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The only applied structural geology Masters in the UK. Providing you with advanced training in the practical application of structural geology, preparing you either for employment in the hydrocarbon or mining industries or for postgraduate study (PhD).
You’ll gain a skillset combining advanced structural techniques and interpreting seismic data, an understanding of structural systems in time and space, and an appreciation of both the geological and geophysical constraints of seismic interpretation and model building.
This will enable you to use a combination of structural and geophysical techniques to solve geological problems. As a capable seismic interpreter you’ll be able to contribute in an industry role from day one.
Our teaching is research led, with direct links to active applied research. You’ll be taught by a range of research and industry experts, as well as through industry-led workshops. Strong industry links are a feature of this course.
The following fieldwork to the UK and overseas is free, and forms an integral part of the course. It is directly linked to learning outcomes in the classroom.
Develop personal skills and a professionalism that will make you employable, as well as increasing your knowledge and technical ability.
You will take 9 months of taught classes, followed by approximately 3 months of independent research and dissertation writing in association with industry or research collaborators.
Carry-out free fieldwork, which forms an integral part of the course, and is directly linked to learning outcomes in the classroom. Besides local visits, there is a 6-day trip to South West England and a 12-day visit to the Spanish Pyrenees.
Some of the modules you will study are spread over 2 semesters, while most are short and intensive. They are devised to develop your advanced understanding of key topics (including large scale tectonics, basin evolution and reservoir scale deformation) and your technical ability through the use of industry-leading software.
Begin, by reviewing the fundamentals of structural geology, maps, and mathematics before moving onto the more advanced modules.
You’ll receive advanced training in structural geology and tectonics, in geological model construction, and the practical application of structural geology. And gain training in interpreting seismic data and the principals underlying data acquisition and processing.
You’ll also undertake professional and research level training in structural geology and basin evolution from regional, to basin, to reservoir/deposit scale.
In semester 2, you can choose from hydrocarbon or mining modules.
Teaching is varied, with some of your modules being very practical based e.g. fieldwork, presentations, learning new software. While other methods are tutorial or lecture based. You will also have the opportunity to work individually or as a group. Regardless of method, you will be supported by substantial online learning material.
The School of Earth and Environment’s £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities. As a Masters student, you will have access to a 3D visualisation suite, and to your own dedicated computer facilities, which runs industry standard software.
Industry standard software:
Given the variety of learning outcomes and teaching methods, you will be assessed differently between modules but generally assessed on a combination of presentations, practicals and/or formal examinations.
We have very strong links with industry, which you’ll benefit from throughout the year. This includes the provision of scholarships, data for dissertation projects, teaching of short courses and free licenses for industry standard software.
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
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 physics, chemistry, mathematics, geology, and field studies to address how the solid Earth works. It allows you to specialize 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, 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, and seismicity induced by hydrocarbon production and geological storage of CO2.
You can choose one of three specialization tracks based on your interests in the field:
You can access six study streams on this Masters programme:
As well as supporting the career development of Civil Engineering graduates, this programme provides the necessary further learning for engineers working in the construction industry who hold related first degrees such as engineering geology or construction management.
It is also designed to update the technical skills of practising engineers engaged in the planning, design, construction and operation of civil-engineering works.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time / distance learning for between two to five academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
This degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree.
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.
Structural Engineering Group Modules
Bridge Engineering Group Modules
Geotechnical Engineering Group Modules
Construction Management Group Modules
Infrastructure Engineering Group Modules
Water and Environmental Engineering Group Modules
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
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.
This course is ideally situated to take advantage of the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen city and its industry experts who also have a strong input into the programme content and structure. This combination of academic overview and industry expertise ensures that you have a good range of skills and knowledge which is applicable to the global oil and gas and energy market so ideal if you are international or work or want to work internationally. Your skills are ideally placed to scope out maximising oil field recovery from declining field areas on top of upstream geoscience knowledge from initial exploration to mature and declining field recovery.
Aberdeen has been running this programme since 1973 to the current day, learning with the energy industry which is located in Aberdeen itself. This means that the programme is not only robust drawing on historical learning relevant to the current day, but highly regarded internationally. This strength of knowledge feeds down directly to you as a student and afterwards as a highly trained professional within the energy market.
Regarded as the best of its kind in the world the programme gives you vocational training in geoscience skills for minerals exploration and production, including: seismic interpretation, petrophysical analysis, geochemical evaluation, sedimentology, structural analysis, and reservoir modelling.
Geophysics and Petrophysics
Professional Skills Incorporating Field Trip
Project in Integrated Petroleum Geosciences
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about fees:
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page
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