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.
Compulsory courses (for students who have accredited prior learning, elective courses are taken in lieu) – 90 credits
Compulsory Courses – for those with Geoscience background – 20 credits
Compulsory Courses – for those without Geoscience background – 20 credits
Optional courses: choice of 10 credits from following
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.
Our programme will give you a thorough grounding in the radiation and environmental protection aspects of nuclear physics.
This includes in-depth knowledge of radiation protection and showing you how the technical and organisational procedures of the discipline may be applied to the broader concept of environmental protection.
The substantial practical element of this programme enables you to relate taught material to real-world applications. Formal lectures are complemented with work in specialist radiation laboratories that were recently refurbished as part of a £1m upgrade to our facilities.
Here you will work with a wide range of radioactive sources and radiation detectors. There is also an extended project in the spring and an eleven-week MSc dissertation project in the summer.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The programme material is taught by a combination of academics from the Department of Physics at Surrey and specialists provided by industrial partners. The Surrey academics are part of the Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Physics which houses the largest academic nuclear physics research group in the UK.
In addition to the formal lectures for taught modules, the programme provides a wide range of experimental hands-on training. This includes a nine-week radiation physics laboratory which takes place in the specialist radiation laboratories within the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey.
These were recently refurbished as part of a £1 million upgrade to the departmental teaching infrastructure. Within the Department, we also have a common room and a departmental library, which contains copies of earlier MSc dissertations.
As well as the laboratory training, you will also undertake a research project at the beginning of the Spring semester as a precursor to the eleven-week research dissertation project which makes up the final part of the MSc.
There are many opportunities for both the spring research project and summer dissertation project to be taken in an external industrial environment.
The programme has produced over 500 UK and overseas graduates, many of whom have gone on to well-paid positions in companies in the nuclear and radiation sectors. In the UK we need to decommission old reactors and build new ones to provide a low-carbon source of energy.
This, together with, for example, the importance of radioisotopes in fields such as medicine, means that the career prospects of our graduates are excellent.
The programme integrates the acquisition of core scientific knowledge with the development of key practical skills with a focus on professional career development within medical physics and radiation detection, and related industries.
The principle educational aims and outcomes of learning are to provide participants with advanced knowledge, practical skills and understanding applied to medical physics, radiation detection instrumentation, radiation and environmental practice in an industrial or medical context.
This is achieved by the development of the participants’ understanding of the underlying science and technology and by the participants gaining an understanding of the legal basis, practical implementation and organisational basis of medical physics and radiation measurement.
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Climate change, increasing urbanization and mounting exposure to natural hazards are imposing growing pressure on insurers and reinsurers to seek ways of limiting exposure. This programme offers students a better understanding of natural hazards and the means by which their impacts on the market can be mitigated or avoided.
Strong emphasis is placed on developing an improved understanding of natural hazards – the nature of available data, the conclusions we can draw from them, limitations and relevant cutting-edge research. Content focuses on hazards of most interest to the market, most notably windstorm, flood and earthquake, but also addresses geotechnical issues such as dam and reservoir safety, radioactive waste and energy resource issues.
Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.
The programme consists of two taught core modules (40 credits) and an independent research project (20 credits).
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All students undertake an independent project, which culminates in an 8,000-word dissertation and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, discussions, directed reading, and problem-solving exercises. Student performance is assessed through a combination of examination and coursework in the form of essays, reports and exercises. The independent project is assessed through an 8,000-word report and an oral presentation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Natural Hazards for Insurers PG Cert
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
This programme is accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the premier professional organisation for those working in the insurance and financial services industry.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Top hazard scientists at UCL and other leading academic institutions have worked with the under 35s reinsurance group and market professionals, to develop this flexible programme.
Students benefit from our welcoming environment and world-class facilities, which include the UCL Hazard Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre.
The programme is staffed by academics from UCL and partner universities,
the British Geological Survey and industry and market practitioners.
Nuclear technology plays a crucial role in a wide variety of contexts and sectors in Belgium, including power production, waste management, nuclear fuel production, etc. The Belgian Nuclear Higher Education Network (BNEN) combines the expertise in nuclear education and research of six major Belgian universities (KU Leuven, UGent, VUB, UCL, ULG and ULB) with the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK-CEN.
Nuclear technology plays a crucial role in a wide variety of contexts and sectors in Belgium, including:
The Belgium Nuclear Higher Education Network combines the expertise in nuclear education and research of six major Belgian universities (KU Leuven, UGent, VUB, UCL, ULG and ULB) with the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre.
The current programme can be divided into three core blocks:
The collaboration with SCK*CEN makes it possible to include actual use of facilities in the curriculum, supporting the development of skills and competences in a research environment. All subjects are taught by academics appointed by the partner universities, whereas the practical exercises and laboratory sessions are supervised by the experts of SCK*CEN. The Master’s thesis offers an opportunity for internship in industry or in a research laboratory.
All teaching activities take place on the premises of SCK*CEN. Courses are organised in English and in a modular way; teaching in blocks of one to three weeks for each module allows optimal time management for students and lecturers, facilitates registration for individual modules, and allows easy exchange with international students.
BNEN has served as a role model for the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN) which now has become an association of over 60 members (universities, industry, regulators, research centres), aiming at facilitating mobility in Europe for students in nuclear engineering.
One particular aspect of the BNEN degree is that it automatically leads to the recognition as Class I Expert by the Federal Agency of Nuclear Control. In order to receive this accreditation the programme must at least offer 24 credits in Nuclear Safety and 12 credits in Radioprotection.
The Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering programme is an internationally oriented, interuniversity programme organised by BNEN in close collaboration with nuclear research centres and industry. The aim of the BNEN programme is to provide students with all the skills and scientific and technical background necessary to carry out duties at a high level of responsibility in order to ensure the safe and economical operation of nuclear power plants, the regulation and control of nuclear installations or to design new nuclear systems.
A major strength of the BNEN programme, as to its sustainability, is that it allows providing high quality academic education by experts from (or appointed by) the main Belgian universities at low individual cost and thus very efficiently harmonised/rationalised. In addition, the participation of the nuclear research centre SCK*CEN in the consortium provides superb realistic experimental facilities in a difficult (radioactive) environment at low cost for the universities.
A further fundamental strength of the programme can be found in the fact that a well-balanced curriculum is offered where the contents and format have been discussed at length with representatives of the major nuclear companies that are the first potential employers of the graduates. Objectives and programme outcomes were defined that encompass in depth disciplinary specific competences as well as, but in a less pronounced way, transferable skills and competences that are needed for an efficient integration of a graduate in a larger engineering team. There is a nearly complete overlap between objectives and realised competences in courses, electives, exercises and Master’s thesis. This can be ascribed to the following contributing factors:
Graduates possess the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out duties at a high level of responsibility in:
In addition, the degree itself is an important part of the legal qualifications necessary to become a safety professional in a major nuclear installation.