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Masters Degrees (Geochemistry)

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The Environmental and Petroleum Geochemistry MSc is an excellent introduction to environmental geochemistry and a research-oriented career path. Read more
The Environmental and Petroleum Geochemistry MSc is an excellent introduction to environmental geochemistry and a research-oriented career path. It equips you with an understanding and specialist technical skills for a career in the environmental industry. You specialise in the interactions between petroleum and the environment.

This course enables you to critically assess the quality, value and limitations of new environmental data in relation to existing information. You will be able to demonstrate an advanced knowledge and understanding in the areas of:
-Low temperature geochemistry of waters, soils and sediments
-Micro-organisms in catalysing low temperature geochemical reactions
-Origins, toxicity and ultimate fates of pollutants
-Modern techniques for the analysis of environmental materials
-Impact and geochemistry of oil in the environment

Accreditation

The course is designed to achieve the ECUK Output Standards for Accredited Engineering Programmes and takes account of the QAA's FHEQ Qualification Descriptors, the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Engineering, and the University's Graduate Skills Framework.

Facilities

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences has an exceptional range of laboratories equipped with a wide range of analytical instrumentation supporting our research, teaching and contract research projects.
-Chemical and Biological Research Laboratories
-Geotechnics and Structures Research Laboratories

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Our geochemistry research includes specific areas of expertise. applied and fundamental aspects of geochemistry; environmental sustainability; climate change; and biosphere/geosphere interactions. Read more
Our geochemistry research includes specific areas of expertise: applied and fundamental aspects of geochemistry; environmental sustainability; climate change; and biosphere/geosphere interactions. Through working with academics who are leaders in their field, you will be supported and guided to produce research of an international standard.

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences enjoys an international reputation for using the latest science to solve problems of global importance. For geochemistry we have MPhil and PhD supervision in the following areas:

Petroleum-related geological research
-Reservoir and source-rock geochemistry
-Microbial deep biosphere of petroleum reservoirs
-Origin, significance and maturation of molecular biomarker compounds in the sedimentary record
-Physico-chemical properties and behaviour of mudstone sequences
-Shale gas
-Geological sequestration of CO2
-Palynofacies and organic facies of ancient and modern sediments

Environment-related research
-Geomicrobiology
-Mineral science
-Molecular microbial ecology
-Molecular palaeontology
-Soil biogeochemistry
-Waste management
-Bioremediation of polluted soils and waters
-Biogeochemical cycling of elements through Earth history
-Climate change during past greenhouse conditions
-Processes of carbon cycling and export across the land–ocean transition

Delivery

We offer the MPhil and PhD on a full time or part time basis. You will work with research-active academics who will provide advice and support throughout your research project. You will receive formal training in research skills and methods and discipline-specific training is provided where appropriate.

The first three months of study involve intensive theoretical and practical tuition to ensure that you have the study skills to plan your project and can use the equipment and software related to your research. You are encouraged to attend our weekly research seminar series and to present your work at our annual postgraduate research conference, group seminars and relevant international conferences.

Facilities

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences has an exceptional range of laboratories equipped with a wide range of analytical instrumentation supporting our research, teaching and contract research projects.
-Chemical and Biological Research Laboratories
-Geotechnics and Structures Research Laboratories

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The MSc in Geochemistry is a comprehensive and rigorous course that combines compulsory and optional taught modules, field work, short courses, and a research dissertation. Read more

The MSc in Geochemistry is a comprehensive and rigorous course that combines compulsory and optional taught modules, field work, short courses, and a research dissertation. Hands-on experience developing a diverse set of laboratory skills is embedded into the course.

Highlights

  • A wide range of expertise in the field of geochemistry, underpinned by new state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.
  • A dynamic and research-intensive atmosphere is encouraged and is supportive of all students.
  • A focus on hands-on laboratory and field training throughout the course.

Teaching format

The MSc degree requires two semesters of full-time (or four semesters part-time) coursework, normally equivalent to a total of nine taught modules, and a 15,000-word dissertation, usually completed over the summer semester. The assessment for the taught modules is based on coursework and written examinations.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.



