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Geology×

Masters Degrees in Geology

We have 221 Masters Degrees in Geology

Masters degrees in Geology study the physical structure of the Earth, both above and below its surface. This can involve exploring ancient rock formations, investigating valuable resources or understanding the causes of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

Geology is a far more diverse discipline than it might appear. You could investigate the remains of fossilised dinosaurs with a Palaeontology degree, or examine the natural disasters that (probably) caused their extinction with a course in Seismology or Vulcanology. Sadly, a Geology Masters won’t help you build your own Jurassic Park.

Programmes can be taught or research based, with MSc, MRes and MPhil courses available.

Why study a Masters degree in Geology?

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From the field to the lab, the knowledge you will gain in this course will help drive advancements in areas such as petroleum exploration, or mineral exploration. Read more
From the field to the lab, the knowledge you will gain in this course will help drive advancements in areas such as petroleum exploration, or mineral exploration.

This course provides advanced technical training for professionals intending to upgrade their geology qualifications or to enter a new branch of geoscience. This is achieved by attendance at lectures, seminars and group discussions, and the preparation and submission of a thesis-based research project.

Each major in this course comprises core units together with optional units in geology and related disciplines. Note that unit availability is often limited to specific semesters, which may affect the order in which you can take each unit. You will specialise in basin analysis and petroleum geology or mineral exploration and mining geology. You will complete a supervised project related to your stream, usually in collaboration with industry or government partners.

Basin Analysis and Petroleum Geology

Sedimentary basins contain a unique record of the tectonic, structural and sedimentological processes that created them. By understanding these processes, often using subsurface data sets, we can gain insights into the valuable energy resources that they contain. This stream will provide you with the technical and practical skills that you need to evaluate petroleum systems and to pursue a career in hydrocarbon exploration or production.

Mineral Exploration and Mining Geology

The mining industry is critical to our future. Without fossil fuels for power generation, silicon chips for computer chips, fertiliser for bumper harvests, metal for cars and buildings, and many raw materials for other growing industries, our current standard of living could not be maintained. This stream offers detailed knowledge of mining operations and mineral systems. You will learn about the principal types of ore deposits, the fundamentals of mineral exploration, collecting and displaying geophysical data, geochemical processes and magnetics theory, among other topics. This stream provides specialised technical and professional training for graduates in geology or closely related disciplines.

Career opportunities

This course can open up a wide range of geoscience career opportunities depending on your choice of units.

Credit for previous study

Applications for recognition of prior learning (RPL) are assessed on an individual basis.

Other notes

There is considerable flexibility in the course structure with some units available in a concentrated, short-course format. Part of the research project may be undertaken in a short, intensive period.

2016 Curtin International Scholarships: Merit Scholarship

Curtin University is an inspiring, vibrant, international organisation, committed to making tomorrow better. It is a beacon for innovation, driving advances in technology through high-impact research and offering more than 100 practical, industry-aligned courses connecting to workplaces of tomorrow.

Ranked in the top two per cent of universities worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015, the University is also ranked 25th in the world for universities under the age of 50 in the QS World University Rankings 2015 Curtin also received an overall five-star excellence rating in the QS stars rating.

Curtin University strives to give high achieving international students the opportunity to gain an internationally recognised education through offering the Merit Scholarship. The Merit Scholarship will give you up to 25 per cent of your first year tuition fees and if you enrol in an ELB program at Curtin English before studying at Curtin, you will also receive a 10 per cent discount on your Curtin English fees.

For full details and terms and conditions of this scholarship, please visit: curtin.edu/int-scholarships and click on Merit.

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What is the Master of Geology all about?. You will gain much from the strong emphasis on research in this programme. Read more

What is the Master of Geology all about?

You will gain much from the strong emphasis on research in this programme. Besides enhancing knowledge and skills in numerous specialised courses, including a field-mapping course, you will conduct your own master’s thesis project within a research team (professor(s), postdoc(s), PhD-student(s)) and at the same time develop important scientific skills, such as reporting and presenting, needed in your future career. 

