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Masters Degrees (Palaeontology)

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Research profile. The University of Edinburgh is one of the leading centres of palaeontology and geobiology research in the UK and globally. Read more

Research profile

The University of Edinburgh is one of the leading centres of palaeontology and geobiology research in the UK and globally. Our MScR degree is the only such programme in palaeontology and geobiology in the UK.

This programme is made up of three compulsory courses and a 120 credit dissertation. Compulsory courses typically include:

  • Research Planning and Management in the GeoSciences (Semester 1)
  • Project Design and Literature Analysis (Semester 1)
  • Topics and in Palaeobiology and Evolution (Semester 2)

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

On successful completion of the programme, you will know key concepts and methodological approaches concerning your chosen research topic. You will gain experience in, and knowledge of:

  • key debates appropriate to students’ particular research interest
  • how theoretical concepts ‘translate’ into methodological and hypothesis-testing frameworks
  • research design principles and their practice
  • practical training in the use of specific theoretical, modelling, analytical and experimental methods

Career opportunities

This programme will provide you with a strong background for independent research to PhD level or for an applied career in museums, libraries, management or the media.



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Goal of the pro­gramme. Sustaining a growing population on our dynamic planet requires deep understanding of geological and geophysical processes within the Earth, and of how they interact with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biota. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Sustaining a growing population on our dynamic planet requires deep understanding of geological and geophysical processes within the Earth, and of how they interact with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biota. The Master's Programme in Geology and Geophysics trains you to address pressing questions concerning our home planet's evolution, its role as the source of raw materials needed by modern civilisation, and environmental issues. Key questions include:

How can we decode Earth’s rock record to reveal the evolution of Earth’s crust and mantle over billions of years?

How do we make natural resource exploration and extraction more sustainable and environmentally friendly?

What can the Earth’s history tell us to help us forecast the impacts of climate change?

Where can we safely construct power plants or store nuclear waste?

The programme includes four specialist options: Petrology and Economic Geology; Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology; Palaeontology and Global Change; and Solid Earth Geophysics.

Upon completion of the programme, you will have gained expertise in a number of scientific and professional skills, including, depending on your specialist option:

  • Assessment of geological materials (minerals, rock types, bedrock, groundwater)
  • Understanding the genesis and sustainable use of mineral commodities
  • Sustainable use of the environment from the Earth Science perspective
  • Palaeontology and modelling global change using the geological record
  • The physical evolution of the Earth (plate tectonics, interplay of the mantle and crust)
  • Independent and team-driven project research
  • High-level scientific writing (M.Sc. thesis and related work)
  • Presentation of scientific results to scientists, students, and the general public

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

At the beginning of the advanced studies, you will familiarise yourself with the central research methods in the field. The studies consist of intensive learning in small groups on practical work courses, guided laboratory work on specialised courses, and tailored short-term courses led by international and Finnish experts. In addition, you will be able to take part are a variety of field courses and excursions (in Finland and beyond) to familiarise yourself with research topics in their natural surroundings.



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What does it mean to be human? What are the origins of our species? Archaeological and palaeontological discoveries help us answer these fundamental questions and provide insights into human cognition, behaviour and life ways. Read more
What does it mean to be human? What are the origins of our species? Archaeological and palaeontological discoveries help us answer these fundamental questions and provide insights into human cognition, behaviour and life ways.

On this course you'll study human evolution by evaluating the ultimate source of information – the fossil record.

We'll teach you to think critically and train you in the analytical techniques required to describe and interpret the fossil evidence for early hominid and human evolution.

Our approach is both science- and humanities-based. You'll explore themes such as the evolution of bipedalism, cognition and the origins of modernity, providing you with a unique combination of biological anthropology, human and comparative anatomy, primatology and hominid palaeontology.

