Taught course

Environmental Geochemistry

Institution
University of Plymouth · Faculty of Science and Engineering
Qualifications
MSc

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Entry requirements

An honours degree (upper second class or better) in a relevant discipline (e.g., BSc Chemistry, Geography, Environmental Science, Geological Sciences, Biological Sciences) OR overseas equivalent.

Months of entry

September

Course content

The field of environmental geochemistry is central to the environmental sector which has grown rapidly over the last decade. The global environmental consultancy market, a key destination for suitably skilled graduates, is currently increasing at its strongest rate for five. Geochemical expertise is vital to many aspects of the day to day work of environmental consultants, civil, structural and mining engineers, environmental regulatory authorities, mining and oil companies. In essence, environmental geochemistry is the scientific discipline concerned with the sources, distribution and interactions of chemical elements in rocks, soils, waters, air and biological material. It particularly is tasked with studying a wide variety of environmental materials using a broad suite of analytical tools, inclusive of field measurements, chemical instrumentation and digital modelling methods. Specialists in environmental geochemistry should be equipped with skills and subject specific knowledge in the fields of aqueous and soil geochemistry, characterisation of the sources, transport and fate of environmental pollutants, modelling of the surface and subsurface environment, sampling and chemical analysis of pollutants and the fundamentals of environmental management.

Environmental geochemistry provides strong employment opportunities for appropriately skilled graduates. Research amongst chemistry, science and general employers suggests the majority of employers are seeking additional skills from graduates, particularly numeracy (including data analysis), independent learning, commercial/business awareness, flexibility/adaptability, leadership, interpersonal and research skills. Similarly, the last relevant environmental research council review published by NERC (2012) cited most important skill gaps identified by employers as modelling, multidisciplinarity, data management, numeracy, translating research into practice, fieldwork and risk and uncertainty. These are all central to the field of environmental geochemistry which, in comparison to other environmental management postgraduate programmes, places a particular focus on understanding the chemical nature of environmental issues and a rigorous approach to data acquisition, data management, modelling and uncertainty thus providing graduates with unique and desirable skill set.
Environmental geochemistry graduates would be ideally suited to both environmental consulting, specialising in interpretation of complex data sets and chemical behaviour, or as an analytical scientist for a commercial or research laboratory. The MSc Environmental Geochemistry programme has been developed in response to this demand for high level skills in this field. Specifically, the MSc programme is designed to be an effective transition between the typically scientific focus of an undergraduate education in geoscience and chemistry (or a closely related discipline) and a career in the application of environmental geochemistry within the private or public sector. The programme also develops students’ professional skills, such as understanding business and the environment ethics, with those required to work in an interdisciplinary environment such as stakeholder engagement and communicating risk and uncertainty.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    12+ months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Admissions Office
Email
admissions@plymouth.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)1752 585858