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Masters Degrees in Seismology & Tectonics, United Kingdom

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This course focuses on the physical processes that generate natural hazards through an advanced understanding of geological and environmental processes. Read more

Why take this course?

This course focuses on the physical processes that generate natural hazards through an advanced understanding of geological and environmental processes.

You will be fully trained by internationally recognised experts in hazard identification, terrain evaluation techniques as well as hazard modelling and risk assessment techniques. Providing you with the essential skills to monitor, warn and help control the consequences of natural hazards.

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 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, hazard modelling and mapping, soil mechanics and rock mechanics, contaminated land, flooding and slope stability.

Here are the units you will study:

Natural Hazard Processes: The topic of this unit forms the backbone of the course and give you an advanced knowledge of a broad range of geological and environmental hazards, including floods, landslides, collapsible ground, volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hydro-meteorological and anthropogenic hazards. External speakers are used to provide insights and expertise from an industry, regulatory and research perspective.

Numerical Hazard Modelling and Simulation: This forms an important part of the course, whereby you are trained in the application of computer models to the simulation of a range of geological and environmental hazards. You will develop skills in computer programming languages and use them to develop numerical models that are then used to simulate different natural hazard scenarios.

Catastrophe Modelling: On this unit you will cover the application of natural hazard modelling to better understand the insurance sector exposure to a range of geological and environmental hazards. It includes external speakers and sessions on the application of models for this type of catastrophe modelling.

Volcanology and Seismology: You will gain an in-depth knowledge of the nature of volcanism and associated hazards and seismology, associated seismo-tectonics and earthquake hazards. This unit is underpinned by a residential field course in the Mediterranean region that examines the field expression of volcanic, seismic and other natural hazards.

Flooding and Hydrological Hazards: These are a significant global problem that affect urban environments, one that is likely to increase with climate change. This unit will give you an in-depth background to these hazards and opportunities to simulate flooding in order to model the flood hazard and calculate the risk.

Hazard and Risk Assessment: This unit gives you the chance to study the techniques that are employed once a hazard has been identified and its likely impact needs to be measured. You will have advanced training in the application of qualitative and quantitative approaches to hazard and risk assessment and their use in the study of different natural hazards.

Field Reconnaissance and Geomorphological Mapping: These techniques are integral to the course and an essential skill for any graduate wishing to work in this area of natural hazard assessment. On this unit you will have fieldwork training in hazard recognition using techniques such as geomorphological mapping and walk-over surveys, combined with interpretation of remote sensing and aerial photography imagery.

Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing: You will learn how to acquire and interpret aerial photography and satellite imagery, and the integration and analysis of spatial datasets using GIS – all key tools for hazard specialists.

Geo-mechanical Behaviour of Earth Materials: You will train in geotechnical testing and description of soils and rocks to the British and international standards used by industry.

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

Impacts and Remediation of Natural Hazards: You will cover a growing area of study, including the impact of hazardous events on society and the environment, and potential mitigation and remediation methods that can be employed.

Independent Research Project: This provides you with an 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

Student Destinations

This course provides vocational skills designed to enable you to enter this specialist environmental field. These skills include field mapping, report writing, meeting deadlines, team working, presentation skills, advanced data modelling and communication.

You will be fully equipped to gain employment in the insurance industry, government agencies and specialist geoscience companies, all of which are tasked with identifying and dealing with natural hazards. Previous destinations of our graduates have included major re-insurance companies, geological and geotechnical consultancies, local government and government agencies.

It also has strong research and analytical components, ideal if you wish to pursue further research to PhD level.

We aim to provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

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The Geoscience MSc at UCL aims to provide a set of programmes that suit each student's aspirations, background and experience. The MSc offers several pathways to ensure a coherent programme of study. Read more
The Geoscience MSc at UCL aims to provide a set of programmes that suit each student's aspirations, background and experience. The MSc offers several pathways to ensure a coherent programme of study: Earth Systems Science; Palaeobiology; Earth and Planetary Physics; Environment; and Hydrogeology.

Degree information

The programme aims to integrate theoretical studies with essential practical skills in the Earth sciences, both in the field and in the laboratory. Students develop the ability to work on group projects, prepare written reports, acquire oral skills and gain training in the methods of scientific research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), six optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules
-Research Methods
-Project Proposal

Optional modules
-Earth and Planetary Systems Science
-Earth and Planetary Materials
-Melting and Volcanism
-Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
-Earthquake Seismology & Earthquake Hazard
-Tectonic Geomorphology
-Palaeoceanography
-Palaeoclimatology
-Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns
-Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
-Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
-Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Analysis

Relevant modules can also be chosen from:
-UCL Geography

Dissertation/report
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory and fieldwork exercises. Student performance is assessed through coursework, written assignments, unseen written examination and the dissertation.

