River basins are of fundamental importance to the world’s population. Research training in water dynamics and management are demanded by both industry and academia. The University has a world-class reputation for water-related research and GIS development in an environmental context. This programme builds on that success.
Core components are river basin hydrology and basic environmental GIS. Students choosing a River Basins (RB) pathway gain advanced knowledge and skills in channel hydraulics and sediment transport, river ecology and environmental assessment. Students on a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) pathway gain advanced knowledge and skills in GIS for environment, GIS programming and digital image analysis and remote sensing.
This highly practical course advocates learning by doing and is assessed 100% by coursework. We host guest lecturers from business, industry and academia, visit work places and conduct a series of field-, laboratory- and PC-based practicals. You also have the chance to take a work placement module.
The programme offers a detailed understanding of the principles of water resource management and an appreciation of the institutional and legal frameworks impacting on river basin management. You learn to formulate important research questions and design methodological approaches to answer them; and to develop quantitative analyses skills.
This programme is available part time, allowing you to combine study with other commitments. You can work to fund your studies, or gain a new qualification without giving up an existing job. We aim to be flexible in helping you to put together a part-time course structure that meets your academic goals while recognising the constraints on your study time.
The programme manager is Dr Paul Kay.
You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level.
We offer some of the modules on this programme as standalone Continuing Professional Development modules.
Our River Basin Dynamics and Management with GIS programme is accredited by Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
This course is one of the premier international applied petroleum geoscience courses. Since the inception of the course in 1985 its graduates have an unparalleled employment record in the petroleum industry both in the UK and worldwide. In addition our graduates are highly sought after for further PhD research in the petroleum geosciences.
● Recognised by NERC - 5 MSc studentships each year covering fees, fieldwork and maintenance.
● Recognised by Industry - Industry scholarships
● We offer highly focused teaching and training by internationally recognised academic experts as well as by visiting staff from the petroleum industry.
The course covers the applications of basin dynamics and evolution to hydrocarbon exploration and production. The course is modular in form providing intensive learning and training in geophysics, tectonics and structural geology, sequence stratigraphy and sedimentology, hydrocarbon systems, reservoir geology, remote sensing and applied geological fieldwork.
The MSc course provides ‘state of the art’ training in -
● 3D seismic interpretation and 3D visualization;
● Fault analysis and fault-sealing;
● Seismic sequence stratigraphy;
● Applied sedimentology;
● Well log analysis;
● Remote sensing analysis of satellite and radar imagery;
● Analysis of gravity and magnetic data;
● Numerical modelling of sedimentation and tectonics;
● Applied structural geology;
● Geological Fieldwork.
● Transferable skills learned during the course include
project planning, presentation techniques, report writing and compilation, team working skills, spreadsheet and statistical analyses, GIS methods as well as graphics and visualization techniques.
● The full time MSc course runs for 50 weeks. The first half comprises one and two week course modules as well as group projects and fieldwork. The second half of the MSc course consists of an individual research project usually carried out in conjunction with the petroleum industry or related institutions such as international geological surveys.
● Part time study over 24 months is also available
● Each year independent projects are arranged with new data sets from industry – some students work in the offices of the company whereas other may use our excellent in-house facilities. All independent projects are supervised by faculty members with additional industry supervision where appropriate.
Facilities include –
● Dedicated Modern Teaching Laboratories
● 14 Dual Screen Unix Seismic Workstations
● PC and Macintosh Workstations
● Internationally Recognised Structural Modelling Laboratories
● Advanced Sedimentological Laboratories
The MSc course also greatly benefits from dynamic interaction with internationally recognised research groups within the Geology Department including –
● Project EAGLE – Evolution of the African and Arabian rift system – Professor Cindy Ebinger
● Southeast Asia Research Group – Tectonic Evolution and Basin Development in SE Asia – Professor Robert Hall
● Numerical Modelling Research Group – Numerical Modelling of Tectonics and Sedimentation – Dr Dave Waltham
● Fault Dynamics Research Group – Dynamics of Fault Systems in Sedimentary Basins – Professor Ken McClay
The 2005 MSc graduates went on to employment with Shell, BP, Amerada Hess, Gaz de France, OMV (Austria), Star Energy, First Africa Oil, Badley Ashton, ECL, PGS, Robertsons, PGL, Aceca, and to PhD research at Royal Holloway and Barcelona.
Since 2001, 85% of our graduates have gone in to work in the oil industry, 10% into geological research and 5% into environmental/engineering jobs.
Accommodation is available on campus in en-suite study bedrooms grouped in flats of eight, each with a communal kitchen and dining space.
Subsistence Costs ~£9,000 pa (including Hall of Residence fees of c. £4,500 for a full year)
APPLICATIONS can be made on line at http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Registry/Admissions/applyonline.html
Join us for our Master Open Day to find out more about our courses.
The only applied structural geology Masters in the UK. Providing you with advanced training in the practical application of structural geology, preparing you either for employment in the hydrocarbon or mining industries or for postgraduate study (PhD).
You’ll gain a skillset combining advanced structural techniques and interpreting seismic data, an understanding of structural systems in time and space, and an appreciation of both the geological and geophysical constraints of seismic interpretation and model building.
