This four-year programme offers an additional year on top of the Geology BSc, in which students extend their knowledge and understanding by taking advanced modules and undertaking an independent research project. The programme is fully accredited by the Geological Society of London.
- Two sciences preferred.
- 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
- A score of 16-18 points in three higher level subjects, preferably to include two sciences, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with between 28 credits awarded with Merit and a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D3,D3,D3 - D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Two sciences preferred
AAA-ABB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher - AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Two sciences preferred at Advanced Higher
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA-ABB, including Mathematics and Physics. Two science subjects preferred.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a twelve-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.
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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
- Approximately three months of field classes in the UK and continental Europe and independent field mapping projects in Scotland, Southern France and Spain, with financial support from the department.
- The programme is fully accredited by the Geological Society of London.
- World-leading research in mineral, ice and rock physics, and in geophysical hazards, and paleoenvironmental analysis is undertaken in the department and is used in the development of our modules.
- World-class facilities include hosting the UK's only NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility, use of the UCL University of London Observatory, and collaboration with the Natural History Museum.
This programme is accredited by The Geological Society. Undergraduate students may join The Geology Society as a Candidate Fellow and can become a Fellow of the Society upon graduation. A Fellow of the Society with relevant postgraduate experience in the practice of geology has the opportunity to apply for Chartered Geologist (CGeol) status.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
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.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules 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).
Together with subject-specific skills, the Geology MSci also provides a strong intellectual and practical platform for those who wish to pursue non-geological careers as it integrates a wide range of ideas from many different scientific disciplines, including chemistry, physics and biology, and provides training in the application of scientific methods and knowledge to complex problems.
The programme includes: studies of the nature of rocks and minerals, their mode of origin and environment of formation; the study of past life and palaeoenvironments; the physics and chemistry of the Earth; major Earth processes such as plate tectonics and mountain building (tectonics).
The first and second years develop core skills and knowledge in the subject. The third year provides opportunities for specialisation and diversification, with an emphasis on individual initiative and problem-based learning. During fieldwork students learn to apply and develop independent and team skills and problem-solving abilities which complement and build upon lectures and laboratory-based coursework, whilst being exposed to the true complexity of natural geological problems.
The first three years of the MSci programmes are identical to the BSc programmes. However, the additional fourth year of the MSci allows for an individual research project and advanced optional module, providing extra depth and breadth of knowledge.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
From Petrology to Petrogenesis (including Cornwall fieldwork)
History of Life
Surface Processes (including Dorset/Devon fieldwork)
You will select 0.5 credits from the following:
Foundations of Physical Geoscience
Introduction to Planetary Science
Maps, Images and Structures (including Italy fieldwork)
Structural Geology and Tectonics
Surface Processes and Structures (including Pyrenees fieldwork)
Vertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution
All second year modules are compulsory.
Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Evolution (including Betics fieldwork)
Earth Resources and Sustainability
Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
Geological or Environmental Mapping Project
You may select up to 1.0 credit from the following options:
Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns
Earth and Planetary System Science
Independent MSci Project
You may select up to 2.0 credits from the following options:
Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
Earth and Planetary Materials
Earthquake Seismology and Earthquake Hazards
Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources
Melting and Volcanism
Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
You may take up to 1.0 credit outside the department.
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 sometimes an oral examination.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Geology MSci.
The programme provides a broad education in geology, integrating field and laboratory skills with theoretical studies. The strong emphasis on fieldwork provides a unique opportunity to develop independent and team skills, problem-solving abilities and specific skills such as rock identification, fabric recognition, map-making and the geometrical solving of complex three-dimensional structures.
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 ground conditions associated with land use, such as planning, construction and waste disposal; geological surveying, and collecting geological information for maps and databases.
First destinations of recent graduates (2012-2014) of UCL Geology programmes include:
- Full-time student, MSc in Petroleum Geoscience at Imperial College London
- Oil and Gas Analyst, Global Data
- Engineering Geologist, Gamuda Berhad
*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2016/17 academic year.
- UK/EU students
- £9,000 (2016/17)
- Overseas students
- £21,320 (2016/17)
Fees for students entering UCL in September 2017 (i.e. for the 2017/2018 academic year) will be set in the summer of 2016 and published on the UCL Current Students website. Fees advertised by UCL are for the first year of the programme. UK/EU undergraduate fees are capped, but fees for other students may be subject to increase in future years of study by between 3-5%.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
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.
Application deadline: 15 January 2017
We normally reach a decision on making an offer on the basis of the application alone. If you are resident in the UK and have been made an offer 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.
Although we do recommend that all applicants who receive an offer visit UCL, we recognise that this is not always possible; applicants from regions distant from London and from outside the UK are not normally required to attend.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students