Careers

First destinations of recent graduates include:
-Neftex Petroleum Consultants Ltd: Geologist
-TWP Architects and Surveyors: Geotechnical Surveyor
-UCL Earth Sciences Rock and Ice Physics Laboratory: Research Assistant
-UCL: Research Degree, Earth Sciences

Employability
MSc Geoscience students have gone on to pursue careers in many varied areas, such as planning and surveying, governmental organisations, academic research.

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, which include the UK's only NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility and access to the University of London Observatory in north London.

The department also hosts the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.

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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). Read more

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.

Course content

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Structural Geology Independent Project 60 credits
  • Applied Geophysical Methods 15 credits
  • Integrated Sub Surface Analysis 30 credits
  • Applied Structural Models 20 credits
  • Geomechanics 10 credits
  • Applied Geodynamics and Basin Evolution 15 credits
  • 3D Structure: Techniques and Visualisation 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Structural Geology with Geophysics MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Facilities

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:

  • 2D and 3D seismic interpretation is done via Kingdom Suite software.
  • Geocellular modelling is delivered on the Petrel platform.
  • Structural modelling and restoration is learnt using Midland Valley's 2DMove software.
  • PCs run a range of structural modelling, GIS and 3D visualisation programmes.
  • If you choose the optional Ore Deposits module, train in Leapfrog 3D deposit modeller.

Assessment

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.

Industry links

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.



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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. Read more

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



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This is one of the premier international applied MSc courses with a focus on petroleum exploration and production. It is run in parallel with the Basin Evolution and Dynamics MSc in Petroleum Geocsience but with a greater emphasis on tectonics and structural geology. Read more
This is one of the premier international applied MSc courses with a focus on petroleum exploration and production. It is run in parallel with the Basin Evolution and Dynamics MSc in Petroleum Geocsience but with a greater emphasis on tectonics and structural geology. In addition to successful employment in the international petroleum industry graduates from this course are employed in the international mining industry as well as being highly sought after for further PhD research in the geosciences.

● 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 and remote sensing industries.

The course covers the applications of tectonics and structural geology to hydrocarbon exploration and production as well as to applied structural geology research in different terranes. The course is modular in form providing intensive learning and training in tectonics, applied structural geology, seismic interpretation of structural styles, tectonostratigraphic analysis, section balancing and reconstruction, remote sensing, crustal fluids and hydrocarbon systems, reservoir geology, and applied geological fieldwork.

The MSc course provides ‘state of the art’ training in –
● Plate tectonics and terrane analysis;
● Applied structural analysis;
● 3D seismic interpretation and 3D visualization of structural styles;
● Fault analysis and fault-sealing;
● Tectonostratigraphic analysis;
● Scaled analogue modelling;
● Numerical modelling of structures;
● Remote sensing analysis of satellite and radar imagery;
● Analysis of gravity and magnetic data;
● Section balancing and reconstruction;
● Applied structural 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
● Internationally Recognised Structural Modelling Laboratories
● 14 Dual Screen Unix Seismic Workstations
● PC and Macintosh Workstations
● 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

Our Tectonics MSc graduates have gained employment with Shell, BP, ECL, PGS, Sipetrol, PGL, Codelco, and to PhD research in a range of universities including Trieste, Barcelona, and Ulster universities.
Since 2001, 85% of our Petroleum Geosciences MSc 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

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This course will provide you with the opportunity to carry out an independent research project under the supervision of our leading academics. Read more
This course will provide you with the opportunity to carry out an independent research project under the supervision of our leading academics.

You will receive training in research methods and take a taught course unit in a relevant subject area. The research topic for your project is agreed with a supervisor in advance and can be in any area of the expertise in the department research groups. The project outline will be developed in consultation with your supervisor and project work is carried out in parallel with the taught courses, becoming full-time during the third term.

This Master’s by Research will provide you with a suitable background to work as a research assistant or as the grounding for further study towards a PhD.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/earthsciences/coursefinder/mscearthsciencesbyresearch.aspx

Why choose this course?

