Geophysical Hazards MSc


This MSc provides an introduction to geohazards, research methods and field techniques, 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.


Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £21,700
  • Overseas Part-time: £10,800

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 July 2014

More details in Application section.


What will I learn?

The programme introduces the spectrum and impact of geophysical hazards, before focusing on quantitative models for hazard forecasting and assessment. Selected case studies illustrate how the models are essential for improving decision making during emergencies, for raising the awareness of vulnerable populations, and for evaluating and implementing mitigation strategies.

Why should I 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 the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, Europe's leading multi-disciplinary 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.


Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of six core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

An exit-level Postgraduate Diploma is offered (120 credits).

Core Modules

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

Options

  • There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

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

Teaching and Learning

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

Further details available on subject website:


Funding

UCL offers a selection of scholarships for supporting postgraduate studies.

Scholarships available for this department

Brown Family Bursary

This award is based on financial need.

Dennis Curry Scholarship in Micropalaeontology

Based on academic merit

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.


Entry requirements

Normally 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. Applicants whose qualifications are of a lower standard may be admitted if evidence of an adequate academic background and appropriate field experience can be shown.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

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.

The deadline for applications is 1 July 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme will be particularly attractive to those seeking or advancing a career in hazard or risk science - including hazard and risk management, environmental monitoring, emergency planning, and catastrophe-related finance - and to academics and professionals considering a career move into the hazard and risk science field.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Geophysical Hazards at graduate level
  • why you want to study Geophysical Hazards at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to Geophysical Hazards programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree; for example, are you interested in pursuing a career in research, or in applying your knowledge to the commercial or humanitarian sectors?
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

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 programme

  • Brit Insurance, Catastrophe Modeller, 2011
  • Geophysical Institute, Volcao Seismologist, 2011
  • ERT Search and Rescue, Commander of UK Emergency Response Team, 2011
  • Risk Management Solutions, Risk Assessor, 2009
  • ERM, Project Co-ordinator, 2009

Employability

From the MSc in Geophysical Hazards, 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 developed careers in a wide range of sectors, from Non-Government Organisations, through teaching, to the fields of Emergency Planning and Environmental Management.


Next steps

Contact

Dr Christopher Kilburn

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7194

Department

Earth Sciences

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Prospectus subject

Earth Sciences

Faculty overview

Mathematical and Physical Sciences


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Staff View

"UCL has a unique combination of experimental and theoretical expertise in the area of Mineral Physics, which I work in, but it is the excellent collaborations I have with my colleagues that keeps me here."

Professor David Dobson

Professor of Earth Materials

Student View

"As part of my PhD project I was able to take part in a three-week summer school, the Urbino Summer School of Palaeoclimatology. This was a very valuable experience where international lecturers gave talks on their research."

Cherry Newsam

Degree: PhD