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Climate Change: Environment, Science and Policy MSc

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Our Climate Change: Environment, Science and Policy MSc course provides an opportunity to explore key issues relating to climate and environmental change at an advanced level. You will explore a wide range of critical topics focusing on human influences on the Earth’s climate and environment, and their societal consequences. The Science pathway focuses on the physical science aspects, such as forecasting climate change and its impacts. The Policy pathway focuses on the societal aspects, such as policymaking, adaptation and communication. Both pathways are flexible, with an interdisciplinary list of optional modules. 

Watch a short video from Dr Tamsin Edwards, Course Leader on what you can expect from this flexible course.

Visit our online hubs for content, news and events about the Department of Geography here

Key benefits

  • Gain an up-to-date understanding of specific issues relating to climate and environmental changes in the Earth system, in particular human influences and societal consequences. 
  • Study the methods used to examine the potential future impacts of environmental changes, and their consequences, including changes to the climate, carbon cycle, hydrology and land use.
  • Develop the multidisciplinary skills necessary to address complex research and policy questions.
  • Learn to evaluate and analyse environmental change research critically and reflect on the strengths, weaknesses and potential societal implications of the science, and the range of possible policy responses.
  • Develop an understanding of the scientific evidence needed for policymakers and society to respond to the problems associated with global and regional environmental changes, and understand the nature of the uncertainties involved in future predictions.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT / Two years PT, September to September

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180 / ECTS 90

Course leaders

Dr Tamsin Edwards

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200 


Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Geography



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Course detail


The Climate Change: Environment, Science and Policy MSc is a flexible programme allowing you to study either a Policy or a Science pathway. The programme provides an in-depth understanding of the scientific and policy basis of a series of global environmental change issues, the roles of both human influence and natural variability, and the process of scientific research and policymaking in these areas. You will also develop essential research, analysis and critical-thinking skills that will help you to understand and interpret scientific evidence and respond to the problems associated with global and regional environmental changes in the Earth’s system. 


This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus, with occasional lectures and practical sessions taking place at the Waterloo Campus. Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select. 

Course format and assessment


We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face-to-face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment. 

We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and typically 20 hours per module. We also expect you to undertake 130 hours of independent study for each module. 

 Module Lectures, seminars and feedback Self-study
 Per 15-credit taught module   16-30 hours   120-134 hours (some modules may involve lab work or e-learning which would require less self-guided learning) 
 Dissertation module   Usually 5 contact hours of one-to-one or group consultation with supervisors   595 hours of self-study and project work 

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and written/practical examinations. Forms of assessment may typically include essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally an examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.


This programme is primarily taught at the King’s College London Strand Campus, with occasional lectures and practical sessions taking place at the Waterloo Campus. Please note  that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select. 

Regulating Body 

King's College London is regulated by the Office for Students. 


Year 1

Programmes are divided into modules. You will take modules totalling 180-190 credits as outlined below

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change, and not all optional modules given below are offered every year.

Required Modules

Required Modules

You are required to take the following module:

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Science Pathway

If you choose the Science Pathway, you are also required to take the following modules:

  • Fundamentals of Climate Change (15 credits)
  • Methods for Environmental Data Analysis (15 credits)  
  • Modelling Environmenta Change (15 credits)
  • Research Design and Project Management (15 credits)

Policy pathway

If you choose the Policy pathway, you are also required to take the following modules:

  • Environmental Science and Policymaking (15 credits)
  • Fundamentals of Climate Change (15 credits)
  • Practising Social Research (15 credits)
  • Research Design and Project Management (15 credits)


Optional Modules

In addition, for both Science and policy Pathways, students are required to take 60-70 credits of optional modules, which may typically include:

  • Advanced Quantitative and Spatial Methods in Human Geography (15 credits)  
  • Climate: Science and Society (15 credits)
  • Earth Observation and Remote Sensing for Sustainability (15 Credits)
  • Environmental Dynamics in the Anthropocene (15 credits)
  • Environmental Internship (15 credits)
  • Environmental Science and Policymaking (15 credits) (Required for Policy pathway, Optional for Science pathway)
  • Environmental Science for Sustainability
  • GIS and Spatial Data Science (15 Credits)
  • Political Ecology and Development (15 Credits)
  • Resilience, Adaptation and Development (15 Credits)
  • Risk Analysis: Science and Applications (15 Credits)

Other Optional Modules Available to Students  

  • Any Level 7 (Master’s) modules offered in the Department of Geography including from those listed above.
  • Global Law of Climate Change (20 Credits), (King's Dickson Poon School of Law), subject to approvals.
  • Green finance: Regulation and Governance (20 credits)(King's Dickson Poon School of Law), subject to approvals. 
  • Up to 20 credits from Level 7 (Master's) modules form other King's Departments or Institutes outside of Geography, subject to approvals.

Part-Time Students

Part-time students on both pathways are advised to take 75-90 credits of taught modules in their first year. Students on the Science Pathway are advised to take Modelling Environmental Change, Methods for Environmental Data analysis, and Fundamentals of Climate Change their first year, and Research Design and Project Management in their second year. Students on the Policy Pathway are advised to take Environmental Science and Policymaking and Fundamentals of Climate Change their first year, and Practising Social Research and Research Design and Project Management their second year.  Should Students have strong reasons to deviate from this module, they should consult with and have the agreement of their Programme Director.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to- date innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Climate Change Env MSc Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements   2:1

2:1 degree with preference given to geography, natural sciences (such as environmental science, physics, chemistry and biology) and engineering subjects.

Candidates who do not achieve a 2:1 but have professional or voluntary experience will also be considered.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. 

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

We run a rolling admissions system. We aim to process all complete applications within four to six weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.

For marginal academic criteria cases, candidates will be invited to a remote video interview to assess their ability to successfully complete the programme. Interviews will be conducted by the Geography staff.


Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Supporting Document  Yes

Please provide a writing sample of around 500 words, answering the following questions. Please note this an essential requirement and supporting statements which do not answer the questions below will not be assessed as part of your application. 

Why you are applying for this specific programme, and how does it fit in with your future plans? (max 250 words)

How does your experience and education make you a suitable candidate for this programme? (max 250 words)

Please write these questions as separate answers, with a clear title for your answer to each question. Documents where your answers are not clearly titled and separated will not be accepted

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: £10,500 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £23,460 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £5,250 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,730 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • printing course handouts
  • Society membership fees
  • stationery
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses
  • Some modules include the option to undertake other short day-trip fieldwork. These fieldwork options will enhance the modules, but they are not assessed as part of the module. The additional costs for short day-trip fieldwork would typically not exceed £50 per year.
  • Costs may be incurred for dissertation work if fieldwork and/or laboratory materials are needed for the chosen study topic, but such work is not mandatory and would not impact academic success if an alternative approach to dissertation research is taken.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Our graduates have secured careers in national and international consultancies and NGOs, governments, charities, research organisations, journalism and teaching, along with many undertaking doctoral research at King’s and other universities in a broad range of Climate Science related topics. 


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

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