- This course is ideal for graduates in geology and related sciences who wish to carry out independent research over a shorter time period than is possible in a doctorate (PhD) programme. It allows you study at Master's level an aspect of the geological sciences which may not be catered for by specialist MSc programmes.

- You will be involved at every step of the research project - from planning and sample collection, laboratory work, result analysis, to writing your dissertation.

- It is ideal preparation if you are interested in studying for a PhD, but would like to have further preparation and training.

- In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the Department of Earth Science’s research was ranked equal 6th in the UK with 70% rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

- The Department has up-to-date computer interpretation facilities, a full range of modern geochemical laboratories including XRF, quadrupole and multicollector ICP Mass Spectrometry, atmospheric chemistry and a new excimer laser ablation facility, excellent structural modelling laboratories, palaeontology and sedimentology laboratories.

Course content and structure

The course consists of the following three components:

A Research Study Skills Course Unit
- Personal research skills (e.g. safety, time and project management, teamwork)
- IT skills (e.g. literature retrieval, web authoring, databases, modelling)
- Data analysis skills (e.g. statistical methods, GIS systems, sampling techniques)
- Communication skills (e.g. posters, oral presentation, writing papers, web pages)
- Subject-specific skills and techniques. These amount to 55% of the research skills assessment, and for example may include parts of specialist taught courses (see below), a training course on the theory and practice of chemical and isotopic analysis, or other training arranged by the project supervisor. This will include training for research in the general field of the research project, not solely what is needed to carry out the project.

A Specialist Taught Course Unit
You will choose an advanced taught course unit relevant to the subject area of your research project. The following taught units are currently offered:
- Applied Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
- Pollution Sources and Pathways
- Oceans and Atmospheres
- Risk and Environmental Management
- Geographical Information Systems
- Environmental Inorganic Analysis
- Contaminants in the Environment
- Advanced Igneous Petrogenesis
- Seismic Processing and Interpretation
- Geodynamics and Plate Tectonics
- Interpretation of Structural Settings
- Coal Geology
- Petroleum Geology and Evaluation
- Terrestrial Palaeoecology
- Palaeoclimates

Research Project
The project may be on any topic which is within the broad research themes of the Department. You will be linked to a potential supervisor at the application stage and, in consultation with the supervisor, you will develop a detailed project outline during the first half of the first term. Project work is then carried out in parallel with taught courses during terms one and two, becoming the full-time activity after Easter. A bound dissertation is submitted for examination in early September.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

- an advanced knowledge and understanding of a variety of analytical, technical, numerical, modelling and interpretive techniques applicable to the specific field of earth sciences

- the articulation of knowledge and the understanding of published work, concepts and theories in the chosen field of earth sciences at an advanced level

- the acquisition of knowledge from published work in the chosen area of earth sciences to a level appropriate for a MSc degree.

Assessment

Research Study Skills: this is assessed by coursework and theory examination and will include short written assignments, a seminar, worksheets and practical tests. These assessments contribute 12.5% of the course marks.

Specialist Taught Course Units: these are mostly assessed by a written, theory examination and coursework. The unit assessment contributes 12.5% of the course marks.

Research Project: the project dissertation must be submitted in early September. It will be marked by both an internal and an external examiner, and will be defended at an oral examination with both examiners. The project assessment contributes 75% of the course marks.

Employability & career opportunities

Subject to agreement and suitable funding, MSc by Research students can transfer to the MPhil/PhD programme at Royal Holloway. They may use the research carried out for the MSc towards the PhD, and count the time spent towards MPhil/PhD registration requirements, provided that the MSc research forms a coherent part of the PhD, and that the transfer is approved prior to submission of the MSc research dissertation.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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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.

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



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An on-line version of a well established programme with an international reputation for excellence in the petroleum industry. Primarily suited to hydrocarbon industry professionals who wish to further develop knowledge and skills whilst continuing full-time work. Read more
• An on-line version of a well established programme with an international reputation for excellence in the petroleum industry.
• Primarily suited to hydrocarbon industry professionals who wish to further develop knowledge and skills whilst continuing full-time work.
• Comprehensive learning materials delivered via a dedicated web portal: video clips, animations, audio-visual presentations, fully-illustrated manuals, self-assessment quizzes, exercises and computer-based practicals.
• Field trips and intensive study seminars held at various locations worldwide.
• An option to be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Petroleum Geoscience is available if a project is not undertaken.