The course also offers an introduction to the use of innovative technologies for 2D and 3D imaging of skeletal and fossil materials in palaeoanthropological research. It's designed to appeal to those who want to create a strong platform for doctoral research in palaeoanthropology, as well as those who just want to deepen their understanding of our extinct ancestors.

You'll get unlimited access to excellent lab facilities and extensive collections of skeletons and replica casts of modern humans, primates and fossil hominins. A wide range of up-to-date resources are available in the department's palaeoanthropology and osteology teaching laboratories.

Core modules

The programme offers a range of closely integrated core modules in human anatomy and comparative osteology which enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the palaeoanthropological record.

Human Evolution: Theory & Practice in Research
Quantitative methods in anthropology and archaeology
Research design: planning, execution and presentation
Human anatomy
Human osteology
Evolutionary anatomy
Dissertation in Palaeoanthropology
Optional modules

Optional modules are available in philosophy, linguistics and other topics. Examples include:

Archaeobotany
Archaeozoology

If you study part-time, you'll take two 15-credit modules in each semester during Year 1 and Year 2, and either a dissertation or placement module over the summer of Year 2. We arrange for you to attend two days a week but we try to be as flexible as possible.

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This course will provide you with the opportunity to carry out an independent research project under the supervision of our leading academics. Read more
This course will provide you with the opportunity to carry out an independent research project under the supervision of our leading academics.

You will receive training in research methods and take a taught course unit in a relevant subject area. The research topic for your project is agreed with a supervisor in advance and can be in any area of the expertise in the department research groups. The project outline will be developed in consultation with your supervisor and project work is carried out in parallel with the taught courses, becoming full-time during the third term.

This Master’s by Research will provide you with a suitable background to work as a research assistant or as the grounding for further study towards a PhD.

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

Why choose this course?

- This course is ideal for graduates in geology and related sciences who wish to carry out independent research over a shorter time period than is possible in a doctorate (PhD) programme. It allows you study at Master's level an aspect of the geological sciences which may not be catered for by specialist MSc programmes.

- You will be involved at every step of the research project - from planning and sample collection, laboratory work, result analysis, to writing your dissertation.

- It is ideal preparation if you are interested in studying for a PhD, but would like to have further preparation and training.

- In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the Department of Earth Science’s research was ranked equal 6th in the UK with 70% rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

- The Department has up-to-date computer interpretation facilities, a full range of modern geochemical laboratories including XRF, quadrupole and multicollector ICP Mass Spectrometry, atmospheric chemistry and a new excimer laser ablation facility, excellent structural modelling laboratories, palaeontology and sedimentology laboratories.

Course content and structure

The course consists of the following three components:

A Research Study Skills Course Unit
- Personal research skills (e.g. safety, time and project management, teamwork)
- IT skills (e.g. literature retrieval, web authoring, databases, modelling)
- Data analysis skills (e.g. statistical methods, GIS systems, sampling techniques)
- Communication skills (e.g. posters, oral presentation, writing papers, web pages)
- Subject-specific skills and techniques. These amount to 55% of the research skills assessment, and for example may include parts of specialist taught courses (see below), a training course on the theory and practice of chemical and isotopic analysis, or other training arranged by the project supervisor. This will include training for research in the general field of the research project, not solely what is needed to carry out the project.

A Specialist Taught Course Unit
You will choose an advanced taught course unit relevant to the subject area of your research project. The following taught units are currently offered:
- Applied Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
- Pollution Sources and Pathways
- Oceans and Atmospheres
- Risk and Environmental Management
- Geographical Information Systems
- Environmental Inorganic Analysis
- Contaminants in the Environment
- Advanced Igneous Petrogenesis
- Seismic Processing and Interpretation
- Geodynamics and Plate Tectonics
- Interpretation of Structural Settings
- Coal Geology
- Petroleum Geology and Evaluation
- Terrestrial Palaeoecology
- Palaeoclimates

