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Masters Degrees (Micropalaeontology)

We have 3 Masters Degrees (Micropalaeontology)

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The course is aimed at graduates from a variety of Geoscience backgrounds who wish to gain expertise in Micropalaeontology and Petroleum Geosciences. Read more
The course is aimed at graduates from a variety of Geoscience backgrounds who wish to gain expertise in Micropalaeontology and Petroleum Geosciences.

Applicants should ideally have a first degree in Geology or a closely related subject. Early Applications are encouraged as places on the course may be limited.

Key features:

Looking at specimens under the microscopeComprehensive coverage of the key microfossil groups used in hydrocarbon exploration
Focus on the role of microfossils in understanding major changes in global climate
Course taught by both academic staff and industrial partners
Opportunity to experience working with geological consultancies as well as an academic research environment
Individual research project tailored to your own skills and goals
The course has received financial support from BG Group, BP, Petrostrat and Shell.

About the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences has a renowned history for international excellence in research and teaching.
Our postgraduate programmes are shaped by research that addresses global grand challenges across the fields of geography, planning, earth sciences, environmental science, occupational health and safety, and environmental and public health. With policy- and practice-focused teaching, all our programmes have high employability outcomes.
We offer excellent facilities for postgraduate study including extensive map and archive facilities, earth imaging laboratory, stable-isotope laboratory (SILLA), environmental library, fully digital drawing office, and state-of-the-art laboratories for environmental chemistry, sedimentology, ecology, groundwater and palaeobiology. Our diverse range of programmes will provide you with a thorough understanding of the discipline, high-quality training and skills development, and access to our expert staff and extensive facilities.
Our graduates go on to forge careers in areas that matter – from environmental consultancies and the hydrocarbon industries, to urban planning, policy roles in NGOs and government regulatory services – and make a real contribution to global challenges. Many graduates also go on to study for PhDs.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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This programme provides broad knowledge of marine geological and geophysical techniques and advanced training in marine geophysical exploration techniques, mathematical modelling, geodynamics, coastal processes, micropalaeontology or palaeoceanographic expertise. Read more

Summary

This programme provides broad knowledge of marine geological and geophysical techniques and advanced training in marine geophysical exploration techniques, mathematical modelling, geodynamics, coastal processes, micropalaeontology or palaeoceanographic expertise.

You will gain hands-on research experience through an advanced project with leading international researchers. The MRes focuses less on taught modules and more on the research project (about two-thirds of the year).

Modules

Semester one:

Core modules: Contemporary Topics in Ocean and Earth Science; Introduction to Marine Geology; plus one from Introduction to Chemical Oceanography or Introduction to Physical Oceanography

Optional modules: Applied and Marine Geophysics; Basin Analysis; Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Computational Data Analysis for Geophysicists and Ocean Scientists; Geodynamics and Solid Earth Geophysics; Microfossils, Environments and Time

Semester two:

Optional modules: Applied Coastal Sediment Dynamics; Ecological Modelling; Global Climate Cycles;
High-resolution Marine Geophysics

Plus research project

Visit our website for further information...



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This programme is for students who are passionate about early life, dinosaurs, mass extinctions, macroevolution, fossil preservation and understanding the palaeobiology of extinct organisms. Read more
This programme is for students who are passionate about early life, dinosaurs, mass extinctions, macroevolution, fossil preservation and understanding the palaeobiology of extinct organisms. It examines quantitative aspects of the fossil record and the history of life. The research-oriented MSc bridges the biology-geology divide and will provide you with a strong background for independent research to PhD level or for a career in museums, libraries, management or the media.

This interdisciplinary programme is taught mainly in the School of Earth Sciences, along with some archaeology and biology units. You will engage in current debates in evolutionary biology, systematics and palaeobiology.

You will learn how to analyse problems quantitatively, and design experimental approaches to resolving questions in macroevolution and in the study of ancient organisms. First-hand training in research methods in palaeobiology involves laboratory techniques. In addition, you will learn a range of advanced skills throughout the programme, such as computer software use, numeracy, planning research, problem-solving and communication skills. You will learn multimedia techniques, including presentation of palaeontological data through talks, posters and formal written reports. A key aspect of the programme is preparing your projects for publication, and we provide continuing support to ensure as many projects as possible are published in leading international journals.

Programme structure

The first half of the programme consists of lectures, practical classes, tutorials and visiting speakers, designed to provide a firm foundation in the theory and methodology of the subject.

The programme comprises five core units which all students take, and a number of optional units of which students choose four. We recommend that biologists take some of the more geologically-orientated optional units, and that geologists take some of the biological optional units.

Core units
-Current Controversies in Palaeobiology and Macroevolution
-Scientific Communication
-Phylogenetic Methods in Palaeobiology
-Literature Review
-Research Methods in Palaeobiology

Optional units
-Biomechanics and Functional Morphology
-The Cambrian Explosion: the origin of animal body plans
-Early Human Origins
-Evolutionary Biology*
-Evolution of the Biosphere
-Geology for Research Palaeobiologists**
-Micropalaeontology
-Tree of Life
-Vertebrate Palaeobiology and Evolution

*Mandatory for non-biologists
**Mandatory for non-geologists

Careers

The degree is research-based, and about half the graduates go on to academic careers, usually starting with a PhD. The MSc is focused on methods, and you will learn the latest techniques in phylogenetics, biomechanics, and macroevolution training, which is highly sought after by PhD supervisors across the world.

The training in professional skills, including writing scientific papers, is also highly regarded. Some students have used the MSc as a means to go on to careers in museums, the media and education and now hold senior positions as curators and collection managers in national and regional museums. Graduates also work in making scientific documentaries, or are involved in science education at all levels.

Finally, some graduates have gone into commercial work in marketing, the oil industry and computing, where their practical skills in palaeobiology and communication have proved invaluable.

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