Masters degrees in Geochemistry offer advanced study of the chemical processes which take place on or near the Earth’s surface. This includes investigation and analysis of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere.
Related postgraduate disciplines include Geosciences and Environmental Science. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Environmental Science or Geology.
Research in Geological Chemistry spans investigations into the origins of life, the evolution of Earth and other terrestrial planets, the composition of oceans and atmospheres, the control of pollutants, and the dynamics of climate change.
Practical training is very broad, and may involve fieldwork geomatics such as bathymetry (measuring ocean floors and benthic zones), GIS (geographical information systems), GPS and satellite systems, and remote sensing.
It may also include geovisualisation methods such as topography. Other training usually involves lab work such as microbe culturing, isotope manipulation and trace element analysis of rocks, soils, gasses and liquids.
Geochemists are employed in a range of sectors, from renewable energy and petrochemical industries to, mining and mineral exploration, and in environmental industries and agencies focused on pollution monitoring and environmental remediation.
The MSc in Geochemistry is a comprehensive and rigorous course that combines compulsory and optional taught modules, field work, short courses, and a research dissertation. Hands-on experience developing a diverse set of laboratory skills is embedded into the course.
The MSc degree requires two semesters of full-time (or four semesters part-time) coursework, normally equivalent to a total of nine taught modules, and a 15,000-word dissertation, usually completed over the summer semester. The assessment for the taught modules is based on coursework and written examinations.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
This masters by research programme is an opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of research in any of the following major branches of geosciences:
The programme allows you to work on research throughout the year, and your work will be judged solely on your final dissertation. You can follow taught courses by arrangement with your supervisor, but none are required.
The programme aims to provide a structured approach to basic research training, allowing you to explore an area of research that may be subsequently developed into a PhD. You may also have the opportunity to develop links with research projects at national and international levels.
The School has the largest geoscience research group in the UK, with about 370 academics and researchers. The ambition and quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, where 66% of our research was rated within the top two categories: world-leading and internationally excellent.
All research students are affiliated to one a research institute, which provides a forum for the development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early-career researchers. Our research institutes each have a very active seminar series drawing distinguished external guests as well as internal speakers, and you will be encouraged to attend and participate.
You can follow taught courses by arrangement with your supervisor, but none are required.