Masters degrees in Geophysics offer advanced study of the physical structure and dynamics of the Earth using quantitative methods.
Related subjects include Exploration Geophysics, and Petroleum Geophysics. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Geography, Geology or Environmental Science.
Courses in Physical Geology offer a broad understanding of Earth’s shape, composition and surface expressions. From gravitational and magnetic fields, through to plate tectonics and rock formation, you can explore a range of physical, chemical, biological and biochemical processes on Earth.
It is possible on some courses to specialise in areas such as Meteorology, Volcanology and Hydrogeology. Within these you might explore topics such as the generation of magmas, the movement of glaciers and the impact of extra-terrestrial objects colliding with the Earth’s surface.
Geophysics has a range of industrial and humanitarian applications, including the excavation of minerals and resources such as fuel, environmental and archaeological assessment, engineering and site investigation.
Careers are therefore highly varied, and may include regulation and policy-making across areas such as the environment, sustainable development and urban planning.
Geophysics is the remote study of the Earth's interior through physical techniques – principally analysing seismic data, but also applying gravity, magnetic, electrical and electromagnetic methods.
It is a key element of oil, gas and mineral exploration, environmental and archaeological assessment, and engineering site investigation.
This course prepares you to embark on a career in resource exploration, environmental and engineering geophysics.
Running continuously for over 50 years it is very firmly established and has strong links to industry. It provides you with a broad range of practical skills, underpinned by a theoretical understanding that equips you to become a professional in your chosen field.
You will also undertake a four-month individual project, mostly in association with an external company or institute and often in their offices.
Demand for geophysicists continues to be high and this well-established course has an exceptionally good record of job placement for both UK/EU and overseas students.
You will study 8 taught modules and an individual project.
Taught modules cover a broad range of geophysical disciplines as applied to resource, environmental and engineering industries.
The individual project is the most challenging and exciting part of the course. It runs from May to September and tests your skills in applying the experiences acquired over the year to a specific problem.
Most projects have an association with an exploration company or other external organisation and you could work alongside geoscience professionals in the offices of industrial partners.
Projects typically include investigations of specific geological prospects, comparisons of novel seismic processing algorithms and integrated geophysical investigations from basin to quarry scale.
Be taught by leading academic geoscientists, with input from industry experts throughout the course.
Learn through field-based and practical-based (individual and group) training, while your lectures and seminars are supplemented by desk-based and workstation-based practicals and fieldwork.
The School's £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities.
As a Masters student you will have access to specific facilities as well as the general facilities available through the School and the University.
Ongoing investment in leading geophysical survey equipment means that you can effectively demonstrate and practise a range of techniques in the field including shooting seismic reflection surveys.
Equipment includes seismic, gravity, magnetics, GPR, resistivity/IP, EM, GPS/positioning. These datasets are subsequently used in your classroom/computer exercises to establish a practical link between field practice and data quality and interpretability.
A dedicated computer lab containing a suite of high-powered computers enhances your learning experience by providing you with access to a comprehensive range of industry-standard geophysical processing and interpretation software packages, e.g. MESA, SeisSpace/ProMAX®, KINGDOM, Petrel™, Geosoft and RokDoc.
You can use these for individual projects, or in workstation-based teaching sessions. The software will also facilitate your individual and team-based exercises designed to simulate industry practice, e.g. processing a reflection seismic line, assessing a hydrocarbon prospect for a drilling/ license bid.
You will be assessed on your written exams, coursework (both in-class and independently completed), project report writing and group presentations.
Strong links with industry reinforce this vocational Masters degree, helping you to develop a grounded perspective, as well as providing you with recruitment possibilities.
In addition to the industrial experience of many School staff and contributions from University of Leeds geoscience spin-out companies, you will have numerous contacts with industry representatives throughout the year.
We have many visits from energy, geophysical acquisition, processing and software companies, primarily to engage with you and recruit Masters students throughout their degree. These visits include recruitment information, technical showcases and case studies of integrated geoscience in practice, as well as opportunities for you to network with geoscience professionals.
You will have the opportunity to attend the EAGE (European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers) annual meeting in May/June. This provides you with a chance to find out about the latest technological developments and to meet industry experts, including potential employers.
Your summer project is mostly carried out either with collaborating companies or institutes. These projects are linked to current activities, representing actual problems for which a research or business outcome is sought. Some are field-based: with placements often overseas, while others result in journal publications or conference presentations. The projects finish with an Open Day where you will present your work to a range of industry visitors.
Demand for geophysicists has always been high. A Masters is generally considered an appropriate level to embark on a career in resource exploration and the course at Leeds has an exceptionally good record of job placement for both UK/EU and overseas students.
Many energy, and service-sector companies target the course directly for recruitment with numerous company visits through the year. Other opportunities arise from project placements, the EAGE, or the September Open Day of project seminars and presentations, with which the programme closes.
Most students join energy or minerals companies, or geophysical acquisition, processing, interpretation or software companies.
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.
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.
Develop personal skills and a professionalism that will make you employable, as well as increasing your knowledge and technical ability.
You will take 9 months of taught classes, followed by approximately 3 months of independent research and dissertation writing in association with industry or research collaborators.
Carry-out free fieldwork, which forms an integral part of the course, and is directly linked to learning outcomes in the classroom. Besides local visits, there is a 6-day trip to South West England and a 12-day visit to the Spanish Pyrenees.
Some of the modules you will study are spread over 2 semesters, while most are short and intensive. They are devised to develop your advanced understanding of key topics (including large scale tectonics, basin evolution and reservoir scale deformation) and your technical ability through the use of industry-leading software.
Begin, by reviewing the fundamentals of structural geology, maps, and mathematics before moving onto the more advanced modules.
You’ll receive advanced training in structural geology and tectonics, in geological model construction, and the practical application of structural geology. And gain training in interpreting seismic data and the principals underlying data acquisition and processing.
You’ll also undertake professional and research level training in structural geology and basin evolution from regional, to basin, to reservoir/deposit scale.
In semester 2, you can choose from hydrocarbon or mining modules.
Teaching is varied, with some of your modules being very practical based e.g. fieldwork, presentations, learning new software. While other methods are tutorial or lecture based. You will also have the opportunity to work individually or as a group. Regardless of method, you will be supported by substantial online learning material.
The School of Earth and Environment’s £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities. As a Masters student, you will have access to a 3D visualisation suite, and to your own dedicated computer facilities, which runs industry standard software.
Industry standard software:
Given the variety of learning outcomes and teaching methods, you will be assessed differently between modules but generally assessed on a combination of presentations, practicals and/or formal examinations.
We have very strong links with industry, which you’ll benefit from throughout the year. This includes the provision of scholarships, data for dissertation projects, teaching of short courses and free licenses for industry standard software.