Climate Change: Environment, Science and Policy




Part Time, Full Time

| Admissions status: Open
Study the scientific background and approaches deployed in studying Earth’s environmental changes over the past, present and near future, together with the societal implications of our current research. Choose either a science or a policy stream to help prepare for careers in environmental change research, consultancy and/or policy development.

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  • To enable those with first degrees in a range of disciplines – geography, physical sciences, engineering, computer science etc - to focus on specific issues relating to environmental change in the Earth system, and in particular on anthropogenic influences on the terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments, and their biological, physical and societal consequences.
  • To expose students to current understanding of the processes and nature of environmental changes occurring in Earth’s terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments, to understand the linkages and causes of these forcings, and to allow them to place this knowledge within the context of our understanding of both natural variability and Earth’s history of environmental changes over the period of human societies and before.
  • To expose students to the methods used to examine the potential future consequences of current environmental changes, and the potential for future significant perturbations to the Earth environment, including changes to the carbon cycle, climate, to the planet’s hydrological regimes and to its land use and land cover.
  • To enable students to evaluate environmental change research critically and with regard to the strengths and weaknesses and potential societal implications of the science.
  • To allow students to develop research skills in the undertaking and presentation of environmental research, and to develop specialist skills in one or more of the research tools used to investigate such issues.
  • To provide an understanding of the scientific evidence needed for policy makers and society to respond to the problems associated with global and regional environmental changes happening to the Earth system, and to understand the nature of the uncertainties involved in future predictions.
  • To promote initiative and the exercise of independent critical judgement in identifying, analysing and providing answers to research questions at an advanced level.
  • To develop relevant transferable skills embedded in the learning and assessment schemes in the programme.
Programme leader/s
Professor Nick Drake (
Awarding institution
King's College London
Credit value (UK/ECTS equivalent)
UK 180/ECTS 90
One year FT, two years PT, September to September.
Strand Campus.
Student destinations
The MSc is designed to prepare students for careers in environmental change research, consultancy and/or policy development. It provides interdisciplinary research training for those going onto a PhD in environmental and/or Earth system science within King's or elsewhere, and students entering the job market immediately after graduation are expected to be highly marketable in three main areas; local and national governmental and non-governmental agencies (eg Environment Agency; County Councils; Nature Conservancies); environmental consultancies and businesses (eg Environmental Informatics providers; Environmental Businesses - including Carbon Trading; Insurance; Waste Management and Energy Industries), and policy development organisations (eg government departments such as Defra). The Seminars in Environmental Research, Management and Policy module offers students the chance to hear and meet practitioners in many of these key areas.
Year of entry 2015
Offered by
Maughan Library