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Masters Degrees in Geophysics, United Kingdom

We have 16 Masters Degrees in Geophysics, United Kingdom

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Your programme of study. Read more

Your programme of study

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.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Earth Physics, Structure and Processes
  • Seismic Reflection Processing, Imaging and Quantitative Interpretation
  • Time Series Analysis and Signal Processing
  • Geophysical Inverse Theory and Statistics

Semester 2

  • Seismology and Earth Imaging
  • Field Geophysical Data Acquisition
  • Borehole Geophysics', Including Petrophysics and Well- Log Analysis
  • Topics in Advanced Applied Geophysics

Semester 3

  • Project in Geophysics

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • You will gain hands on experience within our facilities with a large range of relevant equipment
  • Join the Aberdeen Geological Society for guest lectures and learning and networking opportunities
  • Study in a department ranked no 1 in Scotland for Earth Sciences
  • We research Earth Science over time, with strengths in Geology, Sedimentology, Geochemistry and more.

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full time
  • 12 Months
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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

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

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.

Course highlights:

  • Network with energy, geophysical acquisition, processing and software companies, who visit regularly to engage and recruit our students.
  • Complete a 4 month individual project, mostly in association with an external company or institute and often in their offices.
  • Access our state-of-the-art computer suite that runs a comprehensive range of industry-standard software on hi-spec twin-screen workstations.
  • Develop your field skills with our sector-leading portfolio of field geophysical equipment.
  • Apply for a scholarship – we have a large number of School and dedicated external (industry) scholarships for UK/EU applicants.


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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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The MSc in Reservoir Evaluation and Management (REM) is a unique combination of Reservoir Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering centred around the individual reservoir rather than the wider regional geology (which is covered in our sister programme MSc Petroleum Geoscience). Read more
The MSc in Reservoir Evaluation and Management (REM) is a unique combination of Reservoir Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering centred around the individual reservoir rather than the wider regional geology (which is covered in our sister programme MSc Petroleum Geoscience). The REM masters degree focuses on equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to develop predictive models of the reservoir.

Most development decisions in oil companies are based on the predictions of computer models of the subsurface. The Reservoir Evaluation and Management MSc teaches students the most effective ways to combine the geology, geophysics and reservoir engineering disciplines in order to develop and run computer models which provide the most robust predictions.

More information about the MSc is available in Heriot-Watt's online prospectus:
http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/prog/msc-reservoir-evaluation-and-management/

About the programme

The main objective of the MSc programme is to provide a thorough training in aspects of reservoir geology, geophysics and engineering related to the appraisal and development of subsurface hydrocarbon resources.

The programme is deliberately intensive, typically consisting of working a full 5 days per week of lectures and practical work, including labs or tutorial exercises designed to teach practical work, in addition to learning theory. The programme also includes two field trips to observe geology in the field for those with and without prior geological experience.

The most challenging and fulfilling aspect of the Reservoir Evaluation and Management programme is the project skills, particularly the team project, where students are tasked to propose a development plan for a real field. The project integrates all the learning in reservoir geosciences and engineering disciplines and reinforces the learning through team work.

Topics covered:
=============
• Reservoir concepts
• Reservoir sedimentology
• Rock mechanics, geomechanics and geophysics
• Formation evaluation
• Well testing and production logging
• Geological Modelling and management
• Reservoir engineering
• Reservoir simulation

For more information on the programme content, including course descriptions, please visit: http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/prog/msc-reservoir-evaluation-and-management/

Professional recognition

The programme is accredited by the Energy Institute.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the Reservoir Evaluation and Management MSc are highly sought after by all major oil and gas operators and service companies worldwide. They go on to work in a variety of roles, including Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering. The programme also provides an excellent springboard for graduates wishing to pursue a career in research.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We offer a range of English language courses: http://www.hw.ac.uk/study/english.htm

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The Applied Petroleum Geoscience programme is a unique programme in subsurface geoscience and exploration at Heriot-Watt University. Read more
The Applied Petroleum Geoscience programme is a unique programme in subsurface geoscience and exploration at Heriot-Watt University.

