Geoscience MSc

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

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£25,140 (FT) £12,310 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

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 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.

International students

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:

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

  • Research Methods
  • Project Proposal


  • 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
  • Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources
  • 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


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.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Geoscience MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed 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.

Brown Family Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

£15,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Dennis Curry Scholarship in Micropalaeontology

£4,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding 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

  • Senior Consultant, Bureau Veritas (2011)
  • Project Manager, Switch to Renewable (2012)
  • Environmental Scientist, GB Card &#38 Partners (2013)
  • Junior Geophysicist, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) (2013)


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 multi-disciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.

Student / staff ratios › 56 staff including 24 postdocs › 53 taught students › 60 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

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
29 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 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.

Contact Information


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

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