UCL Earth Sciences


GEOL0039 Earth & Planetary System Science

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

Coordinator: Prof Graham Shields

Module Details
TitleEarth and Planetary System Science
UG CodeGEOL0039
CoordinatorProf Graham Shields
Other Contributors 
Term1 & 2 Departmental Seminars are held on Friday evenings, 5pm-6pm; 4 day fieldtrip (Term 2).
Written Exam 

100%, comprising the following components:

  • 2 special seminar reports (25%)
  • a group presentation (25%)
  • fieldwork lab-book/report (50%)
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement 
Total Number of Hours of Student Work188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars50 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes0
Hours of Tutorials0
Days of Fieldwork4 day fieldtrip to Ries Crater.
Categorizing Student Performance Levels

Attendance at departmental seminar series (~20 seminars) during the Autumn and Spring terms.  Attendance at up to 10 additional seminars/advanced lectures. 

Two oral presentations presented in group format.



  • To review recent research in Earth and Planetary Science
  • To promote awareness of what is involved in scientific research
  • To develop a critical approach in assessing scientific research
  • To gain an holistic understanding of Earth and Planetary Science


Knowledge and understanding of a broad range of Earth and Planetary subjects at the forefront of scientific research, including those outside the specific purview of the student’s degree programme.

Intellectual Outcomes:

  • a thorough understanding of Earth and Planetary theories, paradigms, concepts and principles and an in-depth understanding of more specialised areas;
  • a highly developed ability to consider issues from a wide range of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives and to draw on appropriate concepts and values in arriving at a critical assessment.
  • actical and Transferable Outcomes:
  • a highly developed ability to analyse, synthesise summarise and evaluate critically information from academic literature, ideas, interpretations, field observations and other sources;
  • the ability to communicate highly effectively to a variety of audiences in written, graphical and verbal forms.