This year-long MSc mainly focuses on petroleum geoscience, but it is closely linked with other MSc programmes and research groups in petroleum engineering and reservoir geology at Heriot-Watt's Institute of Petroleum Engineering. The programme is also applicable to non-petroleum subsurface geoscience subjects, such as CO2 storage and groundwater flow.

More information about the MSc is available in Heriot-Watt's online prospectus: http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/prog/msc-petroleum-geoscience-petgeo-/

About the programme

The MSc in Applied Petroleum Geoscience provides students with a thorough training in aspects of subsurface geology, geophysics and geo-engineering, relating to the exploration, appraisal and development of subsurface resources.

Although the programme mainly focuses on exploration for hydrocarbon resources, and delineation of hydrocarbon reservoirs in the subsurface, the skills and knowledge learned in this subject are applicable to all subsurface geoscience areas, including groundwater exploration, waste disposal or CO2 sequestration.

Project work, both as groups and individually is part of the programme. Two fieldtrips are also a permanent part of the course.

Topics covered:
=============
• Reservoir Concepts
• Petroleum Basins
• Formation Evaluation
• Reservoir Sedimentology
• Geomechanics and Flow Mechanics
• Petroleum Systems Analysis
• Petroleum Geophysics
• Stratigraphy and Reservoir Quality

For more information on the programme content, including course descriptions, please visit: https://www.hw.ac.uk/study/uk/postgraduate/petroleum-geoscience-petgeo.htm

Professional recognition

The Applied Petroleum Geoscience MSc is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and Energy Institute (EI).

Career opportunities

Recent graduates of the Applied Petroleum Geoscience MSc have gone into further research or to work in geoscience departments of major oil and gas companies as well as industry service organisations, contractors and small local companies. Companies who have employed some of the past students include Shell and Petroceltic here in the UK, and a number of other companies worldwide including Tullow, GNPC, and Total.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We offer a range of English language courses: http://www.hw.ac.uk/study/english.htm

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Overview. Our MSc in Geoscience Research is a research-focused postgraduate taught master's course with industry and international placement opportunities designed for a career in research, academia or a discipline related work setting. Read more

Overview

Our MSc in Geoscience Research is a research-focused postgraduate taught master's course with industry and international placement opportunities designed for a career in research, academia or a discipline related work setting.

The course consists of six modules spread over three semesters, including an extensive research project in geoscience, environmental science or physical geography.

Project areas range from applied and environmental geophysics to igneous petrology, volcanology, Quaternary environments, palaeoclimates, palaeoceanography, biogeochemistry, landscape ecology, sedimentology, palaeontology, renewable and alternative energy, and petroleum geoscience.

A distinct feature of this master’s programme is the opportunity for UK students to complete a placement at one of several European, North American and Asian partner institutions, all of which have established research links with Keele staff. However, as a UK student, you can also choose to carry out your research project here at Keele or in collaboration with local or UK-based industry. As an international student, you will undertake your research and placement at Keele University under the supervision of international experts in their chosen research area.

The emphasis on the substantial ‘hands on’ research training with the provision of an international placement option makes this programme unique within the Higher Education Sector in the UK and will thus increase your employability. We believe that this will help to develop future employees with an international outlook.

The MSc Geoscience Research programme at Keele offers the added value of the Distinctive Keele Curriculum (DKC), which develops students' intellectual, personal and professional capabilities (Keele Graduate Attributes) through both subject-specific and generic workshops and activities.

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/geoscienceresearch/

Course Aims

The principal aim of this Masters course is to develop your generic and specific research skills in an area of the Geosciences or related scientific disciplines, which will enhance your employment prospects. On completion of the programme you will:

- Have a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the chosen research area in Geosciences;

- Gain a conceptual understanding to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline area;

- Be able to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses;

- Possess developed scientific skills and knowledge, and transferable skills, in a UK-based or international workplace setting;

- Have a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your own research;

- Attain organisational and commercial awareness.

For those students undertaking a placement/research project in Europe the work and achievement on the programme will be documented in the EU Europass, a record of achievement signed by all parties. All students are required to pursue the University’s ‘Realise’ scheme which enables them to identify their personal and professional skills and development needs.

