Masters degrees in Seismology & Tectonics offer advanced study of the processes affecting large-scaled movement, adjustment and deformation of the Earth’s crust, and their influence on natural disasters.
Related subjects include Volcanology and Mantle & Core Processes. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Geography, Geology or Environmental Science.
Courses in Seismotectonics equip you with the skills to determine processes in the Earth’s crust, in the palaeotectonic and neotectonic periods. This means studying past properties, events and processes and the development of Geological structures over (often vast periods of) time
Some of the processes you may explore include faulting (significant displacement), orogenesis (the formation of mountain ranges), earthquakes and seismicity, tsunamis and sedimentation. This includes an analysis of diverse seismic sources such as volcanic, tectonic, oceanic, atmospheric, and artificial processes such as explosions.
Practical training may include terrain evaluation techniques such as GIS (geographical information systems) and remote sensing. For example, you might investigate and quantify the seismic hazard of a specific area thorough numerical hazard modelling, simulation and risk assessment techniques.
Careers include roles in aid organisations, environmental agencies, civil sector roles, mining and even insurance.
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:
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.
This course is one of the premier international applied petroleum geoscience courses. Since the inception of the course in 1985 its graduates have an unparalleled employment record in the petroleum industry both in the UK and worldwide. In addition our graduates are highly sought after for further PhD research in the petroleum geosciences.
● Recognised by NERC - 5 MSc studentships each year covering fees, fieldwork and maintenance.
● Recognised by Industry - Industry scholarships
● We offer highly focused teaching and training by internationally recognised academic experts as well as by visiting staff from the petroleum industry.
The course covers the applications of basin dynamics and evolution to hydrocarbon exploration and production. The course is modular in form providing intensive learning and training in geophysics, tectonics and structural geology, sequence stratigraphy and sedimentology, hydrocarbon systems, reservoir geology, remote sensing and applied geological fieldwork.
The MSc course provides ‘state of the art’ training in -
● 3D seismic interpretation and 3D visualization;
● Fault analysis and fault-sealing;
● Seismic sequence stratigraphy;
● Applied sedimentology;
● Well log analysis;
● Remote sensing analysis of satellite and radar imagery;
● Analysis of gravity and magnetic data;
● Numerical modelling of sedimentation and tectonics;
● Applied structural geology;
● Geological Fieldwork.
● Transferable skills learned during the course include
project planning, presentation techniques, report writing and compilation, team working skills, spreadsheet and statistical analyses, GIS methods as well as graphics and visualization techniques.
● The full time MSc course runs for 50 weeks. The first half comprises one and two week course modules as well as group projects and fieldwork. The second half of the MSc course consists of an individual research project usually carried out in conjunction with the petroleum industry or related institutions such as international geological surveys.
● Part time study over 24 months is also available
● Each year independent projects are arranged with new data sets from industry – some students work in the offices of the company whereas other may use our excellent in-house facilities. All independent projects are supervised by faculty members with additional industry supervision where appropriate.
Facilities include –
● Dedicated Modern Teaching Laboratories
● 14 Dual Screen Unix Seismic Workstations
● PC and Macintosh Workstations
● Internationally Recognised Structural Modelling Laboratories
● Advanced Sedimentological Laboratories
The MSc course also greatly benefits from dynamic interaction with internationally recognised research groups within the Geology Department including –
● Project EAGLE – Evolution of the African and Arabian rift system – Professor Cindy Ebinger
● Southeast Asia Research Group – Tectonic Evolution and Basin Development in SE Asia – Professor Robert Hall
● Numerical Modelling Research Group – Numerical Modelling of Tectonics and Sedimentation – Dr Dave Waltham
● Fault Dynamics Research Group – Dynamics of Fault Systems in Sedimentary Basins – Professor Ken McClay
The 2005 MSc graduates went on to employment with Shell, BP, Amerada Hess, Gaz de France, OMV (Austria), Star Energy, First Africa Oil, Badley Ashton, ECL, PGS, Robertsons, PGL, Aceca, and to PhD research at Royal Holloway and Barcelona.
Since 2001, 85% of our graduates have gone in to work in the oil industry, 10% into geological research and 5% into environmental/engineering jobs.
Accommodation is available on campus in en-suite study bedrooms grouped in flats of eight, each with a communal kitchen and dining space.
Subsistence Costs ~£9,000 pa (including Hall of Residence fees of c. £4,500 for a full year)
APPLICATIONS can be made on line at http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Registry/Admissions/applyonline.html
The hydrocarbon industry is crucial to provide us with domestic energy, transportation, plastics and other everyday needs. Petroleum Geoscience by Distance Learning with the University of London lets you earn a Masters degree in this booming sector which fits around your work or family commitments.
Choose from a range of course modules to tailor your learning, studying online over a period of years to earn your MSc. This flexible programme lets you choose between the standard course structure, a postgraduate diploma or a series of individual taught courses, letting you fit your studies around your daily life.
You’ll graduate with a Masters degree from the University of London by studying with the University of London International Programmes featuring academic direction from the renowned Royal Holloway Department of Earth Sciences, which is consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10. The programme finishes with a one-week field trip and research project, letting you contribute to our leading research culture while you develop your skills and knowledge.
Royal Holloway is recognised as one of the world’s premier training centres for the hydrocarbon industry, and has run a Petroleum Geoscience MSc programme since 1985. We’ve established invaluable links within the industry while helping over 600 graduates from 32 countries progress into rewarding careers in the Earth Sciences. Study Petroleum Geoscience (by Distance Learning) to enhance your career development without the need for full-time study.
PLEASE NOTE: All applications must be made through the University of London International Programmes website University of London application.
If you have an interest in the earth in relation to minerals extraction Geophysics has plenty of scope to get involved in the profession itself and expertise required to explore different types of terrain but in a newly evolving landscape of assistive technology companies offering the latest methods of discovering production and risk issues beneath the earths surface. You learn these latest methods of finding out data to understand risk and potential engineering issues in difficult to reach places. Signal processing uses the latest advances in sensor development to set up an alert system to monitor specific areas which are normally difficult to reach. Seismic processing looks at how the earth moves not only in times of earthquakes but natural movement from chemical reactions beneath the surface of the earth.
Borehole extraction is used in mineral extraction but also to determine if reserves are live or loading is safe and much and more. The skills you learn apply equally to current and future mineral extraction as they do to land and sea where extraction has historically taken place and where there is application for a different use from a remediated coal mine for example where loading can be critical to risk for future use. The programme equips you with skills in hydrocarbon, minerals and associated industries or research. You understand structure from near surface to deep interior learning from geophysical data analysis and interpretation.
Earth Physics, Structure and Processes
Seismic Reflection Processing, Imaging and Quantitative Interpretation
Time Series Analysis and Signal Processing
Geophysical Inverse Theory and Statistics
Seismology and Earth Imaging
Field Geophysical Data Acquisition
Borehole Geophysics', Including Petrophysics and Well- Log Analysis
Topics in Advanced Applied Geophysics
Project in Geophysics
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
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*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page
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