MSc Climate Change Science and Policy

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Faculty Faculty of Science
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
Two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Open to international students Yes
Number of places 20
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

Concern about global environmental change has never been greater. The University of Bristol's MSc in Climate Change Science and Policy trains highly skilled graduates for professional employment in the public and private sectors, academia, consultancies and non-governmental organisations.

The programme is provided by the School of Geographical Sciences, ranked top in the country in terms of world-class research (REF 2014) and one of only two UK geography departments in the top category in every national research assessment. You will join our research groups in analysing four key areas of the science:

  • climate change science and its links to policy and policy-makers
  • modelling of the Earth System, from simple box models to complex climate models
  • remote sensing of the environment and GIS
  • understanding past climate change and making predictions of future change.

This innovative programme also allows you to develop a range of professional skills – including presentation, project work, teamwork and communication – which will be invaluable in your future career.

The programme is closely linked to the renowned Cabot Institute, which brings together all of the University's research into the changing global environment across the sciences, social sciences and engineering.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Part-time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2017/18

Please see the school website for information on available funding.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Core units

  • The science and impacts of climate change, including interactions between climate scientists and policy and the media
  • Environmental policy and politics
  • Case studies of past climate change and predicting the future, including using complex models of the Earth System to predict future global change
  • Remote Sensing of the environment, including science and practices behind remote sensing and geographical information systems (GIS)

Research project (January to September)

  • Project Phase 1: Researching background material and acquisition of basic practical skills, in preparation for the main phase of the project starting in May. You will choose your main project supervisor at the start of Phase 1. The project is assessed through a literature review and a seminar that outline the background to the project, implications for policy and the work to be carried out in Phase 2. Feedback is given throughout this phase, developing the research skills of the student.
  • Project Phase 2: An independent investigation of a chosen topic, supervised by one of the academic team. The project is to be submitted as a written thesis and the main findings will be presented in a research colloquium.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a scientific discipline, such as chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, biology, earth sciences, geography, or environmental sciences. Previous professional experience or qualifications can also be put forward for consideration as equivalent to the academic entry requirements given above. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


Previous graduates have secured a wide range of jobs following the MSc, including environmental consultancy, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the UK Met Office, as well as numerous PhD positions.

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year. Early application is advised as places may fill quickly.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 51% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 33% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 14% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 2% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 7328 Email:

School of Geographical Sciences
University of Bristol
University Road


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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