Course Content

The MSc programme is full-time for 12 months, starting in September.

The programme comprises six modules including a research project/placement which is undertaken either at Keele University or on placement with a host institution overseas:

- Research Skills (30 credits)

- Literature Review (15 credits)

- Modern Language Module* or Academic English for Postgraduate Students** or Geoscience Option Module*** (15 credits)

- Research Project Design and Management (30 credits)

- Dissertation (90 credits)

*Students undertaking their research project at a host institution overseas will choose a modern language module or a language and culture module for their international placement.

**International students for whom English is not their first language will take Academic English for Postgraduate Students to further improve their English language skills.

*** UK/Native English speaking international students undertaking their research project at Keele University or a host institution in the UK can take a selected Geoscience option module relevant to their research area. These may include: Natural Hazards; Glaciers & Glacial Geomorphology; Global Environmental Change; Water Resources; Hydrological & Engineering Geology; Structure and Geodynamics; Economic Geology; Advanced Topics in Sedimentology; Exploration Geophysics for the Hydrocarbon Industry; Petroleum Geology; Volcanic and Magmatic Processes.

Teaching & Assessment

You will be taught by experienced, well qualified and enthusiastic staff. All of the staff are research active within the discipline, accomplished at working on research funded work both nationally and internationally. The programme team are enthusiastic to share their teaching, research and professional experience to help you achieve success in your studies.

You will complete formal assessment on all modules. Assessments will include presentations, reflective diary, reports, reviews, portfolio and a dissertation. During your placement this will include keeping an extensive record of the training attended and skills obtained, with a reflective report (for the research training portfolio), as well as a dissertation on the project undertaken during the placement.

The research project/dissertation is based on the submission of a 20,000-25,000 word report that is undertaken in conjunction with an academic supervisor and, where appropriate, an industrial collaborator.

Additional Costs

There will be additional costs in terms of living expenses, travel and insurance related with the placement if you choose to undertake your research project with an overseas host institution. The amount required will be dependent on the cost of living associated with certain countries.

UK Students choosing a placement research project in an EU member state will be eligible to apply for an ERASMUS scholarship.

Employment Case Studies

Our research-focused course with industry and international placement opportunities leads our graduates into a diverse range of careers.

Our students have chosen careers in research, academia or a discipline related work setting, including geotechnical and environmental consultancies, and local, regional, national or multi-national corporations.

For examples of what graduates are doing now, see here - https://www.keele.ac.uk/gge/applicants/postgraduatetaughtcourses/mscgeoscienceresearch/employmentcasestudies/

Find information on Scholarships here - http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/



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Your programme of study. This course is ideally situated to take advantage of the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen city and its industry experts who also have a strong input into the programme content and structure. Read more

Your programme of study

This course is ideally situated to take advantage of the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen city and its industry experts who also have a strong input into the programme content and structure. This combination of academic overview and industry expertise ensures that you have a good range of skills and knowledge which is applicable to the global oil and gas and energy market so ideal if you are international or work or want to work internationally. Your skills are ideally placed to scope out maximising oil field recovery from declining field areas on top of upstream geoscience knowledge from initial exploration to mature and declining field recovery.

Aberdeen has been running this programme since 1973 to the current day, learning with the energy industry which is located in Aberdeen itself. This means that the programme is not only robust drawing on historical learning relevant to the current day, but highly regarded internationally. This strength of knowledge feeds down directly to you as a student and afterwards as a highly trained professional within the energy market.

Regarded as the best of its kind in the world the programme gives you vocational training in geoscience skills for minerals exploration and production, including: seismic interpretation, petrophysical analysis, geochemical evaluation, sedimentology, structural analysis, and reservoir modelling.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Geophysics and Petrophysics
  • Applied Sedimentology

Semester 2

  • Production Geology
  • Regional Exploration
  • Professional Skills Incorporating Field Trip

Semester 3

  • Project in Integrated Petroleum Geosciences

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • One of the best in the world in the heart of the European oil industry in Aberdeen
  • The programme focuses on upstream geoscience from initial exploration to recovering declining fields
  • You learn how to work in multidisciplinary teams involved in hydrocarbon exploration
  • You join 98% of graduates in the past decade employed immediately in the oil and gas industry

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full time
  • 12 Months
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. Read more
Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. This programme provides an excellent opportunity for you to develop and enhance your general, transferable and specialist research skills. You will gain insight into different research methods and acquire valuable experience of conducting large-scale research projects.

