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Masters Degrees in Mantle & Core Processes, United Kingdom

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This MSc examines the physical processes governing the behaviour of volcanoes. Read more
This MSc examines the physical processes governing the behaviour of volcanoes. The programme is taught by leading scientists who are working at the cutting edge of research into volcanoes, and will provide you with a strong background for independent research to PhD level or for a career in industry, the public sector or an NGO.

The programme is designed to equip you with knowledge of the physical processes of volcanoes, including both sub-surface and surficial behaviour, insights into important historical eruptions, understanding of risk and risk mitigation, and instruction and experiential learning on data gathering, handling analysis and presentation to publishable standard.

You will develop a wide range of skills, such as quantitative and computational skills, including the use of statistical and data handling software; proficiency in critical analysis of scientific material from a variety of sources, including primary research documents and original data; and the ability to synthesise concise and informative material produced for a variety of audiences.

Programme structure

Core units
-Physics of Volcanoes and Hazardous Flows
-Scientific Communication
-Literature Review (Volcanology)
-Research Methods in Volcanology

Optional units
-Frontiers in Earth Science
-Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
-Natural Hazards in Central America
-Natural Hazards in Central America (without fieldwork)
-Seismology
-Volcanic Hazards: Observation, Modelling and GIS

Research project
The final part of the programme consists of a research project. For further information on research projects, please see the School of Earth Sciences website: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/earthsciences/research/projects.html

Careers

The MSc in Volcanology prepares students for research-based careers. Most students then continue on one of three paths, using the skills they have acquired at Bristol. About 40 per cent of graduating students continue on to study for a PhD at a range of institutions in the UK, Europe, North America, Australia and Singapore. Most overseas students return to their home country to work for government agencies in hazard management.

Other graduates choose to work in the commercial sector for either geotechnical companies (who manage assets for large multinationals) or risk management and reinsurance companies, typically in London where we have a burgeoning presence within that community.

The volcanology programme is rigorous and quantitative, and prepares students for settings where both domain-specific knowledge and the ability to conduct independent research are highly valued.

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Geochemistry is at the heart of earth sciences, and provides the techniques and knowledge that allow scientists to answer such fundamental questions as. Read more

MSc in Geochemistry

Geochemistry is at the heart of earth sciences, and provides the techniques and knowledge that allow scientists to answer such fundamental questions as: how has the mantle evolved through time, was there ever life on Mars, what was the chemistry of Earth’s and Mars’ ancient atmospheres, and what are the rates and drivers of past and current climate change on Earth? Geochemistry has widespread applications to understanding and solving contemporary problems in Earth surface chemistry, such as pollution of soils and water or rates of ocean acidification. It is a forensic part of Earth science and is used to address questions that are both diverse and profound.

The St Andrews MSc in Geochemistry delivers postgraduate level knowledge and skills training in geochemistry and modern geochemical methods, involving extensive hands-on laboratory training and experience with state-of-the-art equipment. This comprehensive and rigorous course is relevant preparation for pursuing a PhD in geochemistry by incorporating a lab-based research dissertation, as well as employment in industry through incorporation of economic and environmental geochemistry
modules. Staff in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences and the School of Chemistry contribute to the core laboratory training and teaching within subject modules.

Features

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences has 20 full-time academics, 8 research fellows and 4 technical staff members, with a student population of about 170. We have a wide range of expertise in the field of geochemistry underpinned by new state-of-the-art laboratory facilities developed as a result of the recent appointment of early career academics over the past five years. Geochemistry research spans investigations into the origins of life, evolution of the Earth and other terrestrial planets, composition of
oceans, rivers and atmospheres, and the pulse of past and current climate change.

Postgraduate community

A dynamic and research-intensive atmosphere is encouraged and supportive of all students. The size of our Department engenders cohesive and friendly collaborations between staff, postdoctoral research fellows and postgraduate students, and co-authored papers are routinely published in the top journals for geochemistry, such as Nature, Nature Geoscience, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta and Science. We are part of the ‘IAPETUS’ NERC Doctoral Training programme, along with the universities of Durham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Stirling, and the British Geological Survey.

Facilities

The Department houses state-of-the-art stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry and geobiology laboratories, including culturing facilities for corals and microbes. Our research equipment includes five high-precision isotope mass spectrometers (two MAT 253s, two Nu Plasma, and one Neptune Plus installed in 2015), two Class 100 clean labs, an XSeries quadropole ICP-MS, ICP-OES, and a Finnegan Delta Plus XP gas source mass spectrometer. All materials, and particularly gases, liquids, minerals, rocks, organisms, and soils, can be analysed for isotopes and major and trace elements within research projects that cover the breadth of earth and environmental science. We host an experimental petrology facility capable of simulating conditions from the mid-crust to upper mantle (pressures of between 0.5-4.5 GPa and 300- 2000°C). A range of spectroscopic, SEM, electron microprobe and X-ray diffraction and fluorescence techniques are also part of our analytical facilities.

Careers

The range of research areas and applications of geochemistry is so broad that career opportunities span the whole of earth and environmental sciences. Geochemists are employed in the energy sector (hydrocarbon industries, petrochemicals, nuclear and renewables), in mining and mineral exploration, extraction and processing, and in environmental industries and agencies focused on pollution monitoring and environmental remediation. Masters-level training in geochemistry would provide a suitable platform for a career in materials science outside of earth and environmental sciences specifically. MSc Geochemistry graduates are also in demand as specialised research technicians in academic institutes worldwide and as PhD students in geochemistry-focused research.

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