In the Master in Earth Structure and Dynamics programme, you will explore the composition, structure, and evolution of the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core. During this two-year programme, you will learn to link geological, geophysical, geochemical, and geodetic observations made at the Earth’s surface to physical processes operating within the planet.
The programme combines physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, and field studies to address how the solid Earth works. It allows you to specialize in virtually any aspect of solid Earth science, ranging from theoretical geophysics to pure geology or geochemistry. Many students choose a combined geology-geophysics focus.
The main subject areas you will study consist of seismology, tectonophysics, mantle dynamics, structural geology, metamorphism, magmatic processes, basin evolution, hydrocarbon and mineral deposits, and the properties of Earth materials. You will examine processes ranging from slow geodynamic processes – such as mantle convection, plate tectonics, and mountain building – to those that can have an impact during a human lifetime. These include active crustal deformation, seismicity, and volcanism as well as subsidence, uplift, and seismicity induced by hydrocarbon production and geological storage of CO2.
You can choose one of three specialization tracks based on your interests in the field:
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.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Earth Observation at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MSc by Research Earth Observation enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The Earth Observation programme would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.
You will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.
Swansea is a research-led University and the Department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a postgraduate Geography student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.
In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, 95% of Geography research at Swansea was judged to be of international quality, and 60% was regarded as World-leading or internationally excellent.
As a student of the Earth Observation programme you will have access to:
Computer laboratory with 24 computers providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Computer laboratory with 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications
Specialist laboratory suites for stable isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation
In addition, the computing facilities include 15 dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ Supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.
All academic staff in Geography are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture and a strong postgraduate community.
The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.
Research groups include:
Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation
Migration, Boundaries and Identity
Social Theory and Urban Space
This interdisciplinary programme will equip you with the analytical and communication skills to work in this important and growing field.
This programme suit students with a background in environmental or geographical sciences who have already come across remote sensing, or those with a background in physics, computer science or engineering looking for a career in an applied area.
Graduates from the programme will be well prepared to pursue a research degree or find relevant employment. This programme builds on the successful Edinburgh Geographical Information Science (GIS) degree, which was the first of its type in the world, with a heritage of almost 30 years.
Applicants who applied after 12 December 2016 receiving an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, may be required to pay a tuition fee deposit. Please see the fees and costs section for more information.
This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by individual dissertation project work.
Compulsory courses typically will be:
Option courses may include:
Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
In addition, this programme typically includes a residential field-skills weekend in Scotland.
Graduates have entered employment with well-known organisations such as Amey Infrastructure Services, British Airways, ESRI, General Electric, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intergraph, Microsoft, Oracle, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Water, Sopra Group, SLR Consulting, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations and the World Bank, as well as continuing in academia. Graduates will benefit from our proven track record in placing students with such a diverse range of employers.
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.