This MSc is a uniquely broad and flexible programme that suits students' aspirations, background and experience. UCL Earth Sciences has strengths in geophysics, geochemistry, palaeobiology, mineral physics, geodynamics, geohazards, climate science, environmental geosciences and policy, and other areas. Students choose from a wide range of optional modules from within the department and more widely across UCL, building an MSc tailored to their interests.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £10,140 (FT) £5,120 (PT)
- £28,370 (FT) £14,180 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
A minimum of a lower 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.
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:
About this degree
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 three core modules (45 credits), six optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
- 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
- Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns
- Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
- Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
- Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Analysis
- Advanced Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Studies
Students can also choose relevant elective modules 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.
Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Analysis is a fieldwork only module without a classroom element.
Please refer to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships for available funding.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Deadline is 11 May 2018
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Now closed for 2018/19
- Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Geoscience students have gone on to pursue careers in many varied areas, such as planning and surveying, governmental organisations, academic research.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- PhD in Climatology, Cardiff University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)
- PhD in Geoscience, UCL
- Engineer, Geo-Info
- Lecturer in Geology, University of Benin
- Oil and Gas Analyst, EIC (Energy Industries Council)
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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 UCL Hazard Research Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.
Department: Earth Sciences
Student / staff numbers
› 58 staff
including 25 postdocs
› 58 taught students
› 68 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Earth Sciences
92% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students with a background in geology, geophysics, physical geography or a relevant discipline who want to prepare for research in the Earth sciences and for entry into a PhD programme.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
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.