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The School of Earth Sciences has strong international links and the presence of researchers from all over the world makes for an exciting and stimulating environment. Read more
The School of Earth Sciences has strong international links and the presence of researchers from all over the world makes for an exciting and stimulating environment. Research involves the full breadth of the earth sciences and has benefited from major investment in new laboratories and equipment in the past few years. Important initiatives include experimental and theoretical studies of physical, chemical and biological processes of the Earth.

Please note: If you are applying for this programme, you need to select Geology as the programme choice when completing your online application form.

Research groups

The research programme at Bristol is characterised by an expanding range of exciting subject areas. Research in the School of Earth Sciences encourages interdisciplinary collaboration between its five research groups, which in turn nurtures revolutionary research.

Geochemistry
The Geochemistry group uses fundamental chemical techniques to understand natural processes on a range of temporal and spatial scales. This can be from single atoms on mineral surfaces and the environmental geochemistry of the modern Earth to the large-scale chemical structure of planets and the birth of the solar system. The group has considerable expertise in isotopic measurements, spectroscopy and first-principles calculations.

Geophysics
Geophysics uses physical properties of the solid Earth to measure structure and processes on scales from the single crystal to the entire planet. Members of the Bristol Geophysics group use gravity, seismic and satellite data to image the Earth in a variety of different contexts. These include the Earth's core, mantle and tectonic processes, volcanoes, oil and gas reservoirs and mines.

Palaeobiology
The Palaeobiology group uses the fossil record to study the history of life. Research focuses on major diversifications, mass extinctions, dating the tree of life, phylogenomics and molecular palaeobiology, morphological innovation, biomechanics, and links between evolution and development; the organisms of interest range from foraminifera to dinosaurs.

Petrology
The Petrology group uses a combination of high-pressure and high-temperature experiments, petrology, geochemistry and mineral physics to attack a wide range of problems in the solid Earth - from the core to the surface.

Volcanology
The Volcanology group at Bristol aims to understand the physical processes underlying volcanic phenomena and develop methods of hazard and risk assessment that can be applied to volcanoes worldwide.

Recent case studies and collaborators include the Met Office, Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland and INGEOMINAS in Columbia.

Research centres

The School of Earth Sciences is involved in a number of collaborative research groups on an international level. Inter-faculty research centres such as the Biogeochemistry Research Centre and the Cabot Institute involve collaboration across several departments and faculties.

Centre for Environmental and Geophysical Flows
This interdisciplinary research centre brings together expertise from the Schools of Earth Sciences, Geographical Sciences, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. This creates diverse research activities and interests, from traffic flow to explosive volcanic flows, meteorology to oceanography.

Biogeochemistry Research Centre
The Biogeochemistry Research Centre involves staff from the Schools of Earth Sciences, Geographical Sciences and Chemistry. The research aims to develop our understanding of the biogeochemistry of modern-day and ancient environments and the way that it is affected by natural processes and the actions of mankind.

Bristol Isotope Group
The Bristol Isotope Group is a world-class research facility for isotope measurements directed at understanding natural processes, from the formation of the solar system, the origin of Earth - its deep structure and atmosphere, through to the evolution of that atmosphere and contemporary climate change.

Interface Analysis Centre
The Interface Analysis Centre specialises in the application of a wide range of analytical techniques and is used by the Schools of Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics.

The Cabot Institute
The Cabot Institute carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainty in a changing environment. Interests include climate change, natural hazards, food and energy security, resilience and governance, and human impacts on the environment.

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The Environmental Consultancy MSc is an exciting course providing you with the advanced conceptual understanding, detailed factual knowledge, and specialist technical skills for success in a science-based environmental business. Read more
The Environmental Consultancy MSc is an exciting course providing you with the advanced conceptual understanding, detailed factual knowledge, and specialist technical skills for success in a science-based environmental business. It is ideal for graduates with a degree in biology, chemistry, or earth and environmental science.

This course develops your knowledge and understanding of the framework within which business opportunities are identified and pursued within the environmental sector. The course, made up from taught modules and a dissertation project, covers the following subjects:
-Solid waste management
-Groundwater contamination and remediation
-Ground investigation - design, principles and practice
-Research methods
-Introduction to microbiology and microbial transformation of pollutants
-Aqueous geochemistry
-Sources, fates and control of pollutants
-The environment business
-Contaminated land
-Environmental analytical geochemistry
-Geographic information systems

Accreditation

The course is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. The course has also been accredited by the Geological Society (GeolSoc).