Research Project
The project may be on any topic which is within the broad research themes of the Department. You will be linked to a potential supervisor at the application stage and, in consultation with the supervisor, you will develop a detailed project outline during the first half of the first term. Project work is then carried out in parallel with taught courses during terms one and two, becoming the full-time activity after Easter. A bound dissertation is submitted for examination in early September.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

- an advanced knowledge and understanding of a variety of analytical, technical, numerical, modelling and interpretive techniques applicable to the specific field of earth sciences

- the articulation of knowledge and the understanding of published work, concepts and theories in the chosen field of earth sciences at an advanced level

- the acquisition of knowledge from published work in the chosen area of earth sciences to a level appropriate for a MSc degree.

Assessment

Research Study Skills: this is assessed by coursework and theory examination and will include short written assignments, a seminar, worksheets and practical tests. These assessments contribute 12.5% of the course marks.

Specialist Taught Course Units: these are mostly assessed by a written, theory examination and coursework. The unit assessment contributes 12.5% of the course marks.

Research Project: the project dissertation must be submitted in early September. It will be marked by both an internal and an external examiner, and will be defended at an oral examination with both examiners. The project assessment contributes 75% of the course marks.

Employability & career opportunities

Subject to agreement and suitable funding, MSc by Research students can transfer to the MPhil/PhD programme at Royal Holloway. They may use the research carried out for the MSc towards the PhD, and count the time spent towards MPhil/PhD registration requirements, provided that the MSc research forms a coherent part of the PhD, and that the transfer is approved prior to submission of the MSc research dissertation.

How to apply

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

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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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This is a programme designed for graduates in the physical or environmental sciences, mathematics or engineering. Introducing your course. Read more

This is a programme designed for graduates in the physical or environmental sciences, mathematics or engineering.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MRes Marine Geology and Geophysics at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Marine Geology and Geophysics and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MRes Marine Geology and Geophysics.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Overview

MRes students spend two thirds of their year on their research project and the rest of their time taking taught modules. You can choose from a range of flexible pathways depending on your research interest. These currently include Exploration, Geodynamics, Coastal Processes, Palaeoceanography and Micro-palaeontology. You will develop specific knowledge and skills through your selection of modules and choice of subject for your research project.

The programme is taught by staff from across NOCS who draw on their cutting edge research to create a challenging and stimulating degree programme. You will also be encouraged to attend our research seminars, some delivered by leading visiting scientists.

View the programme specification document for this course



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The University of Sheffield MA Cognitive Studies is a taught postgraduate degree offering one-year full-time and two-year part-time options. Read more

The University of Sheffield MA Cognitive Studies is a taught postgraduate degree offering one-year full-time and two-year part-time options.

Students complete a range of core and optional modules, followed by a dissertation. The course awards a full Master of Arts qualification.

Course description 2017

You'll study the key theoretical issues and how they relate to empirical findings on the development and functioning of human cognition.

There are modules in the departments of archaeology, human communication sciences, linguistics, philosophy and psychology. You'll be based in the Department of Philosophy but you are free to specialise in any of the other subjects

Core modules

Cognitive Studies Seminar

Dissertation

Other modules include

Mind and Language Research Seminar

Philosophy of Psychology

Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience

Current Issues In Cognitive Neuroscience

Evolutionary Primatology

Hominid Palaeontology

Teaching and assessment

Lectures and seminars. Fortnightly supervision for guided reading.

You’ll write a long essay for each module and a dissertation.

If you’re going on to a PhD you may choose to write a PhD proposal.

Course duration

1 year full-time

2 years part-time

Funding

The following postgraduate funding may be available to study the Cognitive Studies MA at The University of Sheffield.

UK postgraduate loans:

English Postgraduate Loans – Offering up to £10,280 for eligible UK or EU students ordinarily resident in England, or EU students moving to England to study.

Welsh Postgraduate Loans – Offering up to £10,280 for eligible UK or EU students ordinarily resident in Wales.