Our key research interests include: igneous petrology and geochemistry; sedimentology; environmental geochemistry and mineralogy; stratigraphy and palaeontology; structural geology; geophysics; palaeoclimatology; planetary geology; and earthquake studies.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In our joint submission with UCL, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck were rated 6th the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), while we achieved 100% for an environment conducive to research of the highest quality.

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Programme description. This MSc is aimed at students who wish to pursue a geosciences-related career in the future energy sector, as it transitions from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy. Read more

Programme description

This MSc is aimed at students who wish to pursue a geosciences-related career in the future energy sector, as it transitions from fossil fuels to a low carbon economy. The aim is to offer a programme that uses subsurface (geological) knowledge opening a diverse range of career pathways in lower carbon geoenergy technologies; the disposal of energy-related wastes and the hydrocarbon industry.

This MSc programme builds on the strength and reputation of the research groups operating in the School of GeoSciences on uses of the subsurface: carbon capture and storage (CCS); radioactive waste disposal; energy storage and extraction; unconventional and conventional hydrocarbons; wet and dry geothermal heat; and subsurface fluid tracing using noble gases and stable isotopes.

Programme structure

Compulsory courses (for students who have accredited prior learning, elective courses are taken in lieu) – 90 credits

  • Future Geoenergy Resources
  • Applied Hydrogeology and Near surface Geophysics
  • Hydrogeology 2
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Project Design and Literature Analysis
  • Carbon Storage and Monitoring

Compulsory Courses – for those with Geoscience background – 20 credits

  • Subsurface Reservoir Quality

Compulsory Courses – for those without Geoscience background – 20 credits

  • Geology for Earth Resources
  • Hydrocarbons

Optional courses: choice of 10 credits from following

  • Ore Mineralogy, Petrology & Geochemistry
  • Seismic Reflection Interpretation
  • Carbon Capture and Transport
  • Helmsdale MSc Field Excursion
  • Environmental Problems and Issues
  • Nuclear Waste Management: Principles, Policies & Practice

Compulsory Dissertation

  • Dissertation in Applied Geoscience (Geoenergy)

Career opportunities

This programme will train students in the use of subsurface geological knowledge opening a diverse range of career pathways in lower carbon geoenergy technologies and the disposal of energy-related wastes. These include radioactive waste disposal; carbon capture and storage; geothermal energy and subsurface energy storage including compressed air energy storage.

Other pathways include working in environmental and regulatory aspects of energy storage involving potential pollution; tracking subsurface fluids in the event of leakage from subsurface facilities and ground water resources.



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Geotechnical engineering examines the engineering behaviour of earth materials and is relevant to all engineering and construction practices that are concerned with the ground on both a surface level and within it. Read more

Geotechnical engineering examines the engineering behaviour of earth materials and is relevant to all engineering and construction practices that are concerned with the ground on both a surface level and within it. Geotechnical engineers investigate the ground and measure the chemical properties, evaluate the stability of the area and design earthworks and structure foundations enabling projects to take place.

The programme is multi-disciplinary in nature, and provides students with the knowledge of rock engineering, site investigation, data capture and data analysis required to understand the issues facing engineers excavating increasingly ambitious and complex underground spaces. This course is relevant to students entering or working in a range of engineering careers within the construction, environmental and extractive industries.

Featured content draws upon the unique expertise of the Camborne School of Mines, with strengths in the areas of rock mechanics and underground excavation, as well as specialist knowledge of working in extreme conditions and with high-stress or difficult ground.

Delivered by staff with strong research interests directly related to the topics covered, modules involve a broad range of activities and teaching delivery methods. This includes workshops using the latest industry relevant computational tools, practical activities and group and individual exercises.