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In our Master's programme in Earth, Life, and Climate, you will explore the fundamental processes which regulate the past, present, and future dynamics of sedimentary systems, biodiversity, and climate, as well as their evolution. Read more

EXPLORE PROCESSES AFFECTING THE EARTH'S LIFE AND ITS ENVIRONMENT

In our Master's programme in Earth, Life, and Climate, you will explore the fundamental processes which regulate the past, present, and future dynamics of sedimentary systems, biodiversity, and climate, as well as their evolution. This two-year programme will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand climate change and its impact on natural environments such as soils, sediments, lakes, groundwater, wetlands, estuaries, and oceans.

The main topics you will study include the evolution of life, the development of sedimentary basins, carbon sources and sinks, biogeochemical and geochemical fingerprinting of sedimentary processes/environments, and climate reconstruction.

Tracks

You can choose one of four tracks based on your specific interests:
-Integrated Stratigraphy & Sedimentary Systems: Dynamics of marine and continental sedimentary systems

-Climate Reconstruction: The reconstruction of climate change through Earth's history

-Biogeosciences & Evolution: The evolution and response of biota to perturbations in the environments

-Biogeochemistry: Processes that control the elemental cycles at the Earth’s surface.

On this programme, you will learn state-of-the-art reconstruction methods, modelling techniques, and laboratory experiments used in a wide range of earth and beta science disciplines. These disciplines include biogeology, palaeontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, environmental geochemistry, organic geochemistry, hydrology, physical geography, geology, biology, climate dynamics, and palaeoceanography. You will utilize these skills in your own research project or on the traineeships you can take in preparation for an international career in applied or fundamental research.

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Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. Read more
Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. This programme provides an excellent opportunity for you to develop and enhance your general, transferable and specialist research skills. You will gain insight into different research methods and acquire valuable experience of conducting large-scale research projects.

Our key research interests include: igneous petrology and geochemistry; sedimentology; environmental geochemistry and mineralogy; stratigraphy and palaeontology; structural geology; geophysics; palaeoclimatology; planetary geology; and earthquake studies.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In our joint submission with UCL, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck were rated 6th the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), while we achieved 100% for an environment conducive to research of the highest quality.

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Oceanographers investigate both fundamental and applied problems relating to the physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology of the sea, often working across traditional academic disciplines. Read more

Program Overview

Oceanographers investigate both fundamental and applied problems relating to the physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and geology of the sea, often working across traditional academic disciplines. Research carried out both independently and in collaboration with federal government laboratories occurs in many different oceanographic regimes, including coastal BC fjords, the inland sea of the Strait of Georgia, open ocean regions of the Subarctic Pacific, and many other locations, including the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. The types of problems that can be studied include fundamental questions about the flow of stratified fluids at scales ranging from tens of meters to thousands of kilometers, applied research in estuaries, coastal, and deep-ocean processes, general ocean circulation and climate change issues, marine chemistry, geochemistry, and biogeochemistry, natural product chemistry, marine viruses, fisheries oceanography, plankton ecology and physiology, and primary production of the sea. The Department is well equipped to carry out research in the field (using either its own boat or larger vessels in the oceanographic fleet), at the laboratory bench, and in the numerical heart of a computer. Most problems involve aspects of all three.

Students in Oceanography may select courses, depending on their interest, from the following areas of specialization:
- biological oceanography
- marine chemistry and geochemistry
- physical oceanography and atmospheric sciences

Students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge by taking courses outside their area of specialization. Courses related to Oceanography are also offered in the Departments of Botany, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Geography, Physics and Astronomy, and Zoology.

Oceanography students normally begin their studies in September but may sometimes arrange to start their thesis/dissertation work in the summer before their first Winter Session. A student wishing to do graduate work in Oceanography should first discuss the proposed program with appropriate faculty in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Oceanography
- Subject: Science
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Options
- Faculty: Faculty of Science

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This Course is Open for 2016-17 entry. Royal Holloway is one of the leading international centres for petroleum geoscience training and research. Read more
This Course is Open for 2016-17 entry.