Scottish Postgraduate Loans – Offering up to £10,000 for eligible UK or EU students ordinarily resident in Scotland.

Northern Irish Postgraduate Loans – Offering up to £5,500 for eligible UK or EU students ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland.

Erasmus funding:

Erasmus Masters Loans – Offering up to €18,000 for eligible students to study a Masters abroad.

Funding from FindAMasters:

FindAMasters Scholarships – Offering up to £5,000 to new UK, EU and international postgraduates. 



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The MSc in Palaeoanthropology provides an up-to-date foundation in the study of human evolution for people interested in human origins. Read more
The MSc in Palaeoanthropology provides an up-to-date foundation in the study of human evolution for people interested in human origins.

The programme's especially suitable for graduates with a first degree in Archaeology, Anthropology, Earth or Life Sciences. You'll be able to tailor your studies to reflect you interests, by choosing from a diverse array of subjects such as:-

the archaeology of early hominin sites
African archaeology
hominid palaeontology
evolutionary theory
primate evolution
science-based techniques in palaeoanthropological investigation.
You'll complete your programme with a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words on an aspect of human evolution.

We aim to be flexible, supportive, encouraging and challenging in our approach to students. For example, if you're new to a topic you're very welcome to attend lectures offered in Year Three modules of the undergraduate programme in Evolutionary Anthropology.

Why Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology?

Academic expertise

Archaeology, Classics and Eygyptology has 39 full-time academic staff, who are all actively engaged in research ranging from early prehistory through to late antiquity.

Here are some of our particularly strong areas:-

- African archaeology
- ancient languages
- archaeology of the Mediterranean and the Near East
- archaeological science
- Egyptology
- European prehistory
- Greek and Roman history and culture.

Fieldwork is an important part of research in archaeology and we've projects based internationally, in Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, Jordan, Turkey, Italy, Zambia and South Africa, as well as in the British Isles.

Taught masters programmes

We offer a unique breadth of taught masters degrees in Ancient History, Archaeology (MA or MSc), Human Evolution, Classics and Egyptology.

You can configure a wide choice of modules to suit your interests and requirements and there are opportunities to learn different approaches and techniques, as well as ancient languages such as Greek, Latin, Akkadian, Sumerian, Egyptian and Coptic.

All of our masters degrees provide intensive training to prepare you for doctoral research and employment.

Excellent resources

The Ancient World and Archaeology has been studied at Liverpool since the 1880s, so we've had plenty of time to build up an enviable library and a fantastic museum.

The Garstang Museum, which is in the ACE building, has outstanding archaeological collections, along with extensive laboratory facilities for conservation, lithics, geomagnetism, stable isotope, trace elements, finds processing and sample preparation.

We also have a GIS suite with facilities for archaeological drawing and offer 24-hour access for taught students to a dedicated Student Resource Centre, complete with PCs, personal lockers, desk space, wi-fi and a networked printer.

Career prospects

Our Masters programmes are designed to equip students with a wide range of transferable skills, with an emphasis on the development of both research and practical analytical skills. They equip students for further study at Postgraduate level (MPhil/PhD) and meet the training requirements of the AHRC and NERC. Research students have not only continued their studies at postdoctoral level, but also embarked on specialised long-term careers in lecturing, museum work and the heritage industry. Our degrees are a good investment in your future. Whichever direction you choose after graduation, potential employers (both nationally and internationally) appreciate the breadth of view, analytical skills and intellectual rigour that you gain by studying civilizations and periods so different from our own.

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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. 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.

Please check the programme's website for more information.

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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Overview. Our MSc in Geoscience Research is a research-focused postgraduate taught master's course with industry and international placement opportunities designed for a career in research, academia or a discipline related work setting. Read more

Overview

Our MSc in Geoscience Research is a research-focused postgraduate taught master's course with industry and international placement opportunities designed for a career in research, academia or a discipline related work setting.