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Structure

The master’s programme offers 4 different majors: Geodynamics and Georesources, Surface Processes and Paleoenvironments, Geology of Basins and Soil and Groundwater.

  • In Geodynamics and Georesources, you will study rock-forming processes and mineral resources in the subsurface. The interaction between various physico-chemical processes in the Earth forms the core of this major. You will develop the ability to analyse and explain the complexity of the various interacting physical and chemical rock-forming processes and apply this knowledge to the exploration of natural resources.
  • In Surface Processes and Paleoenvironments, you will study the interaction between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. The focus is on understanding present-day and past processes and placing these processes in a context of global change on various time scales. You will develop the ability to analyse and explain the complex interaction of surface processes relating to the variability of various aspects of the Earth’s surface.
  • In Geology of Basins, you will study the processes steering the genesis and evolution of sedimentary basins and the surrounding areas. Special attention is given to sedimentary fluxes, the spatial organisation of basins, the evolution of the paleoenvironment, dating of events and exploration strategies. You will develop the ability to analyse and explain the complexity of interacting processes that determine the evolution of sedimentary basins.
  • In Soil and Groundwater, you will study hydrogeological and pedological characteristics and processes with a focus on fundamental and applied aspects of soils and groundwater, including the response to external influences and aimed at sustainable management and protection of these resources. You will develop the attitude to analyse and explain the complexity of physical and chemical processes influencing soil and groundwater, and to come up with remedial measures. 

Departments

The programme is firmly rooted in the research of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (KU Leuven) and the Department of Geology (Ghent University). Both departments continuously develop and maintain innovative and widely recognised research programmes on fundamental and applied aspects of geoscience. These generally involve collaborative efforts in various international research networks.

Career perspectives

As a Master in Geology you may be involved in development tasks, research or management functions. In consultancy, you are likely to find a job in environmental geology, hydrogeology or geotechnology. In industry, you will be involved in exploration, exploitation andtreatment of natural resources. In governmental agencies and research institutions, you may be responsible for the inventory, management, research and use of the subsurface or for environmental issues.

If you dream of an academic career, you can start by embarking on a PhD-project in Leuven, Ghent, or elsewhere.



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The MSc in Applied Environmental Geology CKR53 is a full- time multidisciplinary degree running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Read more
The MSc in Applied Environmental Geology CKR53 is a full- time multidisciplinary degree running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. A 24 month part time option CKR54 is also available. The aim of the MSc programme is to train and educate graduates in multiple areas of Environmental Geology and to provide an understanding of the disciplines, which impinge upon these areas in order to meet the growing demand for such personnel at home and abroad. This M.Sc. in Environmental
Geology covers the areas of hydrogeology, contaminated land, engineering geology, applied geophysics, geoinformatics, environmental monitoring and assessment, environmental regulation, offshore environmental geology, field geology techniques and an industry-based
environmental geology research project. The courses have been designed with the current needs of industry taken on board. Emphasis on real world, industry-based examples is prevalent throughout.

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences are responsible for the MSc programme. Various other UCC and industry partners also contribute to the programme.

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The MSc in Applied Environmental Geology CKR53 is a full-time multidisciplinary degree running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. Read more
The MSc in Applied Environmental Geology CKR53 is a full-time multidisciplinary degree running for 12 months from the date of first registration for the programme. A 24 month part time option CKR54 is also available. The aim of the MSc programme is to train and educate graduates in multiple areas of Environmental Geology and to provide an understanding of the disciplines, which impinge upon these areas in order to meet the growing demand for such personnel at home and abroad. This M.Sc. in Environmental Geology covers the areas of hydrogeology, contaminated land, engineering geology, applied geophysics, geoinformatics, environmental monitoring and assessment, environmental regulation, offshore environmental geology, field geology techniques and an industry-based environmental geology research project. The courses have been designed with the current needs of industry taken on board. Emphasis on real world, industry-based examples is prevalent throughout.

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences are responsible for the MSc programme. Various other UCC and industry partners also contribute to the programme.

