Both choices are accompanied by fieldwork tailored to your chosen path.
On the geoscience pathway you'll study topics such as:
the volcanic mantle
geology and mineral resources
On the marine pathway you'll explore things like:
seafloor exploration and surveying
coastal sediment dynamics
During this year you'll have the opportunity to conduct supervised, original research.
You'll embark on a major research project while gaining an advanced understanding of current research areas within the geological and environmental sciences.
Your original research will be supervised and guided by our team of researchers and scientists - with a greater emphasis placed on fieldwork and lab-based research skills this year.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
Modules year 1
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 1:
Modules year 2
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 2:
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Geohazards and Earth Resources
- Global Climate Change: Science, Impacts and Policy
- Introductory Geographic Information Systems
- Key Skills and Fieldwork for Geologists
You can choose from the following optional modules in year 2:
- Coastal Ocean Processes
- Environment and Sustainability
- Environmental Pollution
- Exploration Geophysics and Remote Sensing
- Global Water Resources
- Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
- Methods in Oceanography
- Monitoring Coastal and Estuarine Environments
- Remote Sensing for Earth Observation
- Sedimentary Systems and Processes
Modules year 3
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 3:
- Applied Oceanography and Fieldwork
- Environmental Law and Management
- Environmental and Engineering Geology
- Geophysical Field Methods
- Independent Research Project (Oceanography, Marine Biology)
You can choose from the following optional modules in year 3:
Modules year 4
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 4:
- Advanced Oceanography Fieldwork
- Contemporary Topics in Geology and Geophysics
- Field Research and Workplace Techniques for Professional Geoscientists
- MSci Advanced Independent Research Project (GS)
You can choose from the following optional modules in year 4:
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- classes and tutorials
- individual and group projects
- independent learning (studying on your own)
Support for your studies
You'll be supported by a personal academic tutor and have access to a senior tutor.
Stephen Roberts is the course leader.
How we’ll assess you
We’ll assess you using:
- coursework, laboratory reports and essays
- individual and group projects
- oral presentations
- written and practical exams
- written exams
As an Environmental Geoscience graduate you'll have the opportunity to work across a number of industries; whether you're locating and managing natural resources, developing new technologies, or working to protect the planet's natural systems from disaster.
The skills you'll gain on this programme will prepare you for employment in areas like:
environmental surveying, research and consultancy
petroleum and mineral resource industries
This degree is also a good basis for further study at postgraduate level.
We host an annual careers fair at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton - an event attended by over 25 employers that look to hire Southampton graduates.
Careers services at Southampton
We are a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
work experience schemes
CV and interview skills and workshops
careers fairs attended by top employers
a wealth of volunteering opportunities
study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture and our dedicated start-up supporter, Futureworlds, is open to every student.
Fees, costs and funding
You'll pay £9,250 in tuition fees for the academic year 2020 to 2021. This fee might change for further years of your course.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fees pay for the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
Find out how to:
Extra costs you might have to pay
- Computer discs or USB drives
- Laboratory Equipment and Materials
- Software Licenses
- Approved Calculators
- Printing and Photocopying Costs
See the full list of extra items and costs in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window 2020 to 2021 (PDF, 286.24 KB).
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
Bursaries, scholarships and other funding
If you're a UK or EU student and your household income is under £25,000 a year, you may be able to get a University of Southampton bursary to help with your living costs. Find out about bursaries and other funding we offer at Southampton.
If you're a care leaver or estranged from your parents, you may be able to get a specific bursary.
Get in touch for advice about student money matters.
Scholarships and grants
You may be able to get a scholarship or grant that's linked to your chosen subject area.
We award scholarships and grants for travel, academic excellence, or to students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Support during your course
The Student Services Centre offers support and advice on money to students. You may be able to access our Student Support fund and other sources of financial support during your course.
Funding for international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
The University offers a friendly, diverse and welcoming home for you while you study. You'll work, live and socialise with students from more than 130 countries.
Clubs, societies and facilities
Our campuses have:
cafes and restaurants
a post office
Our sports facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, a gym with 140 fitness stations, squash courts, a bouldering wall, outdoor pitches and much more. There are over 80 sports clubs you could join, and activity classes including yoga and spin.
We have an internationally known theatre, concert hall, art gallery and cinema showing everything from mainstream blockbusters to international arthouse classics. You could perform at a gig, concert or show, take part in an exhibition or join a writers’ workshop. Find out more about arts and culture at Southampton.
Whatever your passion or community, you can find like-minded people at one of the Students’ Union clubs and societies. There are more than 200 to join, and social activities in every hall of residence.
Support while you study
We aim to help you deal with any problems you might come across, so you can make the most of your time at university. We offer support with:
mental health, learning difficulties and disability
money and accommodation
computers and IT
How to apply
When you apply use:
UCAS Course Code: F651
UCAS Institution Code: S27
What happens after you apply
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- predicted grades
- academic achievements
- personal statement
- academic reference
We aim to respond to you within 2 to 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.