Masters degrees in Earth Science undertake advanced study of the Earth as a unified system, including explorations of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.
Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Environmental Science.
Earth Science is interdisciplinary in approach - combining theories from fields such as Biology, Environmental Science, Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering and Anthropology - to offer a holistic understanding of the Earth’s dynamics.
Training typically covers investigation of the Earth’s physical structure and biological and chemical processes, to build a quantitative understanding of how the Earth works and evolves. This might be achieved through geomatics such as techniques in GIS (geographic information systems), bathymetry, and geovisualisation techniques such as topography.
Traditional careers include roles in environmental monitoring and protection. These may range from implementing policy for pollutant control, to ensuring habitat conservation on behalf of regulatory bodies. It may also include managing natural disasters on behalf of local government, or consulting on land use strategy and development.
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:
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Earth Observation at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MSc by Research Earth Observation enables students to pursue a one year individual programme of research. The Earth Observation programme would normally terminate after a year. However, under appropriate circumstances, this first year of research can also be used in a progression to Year 2 of a PhD degree.
You will be fully integrated into one of our established research groups and participate in research activities such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work.
Swansea is a research-led University and the Department makes a significant contribution, meaning that as a postgraduate Geography student you will benefit from the knowledge and skills of internationally renowned academics.
In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, 95% of Geography research at Swansea was judged to be of international quality, and 60% was regarded as World-leading or internationally excellent.
As a student of the Earth Observation programme you will have access to:
Computer laboratory with 24 computers providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Computer laboratory with 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications
Specialist laboratory suites for stable isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation
In addition, the computing facilities include 15 dual-processor workstations for Earth Observation, a 20-node multiprocessor Beowulf cluster, and the Department’s IBM ‘Blue Ice’ Supercomputer, used mainly for climate and glaciological modelling.
All academic staff in Geography are active researchers and the department has a thriving research culture and a strong postgraduate community.
The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 show that Geography at Swansea University is ranked joint 9th in the UK for research impact and 11th in the UK for research environment.
Research groups include:
Global Environmental Modelling and Earth Observation
Migration, Boundaries and Identity
Social Theory and Urban Space