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Northern England has an extraordinary diversity of landscapes and geological features, and as the largest county, Yorkshire preserves a large proportion of them. Read more
Northern England has an extraordinary diversity of landscapes and geological features, and as the largest county, Yorkshire preserves a large proportion of them. From the rugged North York Moors and the limestone pavements of the Yorkshire Dales to the coalfields of South Yorkshire and the shifting coastlines of Holderness, it is in many respects a microcosm of the region.

In The Geology of Yorkshire and Northern England, students will obtain a regional geological understanding with which to interpret larger-scale Earth processes and structures. The programme will provide students with training in advanced palaeoenvironmental analysis and science communication skills. Students will also assess Yorkshire and Northern England's importance to current controversies in Earth sciences, from fracking to climate change, and acquire an understanding of the region's vital role in the history of geology.

This is a part-time Postgraduate Diploma delivered wholly online in a fully supported learning environment. The programme starts in late September/early October each academic year, and places are limited to ensure a constructive atmosphere for discussions. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after successful completion of the first year if their circumstances change.

Overview

The programme will aim to:
-Introduce the key tenets and sub-disciplines of geology, focussing particularly on the geological evolution of northern England
-Provide students with a holistic understanding of the geological origins and history of Yorkshire and northern England
-Introduce students to field and laboratory geological analysis, and the skills and techniques required to interpret geological features accurately
-Describe the main geological units present in Yorkshire, their composition, distribution and formation
-Explore the geological history of Yorkshire and its global significance in the development of Earth Sciences
-Examine and interpret the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic geology of Yorkshire
-Explain the scientific importance of Yorkshire's rocks, and the role they have played in our understanding of the evolution of the Earth.
-Further develop students' palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental interpretation skills
-Examine the Cenozoic and recent geological history of Yorkshire
-Provide students with an understanding of human interactions with, and exploitation of, the geological resources and landscapes of Yorkshire and northern England
-Further develop students’ knowledge of Yorkshire's role in the evolution of global geological hypotheses

Structure

This part-time two-year programme will comprise six 20-credit modules:
Year One
-Origins – the Development of Geology in Northern England
-Dales and Vales – the Palaeozoic of Yorkshire and Northern England
-Moors and Coast – the Mesozoic of Yorkshire and Northern England

Year Two
-Advanced Palaeoenvironmental Analysis
-Fire and Ice – the Cenozoic of Yorkshire and Northern England
-People and Landscape - The Human Geology of Yorkshire and Northern England

Students will be required to complete all these modules in the first instance, though additional modules may be added in the future to accommodate future programme growth and offer a broader learning experience.

It is anticipated that assessments will comprise a balance of short and long critical essays, laboratory-based projects and project work.

Online Study

Our approach to e-learning is distinctive and may be different from your general perceptions about online study:
-Flexible, fully supported, modular delivery
-Taught exclusively online
-Two stages: Certificate and Diploma. Each stage typically takes 12 months
-Comprises six distinct modules
-Part-time study (approximately 15 hours per week) allows participants to structure their learning around the other life circumstances

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Join us for our. Master Open Day. to find out more about our courses. The only applied structural geology Masters in the UK. Read more

Join us for our Master Open Day to find out more about our courses.

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.

Course highlights:

  • The only applied structural geology Masters in the UK, offering you a route to both industry or a PhD.
  • Unlike other petroleum/ ore geoscience courses in the UK, which only provide you with broad training in all aspects of petroleum and ore geology. At Leeds, apply your skills, tools, and knowledge in structural geology and tectonics to exploration settings, datasets, and problems.
  • A key focus of this Masters is on understanding structural evolution in various settings and the use of 3D and 4D thinking in geological contexts. Skills that are essential for your employment in industry.
  • Gain an international standard of Masters qualification in 12 months rather than 24. We deliver focused, advanced teaching linked to a research project (in contrast to the more research-oriented US Masters).
  • Undertake free fieldwork in the UK and EU that is directly linked to your classroom learning.
  • Choose from hydrocarbon and mining module options, depending on your interests.
  • Access high-spec computing facilities and industry-standard software.
  • Produce an industry or research focused dissertation in your final year.