Royal Holloway is one of the leading international centres for petroleum geoscience training and research. Our MSc Petroleum Geoscience course was established in 1985 and, with over 600 graduates from 32 countries, it is recognised around the world as one of the premier training courses for people starting out on careers in the hydrocarbon industry.

Our excellent links with the international oil industry, combined with high quality teaching and research facilities make the Royal Holloway MSc an ideal option if you are a recent graduate looking for a focused, vocational training course, or if you are an early career professional wishing to enhance your career development.

You can choose between several course modules to specialise your training in topics focussing on basin evolution or structural analysis and tectonics.

You will be joining a department where the Research Excellence Framework (REF) reported that 94% of research has been classified as 4* world leading and 3* internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour. By this criterion, Earth Sciences is 2nd place among UK universities. You will become part of a vibrant international graduate school, fully integrated into the research culture of the department.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/earthsciences/coursefinder/mscpetroleumgeoscience.aspx

Why choose this course?

- There is a huge demand for well qualified petroleum geoscientists. Companies worldwide are facing up to the challenge of replacing an ageing workforce with young graduates who can apply their knowledge and quickly learn from more experienced colleagues.

- We are one of the world leaders in the field of petroleum geoscience. Our MSc is recognised as a premier training course that will provide you with the practical and technical skills required to meet the challenges facing the hydrocarbon industry.

- You will develop the ability to integrate geological and geophysical data, and to apply your knowledge on a variety of scales, so that you can address a range of questions; from understanding the distribution of hydrocarbons in sedimentary basins, to quantifying the complex structural, stratigraphic and sedimentological architecture of individual reservoirs.

- We have excellent links with the international oil industry, including an Advisory Board with representatives from 14 multinational companies, which ensures that our teaching is up-to-date, relevant and will prepare you for a career in the industry.

- An MSc in Petroleum Geoscience from Royal Holloway also provides you with the geological and transferable skills to work in other Earth Science-related fields, and prepares you for further postgraduate study.

- This is a flexible course, allowing you study full-time, part-time or through distance learning. If you opt to study part-time you will have also have the option of studying through sandwich mode (complete terms in separate years).

- Field work in the UK and Spain is an important part of the programme and is fully integrated with the course units.

- The Department receives a number of studentships from industry sponsors and from the Research Council which are available to UK and EU applicants. Everyone who applies for a place on this course is automatically considered for these studentships, and no further application is required.

Department research and industry highlights

Our research follows four main themes:

- Geodynamics and Sedimentary Systems
The interaction between tectonic, volcanic and sedimentary processes to generate surface and sub-surface architectures. With a diverse range of expertise, researchers integrate geophysics, structural geology, sedimentology and modelling to improve our understanding of a wide range of geodynamic settings. Our interests range from the evolution of rift systems and passive margins to the tectonics of mountain belts and include an emphasis on sediment dynamics in all settings. Much of the research in this theme is funded by industry.

- Physics & Chemistry of Earth Processes
Quantitative characterization of Physical and Chemical processes within the Earth. This group plays a role in many research activities across the department and helps to ensure a rigorous academic approach. Research applications in geochemistry stem from development of world-class geochemical techniques in radiogenic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-U-Th) and stable (C,H,O,N,S) isotopes, based on strategic partnerships with instrument manufacturers. In geophysics we have extensive expertise in both exploration geophysics and global geophysics. However, the group's main contribution extends well outside the traditional scope of geophysics and geochemistry into areas such as sedimentology, tectonics, palaeontology, oceans and atmospheres, the link between magmatism and tectonics, and the nature of the shallow mantle. In addition to making wide use of geochemical and geophysical data, we have developed a wide variety of forward and inverse modelling techniques (mathematical, numerical and laboratory-analogue).

- Global Environmental Change
Key transitions in Earth history including modern global change. A wide range of proxies and finger-printing techniques are employed to focus on issues of global change such as methane as a greenhouse gas, coastal and estuarine dynamics, modern and ancient sedimentary processes, Phanerozoic environmental change and associated biotic responses, the biogeochemistry of Archaean ecosystems and evolution of life through geologic time. In addition, we pioneer new research on the impact of ice sheet contamination and associated chemistry on climate change.

