Modes and duration
- Full-time: 1 year
- Part-time: 2 years
Programme start date
Tuition Fees (2016/17)
- £9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
- £25,140 (FT) £12,310 (PT)
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.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
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).
- Geological and Geotechnical Hazards
- Meteorological Hazards
- Research Methods
- Earthquake Seismology and Earthquake Hazard
- Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
- Meteorological, Climate and Hydrogeological Hazard
- There are no optional modules for this programme.
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.
UCL offers a selection of scholarships for supporting postgraduate studies.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
- £15,000 (1 year)
- UK students
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- £4,000 (1 year)
- UK students
- Based on academic merit
More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website
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
- Catastrophe Modeller, Brit Insurance (2011)
- Volcao Seismologist, Geophysical Institute (2011)
- Commander of UK Emergency Response Team, ERT Search and Rescue (2011)
- Policy Advisor , Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2013)
- Client Service Associate, Air Worldwide (2013)
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 the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard 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, and the Cádiz region in south-western Spain.
Student / staff ratios › 56 staff including 24 postdocs › 53 taught students › 60 research students
Department: Earth Sciences
"I have found the staff extremely supportive and they have provided opportunities that I would not have received elsewhere. This has particularly been the case in choosing topics for the independent research project for which we were encouraged to think about our own research interests and supported to find ways to make the projects viable."
Lara SmaleGeophysical Hazards MSc
"London is an amazing, world-leading research and knowledge hub. At UCL students have the opportunity to work in one of the world's leading centres on natural hazards and disaster risk reduction, which has a very strong focus on education, training and knowledge exchange, rather than just pure research."
Dr Stephen EdwardsGeophysical Hazards MSc
UCL Hazard Centre
Application and next steps
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?
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.
- All applicants
- 1 July 2016
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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?