Fieldwork

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.

  • An introductory field day to Ingleton, North Yorkshire.
  • A 6-day trip to the South West of England. Consider both extensional and compressional tectonics, basin-scale to fault to reservoir scale deformation, fault seal analysis, kinematic and geometric fault evolution, restorations, and 3D fault analysis.
  • A 12-day trip to the Central Spanish Pyrenees. This trip serves as a summary trip where you will pull together elements from the entire course. Consider regional scale orogenic deformation through to basin scale to fracture scale. And the influence of sediment-structure interaction in basin evolution, and tie outcrop scale observations with seismic examples.


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This full time 12 month intensive programme is designed to provide advanced specialised training for earth science graduates, leading to excellent employment opportunities in the extractive industry. Read more
This full time 12 month intensive programme is designed to provide advanced specialised training for earth science graduates, leading to excellent employment opportunities in the extractive industry. It is suitable for those who already have an honours degree in geology, mining/minerals engineering or a related subject.

You will attain a comprehensive understanding of the role of a geoscientist working in the mining industry. New skills include underground geological and geotechnical mapping, surveying, mineral exploration, ore microscopy, ore deposit modelling and mine planning. In-depth coverage of mineral resource estimation and grade control, mineral extraction and management, mining law and the environmental impact of mining, enable skills in quantifying the economic value of an ore body and assessing its potential for exploitation to be attained. There is emphasis on acquiring knowledge of the geological characteristics and genesis, methods of exploration, extraction and processing techniques of the major types of metalliferous ore deposit, bulk commodities and industrial minerals.

Taught modules are presented over two semesters and individual projects are undertaken throughout the summer vacation, often as industrial placements with a mining/exploration company. Recent projects have been carried out in all major mining countries on six continents, including Australia, Tanzania, Mongolia, Chile as well as in the UK.

Programme Structure

You will study 180 credits to obtain an MSc and 120 credits for a PgDip

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include; Research Project and Dissertation; Resource Estimation; Ore Deposit Geology and Industrial Minerals; Techniques in Mining Geology ; Excavation and Geomechanics ; Economics, Processing & Environment

Optional modules

Some examples of the optional modules are; Advanced Techniques for Mineral Analysis and Mine Wastes: Principles, Monitoring and Remediation.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand

Learning and teaching

Formal teaching ends in late April/May with a field excursion to examine the geology and visit mines in an area of the world famous for its mining activity. Extensive use is made of Camborne School of Mines' underground mine facilities, laboratories, mineral processing pilot plant, and the superb field geology and extractive industry operations in South West England.

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Professional geologists working in consultancies, regulatory authorities and government environmental agencies are required to apply a wide range of transferrable skills to their jobs. Read more
Professional geologists working in consultancies, regulatory authorities and government environmental agencies are required to apply a wide range of transferrable skills to their jobs. Candidates who are able to demonstrate skills in public engagement, communication, professional research and report-writing, in addition to academic knowledge and field skills, are therefore highly sought after in these professions.

This full-time MSc Applied Environmental Geology is part taught and part professional project. We aim to develop your transferrable skills in a professional context and give you a head start in the geology profession of your choice or starting a PhD.

Distinctive features:

• Our location in South Wales provides us with a wide range of highly relevant geoenvironmental and geotechnical locations, which we visit during fieldtrips and use in case studies.

• Embed your skills in professional practice through a five month professional project, usually as part of a placement.

• Strong links with industry and government agencies ensure the quality and relevance of the course, and give you the opportunity to make contacts.

• Fully integrated with the professional development (CPD) lecture programme of the Southern Wales Group of the Geological Society of London.

Structure

There are two stages to the MSc Applied Environmental Geology.

Stage 1 lasts for 7 months (September – April), where you will complete taught modules and fieldwork, with significant contributions from industry professionals.

In these modules, we will investigate general themes, such as the principles of geotechnical engineering and geophysics. We will also look into environmental themes in more depth including land contamination, environmental regulation, behaviour of soils and water.