- Natural Hazards
Integrating several strands of current research within the department, this newly developing theme investigates a range of natural hazards, including intraplate earthquakes, subduction zones, volcanoes, landslides and associated tsunami, as well as environmental hazards. It utilises field studies, remote sensing data, numerical modelling, geophysical data from sites around the globe.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

- an understanding of the processes that control the structural and stratigraphic architecture of sedimentary basins

- an understanding of petroleum systems and the controls on the distribution of hydrocarbons and other fluids in sedimentary basins

- an understanding of the properties of hydrocarbon reservoirs, and the implications of this for hydrocarbon production and field development

- the ability to use seismic, well log, core and remotely sensed data to evaluate sedimentary basins, hydrocarbon prospects and hydrocarbon fields.

Assessment

The taught course units are assessed by a combination of written exams and course work. Each of the six units comprises 10% of the total assessment for the MSc course. The remaining 40% of the assessment comes from the Independent Research Project.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable; 92% remain in petroleum geosciences and related fields after graduation – approximately 75% entering the industry and 20% continuing in research (mainly as PhD students).

Graduates find employment in a wide range of companies, from multinationals (such as Shell, BP, Statoil, BG, Centrica, GDF-Suez), large independents (e.g. Tullow, Hess), small independent companies (e.g. Volantis), and a wide range of consultancy companies (e.g. Fugro-Roberston, RPS, Equipoise, IHS, Midland Valley)

How to apply

Applications for entry to our campus based full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Programme description. This MSc is aimed at students who wish to pursue a geosciences-related career in the future energy sector, as it transitions from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy. Read more

Programme description

This MSc is aimed at students who wish to pursue a geosciences-related career in the future energy sector, as it transitions from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy. The aim is to offer a programme that uses subsurface (geological) knowledge opening a diverse range of career pathways in lower carbon geoenergy technologies; the disposal of energy-related wastes and the hydrocarbon industry.

This MSc programme builds on the strength and reputation of the research groups operating in the School of GeoSciences on uses of the subsurface: carbon capture and storage (CCS); radioactive waste disposal; energy storage and extraction; unconventional and conventional hydrocarbons; wet and dry geothermal heat; and subsurface fluid tracing using noble gases and stable isotopes.

Programme structure

Compulsory courses (for students who have accredited prior learning, elective courses are taken in lieu) – 90 credits

  • Future Geoenergy Resources
  • Applied Hydrogeology and Near surface Geophysics
  • Hydrogeology 2
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Project Design and Literature Analysis
  • Carbon Storage and Monitoring

Compulsory Courses – for those with Geoscience background – 20 credits

  • Subsurface Reservoir Quality

Compulsory Courses – for those without Geoscience background – 20 credits

  • Geology for Earth Resources
  • Hydrocarbons

Optional courses: choice of 10 credits from following

  • Ore Mineralogy, Petrology & Geochemistry
  • Seismic Reflection Interpretation
  • Carbon Capture and Transport
  • Helmsdale MSc Field Excursion
  • Environmental Problems and Issues
  • Nuclear Waste Management: Principles, Policies & Practice

Compulsory Dissertation

  • Dissertation in Applied Geoscience (Geoenergy)

Career opportunities

This programme will train students in the use of subsurface geological knowledge opening a diverse range of career pathways in lower carbon geoenergy technologies and the disposal of energy-related wastes. These include radioactive waste disposal; carbon capture and storage; geothermal energy and subsurface energy storage including compressed air energy storage.

Other pathways include working in environmental and regulatory aspects of energy storage involving potential pollution; tracking subsurface fluids in the event of leakage from subsurface facilities and ground water resources.



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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!. Read more

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.

Explore the world around you

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.

Let our expertise become yours

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.

Examine the environmental impact

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.

