Volcanoes threaten millions worldwide and improved hazard mitigation is a high priority. Our well-established MSc allows you to study alongside leading volcanologists in one of the largest groups of environmental scientists in the UK.
This MSc is ideal preparation for PhD research or work in the environment sector, and is suitable for students with a wide range of first degrees including Geography, Geology, Environmental Science and Physics.
As well as gaining a strong theoretical grounding, you will spend time in the laboratory and in the field, including field trips to study volcanic rocks in the nearby Lake District and a highly popular field module on Mount Etna.
You will study six taught modules which include core modules on volcanic and other geological hazards and optional modules which provide broader learning and practical skills in areas of particular benefit to aspiring volcanologists. Modules are taught by world experts from Lancaster Environment Centre and our partner institutions.
You will join our active volcanology group and conduct an independent dissertation research project under supervision from an internationally recognized researcher, taking advantage of our well-equipped experimental and geochemical laboratories. Within our group there are additional opportunities to participate in seminars, workshops and discussions.
Examples of previous dissertation topics are:
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Coursework, presentations, examinations and dissertation
Apply your knowledge to real-world issues
You will gain skills in dealing with often-complex Earth systems, evaluate current research and and apply your knowledge to real-world issues, as well as get to work in some really amazing places around the world!
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
The Master of Science (Earth Science) at Massey University will develop your skills in a field and laboratory environment that is focussed on solutions to Earth science-based issues facing society.
Field work could find you on a volcano top in Vanuatu, exploring ancient volcanoes on Chatham Island or assessing real-time hazards from an erupting volcano. You might find yourself exploring the back country of the Wanganui Basin or its marine terraces, sampling rivers and aquifers to determine groundwater recharge/discharge, or investigating erosion and land use employing both field and remote sensing techniques.
You will also gain transferable skills that will be useful in many different careers. These include observation skills, advanced ability in data collection, analysis and interpretation, problem-solving and lateral thinking skills, self-motivation and resilience, teamwork as well as developing high-level written and verbal communication skills.
Massey University Earth science staff are actively researching and are members of internationally-relevant related groups. Many also have extensive industry experience, through either employment or consultancy. They bring this expertise to your teaching.
Massey’s expertise in environmental geochemistry includes remediation of contaminated sites, phytomining, mine site and land reclamation.
You can learn from – and build on – our expertise in the societal impacts of Earth events, such as volcanic activity. These include social, economic, infrastructure and the impact on local communities including iwi.
We have a range of specialised equipment which is available to you for your research and study. This includes:
This master’s includes an in-depth research project, where you will be able to explore an aspect of Earth science that interests you.
Postgraduate study is hard work but very rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science (Earth Science) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.
The international master program in Geophysics at KIT is research-oriented, has a strong focus on exploration and earthquake seismology and brings together theory and field experiments. This provides our students the opportunity to cover the full range of geophysics from data acquisition to modelling, inversion and interpretation. The program is taught entirely in English.
Students studying in the international master program in Geophysics benefit from the strong expertise in exploration and earthquake seismology for which the Geophysical Institute of KIT is known worldwide for more than 50 years.
In the international research-oriented master program we bring together our knowledge in theory as well as in field experiments and give our students the possibility to understand the full picture from data acquisition to modelling, inversion and interpretation.
Students take part in compulsory and elective courses within their 1st year covering different topics of seismology and proximate subjects. During their 2nd year, students will be fully integrated in one of the research groups working on their theses in order to have an optimum preparation for their future work in science and industry. For more details on the program structure see program structure above.
Recently, the concept of in situ lecturing was successfully established at KIT. In situ lectures are taught at the place which is being studied giving students the possibility to fully understand the dimensions and observe the whole range of parameters involved in the subject. Within the last years, in situ lectures have led our students to the Aeolian Islands, deep into potash mines in Thuringia, to the Gotthard base tunnel while it was built, and to seismically active regions in Germany and the Czech Republic.
International summer schools are conducted in cooperation with Bandung Institute of Technology and Australia National University. Since KIT is part of the Eucor universities
Students can also choose lectures offered by our European partners.
Compulsory courses in the 1st year include Theory of Seismic Waves, Seismology, Physics of Seismic Instruments, Seismic Imaging, Seismic Modelling as well as Inversion and Tomography. In order to specialize, students can choose electives from Geophysics or proximate subjects. Lectures on Array Processing, Full Waveform Inversion, Geological Hazards and Risk, Induced Seismicity, Hazard and Risk Assessment of Mediterranean Volcanoes and a Winter School at the Black Forest Observatory are regularly offered.
During the 2nd year of the program students will be integrated in one of the research groups working on their thesis. We consider it as important to fully immerse into a project and work on it deeply over a longer period so that our students have an optimum preparation for their work in science and industry.
Qualification for university entrance (e.g. Abitur, high school diploma, national test for university entrance, ...)
The Bachelor degree has to be completed with a minimum of 180 ECTS points or within a regular period of study of at least three years. If the Bachelor degree has not yet been conferred by the closing date for applications, but will be completed before the registration, you can apply with a preliminary transcript of records.
Profound knowledge of Geophysics, Mathematics and Physics (usually a minimum 20 credits each during the Bachelor studies). Missing credits in Geophysics can individually caught up for during the 1st year. For immediate success students without background in Geophysics can take part in an interactive convergence course covering the most important topics from Seismology and Seismics.
On request the following proofs can also be accepted: Bachelor degree of a university program taught in English University entrance qualification received in an English program Bachelor thesis written in English.
Applications for the winter term (beginning in October) can be submitted until 15 July (Non-EU-Applicants) and until 30 September (German and EU-Applicants).
Due to the modular structure of the program, a start in the summer term (April) is also possible, but not recommended for students from abroad or students who do not hold a Bachelor degree in Geophysics.