The course consists of six modules spread over three semesters, including an extensive research project in geoscience, environmental science or physical geography.

Project areas range from applied and environmental geophysics to igneous petrology, volcanology, Quaternary environments, palaeoclimates, palaeoceanography, biogeochemistry, landscape ecology, sedimentology, palaeontology, renewable and alternative energy, and petroleum geoscience.

A distinct feature of this master’s programme is the opportunity for UK students to complete a placement at one of several European, North American and Asian partner institutions, all of which have established research links with Keele staff. However, as a UK student, you can also choose to carry out your research project here at Keele or in collaboration with local or UK-based industry. As an international student, you will undertake your research and placement at Keele University under the supervision of international experts in their chosen research area.

The emphasis on the substantial ‘hands on’ research training with the provision of an international placement option makes this programme unique within the Higher Education Sector in the UK and will thus increase your employability. We believe that this will help to develop future employees with an international outlook.

The MSc Geoscience Research programme at Keele offers the added value of the Distinctive Keele Curriculum (DKC), which develops students' intellectual, personal and professional capabilities (Keele Graduate Attributes) through both subject-specific and generic workshops and activities.

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/geoscienceresearch/

Course Aims

The principal aim of this Masters course is to develop your generic and specific research skills in an area of the Geosciences or related scientific disciplines, which will enhance your employment prospects. On completion of the programme you will:

- Have a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the chosen research area in Geosciences;

- Gain a conceptual understanding to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline area;

- Be able to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses;

- Possess developed scientific skills and knowledge, and transferable skills, in a UK-based or international workplace setting;

- Have a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your own research;

- Attain organisational and commercial awareness.

For those students undertaking a placement/research project in Europe the work and achievement on the programme will be documented in the EU Europass, a record of achievement signed by all parties. All students are required to pursue the University’s ‘Realise’ scheme which enables them to identify their personal and professional skills and development needs.

Course Content

The MSc programme is full-time for 12 months, starting in September.

The programme comprises six modules including a research project/placement which is undertaken either at Keele University or on placement with a host institution overseas:

- Research Skills (30 credits)

- Literature Review (15 credits)

- Modern Language Module* or Academic English for Postgraduate Students** or Geoscience Option Module*** (15 credits)

- Research Project Design and Management (30 credits)

- Dissertation (90 credits)

*Students undertaking their research project at a host institution overseas will choose a modern language module or a language and culture module for their international placement.

**International students for whom English is not their first language will take Academic English for Postgraduate Students to further improve their English language skills.

*** UK/Native English speaking international students undertaking their research project at Keele University or a host institution in the UK can take a selected Geoscience option module relevant to their research area. These may include: Natural Hazards; Glaciers & Glacial Geomorphology; Global Environmental Change; Water Resources; Hydrological & Engineering Geology; Structure and Geodynamics; Economic Geology; Advanced Topics in Sedimentology; Exploration Geophysics for the Hydrocarbon Industry; Petroleum Geology; Volcanic and Magmatic Processes.

Teaching & Assessment

You will be taught by experienced, well qualified and enthusiastic staff. All of the staff are research active within the discipline, accomplished at working on research funded work both nationally and internationally. The programme team are enthusiastic to share their teaching, research and professional experience to help you achieve success in your studies.

You will complete formal assessment on all modules. Assessments will include presentations, reflective diary, reports, reviews, portfolio and a dissertation. During your placement this will include keeping an extensive record of the training attended and skills obtained, with a reflective report (for the research training portfolio), as well as a dissertation on the project undertaken during the placement.

The research project/dissertation is based on the submission of a 20,000-25,000 word report that is undertaken in conjunction with an academic supervisor and, where appropriate, an industrial collaborator.

Additional Costs

There will be additional costs in terms of living expenses, travel and insurance related with the placement if you choose to undertake your research project with an overseas host institution. The amount required will be dependent on the cost of living associated with certain countries.