This will enable you to use a combination of structural and geophysical techniques to solve geological problems. As a capable seismic interpreter you’ll be able to contribute in an industry role from day one.
Our teaching is research led, with direct links to active applied research. You’ll be taught by a range of research and industry experts, as well as through industry-led workshops. Strong industry links are a feature of this course.
The following fieldwork to the UK and overseas is free, and forms an integral part of the course. It is directly linked to learning outcomes in the classroom.
This MSc is a uniquely broad and flexible programme that suits students' aspirations, background and experience. UCL Earth Sciences has strengths in geophysics, geochemistry, palaeobiology, mineral physics, geodynamics, geohazards, climate science, environmental geosciences and policy, and other areas. Students choose from a wide range of optional modules from within the department and more widely across UCL, building an MSc tailored to their interests.
The programme aims to integrate theoretical studies with essential practical skills in the Earth sciences, both in the field and in the laboratory. Students develop the ability to work on group projects, prepare written reports, acquire oral skills and gain training in the methods of scientific research.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), six optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
Students can also choose relevant elective modules from UCL Geography.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory and fieldwork exercises. Student performance is assessed through coursework, written assignments, unseen written examination and the dissertation.
Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Analysis is a fieldwork only module without a classroom element.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Geoscience MSc
Geoscience students have gone on to pursue careers in many varied areas, such as planning and surveying, governmental organisations, academic research.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Earth Sciences is engaged in world-class research into the processes at work on and within the Earth and planets.
Graduate students benefit from our lively and welcoming environment and world-class facilities, which include the UK's only NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility and access to the University of London Observatory in north London.
The department also hosts the UCL Hazard Research Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Earth Sciences
92% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The MSc in Environment and Development (E&D) is an interdisciplinary programme exploring the inter-dependencies between pressing environmental concerns and development pressures. It explores these themes, the disputes around it and practical issues from an informed theoretical perspective, with an abiding concern for social justice claims. Conventional academic approaches focus on development or the environment as separate categories, while this programme looks at socioeconomic development as a socio-ecological and politicoecological process.
In particular this E&D programme focuses on:
Those issues will be studied at the local and national level, but also taking into account the global scale of environmental and development agendas. In many cases the root causes of inequality and poverty, both in the Global South and in the Global North, are driven by regional or global economics far beyond the borders of a particular country, village or region.
The programme will teach you to critically evaluate the multiple dimensions of the relationship between development and the environment. Teaching, fieldwork, group and practical exercises will use examples of relevance to Northern and Southern countries.
The breadth and depth of the School of GeoSciences enables students to explore a variety of environment and development issues relevant to the programme: e.g. biophysical dynamics, food insecurity, environmental governance, river basin management, cultural studies, climate change, multiple scarcities and inequalities, gender and development,etc. Students are challenged to cultivate research thinking that is cross-cutting and globally relevant, but also grounded in cases that focus on particular issues, places or systems, providing insights to effective solutions.
This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Development Academy.
This MSc consists of two semesters of taught courses. Students take two compulsory and four option courses, each a balance of lectures, seminars, workshops and visits, followed by an individual dissertation.
Compulsory courses typically will be:
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:
Semester 1 Optional Courses
Semester 2 Optional Courses
Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
This programme is suitable for students seeking roles within international and national development agencies, thinktanks, NGOs, environmental consultancies or the private sector, or those going on to PhD research.
Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?
Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
The course focuses on developing the professional skills required for a rewarding career as a water focused environmental scientist. The importance of accurate assessment of the potential and existing impacts on the water environment from industrial practices, abstraction and agriculture sit at the heart of this course.
Highly skilled water scientists and engineers are vital for the conservation and enhancement of our aquatic environment, both locally and globally. The MSc Water Resources Management course provides graduates with the ability to accurately assess the potential and existing impacts on the water environment from industrial practices, abstraction, and agriculture.
This masters degree focuses on developing the professional skills and advanced knowledge required for a rewarding career as a water focused environmental scientist.
On this course you will explore the scientific and engineering management of our aquatic resources. You will gain an in-depth understanding of freshwater ecosystems, visit river restoration sites and examine the state of fisheries.
In your first semester, you will study the science behind pollutants and their effect on the wider environment.You will measure and monitor pollution, remediate problems, study the impacts of engineering structures, and examine the latest processes and technologies in the field. You will also study Natural Resource Governance, helping you develop the critical skills sets you need to pursue a career as a water resources scientist.
In the second semester, we develop your practical research skills to prepare you for a diverse range of roles, from water quality monitoring to aquatic species conservation. You will learn to apply innovative research techniques, present arguments and understand how research funding works. Throughout the semesters we aim to equip you with a diverse range of professional and transferable skills. We will teach you to critically evaluate data and mitigate environmental problems. You will also undertake computer lab sessions and learn to apply modelling tools to support your decision making. Emphasis is placed on building a sound scientific basis alongside practical application.
Each semester, you have the option to specialise in modules related to your interests and career aspirations, from Water and Wastewater Engineering to Coastal Flood Defence to River Basin Management
The last part of the year will centre on your individual research, where you will put your learning into practice to complete an advanced research project.