UCL Earth Sciences


GEOL0037 MSc Geoscience Research Methods

This MSc provides an introduction to geohazards, research methods and field techniques, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology.

Coordinator: Dr Pieter Vermeesch

Module Details
TitleMSc Geoscience Research Methods
UG CodeGEOL0037
CoordinatorDr Pieter Vermeesch
Other Contributors 
Written Exam 
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement 
Total Number of Hours of Student Work188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars10 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes16 hours
Hours of Tutorials 
Days of Fieldwork 

The Research Methods module is the first of three components of the research training of the MSc in Geoscience, which represent half the credits of the MSc. The three components, chronologically, are:

Research Methods module (Term 1): 15 credits Project Proposal (Term 2): 15 credits
  • The ‘Research Methods’ module is taught at the beginning of Term 1 and will be generic training including, for example: basic safety, data analysis, laboratory methods, and presentation skills (a poster will be produced).

  •  Dissertation (Term 3): 60 credits 


To develop the participants ability to plan research particularly in relation to:

  • Assessing previous work from the literature and identifying research needs;
  • Planning work including the assessment of risks and costs and time needed.


Knowledge of:

  • The research facilities of the department;
  • Methods of data analysis;
  • Computational skills including introductory programming;
  • Safety protocols at UCL;
  • Report writing.

Understanding of:

The need for consideration in research of: planning, costing, communication and safety assessment.