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COURSE TITLE Master of Science in Earth Systems








MSc. (Melit.)

Second Cycle

Level 7

3 Semesters



Charles Galdies

The Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Earth Systems is a 90 ECTS credits full-time degree programme of which 60 ECTS credits form the taught component while the remaining 30 ECTS credits are research-based. It is designed to provide students with (i) a strong postgraduate grounding in key concepts and current thinking relevant to Earth systems science and its application to policy and planning, (ii) a solid methodological foundation and (iii) an opportunity to specialize in a thematic area relevant to Earth systems in which the candidate has a specific interest.
LEARNING OUTCOMES A. Subject-specific knowledge and understanding. Successful students will be able to demonstrate:

1. Knowledge of the major aspects of Earth systems including environmental ethics and management, Earth systems science, and qualitative and quantitative research methods, as applied to special thematic areas.
2. Knowledge and understanding of biodiversity conservation, weather and climate, integrated water and coastal resources management (IWCRM) and related policy and planning.
3. Knowledge of a range of tools and techniques purposely designed for environmental analysis.
4. Understanding of the principles of policy and planning in Earth systems, with special emphasis on biodiversity and conservation, weather and climate, and IWCRCM.
5. Awareness of issues within policy and planning that are relevant to Earth systems studies.
6. Knowledge of selected aspects of Earth systems at the forefront of the discipline.
7. Knowledge of aspects of Earth systems science research methods and peer-reviewed science literature.

B. Subject-specific skills. Successful students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate skills in the policy and planning aspects of environmental management, taking into account particular considerations of interacting Earth systems components.
2. Conduct assessments of policies and regulations of aspects related to Earth systems.
3. Conduct documented laboratory procedures in remote sensing and geospatial analysis, in relation to biodiversity and conservation, weather and climate, and water management.
4. Monitor, by observation and measurement, the environment, events or changes, with systematic and reliable recording and documentation thereof.
5. Operate standard software for qualitative and quantitative analysis of Earth systems data.
6. Interpret and explain the limits of accuracy of observation and inference data in terms of significance and underlying theory.

C. Intellectual Skills and development. Successful students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of advanced Earth systems-related facts, concepts, principles and theories.
2. Apply such knowledge and understanding to the management of biodiversity conservation, to weather and climate, and to integrated water and coastal resources.
3. Recognise and analyse problems affecting the environmental management and plan strategies for their solution.
4. Evaluate, interpret and synthesise Earth systems information and related data.
5. Carry out practical application of theory using computer software and models.
6. Communicate scientific material and arguments.
7. Use information technology (IT) to manipulate and present environmental information and data.

D. Key or transferable skills, including employability skills. Successful students will be able to:

1. Communicate information, ideas, problems, and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences orally and in writing.
2. Demonstrate problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information
3. Demonstrate numeracy and mathematical skills, including such aspects as error analysis, order-of magnitude estimations, and correct use of units and modes of data presentation.
4. Retrieve and cite information, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including retrieval of information through online computer searches.
5. Demonstrate skills in the use of information technology for presenting information and data.
6. Interact with other people and engage in team-working, time management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working.
7. Show development of skills and awareness necessary to seek out opportunities to undertake appropriate further training of a professional nature.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO FURTHER STUDY The Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Earth Systems will build on existing programmes delivered by the IES and will provide opportunities for graduates of the B.Sc. (Hons) Earth Systems programme, and other relevant programmes, to continue their studies in related thematic areas.

Potential employers include local environmental, planning and resource management agencies and organizations, related private-sector industry and services and environmental appraisal consultancies, educational institutions, as well as European and international governmental and non-governmental agencies. Examples of the latter include the European Environment Agency, Centre International de Hautes études Agronomiques Méditerranéennes (CIHEAM), World Conservation Union (IUCN), Conservation International, the World Wildlife Fund, the World Bank, as well as various UN agencies including FAO, UNESCO, UNEP, UNDP and UNIDO.

Graduates of this programme will also have the option of pursuing a full-time or part-time doctorate degree, either with the University of Malta or with other universities abroad.
COURSE INTENDED FOR This programme targets students wishing to specialize in areas relevant to the management and planning of the environment, as well as in specific environmental resource management sectors.
To be registered as regular students in the Course, applicants shall be in possession of:

(a) a first cycle degree in Science with Earth Systems as a main area of study obtained with Second Class Honours or better or

(b) a first cycle degree in Science obtained with Second Class Honours or better in an area that is deemed relevant by the Board.

Applicants with a first cycle degree in Science with Earth Systems as a main area of study obtained with Third Class Honours may be admitted if they show evidence of significant experience in work relevant to the area of study of the Course obtained after their first cycle degree. The admission of applicants under this paragraph may be made conditional on the results of an interview.

The maximum number of students that can be admitted into the course is 15 students.

When the number of places is so limited and the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of places available, applicants shall be selected according to the following criteria, the weighting of which shall be published at the time of the call for applications:

(a) degree type and class
(b) experience in the area of the proposed study and
(c) performance during the interview.

Interviews, when necessary, shall be conducted by an interviewing board appointed by the Board, and shall be composed of at least three members.

For the purpose of selection, applicants whose qualifications as stipulated above were obtained by 31 August preceding the commencement of the Course shall be considered first.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2017.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.


Last Updated: 15 October 2017
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

For applicable fees please check the link on the Finance Office webpage.
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