If you pass Stage 1 you will progress onto Stage 2, which is a 5-month professional project from May to September culminating in a dissertation. We will, wherever possible, offer you an industrial placement with a professional company either in the UK or overseas over the summer to complete your project.

For the first seven months, from September to April, you will complete taught modules and fieldwork at Cardiff University. After this, you will progress onto a 5-month placement in the UK or overseas where you will undertake a professional project and complete your dissertation.

Core modules:

Project Planning, Design and Management For Applied Environmental Geology
Geotechnical Engineering
Engineering Behaviour of Soils
Contaminated Land
Environmental Assessment and Regulation
Remote Sensing and Applied Geophysics
Transferable Skills
Water in the Environment
Dissertation AEG

Optional modules:

Environmental Geology/Hydrogeology Report

Teaching

The methods of teaching we employ may vary from module to module. Generally we teach using a mixture of lectures, practical work and fieldwork. We also have a series of lectures with invited speakers from across the profession, as well as strong links with the Geological Society.

On the course, you will undertake laboratory work in several modules. This includes standard laboratory tests covering the physical and mechanical properties of soils, and water flow experiments to learn hydrologic and hydrogeologic concepts.

You will also develop your knowledge of numerical tools to model real-world geotechnical problems. Application software, such as CorelDraw, Surfer, ArcGIS, as well as professional geoengineering software, such as Rockscience and Landsim, are used throughout the course.

Throughout the course we encourage communication and teamwork. For example, we may ask you to work in teams in laboratories and on field-trips. Our project training includes skills in supervision and co-ordination of a range of tasks designed to address specific geotechnical and geoenvironmental problems.

Assessment

We use a wide range of assessment methods, depending on the module. These include exams, coursework, presentations, practical assessment, your industrial placement and dissertation (20,000 words).

Placements

You will undertake a professional placement in industry as part of the second stage of the course. This placement will last for 5 months (May - September), during which you will undertake a research project and complete your dissertation.

We endeavour wherever possible to place students with industrial partners. This placement can be located in the UK or overseas as long as the project is deemed to be logistically safe and academically viable.

Fieldwork

South Wales provides a wide range of highly relevant geoenvironmental and geotechnical case studies and site visits. These include site visits to the Cardiff Bay Barrage, acid mine drainage from abandoned mines and active landslides in the south Wales Valleys. Field work includes surveying skills, rock engineering to the Rhondda Valley and Cardigan, site investigation visits to the Mumbles, Bournville landslide, as well as contaminated land studies at Barry Docks and Bryn Pica landfill site. All fieldwork on this course is compulsory.

Career prospects

Our graduates are widely sought after in industry and often have an advantage in the job market, due to the applied nature of the course and the transferrable skills they have been equipped with.

Following this degree you may choose to work in consultancy, regulatory authorities or government environmental agencies across the world. You may also decide to conduct further research and complete a PhD.

Former students can be found working for the likes of Network Rail, Mott McDonald, Natural Resources Wales, Environment Agency England, WSP, Ove Arup, Atkins and numerous other specialist geo-environmental consultancies and agencies based around the UK.

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Goal of the pro­gramme. Sustaining a growing population on our dynamic planet requires deep understanding of geological and geophysical processes within the Earth, and of how they interact with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biota. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Sustaining a growing population on our dynamic planet requires deep understanding of geological and geophysical processes within the Earth, and of how they interact with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biota. The Master's Programme in Geology and Geophysics trains you to address pressing questions concerning our home planet's evolution, its role as the source of raw materials needed by modern civilisation, and environmental issues. Key questions include:

How can we decode Earth’s rock record to reveal the evolution of Earth’s crust and mantle over billions of years?

How do we make natural resource exploration and extraction more sustainable and environmentally friendly?

What can the Earth’s history tell us to help us forecast the impacts of climate change?

Where can we safely construct power plants or store nuclear waste?

The programme includes four specialist options: Petrology and Economic Geology; Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology; Palaeontology and Global Change; and Solid Earth Geophysics.

