This MSc provides a broad introduction to geohazards, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology. A key goal is to provide an essential grounding in quantitative modelling that can be widely applied to several fields, from pure research to the commercial sector.
The programme provides an introduction to the spectrum and impact of geophysical hazards, and a focus on quantitative models for hazard forecasting and assessment. Selected case studies illustrate how these models are essential for improving decision-making during emergencies, for raising the awareness of vulnerable populations, and for evaluating and implementing mitigation strategies.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of six core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All students undertake an independent research project in geophysical hazards, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading and practical exercises. There are excellent opportunities for field investigations in the UK and abroad. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, practical problem-solving exercises and essays. The independent research report is assessed through the dissertation and an oral presentation.
Field sites for field trips are normally in Italy. The department pays for accommodation and transport in the field. Students pay to get to the field and subsistence.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Geophysical Hazards MSc
On graduation from this programme about one-third of students have followed careers in global insurance and re-insurance and another third have pursued research with a PhD in hazard-related studies. The remaining third have developed careers in a wide range of sectors, from non-governmental organisations, through teaching, to the fields of emergency planning and environmental management.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The MSc in Geophysical Hazards will provide essential training for careers in hazard assessment and risk evaluation, including: industry, from engineering to insurance; academic research; civil protection agencies and government organisations; and NGOs related to aid and development.
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. The department hosts UCL Hazard Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.
This MSc aims to include a short field trip to locations that illustrate the impact of natural hazards. Previous trips have included the Neapolitan volcanic district, the Italian Alps and the Po Delta, and the Cádiz region in south-western Spain.
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.
If you have an interest in the earth in relation to minerals extraction Geophysics has plenty of scope to get involved in the profession itself and expertise required to explore different types of terrain but in a newly evolving landscape of assistive technology companies offering the latest methods of discovering production and risk issues beneath the earths surface. You learn these latest methods of finding out data to understand risk and potential engineering issues in difficult to reach places. Signal processing uses the latest advances in sensor development to set up an alert system to monitor specific areas which are normally difficult to reach. Seismic processing looks at how the earth moves not only in times of earthquakes but natural movement from chemical reactions beneath the surface of the earth.
Borehole extraction is used in mineral extraction but also to determine if reserves are live or loading is safe and much and more. The skills you learn apply equally to current and future mineral extraction as they do to land and sea where extraction has historically taken place and where there is application for a different use from a remediated coal mine for example where loading can be critical to risk for future use. The programme equips you with skills in hydrocarbon, minerals and associated industries or research. You understand structure from near surface to deep interior learning from geophysical data analysis and interpretation.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about international fees:
Find out more about fees on the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.
Find out more about:
In the Master in Earth Structure and Dynamics, 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.
Please visit the programme's website for more information.
You can choose one of three specialization tracks based on your interests in the field: