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Masters Degrees in Volcanology, United Kingdom

We have 9 Masters Degrees in Volcanology, 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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Volcanoes threaten millions worldwide and improved hazard mitigation is a high priority. Our well-established MSc allows you to study alongside leading volcanologists in one of the largest groups of environmental scientists in the UK. Read more

Volcanoes threaten millions worldwide and improved hazard mitigation is a high priority. Our well-established MSc allows you to study alongside leading volcanologists in one of the largest groups of environmental scientists in the UK.

This MSc is ideal preparation for PhD research or work in the environment sector, and is suitable for students with a wide range of first degrees including Geography, Geology, Environmental Science and Physics.

As well as gaining a strong theoretical grounding, you will spend time in the laboratory and in the field, including field trips to study volcanic rocks in the nearby Lake District and a highly popular field module on Mount Etna.

You will study six taught modules which include core modules on volcanic and other geological hazards and optional modules which provide broader learning and practical skills in areas of particular benefit to aspiring volcanologists. Modules are taught by world experts from Lancaster Environment Centre and our partner institutions.

You will join our active volcanology group and conduct an independent dissertation research project under supervision from an internationally recognized researcher, taking advantage of our well-equipped experimental and geochemical laboratories. Within our group there are additional opportunities to participate in seminars, workshops and discussions.



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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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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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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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This course focuses on both the scientific knowledge of hazards and modern strategies of emergency planning. Its interdisciplinary approach combines traditional classroom and field-based teaching and learning techniques with modern ICT-based learning support. Read more
This course focuses on both the scientific knowledge of hazards and modern strategies of emergency planning. Its interdisciplinary approach combines traditional classroom and field-based teaching and learning techniques with modern ICT-based learning support. A strong emphasis is placed on research-led teaching, student-centred learning and team-based activities, all of which develop the necessary skills required by practitioners in the field of hazard and disaster management.

-This course is ideal if you want to start or advance a career in hazard or risk management, environmental monitoring, emergency planning or catastrophe-related mitigation.
-Small student numbers allow us to modify the emphasis of the course content from year to year to cater to individual needs.
-Our unique approach to focusing on both the scientific knowledge of hazards and modern strategies of emergency planning make graduates of this course highly employable.
-The independent research project gives you the chance to specialise further by studying an area of interest in greater depth and gain valuable research skills. Our students often find this an excellent selling point when looking for a job or promotion.
-We have strong links with industry and practitioners in the emergency and disaster management field, including Search And Rescue Assistance In Disasters (SARAID), RNLI, Tearfund, Community Resilience and Surrey County Council Emergency Planning Unit.

Assessment

Written examinations, coursework (incorporating scenario-based hazard management exercises, ICT-based and paper-based practical exercises, role-play exercises, oral presentations, field reports, essays).

Work placement scheme

Kingston University has set up a scheme that allows postgraduate students in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing to include a work placement element in their course starting from September 2017. The placement scheme is available for both international and home/EU students.

-The work placement, up to 12 months; is optional.
-The work placement takes place after postgraduate students have successfully completed the taught portion of their degree.
-The responsibility for finding the placement is with the student. We cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it.
-As the work placement is an assessed part of the course for international students, this is covered by a student's tier 4 visa.

Details on how to apply will be confirmed shortly.

Fieldwork opportunities

Fieldwork is an essential part of the Hazard and Disaster Management MSc. You will undertake a supervised week-long visit to a European field destination affected by multi-hazards (usually to Tenerife in June). You will conduct hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment of the area and evaluate existing hazard management strategies by the regional/local authorities. Find out more...

Course structure

You will study the underpinning scientific principles of both natural hazards (eg hurricanes, storms and tornadoes, flooding, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis and radon gas emissions) and human-induced disasters (eg terrorism, explosions and oil tanker accidents).

You will also cover modern disaster management strategies and planning techniques for the mitigation (eg structural measures and education), preparation (eg early warning), response (eg search and rescue) and recovery (eg insurance) phases.

You will also undertake active research in one or more of your chosen hazard areas.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Modules
-Natural Hazards: Science and Society
-Managing Disasters
-GIS for Hazards and Emergency Planning
-Research Methods and Techniques
-Research Project (Dissertation)

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Disasters are complex events with multifaceted causes and hence disaster management needs comprehensive, multidisciplinary training to deal with both complexity and change. Read more
Disasters are complex events with multifaceted causes and hence disaster management needs comprehensive, multidisciplinary training to deal with both complexity and change. Major shifts have occurred in the way in which disasters are considered, resulting from an increasing awareness of problems internationally along with an identified need for solutions. The importance of disaster risk reduction has continued to grow both within governmental and non-governmental organisations.

This Masters course is a unique programme which will provide a balanced study of environmental hazards and disaster management, pre-event mitigation, disaster risk reduction and disaster relief, along with the development of technical and interpersonal skills. It will enable you to critically assess the effectiveness of the implementation of existing techniques, in order to evaluate good practice and apply it to new situations.

The standard Master’s tuition fees apply. However, additional costs will include the Summer School fees (currently about £1000) and the costs for any optional overseas residential fieldwork. Students may be eligible for bursaries from the University for £1500 or £2000 though conditions apply.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/800-msc-disaster-management-for-environmental-hazards

What you will study

The course will develop knowledge, technical skills, interpersonal and management skills, and expertise. You will study a range of hazards using examples from the UK and other countries. This will provide you with the experience to assess risks and vulnerabilities from desk-based research, laboratory and field situations, consider hazard management and disaster risk reduction strategies, and critically review the concept of resilience along with techniques for its development.

You will consider the dynamic and multi-faceted nature of disasters and examine a range of aspects pertinent to the operational, political and socio-cultural issues involved in disaster relief, including aspects of international law. The course will ensure a sound working knowledge and experience with one of the mostly widely used GIS platforms, extensively used by many planning authorities, GOs and NGOs, and you will develop valuable skills in the acquisition and processing of spatial datasets with a wide variety of disaster management applications, along with the ability to visualise and depict spatial information.

You will develop interpersonal skills for effective team-working, group leadership, and organisational management including the assessment of priorities, allocation of resources and co-ordination of activities through simulation experience. This range of interpersonal skills and humanitarian core competencies will enhance your employability after graduation.

Opportunities for study on residential field courses will include the use of field simulations either in Finland or in the UK, and the option to examine environmental hazards and evaluate management strategies on overseas residential field courses. Currently, the field course takes place in southern Italy to examine volcanic, seismic, landslide and tsunami hazards.

You will study the following modules:
- Principles and Concepts in Disasters
- Management of Coastal and Hydrological Hazards
- Management of Geological and Technological Hazards
- Personal Preparedness for Disasters
- Professional Development for Disasters

Plus two of the following optional modules:
- ArcGIS Principles and Practice
- Remote Sensing
- Work Based Learning
- Professional Practice in Disasters

You will also complete a Masters Dissertation Project. The literature review work and project plans will be completed before your work placements. The Master’s dissertation will be undertaken after the placement has been completed. Preparation for the Master’s project or dissertation will commence in the Spring term.

Learning and teaching methods

The course is designed in a modular format and will be offered on a full and part time basis. Delivery will be mixed-mode, with a combination of traditional lectures, practicals and distance learning with supporting tutorials. For full time students, study will take place over 14 months, and for part time students, study may typically take two to three years.

Study will utilise a range of diverse learning approaches and activities to acknowledge the rich and diverse character and content of the body of knowledge that forms this Master’s degree course. It will include:
- Attending the Summer School.
- Lectures
- Seminars and tutorials.
- Completing work packages by distance learning through the Virtual Learning Environment.
- Actively participating in computer workshops and laboratory work.
- Undertaking a range of field based studies and data collection.
- Participating in group based activities and simulations.
- One-to-one interactions with academic staff.
- Fieldwork including community-based learning.
- Self-directed study.
- Optional field or work-placement.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

A range of study pathways are provided depending on career intentions after graduation. Options involving work, field or disaster placements are desirable for employers and will be the preferred option for students on the course. Placement settings could include:
- NGOs working on disaster risk reduction projects or disaster relief;
- Civil protection or planning authorities
- Specialist environmental consultancies
- UK or overseas research projects.

The initial arrangement of work and field placements will begin early in the course and the work/field placement will normally be expected to begin within the following Summer term. Preparation for the Master’s project or dissertation will commence in the Spring term, with literature review work and project plans to be completed before placements take place. The Master’s dissertation will be undertaken after the placement has been completed.

Assessment methods

Field trips:
Fieldwork provides unforgettable educational and social experiences, bringing to life the theory and concepts of the lecture theatre. South Wales is a fantastic study location on the edge of rural and urban environments.

Cardiff, Wales’ capital city, the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast are all close to the University. They provide exceptional fieldwork locations that can be explored in a day. We make full use of these locations across our earth and environment courses to cover the practical aspects of our modules.

Please note: the exact locations of all overseas field trips may vary each year and is based on the area’s suitability for academic study and the overall cost of the trip.

Important Information

Please be aware of the physical demands of this course which has modules with significant fieldwork elements. If you therefore have a disability which is likely to be affected by these physical demands, please get in touch with the course leader Dr Anthony Harris, as soon as possible. We will then investigate the reasonable adjustments that we can make to ensure your Health and Safety. Please note that if any Health & Safety aspects cannot be overcome, we may not be able to offer you a place on the course of your choice.

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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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