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.
You can choose one of four tracks based on your specific interests:
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, palynology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, environmental geochemistry, organic geochemistry, hydrology, physical geography, geology, biology, climate dynamics, marine sciences and palaeoceanography. You will utilise 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.
The programme focuses on the following societal and scientific questions:
In the Master in Earth Structure and Dynamics programme, you will explore the composition, structure, and evolution of the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core. During this two-year programme, you will learn to link geological, geophysical, geochemical, and geodetic observations made at the Earth’s surface to physical processes operating within the planet.
The programme combines geology, geophysics, mathematics, physics, chemistry and field studies to address how the solid Earth works. It allows you to specialise in virtually any aspect of solid Earth science, ranging from theoretical geophysics to pure geology or geochemistry. Many students choose a combined geology-geophysics focus.
The main subject areas you will study consist of seismology, tectonophysics, mantle dynamics, structural geology, metamorphism, magmatic processes, basin evolution, hydrocarbon and mineral deposits, and the properties of Earth materials. You will examine processes ranging from slow geodynamic processes – such as mantle convection, plate tectonics, sedimentary basins formation and evolution, and mountain building – to those that can have an impact during a human lifetime. These include active crustal deformation, seismicity, and volcanism as well as subsidence, uplift induced seismicity and geo-resources.
In the programme, you will address questions such as:
You can choose one of three specialisation tracks based on your interests in the field:
You will gain much from the strong emphasis on research in this programme. Besides enhancing knowledge and skills in numerous specialised courses, including a field-mapping course, you will conduct your own master’s thesis project within a research team (professor(s), postdoc(s), PhD-student(s)) and at the same time develop important scientific skills, such as reporting and presenting, needed in your future career.
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The master’s programme offers 4 different majors: Geodynamics and Georesources, Surface Processes and Paleoenvironments, Geology of Basins and Soil and Groundwater.
The programme is firmly rooted in the research of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (KU Leuven) and the Department of Geology (Ghent University). Both departments continuously develop and maintain innovative and widely recognised research programmes on fundamental and applied aspects of geoscience. These generally involve collaborative efforts in various international research networks.
As a Master in Geology you may be involved in development tasks, research or management functions. In consultancy, you are likely to find a job in environmental geology, hydrogeology or geotechnology. In industry, you will be involved in exploration, exploitation andtreatment of natural resources. In governmental agencies and research institutions, you may be responsible for the inventory, management, research and use of the subsurface or for environmental issues.
If you dream of an academic career, you can start by embarking on a PhD-project in Leuven, Ghent, or elsewhere.
This course is one of the premier international applied petroleum geoscience courses. Since the inception of the course in 1985 its graduates have an unparalleled employment record in the petroleum industry both in the UK and worldwide. In addition our graduates are highly sought after for further PhD research in the petroleum geosciences.
● Recognised by NERC - 5 MSc studentships each year covering fees, fieldwork and maintenance.
● Recognised by Industry - Industry scholarships
● We offer highly focused teaching and training by internationally recognised academic experts as well as by visiting staff from the petroleum industry.
The course covers the applications of basin dynamics and evolution to hydrocarbon exploration and production. The course is modular in form providing intensive learning and training in geophysics, tectonics and structural geology, sequence stratigraphy and sedimentology, hydrocarbon systems, reservoir geology, remote sensing and applied geological fieldwork.
The MSc course provides ‘state of the art’ training in -
● 3D seismic interpretation and 3D visualization;
● Fault analysis and fault-sealing;
● Seismic sequence stratigraphy;
● Applied sedimentology;
● Well log analysis;
● Remote sensing analysis of satellite and radar imagery;
● Analysis of gravity and magnetic data;
● Numerical modelling of sedimentation and tectonics;
● Applied structural geology;
● Geological Fieldwork.
● Transferable skills learned during the course include
project planning, presentation techniques, report writing and compilation, team working skills, spreadsheet and statistical analyses, GIS methods as well as graphics and visualization techniques.
● The full time MSc course runs for 50 weeks. The first half comprises one and two week course modules as well as group projects and fieldwork. The second half of the MSc course consists of an individual research project usually carried out in conjunction with the petroleum industry or related institutions such as international geological surveys.
● Part time study over 24 months is also available
● Each year independent projects are arranged with new data sets from industry – some students work in the offices of the company whereas other may use our excellent in-house facilities. All independent projects are supervised by faculty members with additional industry supervision where appropriate.
Facilities include –
● Dedicated Modern Teaching Laboratories
● 14 Dual Screen Unix Seismic Workstations
● PC and Macintosh Workstations
● Internationally Recognised Structural Modelling Laboratories
● Advanced Sedimentological Laboratories
The MSc course also greatly benefits from dynamic interaction with internationally recognised research groups within the Geology Department including –
● Project EAGLE – Evolution of the African and Arabian rift system – Professor Cindy Ebinger
● Southeast Asia Research Group – Tectonic Evolution and Basin Development in SE Asia – Professor Robert Hall
● Numerical Modelling Research Group – Numerical Modelling of Tectonics and Sedimentation – Dr Dave Waltham
● Fault Dynamics Research Group – Dynamics of Fault Systems in Sedimentary Basins – Professor Ken McClay
The 2005 MSc graduates went on to employment with Shell, BP, Amerada Hess, Gaz de France, OMV (Austria), Star Energy, First Africa Oil, Badley Ashton, ECL, PGS, Robertsons, PGL, Aceca, and to PhD research at Royal Holloway and Barcelona.
