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:
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
Study Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll receive comprehensive postgraduate training on the time-dependent processes that affect environmental change, helping you to understand and confront some of the most profound issues of our time.
This flexible Masters programme is offered jointly with London’s prestigious Natural History Museum, and The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) recognizes this course as 'Excellent'.
You’ll acquire an advanced knowledge and understanding of key issues within Quaternary Science, including high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records, high-precision dating and multi-proxy approaches to the investigation of past environmental changes.
The Department of Geography is one of the leading centres for international geographical research in the UK. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework our research environment was recognized as overwhelmingly world class.
The staff and facilities of the Centre for Quaternary Research (CQR) at Royal Holloway provide a wide range of opportunities, including participation in internationally significant research programmes in Quaternary science and links with potential employers. This consortium of staff constitutes the strongest teaching team in the UK for the provision of Masters' teaching in the field of non-marine Quaternary earth science and environmental change. You’ll have the chance to contribute to this leading research culture with your own individual research project.
Study a Masters degree in Quaternary Science and you’ll develop a thorough understanding of many contemporary environmental issues, including climate change, biological responses to environmental change and soil erosion. and be well placed to pursue a rewarding career in your chosen field.
In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
You will benefit from small group learning and an intense but friendly atmosphere, and will receive individual mentoring and career advice from our staff (both from your personal tutor and a dissertation supervisor).
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, practical exercises, field reports and a dissertation.
Study Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway and you’ll graduate with excellent employability prospects. Our recent alumni have gone on to enjoy careers in the British Geological Survey, Natural England, the Environment Agency, journal publishing houses, Research Councils, environmental archaeology and museums, as well as academic positions within universities.
Over the past decade, around 70% of Quaternary Science graduates have gone on to study at PhD level, with the Royal Holloway Centre for Quaternary Science providing opportunities to participate in internationally significant research programmes.