Specialised equipment

We have a range of specialised equipment which is available to you for your research and study. This includes:

  • A microprobe for spatial geochemical analysis of geological materials. Able to focus down to two microns, it allows measurement of changes in composition across crystals (which record pre-eruption processes in magmas)
  • Laser particle size analyser for measuring grain-size distributions of materials such as tephra
  • FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra-red) microscope. This measures water and CO2 contents in volcanic materials (related to eruption dynamics), but has also been used for analysing compositional differences in horse bones and carbon nanoparticles
  • Pyroclastic Flow simulator
  • Hyperspectral analyser for remote sensing soil,rock and plant materials (an example of use includes detecting mineralised ground by remote sensing)
  • FLYSPEC analyser for measuring SO2 in volcanic eruption plumes
  • XRD analyser for determining mineralogical compositions of a wide range of materials, especially clay minerals
  • TGA/DSC (Thermogravimetric Analyser/Differential Scanning Calorimeter) for uses such as thermal behaviour in volcanic glasses to characterise biochar
  • OEM (Optical Emission Analyser) for geochemical analysis with particular application to environmental geochemistry

In-depth research

This master’s includes an in-depth research project, where you will be able to explore an aspect of Earth science that interests you.

Why postgraduate study?

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.

Not just more of the same

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.



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Programme description. This programme will give you a fundamental understanding of the issues affecting the Earth enabling you to play a vital role in devising and enacting strategies to protect and conserve the environment, both in Europe and beyond. Read more

Programme description

This programme will give you a fundamental understanding of the issues affecting the Earth enabling you to play a vital role in devising and enacting strategies to protect and conserve the environment, both in Europe and beyond.

Human activities are recognised as having an increasingly significant effect on the Earth’s biosphere. Our use of natural resources, deforestation, soil erosion, the release of potentially toxic compounds and pathogens, and the increase in greenhouse gases are all examples of pressures that have potentially serious consequences for humanity and other life on Earth.

On this programme you will learn about the issues that face the Earth and gain an in-depth understanding of natural resource management and the processes that give rise to environmental degradation and pollution problems.

It will allow you to play a vital role in planning and putting into action strategies to protect and conserve the environment.

This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.

Programme structure

This programme involves two semesters of taught courses, which are a balance of lectures, seminars, workshops and visits, plus a research dissertation project of about 16,000 words.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Analysing the Environment
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Analysing the Environment Study Tour
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

You will also choose four optional courses^. We particularly recommend the following:

  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Integrated Resource Management
  • Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
  • Marine Systems and Policies
  • Archives: History, Geography, Politics
  • Carbon Capture and Transport
  • Culture, Ethics & Environment
  • Encountering Cities
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Foundations in Ecological Economics
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Principles of GIS
  • Project Appraisal
  • Understanding Environment and Development
  • Values and the Environment
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling
  • Sustainability of Food Production
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Forests and Environment
  • Carbonate Sequence Stratigraphy
  • Climate Change and Corporate Strategy
  • Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
  • Integrated Resource Planning
  • Introduction to Environmental Modelling
  • Political Ecology
  • Ecosystem Values and Management
  • Soil Science Concepts and Application
  • Water Resource Management

Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Field trip

Part of this programme is a week-long study tour in spring. Past study tours have been held in France, Greece, Portugal, Israel and Morocco.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • develop a scientific understanding of some of the major processes which influence the quality of land, air and water resources
  • acquire knowledge of the most effective methods of environmental protection
  • develop expertise in the design and implementation of programmes of environmental protection
  • have the opportunity to study the integrated protection and management of particular ecosystems or resources

Career opportunities

Our graduates have a solid record in finding employment in the environmental sector while some choose to further their studies through a PhD.

There are also opportunities in consultancy positions and with environmental regulators, government and NGOs.

Student experience

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.



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Your programme of study. Read more

Your programme of study

If you are considering a career or enterprise in oil and gas management or its associated supply chain this degree draws from the strengths of both academics at University of Aberdeen and industry professionals in the city who have helped to shape the programmes and modules from their learning and experiences. The university offers knowledge spanning fifty years in oil and gas production and commercialisation. The university has worked closely with the industry since its inception in Aberdeen city and in the 1970s to provide advanced level learning in the sector.

The programme uniquely offers a great range of knowledge across Geology and Engineering, Business and Law specific to the oil and gas industry but applicable to other similar industries with similar features. The degree offers great value in terms of the range of disciplines it covers and it will open up a range of careers internationally. It also gives you the confidence and knowledge to start up an enterprise yourself or work in mid to senior management within an already established company. Business and Law modules will be very useful to a great many commercial situations and sectors if you choose to apply your knowledge in the future. This also applies to Geology and Engineering which are also subjects in themselves when it comes to employment options.

