Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Earth and Environmental Futures MSc Project GEOG5118P

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

Major independent project for MSc programme in Earth Futures Research or Environmental Futures.


Individual tutorials with supervisor will be held at approximately 2 week intervals during the project period; project is full-time task with periods of intensive data collection.

Requirements of Entry

Normally entry to an Earth Futures or Environmental Futures MSc programme

Excluded Courses





A major project report (15,000 words) covering the aims and objectives, background/literature, methodology, outcomes and evaluation of the project - 90%.

An Interim report will be submitted partway through the summer - 10%

Course Aims

The aims of the project are:

■ To integrate knowledge gained during the programme by applying it to a substantial and intensive project;

■ To allow students to pursue one particular topic in depth;

■ To encourage investigative study and the application of this to a particular social and/or environmental challenge;

■ To develop an awareness and experience of a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods and their applicability in different research settings;

■ To give experience in preparing a substantial report on an extended project.

Projects will be
- a theoretical / research oriented project in which some problem is investigated by collection of primary data or analysis of a substantial secondary data set;

Students will be encouraged to carry out the project in collaboration with industry, connected to prior work placement module. No additional work placement will be required.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Provide a critical stance on the appropriate use of different research methods (e.g. quantitative, qualitative, archival and GIS) in the context of the dissertation project;

■ Explain the use of relevant research concepts in an independent dissertation;

■ Analyse the ethics surrounding 'field' research in an independent dissertation;

■ Provide evidence, through the writing of the dissertation project, of independent critical thought;

■ Analyse a particular environmental and/or social 'challenge' in an independent dissertation;

■ Plan and carry out a substantial research task;

■ Work to deadlines.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.