In support of this research-led teaching, key experts from the extractive and construction industry will provide topical insight to the state of the industry and clarify the context for the theory covered in the lectures.

Modules

Please note constituent modules and pathways may be updated, deleted or replaced in future years as a consequence of programme development. Details at any time may be obtained from the programme website.

  • Project and Dissertation;
  • Excavation and Geomechanics
  • Hydrogeology
  • GIS and Remote Sensing

Optional modules include;

  • Health and safety in the extractive industry
  • Project management
  • Surface extractive design
  • Mine planning design
  • Underground excavation design
  • Soil and water contamination
  • Underground construction
  • Site investigation including near surface geophysics

Learning and teaching

Teaching and assessment

The programme is delivered through a mix of lectures, workshops, tutorials, practical activities, case studies, industry visits, computer simulations, project work and a dissertation. The taught part of the programme is structured into two semesters. Field visits and practical field-based assignments are used, where appropriate, to emphasise key areas within each module.

A research- and practice-led culture

We believe every student benefits from being taught by experts active in research and practice. You will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics.

Students are encouraged to undertake projects directly linked with industry, which may result in industrial placements for their project period.



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The hydrocarbon industry is one of our most important sectors, helping to cater for needs as diverse as domestic energy, transportation and plastics manufacturing. Read more

The hydrocarbon industry is one of our most important sectors, helping to cater for needs as diverse as domestic energy, transportation and plastics manufacturing. Our flexible MSc in Petroleum Geoscience provides you with the ideal training for a career in the hydrocarbon industry and related sectors. 

Our teaching on Petroleum Geoscience at Royal Holloway, University of London is informed by leading research and links to the international oil industry, meaning that you’ll benefit from the most relevant, up-to-date learning. The programme lets you select from a range of course modules to tailor your learning to your own preferences and ambitions.  

You’ll study in the renowned Department of Earth Sciences, which is consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016) – contributing towards our leading research culture with your own Independent Research Project. You’ll become a part of a vibrant international graduate community, and make use of our extensive range of modern facilities as you work towards a rewarding future career. 

Our Petroleum Geoscience MSc has run since 1985, and has become recognised as one of the world’s premier training centres for the hydrocarbon industry. We’ve established excellent industry links, and have helped over 600 graduates from 32 countries progress into rewarding careers. Study Petroleum Geoscience at Royal Holloway and you’ll graduate with excellent employment prospects in a well-paid sector with job opportunities across the globe.

  • Benefit from a pioneering research culture, with 94% of Department of Earth Sciences research ranked world-leading or internationally excellent – no.2 in the UK. (REF 2014)
  • Graduate with a Masters degree from a department consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016).
  • Study a programme internationally recognised as one of the industry’s best.
  • Graduate with excellent employability prospects in the UK and overseas.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Tectonics and Lithosphere Dynamics
  • Geophysical Analysis
  • Structural Analysis
  • Petroleum Systems
  • Independent Project

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

You will take either Sedimentology and Regional Tectonic Analysis or Reservoir Geoscienceand Advanced Structural Analysis.

  • Sedimentology
  • Regional Tectonic Analysis
  • Reservoir Geoscience
  • Advanced Structural Analysis

Teaching & assessment

The taught course units are assessed by a combination of written exams and coursework. Each of the six units comprises 10% of the total assessment for the MSc course. The remaining 40% of the assessment comes from the Independent Research Project.

Your future career

Petroleum Geoscience at Royal Holloway, University of London was first established in 1985, giving us ample time to build valuable links with the international oil industry. We’re now recognised worldwide as one of the hydrocarbon industry’s premier training facilities, having helped more than 600 graduates from 32 countries progress into rewarding careers in the Earth Sciences. 

This flexible Masters programme will equip you with a range of skills and knowledge necessary to achieve a fulfilling career in a sector with many well-paid career opportunities in the UK and abroad. There is huge demand for well qualified petroleum geoscientists, and as we’re considered world leaders in the field, you’ll graduate as a highly desirable candidate for employers in a variety of sectors. 

  • Jobs fairs, skills workshops and visits from industry representatives provide students with excellent career opportunities.
  • 90% of graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • Graduate with a desirable Masters degree from a recognised world-leader in the hydrocarbon industry.