This programme is ideal for small specialist companies working with National Oil Companies and energy ministries to commercialise innovation in science and technology and improve hydrocarbon exploration. It combines science with law politics and economics. Alumni work internationally across the supply chain and some of them have started their own businesses.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Geoscience in Oil Exploration
  • Introduction to Energy Economics
  • Drilling and Well Engineering
  • Management in Engineering Production, Risk Management and Psychology

Semester 2

  • Porfolio Optimisation - Decision Making and Investment Appraisal
  • Commercial Law and Regulatory Frameworks
  • Remediation Technology for Geosciences
  • Research Skills, Professional Development and Field Study

Semester 3

  • Project Oil and Gas Enterprise Management
  • Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You develop skills and knowledge to confidently talk to specialists across science, engineering, and commercialisation
  • Research informed subject areas include earth science, petroleum geology, sedimentology, geochemistry, tectonics, and more
  • We work with Apache, Statoil, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Shell, Pemex, to name but a few located in Aberdeen itself
  • You learn directly from industry professionals and academics with a high level of expertise

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time
  • September and January

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen

Living costs



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Gain advanced training in the palaeoenvironment. Develop skills for a career in commercial and heritage organisations or future doctoral research. Read more
  • Gain advanced training in the palaeoenvironment
  • Develop skills for a career in commercial and heritage organisations or future doctoral research
  • Choose from geoarchaeology and bioarchaeology options for advanced skills in environmental-based assessments, heritage management and field projects
  • Become part of a world-leading Department with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research

What will you study?

Compulsory modules include:

  • Dissertation
  • Issues and Debates in Environmental Archaeology
  • Research Skills and Career Learning
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Field Methods and Experimentation
  • Field Course: Earth Science & Archaeological Investigations

Optional modules include:

Geoarchaeology 

  • Geochemistry in Quaternary Science and Archaeology 
  • Climate Change and Human Communities 
  • Quaternary Climate Change 
  • Coastal and Maritime Geoarchaeology 
  • Tropical Rainforests, Climate and Land Use Through Time 
  • Applications of Micromorphological Analysis 

Bioarchaeology 

  • Human Bioarchaeology 
  • Food and Culture 
  • Zooarchaeology 
  • Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 
  • Molluscan Biostatigraphy 
  • Our Closest Cousins? Archaeology of the Neanderthals 

Placements and Careers

  • Erasmus Scheme (involves 1 term in Europe)
  • Research and Enterprise Placement 
  • Research and Enterprise Micro-Placement 
  • Management of Heritage Assets 

Please see our modules outline for further information.

Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.

What career can you have?

Our graduates go on to full-time employment within archaeology and related consultancies or units, museums and government agencies. Up to one third continue their academic career through doctoral research. In recent years, graduates have been successful in obtaining appointments with heritage agencies (Historic England, National Trust) and universities, including Bristol, Cardiff, Durham, Exeter and Newcastle.



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Research profile. This masters by research programme is an opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of research in any of the following major branches of geosciences. Read more

Research profile

This masters by research programme is an opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of research in any of the following major branches of geosciences:

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Climate Change
  • Ecological Sciences
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Exploration Geophysics
  • Geoinformatics
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Glaciology
  • Human Geography
  • Meteorology
  • Oceanography
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Physical Geography
  • Remote Sensing

The programme allows you to work on research throughout the year, and your work will be judged solely on your final dissertation. You can follow taught courses by arrangement with your supervisor, but none are required.

The programme aims to provide a structured approach to basic research training, allowing you to explore an area of research that may be subsequently developed into a PhD. You may also have the opportunity to develop links with research projects at national and international levels.

The School has the largest geoscience research group in the UK, with about 370 academics and researchers. The ambition and quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, where 66% of our research was rated within the top two categories: world-leading and internationally excellent.

All research students are affiliated to one a research institute, which provides a forum for the development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early-career researchers. Our research institutes each have a very active seminar series drawing distinguished external guests as well as internal speakers, and you will be encouraged to attend and participate.

Programme structure

You can follow taught courses by arrangement with your supervisor, but none are required.



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