Study Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll receive comprehensive postgraduate training on the time-dependent processes that affect environmental change, helping you to understand and confront some of the most profound issues of our time.
This flexible Masters programme is offered jointly with London’s prestigious Natural History Museum, and The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) recognizes this course as 'Excellent'.
You’ll acquire an advanced knowledge and understanding of key issues within Quaternary Science, including high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records, high-precision dating and multi-proxy approaches to the investigation of past environmental changes.
The Department of Geography is one of the leading centres for international geographical research in the UK. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework our research environment was recognized as overwhelmingly world class.
The staff and facilities of the Centre for Quaternary Research (CQR) at Royal Holloway provide a wide range of opportunities, including participation in internationally significant research programmes in Quaternary science and links with potential employers. This consortium of staff constitutes the strongest teaching team in the UK for the provision of Masters' teaching in the field of non-marine Quaternary earth science and environmental change. You’ll have the chance to contribute to this leading research culture with your own individual research project.
Study a Masters degree in Quaternary Science and you’ll develop a thorough understanding of many contemporary environmental issues, including climate change, biological responses to environmental change and soil erosion. and be well placed to pursue a rewarding career in your chosen field.
- Quaternary Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
- Quaternary Palaeoclimatology
- Palaeoecology, Dating & Quantification
- Techniques of Quaternary Research
- Oral Presentation
- Field Training Programme (Scotland)
- Quaternary Palynology
- Quaternary Coleoptera
- Micromorphology of Quaternary Sediments
- Theory and Applications of Luminescence Dating
- Quaternary Microfossils
- Quaternary Mammals
- Late Quaternary Palaeohydrology
- Chironomids and Environmental Change
- Glaciers in the Climate System
- Quaternary Tephrochronology
Teaching & assessment
You will benefit from small group learning and an intense but friendly atmosphere, and will receive individual mentoring and career advice from our staff (both from your personal tutor and a dissertation supervisor).
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, practical exercises, field reports and a dissertation.
UK (Honours) degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Candidates with extensive field and/or laboratory experience in a relevant vocation may also be considered for entry, but will be required to demonstrate proficiency in theoretical aspects of the subject.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start. Find out what scores we require.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students (PDIS), a one-year full-time programme that will prepare you for postgraduate study in the UK. For more information please see here.
Your future career
Study Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway and you’ll graduate with excellent employability prospects. Our recent alumni have gone on to enjoy careers in the British Geological Survey, Natural England, the Environment Agency, journal publishing houses, Research Councils, environmental archaeology and museums, as well as academic positions within universities.
Over the past decade, around 70% of Quaternary Science graduates have gone on to study at PhD level, with the Royal Holloway Centre for Quaternary Science providing opportunities to participate in internationally significant research programmes.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £8500
International students tuition fee per year**: £17500
Other essential costs***: You should budget between £200 and £400 for travel to fieldwork sites.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email email@example.com for further information on part-time fees. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees and our terms and conditions.
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.