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Postgraduate Options in Environmental Management

There are several options for study at the Postgraduate level:

  • Honours programme
  • Postgraduate Diploma of Applied Science
  • Master of Applied Science (mainly paper based)
  • Master of Science (papers, plus thesis)
  • Master of Science (thesis only)

Each programme contains a research component - a vital part of any postgraduate course - but the relative importance changes between programmes: Honours requires a research dissertation worth half the course (60 points), whereas the research projects in the PGDipAppSc (i.e. GEOG470) and MAppSc (i.e. APPS597) are smaller components (at 40 points) of their respective courses. These latter research projects can range from desktop research using secondary sources, through to practical studies using a limited primary data collection; all will tend to have a strong applied emphasis.

MSc thesis research involves the equivalent of 12 months research activity, resulting in a thesis of up to 40,000 words (Honours dissertations are to be no more than half that figure). Topics for the Honours dissertations and Masters theses will usually focus on scientific issues related to specific environmental management concerns.

Honours programme (BAppSc(Hons))

YearPapersPoints
4th yearGEOG490 Dissertation
GEOG471 Impact Assessment and Sustainability
GEOG472 Developments in Environmental Management
One further 400-level paper worth at least 20 points
Total
60
20
20
20
120

Students apply for admission to the Honours programme having completed their undergraduate degree, and by 10th December at the latest (for entry in Semester One, February/March the following year). The usual entry criterion is a grade average of at least a B+ in the core papers for the major in the third year. Honours degrees have to be completed within one calendar year; no part-time study is allowed.

With the Honours programme, all papers should normally be at the 400-level; if you have the necessary prerequisites you can incorporate a 400-level paper from another Science discipline, if it contributes to a coherent environmental management programme. The dissertation topic and supervisor should, ideally, be organised before the start of the academic year.

Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science (PGDipAppSc)

YearPapersPoints
4th yearGEOG470 Research Topic in Geography
GEOG471 Impact Assessment and Sustainability
GEOG472 Developments in Environmental Management
At least 40 further approved points at 400-level
Total
40
20
20
40
120

Students can apply for admission to the PGDipAppSc programme during the preceding year, and by 10th December at the latest (for entry in Semester One, February/March the following year). The usual entry criterion is a grade average of at least B in the core papers for the major in the final undergraduate year. PGDipAppSc programmes do not need to be completed in one calendar year; part-time study is possible. All papers should normally be at the 400-level; if you have the necessary prerequisites you can incorporate one or more papers form other Science disciplines, if it contributes to a coherent environmental management programme.

GEOG470 (research paper): students need to organise a topic and supervisor as soon as possible after starting the course, under the guidance of the paper coordinator. GEOG470 normally involves desktop research on a topic of environmental management interest: in most cases it will not involve primary data gathering; but that may vary case by case. The final report, of 7-10,000 words, should be an informative, evidence-based analysis of the chosen topic, based on well organised and sound research using available sources.

Master of Applied Science (MAppSc)

YearPapersPoints
4th yearAPPS597 Supervised Independent Study
GEOG471 Impact Assessment and Sustainability
GEOG472 Developments in Environmental Management
Five further approved points at 400-level
Total
40
20
20
100
180

The Master of Applied Science (MAppSc) is a 180 point, coursework postgraduate degree. The degree can be completed in 12 months or in stages, providing flexibility for recent graduates and those currently employed. Entry to the programme broadly requires a grade average of B+ in the papers that make up the 3rd year major requirement.

APPS597 will usually be a desktop research project on a topic of environmental management interest, and is not likely to require primary data collection. However, it is more than a simple literature review and allows students to develop an in-depth knowledge about contemporary issues through direct research. The final report should be an informative, evidence-based analysis of the chosen topic, based on well organised and sound research using available sources.

All elective papers should normally be at the 400-level; if you have the necessary prerequisites you can incorporate one or more papers from another Science discipline, if it contributes to a coherent environmental management programme. The make-up of the five elective papers will vary student by student, depending on interest areas, and previous study. Consequently, workload issues and scheduling of the papers may mean that some students can complete the MAppSc programme in 12 months (two teaching semesters plus the summer period for completing APPS597), but for others it may take up to 18 months (i.e. a three semester programme).

Students are encouraged to choose some of their elective papers from 400-level papers in Geography (especially the science papers) if they have the necessary undergraduate background. Papers from other subjects (at the 400-level or above) can also be considered if the student has the necessary prerequisites and the papers are relevant to environmental management. Other relevant papers to consider include PLAN412 (Spatial Planning and Development), SURV554 (Advanced Environmental Engineering), and SURV501 (Advanced Project Management).

There is also an interesting series of papers under the HAZA code: Hazard Assessment and Management. Several may be of interest to some environmental management students, such as HAZA404 (Environmental Risk Assessment and Management), and HAZA409 (New Organisms: Risk Assessment and Management). Other papers are "distance taught" in that the students work on their own, using online resources to complete a number of assignments, but may be required to attend a workshop on campus as part of the required work for the paper. The papers are broadly linked to the semesters, but run over 20 week periods, rather than the usual 13 week University semester period. The papers are administered from the Otago Medical School. For further information see: http://osms.otago.ac.nz/index.php/component/content/article/61-hazard-assessment-and-management

Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Management

YearPaperPoints
4th yearGEOG471 Impact Assessment and Sustainability
GEOG472 Developments in Environmental Management
GEOG495 Masters Thesis Preparation
Two further approved points at 400-level
Total
20
20
100
40
120
5th year

Thesis: ENVM5

Note: The papers are normally taken before undertaking the thesis

The Master of Science (MSc) Environmental Management is aimed at students who wish to carry out a full piece of Masters research topic relevant to the major. The degree can be either two year (400-level papers plus thesis) or, if students already have 400-level papers through another programme, one year (thesis only).

Entry to the programme (at 4th year) is broadly to have a grade average of B+ or higher in the papers that make up the 3rd year major requirements. (Similarly, entry at 5th year will normally require a B+ average across 400-level papers). All elective papers should normally be at the 400-level; if you have the necessary prerequisites you can incorporate one or more papers from other Science disciplines, if it contributes to a coherent environmental management programme.

GEOG495 is a full year thesis preparation paper, involving three written assignments (broadly a literature review; a research methodology/strategy review; and a thesis proposal) and two seminar presentations. Each student has an individual supervisor throughout the paper, and also attends seminars on research-related topics. Entry to the thesis year requires a satisfactory performance in the first year, but especially in GEOG495.

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