Upon completion of the programme, you will have gained expertise in a number of scientific and professional skills, including, depending on your specialist option:

  • Assessment of geological materials (minerals, rock types, bedrock, groundwater)
  • Understanding the genesis and sustainable use of mineral commodities
  • Sustainable use of the environment from the Earth Science perspective
  • Palaeontology and modelling global change using the geological record
  • The physical evolution of the Earth (plate tectonics, interplay of the mantle and crust)
  • Independent and team-driven project research
  • High-level scientific writing (M.Sc. thesis and related work)
  • Presentation of scientific results to scientists, students, and the general public

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

At the beginning of the advanced studies, you will familiarise yourself with the central research methods in the field. The studies consist of intensive learning in small groups on practical work courses, guided laboratory work on specialised courses, and tailored short-term courses led by international and Finnish experts. In addition, you will be able to take part are a variety of field courses and excursions (in Finland and beyond) to familiarise yourself with research topics in their natural surroundings.



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Our geotechnical engineering and engineering geology research is revolutionary worldwide. You will work with academics who are leaders in their field so that your research has a real impact on civil engineering. Read more
Our geotechnical engineering and engineering geology research is revolutionary worldwide. You will work with academics who are leaders in their field so that your research has a real impact on civil engineering.

By pursuing research in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences you will join an extremely successful research group focussing on geotechnical engineering and geology. Our mission is to foster, promote and conduct research of international quality. This means that we attract high quality graduates and researchers and train them to international standards.

Within the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences we have a research group focussed on geotechnics and structures, which deals with the fundamental concepts of material behaviour, construction and design technology. Our research has a central theme of Earth systems science engineering and management, focussing on the concepts of:
-Sustainability in construction
-Climate change and the effects on civil engineering

We provide MPhil and PhD supervision within the broad disciplines of geotechnical engineering and engineering geology. Our current research areas are:
-Seismic engineering and extreme loadings
-Slope stability
-Multi-phase flow and coupled multi-field analysis
-Soil modelling
-Waste minimisation and reuse
-Ground improvement
-Site characterisation

We also encourage multidisciplinary research, such as:
-Ground improvement and remediation
-In situ testing
-Geotechnical design
-Geotechnical processes in construction and the natural environment.

As a result of our research we have been able to revolutionise electrokinetic geosynthetics, self-boring pressuremeters, geothermal testing and construct a full-scale embankment for field experimentation.

Delivery

Off-campus study may be available in some circumstances, particularly if you have industrial sponsorship. Our programme includes intensive subject-specific supervision and training in research methodologies and core skills. You will also have an opportunity to undertake paid laboratory demonstrations and tutoring to gain teaching experience.

You will be taught by eminent academics who are experts in the field, such as:
-Dr Colin Davie, Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering
-Professor Peter Gosling, Professor of Computational Structural Mechanics
-Professor Stephanie Glendinning, Professor of Civil Engineering

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Environmental geology is a growing area of active research, because it provides insights into how the environment has evolved over geological time. Read more
Environmental geology is a growing area of active research, because it provides insights into how the environment has evolved over geological time. Through our modular course structure and use of web-based material for distance learning, we aim to provide up-to-date reviews of research topics across relevant aspects of the earth sciences.

Our teaching is informed by considerable research into environmental issues, which is ongoing in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Current research focuses on areas such as metal pollution, coastal erosion, mineralogy, earthquake prediction, palaeoclimatology and palaeontology.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Can be used as a qualifying year for MRes or PhD study.
Offered as part-time study at Birkbeck or you can study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world (check our distance-learning frequently asked questions for more information).
The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has strong links with University College London (UCL) Department of Earth Sciences. Together, the 2 departments form the UCL-Birkbeck Research School of Earth Sciences. The School offers excellent facilities for research in environmental geology and planetary geology, as well as traditional geological and geophysical research.

