Environmental Science and Drone Applications - Postgraduate Masters Degree Course

Environmental Science and Drone Applications

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £6,500
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: N/A
International full time annual tuition fee: £14,450

Course type


Master of Science


Natural Sciences and Psychology

Study mode

Full Time (1 year)

About your course

This Masters in Environmental Science and Drone Applications provides a unique opportunity to study environmental change, drones, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) technologies.

  • Developed to help meet increased demand for graduates with experience in drones and the skills required to work in and conduct research into environmental science and climate change
  • Learn how drone, GIS and RS technologies can be applied to understand the physical, biological and chemical changes underlying environmental change
  • Strong focus on practice-based learning. Gain both practical skills and advanced theoretical knowledge and understanding
  • Plan and execute a drone mission on an overseas field trip to collect data and learn about an environmental science

​Environmental change, GIS and drone technology are growing areas of research with huge potential employment opportunities

​Laura Edwards, Programme Leader

The programme is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on sensor and drone technology and applying these to understanding the physical, biological and chemical changes underlying environmental change

​Laura Edwards, Programme Leader

Introduction to the School

The diverse, interdisciplinary School of Natural Sciences and Psychology has an international reputation for impactful research and teaching quality. It offers programmes in biological sciences, geography, environmental sciences and psychology.

We have a great reputation for research, with 94% of our work submitted for the Anthropology and Development.

Studies category of the 2014 REF classed as world-leading or internationally important. This research ensures our programmes are at the leading edge of developments in the field and, along with the full integration of our postgraduate research community into wider School activities, explains why we are so highly rated by postgraduate students.

Our 80-strong academic team includes world-leading experts across a number of fields. As a postgraduate student you will be guided by experienced supervisory teams who will provide the academic and pastoral support you need to achieve your full potential.

Specialist resources that will be utilised in the delivery of the programme include:

  • Approximately 30 rotor and fixed wing drones
  • Six drone simulators and drone laboratory
  • Three outside locations for drone flying in and around Liverpool and the Wirral
  • GIS computer suite
  • Agisoft PhotoScan Professional and Pix4D photogrammetry processing software
  • ArcGIS – specialist GIS software
  • ENVI – specialist remote sensing software
  • Matlab – industry leading programming software
  • Sensor development labs

Why study this course at LJMU?

An interdisciplinary programme, drawing on a range of technologies.

This new programme has been developed to help meet increased demand for graduates with experience in drone technology and/or the skills required to work in and conduct research into environmental science and climate change.

​The programme is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on drone, GIS and remote sensing technologies and how they can be applied to understand the physical, biological and chemical changes underlying environmental change.

Programme outline and structure

​The programme has a strong focus on practice-based learning.

This allows students to gain not only advanced theoretical knowledge and understanding, but also the practical skills required to work in industry, local government or doctoral and postdoctoral research. You will receive extensive practical experience with drone and GIS industry standard software, as well as having the opportunity to fly drones.

​In addition, real-world examples are utilised on the programme enabling you to undertake postgraduate research on topics which will contribute to academic research development.

What you will study on this degree


Drone Technology and Operations
A comprehensive overview of drone technology, practical operation, mission planning, regulations and data processing

Overseas Field Experience
Acquire and analyse drone data related to an environmental science topic in an overseas field setting.

Environmental GIS and Remote Sensing
Provides knowledge and understanding of GIS and remote sensing with reference to a variety of environmental science applications using a range of data types and industry-leading software.

Programming for Environmental Scientists
Provides program comprehension and generation skills in both Matlab and Python coding languages and the knowledge and understanding of the usefulness of programming in environmental science.

Research Methods
Provides an overview of the process of planning and executing an independent research project using appropriate methodological design. Covers qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods of data collection and analysis and develops research reporting skills through written and oral methods

Research Thesis
Plan, execute and write an original and independent research project in a relevant academic subject under the supervision of an academic advisor.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is achieved through a variety of theoretical and practical coursework types.

Assessment includes mission planning and drone flight assessments and portfolios comprising assessments in the form of practical reports, program code, essays, case studies, literature reviews and problem-solving exercises.

​Poster presentations, project reports and the research project thesis are also used to assess knowledge and understanding.

Staff research interests

​The programme is delivered by research-active academics with expertise in the fields of climate change, environmental science, geography and drone technology.