UK Students choosing a placement research project in an EU member state will be eligible to apply for an ERASMUS scholarship.

Employment Case Studies

Our research-focused course with industry and international placement opportunities leads our graduates into a diverse range of careers.

Our students have chosen careers in research, academia or a discipline related work setting, including geotechnical and environmental consultancies, and local, regional, national or multi-national corporations.

For examples of what graduates are doing now, see here - https://www.keele.ac.uk/gge/applicants/postgraduatetaughtcourses/mscgeoscienceresearch/employmentcasestudies/

Find information on Scholarships here - http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/



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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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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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Environmental geology is a growing area of active research, because it provides insights into how the environment has evolved over geological time. Read more
Environmental geology is a growing area of active research, because it provides insights into how the environment has evolved over geological time. Through our modular course structure and use of web-based material for distance learning, we aim to provide up-to-date reviews of research topics across relevant aspects of the earth sciences.

Our teaching is informed by considerable research into environmental issues, which is ongoing in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Current research focuses on areas such as metal pollution, coastal erosion, mineralogy, earthquake prediction, palaeoclimatology and palaeontology.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Can be used as a qualifying year for MRes or PhD study.
Offered as part-time study at Birkbeck or you can study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world (check our distance-learning frequently asked questions for more information).
The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has strong links with University College London (UCL) Department of Earth Sciences. Together, the 2 departments form the UCL-Birkbeck Research School of Earth Sciences. The School offers excellent facilities for research in environmental geology and planetary geology, as well as traditional geological and geophysical research.

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Study animals from the past with the techniques of the future. The MSc in Zooarchaeology at York is the UK's only dedicated programme in the archaeological study of animals. Read more
Study animals from the past with the techniques of the future

Why choose this course?

The MSc in Zooarchaeology at York is the UK's only dedicated programme in the archaeological study of animals. Any consideration of the human past is incomplete without examining the essential roles that animals have played in our economies and societies, and on this course you will study archaeological animal remains on a macro and micro scale to investigate what they tell us about how humans and other species have co-existed over the millennia.

Housed within BioArCh, York's world-leading centre for research into ancient biomolecules, the MSc in Zooarchaeology also draws heavily on the expertise of functional and comparative anatomists from the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences, part of the Hull York Medical School. We use the full range of available techniques, including advanced biomolecular methods and sophisticated morphometrics, to investigate and interpret animal bone data in a variety of cultural contexts.

The scope of the course is global, equipping you with the knowledge and techniques to study the roles of animals in human societies from the Palaeolithic to the present, around the world. You will learn from leading academics in both traditional and biomolecular zooarchaeology, and from dedicated specialists in evolutionary anatomy, enabling you both to master the latest analytical techniques and to examine skeletal anatomy at a level of detail not possible elsewhere.
-Study past relations between people and other animals, through the archaeological record
-Examine zooarchaeology across the entire span of human prehistory and history, right around the world
-Develop advanced skills in bone taphonomy and understand its importance to osteoarchaeological studies
-Explore biomolecular techniques, including DNA analysis, proteomics and stable isotope analysis
-Investigate skeletal anatomy in intricate detail
-Work alongside leading academics in zooarchaeological research
-Receive career and research guidance from Department of Archaeology staff with significant experience of successfully placing PhD students

What does the course cover?
This course covers the practical skills, analytical techniques, and interpretative frameworks necessary to study the roles of animals in past societies from the bones and other remains that we find on archaeological sites. Core modules and laboratory classes will provide you with a solid grounding in the essential tools of the zooarchaeologist's trade, while the option modules and dissertation allow you to explore and potentially specialise in a unique range of biomolecular and anatomical approaches.

Who is it for?
This course is aimed primarily at graduates in archaeology who want to specialise in the analysis and interpretation of animal remains, either as a basis for future research or as a practical specialism to further a career in archaeology. We are also happy to accept graduates of disciplines such as biology, zoology, ecology, and palaeontology who wish to focus on the study of animals in a human context.

