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    Department of Physics and Astronomy Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Physics

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    Full time: 1 year Part time: 2 years

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    08 January 2019

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This interdisciplinary MSc offers a wide programme of study related to the physics of planetary and space environments, including planetary interiors, atmospheres and magnetospheres; the impact of the space environment on human physiology; and research project work which provides potential opportunity to work with established planetary researchers at UCL and Birkbeck, some of whom are involved in active or planned space missions.

About this degree

Students develop insights into the techniques used in current projects, and gain in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area through project work as a member of a research team. The programme provides the professional skills necessary to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of a choice of six optional modules (90 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of six optional modules (90 credits) and a research essay (30 credits); full-time nine months is offered.

Optional modules 1 (15 credits each)

Students choose three from:

  • Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
  • Earth and Planetary Materials
  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
  • Remote Sensing and Planetary Surfaces
  • Physics of Exoplanets

Optional modules 2 (15 credits each)

Students choose three from the following:

  • Melting and Volcanism
  • Astronomical Spectroscopy
  • Physics of the Earth
  • Solar Physics
  • Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites
  • Advanced Topics in Planetary Science
  • Space Science, Environment and Satellite Missions
  • Earth and Planetary Materials
  • Paleoclimatology

Alternatively students may also choose a fourth module from the Optional modules 1 list and two from the Optional modules 2 list above.

Dissertation/report

All students submit a critical research essay and MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation and oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical classes, computer-based teaching, fieldwork, and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Funding

Candidates may be eligible for a Santander scholarship

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Physics-based careers embrace a broad band of areas, e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. Graduates of MSc programmes at UCL go on to a variety of careers as research associates, postdoctoral fellows, consultants, and systems test engineers.

Employability

An MSc qualification from UCL is highly regarded by employers. Students engage in a variety of learning activities, including undertaking their own research projects, which encourages the development of problem-solving skills, technical and quantitative analysis, independent critical thinking and good scientific practice. In addition, teamwork, vision and enthusiasm make physics graduates highly desirable members in all dynamic companies.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the leading departments in the UK for this subject area. The curriculum of the Planetary Science MSc draws on a variety of other academic departments within UCL including Space & Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory), Earth Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology and Birkbeck's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. The programme thus has a strong interdisciplinary flavour, in line with the ethos of the Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck.

The combination of taught modules, tutorials and project work allows prospective students to study a wide variety of topics related to planetary and space environments, such as: planetary interiors, atmospheres and magnetospheres; the impact of the space environment on human physiology and life; and the application of current knowledge to investigations of extrasolar planets, i.e. worlds in other stellar systems.

Department: Physics & Astronomy

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This MSc is particularly suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in physics, astronomy, astrophysics, geophysics or a related discipline, who wish to develop a career in planetary science, space science and related fields. The programme provides an ideal foundation for further research and entry onto the PhD programme.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

Any late applications will only be considered after all those received by the closing date.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Planetary Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Planetary Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Visit the Planetary Science MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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