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PDF version of Planetary Science MSc

Contact details

Dr Nicholas Achilleos

Email: nicholas.achilleos@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7030

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£8,250 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£21,000 (FT)

Candidates may be eligible for a Santander scholarship. For further details please visit:

www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/
UK-EU-Master/santander-master/

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry

Physics and Astronomy

Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

60% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Planetary Science MSc

This interdisciplinary MSc offers students a wide programme of study related to planetary and space environments, including planetary interiors, atmospheres and magnetospheres; the impact of the space environment on human physiology and life; and the application of current knowledge to investigations of extrasolar planets – worlds in other stellar systems.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

Students develop insights into the techniques used in current projects, and gain in-depth experience of a particular specialised research area, through project work, as a member of a research team. The programme provides the professional skills necessary to play a meaningful role in industrial or academic life.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL Physics & Astronomy is among the top departments in the UK for graduate study. The department's participation in many international collaborations means we provide exceptional opportunities to work as part of an international team.

Examples include work with the teams who manage scientific instruments aboard the Cassini spacecraft, and teams who are involved in planning the next generation of deep space planetary missions.

For students whose interests tend towards the theoretical, there is access to national supercomputer facilities, such as the Legion and HECToR services. In some cases, opportunities exist for students to broaden their experience by spending part of their time overseas.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year; Part-time 2 years

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of a choice of three core modules (45 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), a research essay (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months, part-time two years) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Planetary Observation
  • Earth and Planetary Materials
  • Planetary Atmospheres
  • Solar Physics
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics

Options

  • The remaining choice of core courses
  • Earth and Planetary System Science
  • Continental Magmatism
  • Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
  • Astronomical Spectroscopy
  • Physics of the Earth
  • Space Medicine and Extreme Environment Physiology

Dissertation/report

All students submit a critical research essay and MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation and oral presentation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical classes, computer-based teaching, fieldwork, and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through coursework and written examination. The research project is assessed by literature survey, oral presentation and the dissertation.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The deadline for applications is 2 August 2013. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This MSc is particularly suitable for students with an undergraduate degree in physics, astronomy, astrophysics or related discipline, who wish to develop a career in planetary science, space science and related fields. The programme provides an ideal foundation for further research and entry onto the PhD programme.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Planetary Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Planetary Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Career

Physics opens up many avenues to employment through the skills acquired: these embrace problem-solving, the training of a logical and numerate mind, computation skills, modelling and material analysis and the ability to think laterally. These combined with team work, vision and enthusiasm make physics graduates highly desirable members of all dynamic companies. Physics-established careers embrace a broadband of areas e.g. information technology, engineering, finance, research and development, medicine, nanotechnology and photonics. It is no wonder that employers regard a physics degree as a flexible and highly desirable university training.

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:


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