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Geophysical Hazards MSc

This MSc provides a broad introduction to geohazards, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology. A key goal is to provide an essential grounding in quantitative modelling that can be widely applied to several fields, from pure research to the commercial sector.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Please note:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the structure and delivery of this programme is currently under review, we advise that you contact the programme lead named in the contact box for more information before you apply.

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the structure and delivery of this programme is currently under review, we advise that you contact the programme lead named in the contact box for more information before you apply.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£11,830 (FT)
£5,885 (PT)
Overseas:
£32,250 (FT)
£16,280 (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 Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants whose qualifications are of a lower standard may be admitted if evidence of an adequate academic background and appropriate field experience can be shown.

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.

International students

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 provides an introduction to the spectrum and impact of geophysical hazards, and a focus on quantitative models for hazard forecasting and assessment. Selected case studies illustrate how these models are essential for improving decision-making during emergencies, for raising the awareness of vulnerable populations, and for evaluating and implementing mitigation strategies.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Geophysical Hazards.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Geological and Geotechnical Hazards (Foundation)
  • Meteorological Hazards (Foundation)
  • Research and Skills Methods
  • Earthquake Hazard
  • Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
  • Meteorological and Hydrogeological Hazard

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project in geophysical hazards, which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words.

Fieldwork

The programme includes a mandatory field trip. Field sites are commonly in Italy. The department pays for accommodation and transport in the field. Students pay to get to the field and subsistence. The field trip is normally held just before or after Easter; the exact time depends on how the dates of Easter and UCL's terms fall each year.

A mandatory day-visit to a flood location near London is also included for the module on meteorological and hydrological hazards.


Covid-19 field trip updates
Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned field trips for this programme. This will depend on travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and the availability of the relevant venues. Your department will keep you updated if field trips are able to occur and/or any alternative options available.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading and practical exercises. There are excellent opportunities for field investigations in the UK and abroad. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, practical problem-solving exercises and essays. The independent research report is assessed through the dissertation and an oral presentation.

One third of a student's time is spent in lectures and the remainder in independent study.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

The cost of the European field trip depends on location and exchange rate. Based on the previous three years, it is estimated that students would need to contribute £300-£400 for travel between home and field, essential subsistence, and incidental equipment (e.g., notebooks). Specialist clothing is not required.

The UK day-trip is estimated to cost £20-£30 for travel and subsistence.

The independent research project may involve additional costs. These will vary on a case-by-case basis (e.g., students will have to cover travel costs to fieldwork sites should these be required). Limited funding is available; this will be discussed before any project is agreed.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

UCL offers a selection of scholarships for supporting postgraduate studies.

Please refer to the UCL Scholarships website for further informaion.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

Note:
This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Note:
Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2020/21
Value:
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
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.

Careers

On graduation from this programme about one-third of students have followed careers in global insurance and re-insurance and another third have pursued research with a PhD in hazard-related studies. The remaining third have developed careers in a wide range of sectors, from non-governmental organisations, through teaching, to the fields of emergency planning and environmental management.

Employability

The MSc in Geophysical Hazards will provide essential training for careers in hazard assessment and risk evaluation, including: industry, from engineering to insurance; academic research; civil protection agencies and government organisations; and NGOs related to aid and development. 

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. The department hosts the UCL Hazard Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.

This MSc includes a short field trip to locations that illustrate the impact of natural hazards. Previous trips have included the Neapolitan volcanic district, the Italian Alps and the Po Delta, and the Cádiz region in south-western Spain.

Department: Earth Sciences

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"London is an amazing, world-leading research and knowledge hub. At UCL students have the opportunity to work in one of the world's leading centres on natural hazards and disaster risk reduction, which has a very strong focus on education, training and knowledge exchange, rather than just pure research."

Dr Stephen Edwards

Geophysical Hazards MSc
UCL Hazard Centre

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme will be particularly attractive to those seeking or advancing a career in hazard or risk science - including hazard and risk management, environmental monitoring, emergency planning, and catastrophe-related finance - and to academics and professionals considering a career move into the hazard and risk science field.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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 Geophysical Hazards at graduate level
  • why you want to study Geophysical Hazards at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to Geophysical Hazards programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree; for example, are you interested in pursuing a career in research, or in applying your knowledge to the commercial or humanitarian sectors?

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020