Entry requirements (Home)

​A good second class honours degree (2:1) in geography, environmental science or a related field. Candidates with a good second class honours degree (2:1) in another numerate, physical science or engineering discipline will also be considered. Those with professional experience will be considered together with their professional experience/alternative qualifications (i.e. significant relevant work experience, publications, written reports, CPD activities and other suitable evidence of accomplishment).​

Entry requirements (International)

​The equivalent of a good second class honours degree in a relevant discipline. English Language requirements must also be attained.

Application and selection

​Applications are considered by the programme leader and at least two course tutors. They will assess your application form and references.

Will I be interviewed?



6.5 (Min. 6.0 in each component)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Applications for RPL will not be accepted on this programme.

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

Enjoy excellent employment prospects in a range of industries.

Environmental science and climate change are currently high on the political agenda while commercial drone operation has been predicted to be one the fastest growing industries of the 21st century by consulting group Price Waterhouse Coopers. Graduates with skills in drone, GIS and remote sensing technologies are therefore highly sought after by a range of employers.

International Scholarships

Studying at LJMU offers international students excellent value for money and the opportunity to secure an internationally-respected qualification plus outstanding career prospects.

LJMU offers scholarships for international students. The provision and range of these scholarships can change from year to year so it is important that you always check the website for the most up-to-date information. The University also accepts a range of external funding, should you be awarded a scholarship or sponsorship from elsewhere.

International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes

LJMU offers international students the option of completing International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes at the University’s International Study Centre. These courses are managed and taught by Study Group, a world leader in education and training for international  students. For more details on the International Study Centre, go to www.ljmuisc.com/

English language qualifications

All international applicants must have an internationally recognised English language qualification, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing Service). Your English language qualification must have been certified within the last two years for verification purposes. LJMU will accept other UKVI-recognised English language tests providing you attain the appropriate level.

This table summarises the minimum scores required by LJMU, although specific course requirements may differ depending on the programme you want to study.

For course-specific English Language requirements, click the Entry requirements tab above.

To find out what qualifications are applicable in your country, please visit the international pages.

Type of Programme IELTS Pearson
International Foundation Programme 4.5 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Undergraduate degrees 6.0 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
MPharm 7.0 Not accepted

English language support to improve IELTS

If your English language level does not meet the required entry requirements for your course you may still be offered a place on the condition that you successfully complete an English for Undergraduate Study course at LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Please contact the International Study Centre and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers or email: international@ljmu.ac.uk for more details.

Tuition fee deposits

International students are liable to pay a minimum deposit of 50% of their tuition fees before their CAS can be issued. The outstanding balance must be paid in full within 4 months of the given enrolment date.

Living Costs

When you apply for your visa or entry clearance, you will need to provide evidence of having enough money to support yourself for the duration of your programme and to pay for all of your living expenses. The good news is that the cost of living in Liverpool is one of the lowest in England, which means your money will go even further, allowing you to enjoy your student experience to the full.

In addition to academic fees, you must budget for living costs such as accommodation, food, clothing, books, local travel and entertainment. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states that students studying outside London must have £1,015 per month for a maximum of nine months to cover their living costs.

We estimate that a single student living in LJMU-approved accommodation is likely to need an average of £5,000 to cover just their rent for a full academic year.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme Certificate (ATAS)

If you have applied to study an Enhanced Undergraduate Degree (such as an MEng) course at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate.

You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/atas/who-atas/

Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. It is important to note that, if required, an ATAS certificate must be obtained before your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies can be released to you.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 you will require a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS. LJMU will only assign a CAS once you have satisfied the conditions of any offer made to you and you satisfy the University’s obligations as a Tier 4 Sponsor. For more details, visit the international students section.

Your visa application

As soon as you have received an offer of a place at LJMU you should contact the Entry Clearance Office at the British Embassy, British High Commission or Consular Office in your own country to check whether you need a visa for entry into Britain. You are advised to do this as soon as you can as the visa application process can take a long time.

Please Note: To obtain an Entry Visa you should go to the British Embassy or High Commission in your own country, and present the following documents:

  • Passport
  • A valid LJMU Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence of financial support for the programme
  • Two recent photographs of yourself (passport-size)
  • All relevant educational diplomas and certificates (as stated in your CAS)
  • A declaration of your intent to return home on completion of your course of study

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

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