Hydrocarbons are a precious resource. Finding new reserves is becoming ever more challenging and the enhanced recovery of reserves from existing fields is becoming increasingly important. Well trained Petroleum Geoscientists with the ability to integrate geological and geophysical data, and to apply it on a variety of scales, have a vital role to play. The MSc in Petroleum Geoscience provides graduates with training in the practical and technical skills required to address a range of questions, from understanding the distribution of hydrocarbons in sedimentary basins to quantifying the complex structural, stratigraphic and sedimentological architecture of individual reservoirs.

Studying Petroleum Geoscience at Royal Holloway
• The programme has the same curriculum as the MSc Petroleum Geoscience offered in London at the Royal Holloway campus and at Tyumen Oil and Gas State University in Russia.
• The department is ranked highly in national research assessment exercises as having a research output of international excellence.
• The programme has been developed by and is supported by a team of 13 academic staff, all active researchers and tutors in the field of Petroleum Geoscience.
• Tutorial support provided for each module by Royal Holloway staff
• With experience of supervising hundreds of independent projects for masters students, Royal Holloway staff can provide expert advice for the planning of projects to be carried out using industry data.

Course Content
The programme comprises six taught modules (MSc and PGDip) and an Independent Research Project (MSc only).
Geodynamics of Sedimentary Basins
Tectonics and geodynamic evolution of sedimentary basins, subsidence analysis, thermal histories.
Geophysical Analysis
Seismic acquisition and processing, interpretation techniques, seismic mapping, attribute analysis and reservoir characterisation.
Structural Analysis
Structural interpretation of seismic data, fault and fracture analysis.
Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Siliciclastic and carbonate depositional systems, facies analysis, seismic and sequence stratigraphy, and palaeogeographic analysis and mapping.
Reservoir Geoscience
Well log analysis, rock mechanics, reservoir geology and geophysics, reservoir modelling.
Petroleum Systems
Petroleum systems, basin modelling, play analysis, petroleum economics.
Independent Project (MSc only)
An independent research project focussed on some aspect of Petroleum Geoscience, designed to meet individual training needs & carried out in association with industry.

Tuition and Assessment
Fully illustrated course materials provided through a web portal, with interactive coursework exercises and on-line tutorials. A two-week residential study period with team projects and incorporating a field course forms part of the programme. On-line quizzes and tutor-supported coursework provide feedback on learning; assessment is by coursework exercises submitted on-line and written examinations for each module.

Applications http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/geoscience

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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.

Degree information

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). There are no optional modules for this programme.

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

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.

Careers

The MSc programme 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. About one-third of previous graduates have continued with further research (PhDs), one-third have entered the insurance industry, and one-third have pursued careers in other fields.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Catastrophy risk analyst, Aon Benfield
-Geographic Risk Analyst, QBE
-Senior Catastrophy Halard, Hardy Underwriting
-Environmental Risk Advisor, HelpAge International
-Policy Adviser, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Employability
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.

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.

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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. 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
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/degree-programmes/102/geophysics/

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

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees:
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/international/tuition-fees-and-living-costs-287.php

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/finance-funding-1599.php
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/funding/

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:
• Your Accommodation
• Campus Facilities
• Aberdeen City
• Student Support
• Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen:
https://abdn.ac.uk/study/student-life

Living costs
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/international/finance.php

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This Course is Open for 2016-17 entry. Royal Holloway is one of the leading international centres for petroleum geoscience training and research. Read more
This Course is Open for 2016-17 entry.

Royal Holloway is one of the leading international centres for petroleum geoscience training and research. Our MSc Petroleum Geoscience course was established in 1985 and, with over 600 graduates from 32 countries, it is recognised around the world as one of the premier training courses for people starting out on careers in the hydrocarbon industry.

Our excellent links with the international oil industry, combined with high quality teaching and research facilities make the Royal Holloway MSc an ideal option if you are a recent graduate looking for a focused, vocational training course, or if you are an early career professional wishing to enhance your career development.

You can choose between several course modules to specialise your training in topics focussing on basin evolution or structural analysis and tectonics.

You will be joining a department where the Research Excellence Framework (REF) reported that 94% of research has been classified as 4* world leading and 3* internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour. By this criterion, Earth Sciences is 2nd place among UK universities. You will become part of a vibrant international graduate school, fully integrated into the research culture of the department.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/earthsciences/coursefinder/mscpetroleumgeoscience.aspx

Why choose this course?

- There is a huge demand for well qualified petroleum geoscientists. Companies worldwide are facing up to the challenge of replacing an ageing workforce with young graduates who can apply their knowledge and quickly learn from more experienced colleagues.