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Geology is an area of active research across a wide range of sub-disciplines. Through our modular course structure and use of web-based material for distance learning, we aim to provide up-to-date reviews of research topics across most aspects of the earth and planetary sciences. Read more
Geology is an area of active research across a wide range of sub-disciplines. Through our modular course structure and use of web-based material for distance learning, we aim to provide up-to-date reviews of research topics across most aspects of the earth and planetary sciences.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Can be used as a qualifying year for MRes or PhD study.
Offered as part-time study at Birkbeck or you can study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world (find out more about studying our distance learning courses).
An opportunity to take part in field classes to put your skills into practice (find out more about past fieldwork outings here).
The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is housed with the University College London (UCL) Department of Earth Sciences. Together, the 2 departments form the UCL-Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences. The Research School offers excellent facilities for research in environmental geology and planetary geology, as well as traditional geological and geophysical research.

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Join us for our. Master Open Day. to find out more about our courses. Please note. From 23 May 2017 we are not making any further offers on this course (starting in September) due to a high demand. Read more

Join us for our Master Open Day to find out more about our courses.

Please note: From 23 May 2017 we are not making any further offers on this course (starting in September) due to a high demand. However, you can still submit an application for review. If you meet the usual entry requirements, we will hold your application until we can assess whether further places can be offered. This will likely be the end of July-early August 2017 when we can be more confident of numbers. Please contact our if you have any questions.

This course provides concentrated one-year training in engineering geology and related geotechnical subjects to prepare you for professional practice in engineering geology and geotechnical engineering.

It gives you a grounding in the application of geological principles to a wide range of fields appropriate to civil and mining engineering.

Studying engineering geology will provide you with excellent job opportunities as a result of high calibre academic training, as well as the development of strong skills in terms of both critical and independent thought and team work.

Most of our graduates join environmental consulting companies and consulting engineers, while others go on to PhD studies.

Engineering Geologists

Engineering Geologists are found worldwide working on a wide range of problems, from foundation and mine design to the assessment of seismic and landslide risk.

Their understanding of how groundwater and pollutants travel through the ground may impact on the safe design and construction of excavations and waste disposal sites.

They use geological and geomorphological mapping to identify geological hazards and allow for safe development. Their understanding of the ground and how it responds to static and dynamic loads can influence safe and sustainable siting and design of engineering structures.

It is vital that we design and build in a manner which is safe, environmentally friendly, cost effective and sensitive to climate change.

Engineering geologists, with a unique understanding of the ground, and a broad appreciation of rates of geological processes over engineering time, are intimately involved in this process.

Course highlights:

  • Your teaching will be delivered by the School of Earth and Environment with substantial input from the School of Civil Engineering.
  • The University frequently hosts the Yorkshire Geotechnical Group (Institution of Civil Engineers) and is involved with the Yorkshire Regional Group of the Geological Society.
  • Complete a 4 month individual dissertation project often involving organisations outside the University such as consulting engineers, civil engineering contractors and the British Geological Survey.
  • The School's £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities, many of which will be available to you throughout your studies.

Benefit from our strong connections with industry:

  • We have been training Engineering Geologists over 50 years and maintain links with alumni who can be found in many companies across the globe.
  • Industry colleagues contribute to the taught programme and an Industry Advisory Board informs the content of this course.

Accreditation

When you choose a degree with accredited status, you can be assured that the teaching is of the highest standard. The quality and relevance of our teaching has been recognised by an independent body of academics and industrialists through our Geological Society of London Professional Accreditation.

If you have an appropriate degree, our Geological Society accreditation will reduce the amount of experience required for you to reach Chartered Geologist (CGeol) status, an important career step in Geoscience.

Our designation as a “Technical MSc” through Engineering Council means that if you have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree, the degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). In addition the degree is also an accredited European Engineering degree. 



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This is a programme designed for graduates in the physical or environmental sciences, mathematics or engineering. Introducing your course. Read more

This is a programme designed for graduates in the physical or environmental sciences, mathematics or engineering.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MRes Marine Geology and Geophysics at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Marine Geology and Geophysics and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MRes Marine Geology and Geophysics.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Overview

MRes students spend two thirds of their year on their research project and the rest of their time taking taught modules. You can choose from a range of flexible pathways depending on your research interest. These currently include Exploration, Geodynamics, Coastal Processes, Palaeoceanography and Micro-palaeontology. You will develop specific knowledge and skills through your selection of modules and choice of subject for your research project.

