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The University of Sheffield

Sheffield , England ,United Kingdom

M.Sc(Res) Polar and Alpine Change

Course description

This unique course prepares you for a research career in cold-regions science, notably within the disciplines of glaciology, glacial geomorphology, polar climatology/oceanography, environmental science, polar biogeochemical processes, or their intersections. We train graduates from a range of scientific disciplines.

The programme’s underlying theme is contemporary, as its key interest is to explore the expressions, mechanisms and impacts of rapid ongoing changes in our planet’s cold regions.

An integral part of the course is the Arctic/Alpine field course, which is usually in the summer towards the end of the academic year. The costs for this field course are not included in the tuition fee. You'll gain an in-depth knowledge of the location you visit. You'll also develop skills in relevant research approaches and techniques.

Course structure
You'll complete 180 compulsory credits of study, comprising four modules taken over one year full-time.

You'll carry out a year-long research project where you'll undertake original and independent research in your chosen field. While you develop and execute your project, we'll give you close supervision. You'll be a member of the department's vibrant research community – our Ice and Climate Research group – and you'll have the opportunity to present your findings to the group.

During the first semester, modules will help you develop your research ideas and produce a formal project proposal. You'll also have the chance to to explore research approaches and develop your analytical and research communication skills.


  • Sep

Application Processing Time in Days: 30

Application Process

More Information Required
30 Days
Possible Interview Call from Institution
10 Days
Provisional/Unconditional Offer
10 Days
Visa Process
35 Days

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

Entry requirements
A minimum of a good upper second-class honours undergraduate degree showing first-class potential (notably in research) from a UK university (or an international equivalent) in relevant subject areas including (but not restricted to): physical geography, environmental/earth/ocean sciences, geology, physics, and natural science.