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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. Read more

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. 

  • Benefit from a pioneering research culture, with 94% of Department of Earth Sciences research ranked world-leading or internationally excellent – no.2 in the UK (REF 2014).
  • Graduate with a Masters degree developed and taught by a department consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016).
  • Study a programme recognised internationally as one of the industry’s best.
  • Benefit from adaptable part-time learning fitted around your daily life.

Course structure

  • Tectonics and Lithosphere Dynamics
  • Geophysical Analysis
  • Structural Analysis
  • Petroleum Systems
  • Sedimentology
  • Reservoir Geoscience
  • Independent Project

Teaching & assessment

Full details of the assessment process can be found on the University of London International Programmes website.

This course may be studied up to 5 years part-time.

Your future career

Petroleum Geoscience (by Distance Learning) lets you earn a desirable Masters degree while studying part-time alongside employment. You’ll graduate with excellent employment prospects in a sector with many well-paid career opportunities in the UK and abroad, as well as the option to progress into further postgraduate study. 

Royal Holloway, University of London has taught a Petroleum Geoscience programme since 1985, and it’s now recognised as one of the premier training facilities in the hydrocarbon industry. You’ll benefit from strong industry links, and a track record of helping 600 graduates from 32 countries progress to rewarding careers in the Earth Sciences.

  • The MSc is ideal for hydrocarbon industry professionals who wish to develop their knowledge and skills alongside their work;
  • Graduates will be trained in the skills needed to address a range of exploration and production challenges;
  • You'll join a worldwide network of alumni who are successful industry professionals in oil companies, geoscience IT, consultancy, and academia.

PLEASE NOTE: All applications must be made through the University of London International Programmes website University of London application.



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This MSc provides a broad introduction to geohazards, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology. Read more

This MSc provides a broad introduction to geohazards, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology. A key goal is to provide an essential grounding in quantitative modelling that can be widely applied to several fields, from pure research to the commercial sector.

About this degree

The programme provides an introduction to the spectrum and impact of geophysical hazards, and a focus on quantitative models for hazard forecasting and assessment. Selected case studies illustrate how these models are essential for improving decision-making during emergencies, for raising the awareness of vulnerable populations, and for evaluating and implementing mitigation strategies.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Geological and Geotechnical Hazards
  • Meteorological Hazards
  • Research Methods
  • Earthquake Seismology and Earthquake Hazard
  • Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
  • Meteorological, Climate and Hydrogeological Hazard

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project in geophysical hazards, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading and practical exercises. There are excellent opportunities for field investigations in the UK and abroad. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, practical problem-solving exercises and essays. The independent research report is assessed through the dissertation and an oral presentation.

Fieldwork

Field sites for field trips are normally in Italy. The department pays for accommodation and transport in the field. Students pay to get to the field and subsistence.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Geophysical Hazards MSc

Careers

On graduation from this programme about one-third of students have followed careers in global insurance and re-insurance and another third have pursued research with a PhD in hazard-related studies. The remaining third have developed careers in a wide range of sectors, from non-governmental organisations, through teaching, to the fields of emergency planning and environmental management.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Aggregate and Catastrophe Modeller, Advent
  • Catastrophe Analyst, Talbot Underwriting
  • Graduate Trainee Reinsurance Broker, Aon
  • Catastrophe Model Analyst, Aon Benfield
  • Policy Adviser, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Employability

The MSc in Geophysical Hazards will provide essential training for careers in hazard assessment and risk evaluation, including: industry, from engineering to insurance; academic research; civil protection agencies and government organisations; and NGOs related to aid and development. 

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Earth Sciences is engaged in world-class research into the processes at work on and within the Earth and planets.

Graduate students benefit from our lively and welcoming environment and world-class facilities. The department hosts UCL Hazard Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.

This MSc aims to include a short field trip to locations that illustrate the impact of natural hazards. Previous trips have included the Neapolitan volcanic district, the Italian Alps and the Po Delta, and the Cádiz region in south-western Spain.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Earth Sciences

92% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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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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