The programme is taught by staff from across NOCS who draw on their cutting edge research to create a challenging and stimulating degree programme. You will also be encouraged to attend our research seminars, some delivered by leading visiting scientists.

View the programme specification document for this course



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Engineering geological expertise is critical to all types of civil engineering projects such as tunnels, dams, mines, quarries, offshore platforms and wind farms. Read more

Why take this course?

Engineering geological expertise is critical to all types of civil engineering projects such as tunnels, dams, mines, quarries, offshore platforms and wind farms.

This course provides you with the advanced skills to carry out detailed investigations into surface and subsurface geology, identification of adverse ground conditions and the design of suitable remedial measures of engineering structures.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Be taught by internationally recognised experts with extensive expertise in engineering geology and geotechnics
Gain experience of environmental assessment techniques, plus a range of other skills such as mapping using GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies
Go on numerous fieldtrips, both locally and overseas, to undergo specialist field training

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is accredited by the Geological Society of London. It offers advanced professional and scientific training providing an accelerated route for you to attain Chartered Status, such as Chartered Geologist (CGeol) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) on graduation.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Aid organisations
Environmental organisations
Offshore work
Civil sector roles
Mining
Insurance companies

Module Details

You can opt to take this course in full-time or part-time mode.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part comprises of the lecture, workshop, practical and field work elements of the course, followed by a five-month independent research project. The course is a mixture of taught units and research project covering topics including site investigation, soil mechanics and rock mechanics, geotechnical engineering design, contaminated land, slope stability and rock engineering.

Here are the units you will study:

Rock and Soil Mechanics: These topics are integral to the role of an engineering geologist. You will gain an advanced understanding of the geo-mechanical behaviour of rocks and soils and how they behave under different geotechnical design scenarios. You will also develop key skills in the assessment, description and testing of geological materials in order to understand and quantify their behaviour, using current British and Eurocode standards.

Soil and Rock Engineering: This unit will give you an advanced understanding of engineering and design in soils and rock masses, including fundamental design principles associated with common geotechnical solutions encountered on engineering geological and civil engineering projects.

Contaminated Land and Groundwater: These are important considerations in all types of construction and so an understanding of both is essential. You will learn key techniques for the identification and assessment of contaminated land and groundwater resources in an engineering geological context.

Ground Models: You will train in the development of geological ground models and geomorphological terrain models within the content of engineering geological practice, essential parts of any investigation.

Ground Investigation Techniques: You will gain advanced experience of ground investigation using invasive techniques, in-situ tests and geophysical methods – essential to an engineering geologist's skill base.

Landslides and Slope Instability: On this unit you will develop an advanced understanding of landslide systems, types of slides in soils and rocks and methods for identification and numerical analysis.

Field Reconnaissance and Geomorphological Mapping: The techniques covered on this unit are integral to the course and an essential skill for any graduate wishing to work in this area. You will have fieldwork training in techniques such as geomorphological mapping and walk-over surveys combined with interpretation of remote sensing and aerial photography imagery.

Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing: On this unit you will cover the key tools for terrain evaluation and be trained in the acquisition and interpretation of aerial photography and satellite imagery, and the integration and analysis of spatial datasets using GIS.

Independent Research Project: This give you the opportunity to undertake an original piece of research to academic or industrial standards, typically in collaboration with research staff in the department or external industry partners. In addition to submission of a thesis report, you also present the results of your project at the annual postgraduate conference held at the end of September.

Programme Assessment

The course provides a balanced structure of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will learn through hands-on practical sessions designed to give you the skills in laboratory, computer and field techniques. The course also includes extensive field work designed to provide field mapping and data collection skills.

Assessment is varied, aimed at developing skills relevant to a range of working environments. Here’s how we assess your work:

Poster and oral presentations
Project reports
Literature reviews
Lab reports
Essays

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