- We are one of the world leaders in the field of petroleum geoscience. Our MSc is recognised as a premier training course that will provide you with the practical and technical skills required to meet the challenges facing the hydrocarbon industry.

- You will develop the ability to integrate geological and geophysical data, and to apply your knowledge on a variety of scales, so that you can address a range of questions; from understanding the distribution of hydrocarbons in sedimentary basins, to quantifying the complex structural, stratigraphic and sedimentological architecture of individual reservoirs.

- We have excellent links with the international oil industry, including an Advisory Board with representatives from 14 multinational companies, which ensures that our teaching is up-to-date, relevant and will prepare you for a career in the industry.

- An MSc in Petroleum Geoscience from Royal Holloway also provides you with the geological and transferable skills to work in other Earth Science-related fields, and prepares you for further postgraduate study.

- This is a flexible course, allowing you study full-time, part-time or through distance learning. If you opt to study part-time you will have also have the option of studying through sandwich mode (complete terms in separate years).

- Field work in the UK and Spain is an important part of the programme and is fully integrated with the course units.

- The Department receives a number of studentships from industry sponsors and from the Research Council which are available to UK and EU applicants. Everyone who applies for a place on this course is automatically considered for these studentships, and no further application is required.

Department research and industry highlights

Our research follows four main themes:

- Geodynamics and Sedimentary Systems
The interaction between tectonic, volcanic and sedimentary processes to generate surface and sub-surface architectures. With a diverse range of expertise, researchers integrate geophysics, structural geology, sedimentology and modelling to improve our understanding of a wide range of geodynamic settings. Our interests range from the evolution of rift systems and passive margins to the tectonics of mountain belts and include an emphasis on sediment dynamics in all settings. Much of the research in this theme is funded by industry.

- Physics & Chemistry of Earth Processes
Quantitative characterization of Physical and Chemical processes within the Earth. This group plays a role in many research activities across the department and helps to ensure a rigorous academic approach. Research applications in geochemistry stem from development of world-class geochemical techniques in radiogenic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-U-Th) and stable (C,H,O,N,S) isotopes, based on strategic partnerships with instrument manufacturers. In geophysics we have extensive expertise in both exploration geophysics and global geophysics. However, the group's main contribution extends well outside the traditional scope of geophysics and geochemistry into areas such as sedimentology, tectonics, palaeontology, oceans and atmospheres, the link between magmatism and tectonics, and the nature of the shallow mantle. In addition to making wide use of geochemical and geophysical data, we have developed a wide variety of forward and inverse modelling techniques (mathematical, numerical and laboratory-analogue).

- Global Environmental Change
Key transitions in Earth history including modern global change. A wide range of proxies and finger-printing techniques are employed to focus on issues of global change such as methane as a greenhouse gas, coastal and estuarine dynamics, modern and ancient sedimentary processes, Phanerozoic environmental change and associated biotic responses, the biogeochemistry of Archaean ecosystems and evolution of life through geologic time. In addition, we pioneer new research on the impact of ice sheet contamination and associated chemistry on climate change.

- Natural Hazards
Integrating several strands of current research within the department, this newly developing theme investigates a range of natural hazards, including intraplate earthquakes, subduction zones, volcanoes, landslides and associated tsunami, as well as environmental hazards. It utilises field studies, remote sensing data, numerical modelling, geophysical data from sites around the globe.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

- an understanding of the processes that control the structural and stratigraphic architecture of sedimentary basins

- an understanding of petroleum systems and the controls on the distribution of hydrocarbons and other fluids in sedimentary basins

- an understanding of the properties of hydrocarbon reservoirs, and the implications of this for hydrocarbon production and field development

- the ability to use seismic, well log, core and remotely sensed data to evaluate sedimentary basins, hydrocarbon prospects and hydrocarbon fields.

Assessment

The taught course units are assessed by a combination of written exams and course work. 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.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable; 92% remain in petroleum geosciences and related fields after graduation – approximately 75% entering the industry and 20% continuing in research (mainly as PhD students).

Graduates find employment in a wide range of companies, from multinationals (such as Shell, BP, Statoil, BG, Centrica, GDF-Suez), large independents (e.g. Tullow, Hess), small independent companies (e.g. Volantis), and a wide range of consultancy companies (e.g. Fugro-Roberston, RPS, Equipoise, IHS, Midland Valley)

How to apply

Applications for entry to our campus based full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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