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.
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
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).
Study petroleum and subsurface geoscience in Ireland and benefit from a modern interdisciplinary training delivered by leading researchers and industry specialists at University College Dublin.
UCD School of Earth Sciences provides a one-year full-time Petroleum Geoscience MSc. The course offers bright and motivated geoscience graduates a vocational training in the range of technical fields associated with hydrocarbon exploration and production, as a prelude to a career in the petroleum industry or to further studies at PhD level.
The UCD training experience:
· Covers all aspects of exploration, appraisal and development geoscience from pore to basin scale.
· Involves substantial field-based instruction (23 days) in classic outcrop locations including the Clare Basin, Ireland; Bristol Channel, UK; Pyrenees, Spain.
· Provides first-hand experience of typical industry workflows, experience with key industry software and a dedicated workstation for each student during the course.
· Involves problem-based learning drawing on a wide range of geophysical, subsurface, outcrop and ‘behind-outcrop’ datasets.
· Includes a three-month applied research project and possible industry placement.
Students accepted on to the course can apply for the Woodside Energy Masters Scholarship in Petroleum Geoscience (€15,000) and MSc Scholarship Opportunities in Petroleum-Related Courses from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (up to €12,000). Please see here for further details.
Graduates from the course will be equipped with all the necessary technical and transferable skills for a career in the petroleum industry or further studies at PhD level. Past students have found employment with exploration and production companies (including Shell, Petronas and Providence). Ireland is an EU country, and has a 24-month stay-back option allowing non-EU MSc graduates to remain in Ireland, working or seeking employment, for two years following graduation.
Semester 1 covers modules in Petroleum Systems, Basin Analysis and Modelling, Seismic Techniques, Petrophysics, Depositional Systems and Structural Geology.
Semester 2 then focusses on Exploration Geology and Production Geoscience with team-based exercises mimicking industry asset-team projects. Geological field excursions are a key component of the course with three trips to see classic outcrops of the Clare Basin (western Ireland), Bristol Channel and Wessex Basins (southern England) and the Ebro Basin (Pyrenees, Spain).
During the final semester students undertake a three-month independent research project on an exploration or development related theme with opportunities for summer internships working on company data.
The course builds on significant in-house research expertise in frontier exploration, rift and hyper-extended basin evolution, reservoir sedimentology, geophysical imaging techniques, fault analysis and reservoir and fluid flow modelling. Teaching is delivered by highly experienced academic staff, many of who have previously worked within industry and are recognised international leaders in a variety of petroleum geoscience disciplines.
The UCD School of Earth Sciences has an internationally recognised reputation for excellence in teaching and research. It is the lead participant and host for the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) which conducts research in hydrocarbons, geophysics, 3D modelling and marine geoscience, as well as in geochemistry, geophysics, groundwater and raw materials.
Founded in 1854, University College Dublin is Ireland’s Global University with 235,000 alumni across 165 countries. The university is ranked number 1 in Ireland for Earth & Marine Sciences (QS World University Subject Rankings 2017).
Application can be made via the UCD webpage here. There is a rolling deadline for this course until such time as all places have been filled; therefore early application is advised. Course entry will generally require a minimum 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent in Geology, Geoscience, Earth Science, Geophysics or a cognate discipline but relevant industrial experience will also be taken into account.
Click here to visit the MSc Petroleum Geoscience page on the University College Dublin website to find out more and apply!
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.
Apply your knowledge to real-world issues
You will gain skills in dealing with often-complex Earth systems, evaluate current research and and apply your knowledge to real-world issues, as well as get to work in some really amazing places around the world!
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
The Master of Science (Earth Science) at Massey University will develop your skills in a field and laboratory environment that is focussed on solutions to Earth science-based issues facing society.
Field work could find you on a volcano top in Vanuatu, exploring ancient volcanoes on Chatham Island or assessing real-time hazards from an erupting volcano. You might find yourself exploring the back country of the Wanganui Basin or its marine terraces, sampling rivers and aquifers to determine groundwater recharge/discharge, or investigating erosion and land use employing both field and remote sensing techniques.
You will also gain transferable skills that will be useful in many different careers. These include observation skills, advanced ability in data collection, analysis and interpretation, problem-solving and lateral thinking skills, self-motivation and resilience, teamwork as well as developing high-level written and verbal communication skills.
Massey University Earth science staff are actively researching and are members of internationally-relevant related groups. Many also have extensive industry experience, through either employment or consultancy. They bring this expertise to your teaching.
Massey’s expertise in environmental geochemistry includes remediation of contaminated sites, phytomining, mine site and land reclamation.
You can learn from – and build on – our expertise in the societal impacts of Earth events, such as volcanic activity. These include social, economic, infrastructure and the impact on local communities including iwi.
We have a range of specialised equipment which is available to you for your research and study. This includes:
This master’s includes an in-depth research project, where you will be able to explore an aspect of Earth science that interests you.
Postgraduate study is hard work but very rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science (Earth Science) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.