What can it lead to?
The advanced skills and specialist knowledge gained on this course can provide the springboard for many varied careers or further study at PhD level. Previous graduates of the course have gone on to careers in museum services, universities, conservation organisations and commercial archaeology units around the world.

Careers

By the end of the MSc Zooarchaeology course you will have:
-Gained a thorough grounding in all aspects of vertebrate zooarchaeology, including general aspects that are applicable to invertebrate zooarchaeology
-Experienced the processes of data collection, analysis and interpretation, both in principle and in practice
-Developed a range of analytical abilities by studying and undertaking quantitative analysis of zooarchaeological data
-Gained essential critical skills through reviewing and assessing published work from throughout the world, including hunter-gatherer and agrarian sites, and socially complex societies
-Studied the vertebrate skeleton, its evolutionary origins and its adaptations
-Identified and recorded archaeological bone assemblages
-Reviewed the field of taphonomy and the practical recognition of the taphonomic ‘imprint’
-Developed independent research skills by completing a dissertation project

Many our MSc Zooarchaeology postgraduates go on to conduct further research at PhD level. Others progress into careers with archaeological units, museum services, conservation bodies and a range of other organisations.

Here’s a selection of possible destinations and careers for students of this course:
-Academia
-Professional archaeologists – field and laboratory based
-Museum outreach programmes and the heritage sector
-University/research technicians
-Commercial laboratory technicians
-US graduate school programmes

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visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017. Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. Read more

Open Day

visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017.

Course Overview

Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. These fields are rapidly changing through new digital and molecular technologies. There is ever greater urgency for species identification and monitoring in virtually all the environmental sciences, and evolutionary ‘tree thinking’ is now applied widely in most areas of the life sciences.

This course provides in-depth training in the study of biodiversity based on the principles of phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, palaeobiology and taxonomy. The emphasis is on quantitative approaches and current methods in DNA-based phylogenetics, bioinformatics, and the use of digital collections.

Location

This course is a collaboration of Imperial College London (Silwood Park) with the Natural History Museum. This provides an exciting scientific environment of two institutions at the forefront of taxonomic and evolutionary research.

The MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity comprises two terms of taught modules, mostly based at the Natural History Museum, and covers core areas in biodiversity, palaeobiology, phylogenetics, molecular systematics, phylogenomics and taxonomic principles. This is followed by a 16-week laboratory or field-based research project at the NHM or Imperial College’s Silwood Park or South Kensington campuses.

Modules

• Taxonomy of major groups and the Tree-of-Life: An introduction of major branches of the Tree, including identification exercises, presented by NHM experts
• Statistics and Computing: A two-week intensive course at Silwood Park
• Field course: trapping and collecting techniques for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
• Phylogenetic Reconstruction: the principles of building phylogenetic trees
• Molecular Systematics: generating and analysing molecular data; model-based phylogenetics
• Phylogenomics: Genomic techniques for studying evolutionary processes and biodiversity
• Biodiversity (Concepts): speciation, radiation, macroevolution
•Biodiversity (Applied): Measuring biodiversity, geospatial analysis, collection management and biodiversity informatics
• Palaeobiology: Studying the fossil record and what we can learn for biodiversity

Post Study

Students on the course will become the new generation of taxonomists in the broadest sense. They will be familiar with these new tools, as well as the wider concepts of biodiversity science, evolutionary biology and genomics. Most importantly, students gain the abilities to work as an independent scientist and researcher, to be able to solve questions about the future of biodiversity and to communicate them to peers and the public.
Students have many options for future employment in evolutionary and ecological research labs in industry, government and non-governmental organisations, conservation, and scientific publishing and the media. The courses are an excellent starting point for PhD level careers, feeding into various Doctoral Training Programmes available at NHM and Imperial, or elsewhere.

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