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Masters Degrees (Planetary Geology)

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Planetary Science is an exciting area of study, as new data returning from current planetary probes and rovers expands and deepens our understanding of the geology of other planets. Read more
Planetary Science is an exciting area of study, as new data returning from current planetary probes and rovers expands and deepens our understanding of the geology of other planets. If you have an undergraduate degree in earth sciences or geology, but want to increase your knowledge of planetary sciences, then this course will bring you up to date with developments in the field. The specialist knowledge you acquire could help you change career, or build a career within the planetary sciences and education, or enable you to progress onto doctoral research at PhD level.

You will be taught by academics who are actively engaged in cutting-edge planetary research that is expanding the boundaries of knowledge. We cover planetary surfaces and remote sensing, volcanic activity on Earth and other planets, the nature of comets, asteroids and meteorites, and the internal structure and origin of planets, as well as offering advanced modules in astronomy, scientific computing, and the design of, and participation in, an analogue field mission. You can choose from a range of modules and put together a programme that matches, expands and deepens your particular interests.

The course can be taken via distance-learning or face-to-face evening study.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

This programme will teach you about cutting-edge developments in this exciting, constantly expanding field.
This programme is ideal if you have studied earth sciences or geology at undergraduate level and want to deepen your understanding of planetary sciences.
Our Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has been offering evening study courses for over 70 years and is ranked 6th in the UK.
You will learn in an environment of active research and be taught by lecturers who are working at the forefront of their specialisms.
Studying with us will give you access to world-class research facilities.
We retain close links with UCL's Department of Earth Sciences, sharing expertise, facilities and events across the 2 institutions, including live streaming of lectures and digital lecture notes.
We are part of the joint UCL-Birkbeck Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences (IEPS).

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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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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Geoscience is the study of our dynamic planet and aims to understand the origin and evolution of Earth, its ancient environments and climates, natural hazards and the formation of resources including petroleum, mineral deposits and groundwater. Read more
Geoscience is the study of our dynamic planet and aims to understand the origin and evolution of Earth, its ancient environments and climates, natural hazards and the formation of resources including petroleum, mineral deposits and groundwater. Knowledge of past and present earth processes is fundamental to predicting future environmental change.

This course develops your ability to gather and interpret geological information for a wide range of applications

Course description, features and facilities

Geoscience is a science that aims to understand all aspects of our planet, ranging from the Earth's surface to the deep interior. It also aims to discover how the Earth has evolved during the past 4.4 billion years, including the origin of continents, oceans, atmosphere and life.

UWA is well equipped for teaching and research in geoscience. It is the only institution in the world to house two state-of-the-art Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) instruments (CAMECA IMS 1280 and CAMECA NanoSIMS 50) providing a unique analytical capability to Australian and international researchers.

Our teaching is also supported by the world class research and development of the Energy and Minerals Institute, the Centre for Exploration Targeting, the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis, the Geothermal Centre of Excellence and the Centre for Petroleum Geoscience and CO2 Sequestration.

The Faculty of Science offers Master's by Coursework bursaries for domestic students and Postgraduate Merit scholarships for international students. Please visit the Faculty of Science website for details

Structure

The Master of Geoscience is offered by coursework or coursework and dissertation.

The course offers a focussed, advanced learning experience that will enhance career choices. You must complete all core units. This degree also provides the flexibility to choose from a range of units to complement your specific interests.

Career opportunities

Employment opportunities are plentiful in the resources industries (minerals, geothermal, and groundwater) or research fields such as planetary geology, volcano or earthquake hazard prediction.

Additional employment opportunities exist in government agencies dealing with resources or environmental companies and agencies. Many graduates continue to develop their specialist skills in industry or government agencies around the world, while others join academic institutions.

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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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Geology is an area of active research across a wide range of sub-disciplines. 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 most aspects of the earth and planetary sciences. Read more
Geology is an area of active research across a wide range of sub-disciplines. 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 most aspects of the earth and planetary sciences.

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 (find out more about studying our distance learning courses).
An opportunity to take part in field classes to put your skills into practice (find out more about past fieldwork outings here).
The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is housed with the University College London (UCL) Department of Earth Sciences. Together, the 2 departments form the UCL-Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences. The Research School offers excellent facilities for research in environmental geology and planetary geology, as well as traditional geological and geophysical research.

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Theoretically, experimentally, and observationally oriented Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are offered in a number of key areas of geophysics. Read more

Program Overview

Theoretically, experimentally, and observationally oriented Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are offered in a number of key areas of geophysics. Current interests include topics in observational and theoretical glaciology; climate variability; geodynamics of the crust, mantle, and core of Earth and other planets; geological fluid mechanics; volcanic processes; origin and structure of planetary magnetic fields; reflection seismology; time-series analysis and wavelet processing; inversion methodologies with application to reflection seismology, mineral exploration, and environmental studies; computational electrodynamics; seismology with observational programs in crustal and upper mantle studies; earthquake studies focused on understanding past and current tectonic processes in Western Canada; and theoretical model studies to investigate wave propagation in laterally heterogeneous media.

Program Requirements

Geophysics students who have not completed a course in physics of the Earth at either the senior undergraduate or graduate level will be required to register for EOSC 453. The M.A.Sc. program consists of a 12-credit thesis and 18 credits of coursework. A minimum of 24 credits must be at the 500-level and above.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Applied Science
- Specialization: Geophysics
- Subject: Science
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Science

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Theoretically, experimentally, and observationally oriented Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are offered in a number of key areas of geophysics. Read more

Program Overview

Theoretically, experimentally, and observationally oriented Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Applied Science (M.A.Sc.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are offered in a number of key areas of geophysics. Current interests include topics in observational and theoretical glaciology; climate variability; geodynamics of the crust, mantle, and core of Earth and other planets; geological fluid mechanics; volcanic processes; origin and structure of planetary magnetic fields; reflection seismology; time-series analysis and wavelet processing; inversion methodologies with application to reflection seismology, mineral exploration, and environmental studies; computational electrodynamics; seismology with observational programs in crustal and upper mantle studies; earthquake studies focused on understanding past and current tectonic processes in Western Canada; and theoretical model studies to investigate wave propagation in laterally heterogeneous media.

Program Requirements

Geophysics students who have not completed a course in physics of the Earth at either the senior undergraduate or graduate level will be required to register for EOSC 453. The M.Sc. program consists of a 12-credit thesis and 18 credits of coursework. A minimum of 24 credits must be at the 500-level and above.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Geophysics
- Subject: Science
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Science

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Our recent graduates have gone on to work mainly in the mineral exploration and petroleum sectors, geosciences, geophysics, and environmental geoscience consulting, government research in natural resources, academe. Read more
Our recent graduates have gone on to work mainly in the mineral exploration and petroleum sectors, geosciences, geophysics, and environmental geoscience consulting, government research in natural resources, academe. We generally have about 30-40 students that work with research-active faculty with strong links with provincial (NB-DNR) and federal (GSC) geological surveys.

One of our key features is that we offer field-based student research, which is conducted throughout Canada. Students have access to cutting edge labs and facilities; such as, the Laser Ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, geochemical and spectroscopic analytical facilities, geophysical equipment and software, electron and light microscopy, experimental petrology, sample preparation and thin section preparation (UNB Earth Sciences maintains one of the best thin section preparation facilities in Canada).

Our students work in a collegial environment and have a well-organized graduate student society (AGES). The Planetary and Space Science Centre (PASSC) have some graduate students that are directly studying lunar soil and Martian meteorites affected by the impact of asteroids and comets.

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