PDF version of Earth Sciences (International Programme) MSci


Admissions Tutor

Dr Ian Wood

Email: earthsci@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 2405

Fees and Funding

UK & EU Fee

£9,000 (2013/14)

Overseas Fee

£19,500 (2013/14)

General Funding Notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

80% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
(What is the RAE?)

Departmental website

Earth Sciences

More Information

Prospectus subject entry

Earth Sciences

Prospectus faculty entry

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Earth Sciences (International Programme) MSci

UCAS Code: F605

This four-year programme allows students to follow any of the MSci programmes offered by UCL Earth Sciences, with the additional opportunity to spend year three studying at an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, continental Europe or North America.

Entry Requirements

A Levels

Grades AAA-ABB
Subjects Two (essential), three (preferred) from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics.
AS Levels A pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points 34-38
Subjects A score of 16-18 points in three higher level subjects to include at least two (preferably three) from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, with no score lower than 5.

Other Qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International Qualifications

International Qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Selected country's equivalent grades will appear here

University Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The University Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree Summary

Degree Benefits

  • You will have the opportunity to specialise in Environmental Geoscience, Geology, Geophysics, Palaeobiology or Planetary Science and broaden your horizons by spending the third year of study abroad.
  • Degrees for those specialising in Environmental Geoscience, Geology and Geoscience are fully accredited by the Geological Society of London
  • The programme includes approximately three months of field classes in the UK and continental Europe, with a component of financial support from the department.
  • World-leading research in geophysical hazards, mineral, ice and rock physics and palaeoenvironmental analysis is undertaken in the department and is used in the development of our courses.

You will initially follow the first two years of one of the degree programmes on offer in the Earth Sciences department (Environmental Geoscience, Geology, Geophysics) or the pathways in Palaeobiology or Planetary Science but with an additional option of a foreign language elective.

Your third year is spent abroad at an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, continential Europe or North America, and you will return to UCL for your final year.

The final title of the degree awarded may reflect the particular choice of courses that you have taken, for example Earth Sciences (International Programme) (Geology) MSci.

The number of places available for direct entry onto the International programme is limited and, therefore, competitive. Eligibility to continue will be assessed in both the first and second years of study. Students failing to maintain the required standard will be transferred to the corresponding Uk-based MSci or BSc programme.

Your Learning

We use a mixture of lectures, practical classes, field courses, directed reading, problem-orientated learning, private study and tutorials to enable you to gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills demanded by the programme, as well as to develop key transferable skills such as critical analysis, report writing, team working and organisational skills.


You will be assessed by a combination of written examinations, practical examinations, coursework, independent project reports and an oral examination.

Degree Structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year One

Compulsory courses

Surface Processes
The Earth

Optional courses

You will select 3.0 credits of optional courses from the in Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Geoscience programmes, and the Palaeobiology or Planetary Science pathways. Options available within the department may include:

Dynamic Earth
Earth Materials
From Petrology to Petrogenesis
Foundations of Physical Geoscience
Geology of Planetary Bodies
History of Life

Year Two

Compulsory courses

All second year courses are optional.

Optional courses

You will select 4.0 credits of optional courses from the Environmental Geoscience, Geology and Geophysics programmes, and the Palaeobiology or Planetary Science pathways. Options available within the department may include:

Atmosphere, Weather and Climate
Chemistry of Earth Environments
Global Geophysics
Igneous Petrology
Maps, Images and Structures
Surface Processes and Structures
Structural Geology and Tectonics
Vertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution

Year Three

Year abroad at an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, continential Europe or North America.

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Earth and Planetary System Science
Independent MSci Project

Optional courses

You will select 2.0 credits of optional courses from the Environmental Geoscience, Geology and Geophysics programmes and Palaeobiology and Planetary Science pathways depending on your programme diet. Options available within the department may include:

Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns
Crustal Evolution, Mountain Building and Basin Evolution
Earth Resources and Sustainability
Experimental Methods in Water-Rock Interaction
Field Methods in Active Tectonics
Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
Geological/Environmental Mapping Project
Geosciences Report
Physics of Oceans, Ice Sheets and Climate

Further details available on degree page of subject website:

Your Career

You will develop both discipline-based and highly sought after analytical skills, together with practical skills such as planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, collecting, recording and analysing data and the ability to undertake field and laboratory research.

All our students are encouraged and helped towards making informed career choices. We have excellent relationships with many employers in diverse aspects of the Earth and planetary sciences, and students are actively guided towards achieving their potential at UCL in preparation for their future careers.

In addition to further study, main employment destinations include exploration and production for mining, oil and engineering companies, groundwater resources management; investigating groundwater conditions associated with land use, such as planning, construction and waste disposal; and geological surveying, collecting geological information for maps and databases.


First destinations of recent graduates (2009-2011) from Earth Sciences programmes at UCL include:

  • Full-time student, PhD in Paleoclimatology at Uppsala University (2011)
  • Satellite Data Processing Technician, Centre for Polar Observation and Monitoring (2011)
  • Upstream Oil and Gas Recruiter, Dynamic Recruitment Solutions (2010)
  • Full-time student, MPhil in Environmental Systems at the University of Cambridge (2010)
  • Broadcast Assistant, BBC (2009)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:


Your Application

We will assess your application on the basis of your performance, or predicted performance academically, but we will also be looking for an indication of how your interest in natural and Earth sciences has developed, what aspects particularly appeal to you, and whether you have undertaken any research or reading to find out about the subject matter you wish to study.

How to Apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


If you are resident in the UK and your application demonstrates potential you will be invited to an applicant open day. This visit will include introductory talks on Earth sciences and our degree programmes, a tour of the department and UCL, and a question and answer session.

You may also have a one-to-one discussion with a member of academic staff in which we aim to find out more about your personal interests and motivation.

Applicants from regions distant from London and from outside the UK are not normally required to attend for an interview, and we reach a decision on making an offer on the basis of the application alone.

Page last modified on 19 mar 14 15:02