Since 2001, 85% of our graduates have gone in to work in the oil industry, 10% into geological research and 5% into environmental/engineering jobs.
Accommodation is available on campus in en-suite study bedrooms grouped in flats of eight, each with a communal kitchen and dining space.
Subsistence Costs ~£9,000 pa (including Hall of Residence fees of c. £4,500 for a full year)
APPLICATIONS can be made on line at http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Registry/Admissions/applyonline.html
Primarily suited to hydrocarbon industry professionals who wish to further develop their knowledge and skills while working, this online version of the well-established Royal Holloway MSc course has an international reputation for excellence in the petroleum industry.
Finding new reserves is becoming ever more challenging and the enhanced recovery of reserves from existing fields is becoming increasingly important. Well-trained Petroleum Geoscientists with the ability to integrate geological and geophysical data, and to apply it on a variety of scales, have a vital role to play.
This MSc in Petroleum Geoscience provides training in the practical and technical skills to address a range of exploration and production challenges, from predicting the likely distribution of hydrocarbons in a frontier sedimentary basin, to quantifying the complex structural, stratigraphic and sedimentological architecture of individual reservoirs.
Royal Holloway, University of London is one of the leading centres for Earth Science research in the UK. It has excellent links with the international oil industry and a strong programme of industry-funded petroleum geology research, which ensures that this Masters is up-to-date, focused and commercially relevant.
Royal Holloway staff provide tutorial support for each module, plus guidance for your dissertation and for project work, which is based on industry data.
- Comprehensive learning materials delivered via a dedicated web portal: video clips, animations, audiovisual presentations, fully illustrated manuals, self-assessment quizzes, exercises and computer-based practicals including examples of subsurface data such as seismic and well-log data
- A field trip and intensive study seminars held in the UK as part of the final module on the course
- Option to be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Petroleum Geoscience if you choose not to undertake the project.
The programme has been developed by academics within the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway using the material and experience from the campus-based Petroleum Geoscience MSc course that has been running since 1985. The Royal Holloway Earth Sciences Department achieved an 'excellence' rating for teaching quality and 70% of our research was graded as world-leading or internationally excellent in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.
Many graduates of the campus-based MSc are now well-established, successful industry professionals with careers ranging from national oil companies to geoscience IT and consultancy to academia.
This course is offered online with each module running with tutor support for a three month period during the academic year, and available the rest of the time for preview and revision. This online structure enables you to fit your studies around work and family commitments. To complete an MSc in a three year period you will need to study an average of 20 hours per week during the academic session.
Fully supported by a Virtual Learning Environment, you will have the opportunity for interaction with online tutors to discuss course material and exercises; a virtual student cafe allows you to interact and network with other students.
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Advice Centre.
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.
The first semester is preceded by a short UK-based field trip to collect samples, and delivered through a series of modules focussing on the key microfossil groups and their applications. In the second semester, students will normally take courses to broaden their understanding of petroleum geology and sedimentary basin analysis while undertaking independent research projects.
This MSc will prepare students for highly skilled, multidisciplinary managerial roles in the natural resources sector across the globe. The programme is transcontinental (offered by UCL and the University of South Australia (UniSA)), is delivered by UCL Chemical Engineering, UCL Earth Sciences, UCL School of Management, and the Future Industries Institute at UniSA, and designed with significant input from industry.
Students develop knowledge of geology, geosciences, geochemistry and the chemical processes used to transform raw materials into commmodities; managerial skills; and an understanding of the relationship between limited natural resources, economic forces, and the implications for society. The first two terms are spent at UCL in London and the third term and summer at UniSA in Adelaide.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All students undertake a dissertation of 6,000 words based on an individual research project, field trip and executive summary. They must also complete an oral examination of 20 minutes maximum.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, site visits, independent reading and research as well as online material. Some of the modules taught in London will be co-taught by experts at UniSA via remote teaching methods. Assessment is by examination, coursework, process design, oral presentation, online quizzing, reports and writing executive summaries, with some components involving group work.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Global Management of Natural Resources MSc
The Global Management of Natural Resources MSc will prepare graduates for highly skilled, multidisciplinary managerial jobs in the natural resources sector. Recent university graduates who apply will gain a global perspective on the natural resources sector. Mid-career professionals already employed will expand their range of expertise.
Our graduates will also be equipped for further postgraduate research in relevant disciplines.
Successful graduates will have wide knowledge of the energy and natural resources industries, have strong managerial and communication skills, be aware and respectful of social responsibilities, and operate within national and international constraints.
UCL is consistently placed in the global top 20 in a wide range of world rankings and in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) UCL was the top-rated UK university for research strength. This MSc has developed from the European-funded research project ShaleXenvironmenT (in which UCL was an academic partner) and anticipates increasing demand for managerial professionals in existing and developing natural resources fields. UniSA is one of Australia’s leading universities for interdisciplinary research.
Our programme aims to produce global citizens and offers networking opportunities in London and Adelaide. We offer career advice throughout the programme and foster transferable skills through our multidisciplinary environment.
The programme includes a field trip to explore sedimentary formations similar to shale plays in either Spain or the UK. There is another field trip to a copper, gold or uranium mine in South Australia.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Chemical Engineering
90% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.