The Geoscience MSc at UCL aims to provide a set of courses 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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

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

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£8,755 (FT) £4,375 (PT)
£22,350 (FT) £11,125 (PT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
1 August 2015

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.

English language requirement: Standard

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.

International equivalencies

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

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).

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

Core Modules

  • Project Proposal
  • Research Methods


  • Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
  • Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Tectonic Geomorphology
  • Earthquake Seismology & Earthquake Hazard
  • Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
  • Melting and Volcanism
  • Earth and Planetary Materials
  • Earth and Planetary Systems Science
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • UCL Geography
  • <strong>Relevant modules can also be chosen from:</strong>
  • Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Analysis
  • Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
  • Hydogeology and Groundwater Resources


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.


Brown Family Bursary

1 year
Prospective full-time Master's students within the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Science and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

Dennis Curry Scholarship in Micropalaeontology

1 year
For prospective UK-resident entrants taking the Micropalaeontology route through the MSc in Geosciences, and who are not already receiving full financial support (fees and living costs) from other sources

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website


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

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Bureau Veritas, Senior Consultant, 2011,
  • European Commission, Adminstrative Assistant, 2010,
  • University of West Indies, Research Associate, 2010,
  • UCL, Reseacrh Assistant, 2010,
  • TWP Architects and Surveyors, Geotechnical Surveyor, 2010,


From the MSc Geoscience students have gone onto 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 multi-disciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.

Student / staff ratios › 37 staff › 40 taught students › 53 research students

Department: Earth Sciences

Degree reviews

Student review

"UCL, as a world-class university, has state-of-the-art research facilities that are not usually found in universities in my home country or at many other universities around the world."

Edoseghe Osagiede

Subject: Geoscience MSc

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 is suitable for students with a background in geology, geophysics or a relevant discipline who want to prepare for research in the Earth Sciences and for entry into a PhD programme.

Application deadlines

All applicants

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 Geoscience at graduate level
  • why you want to study Geoscience at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this 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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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