This MSc is a uniquely broad and flexible programme that suits students' aspirations, background and experience. UCL Earth Sciences has strengths in geophysics, geochemistry, palaeobiology, mineral physics, geodynamics, geohazards, climate science, environmental geosciences and policy, and other areas. Students choose from a wide range of optional modules from within the department and more widely across UCL, building an MSc tailored to their interests.
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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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.
A minimum of a lower second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
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.
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 aims to integrate theoretical studies with essential practical skills in the Earth sciences, both in the field and in the laboratory. Students develop the ability to work on group projects, prepare written reports, acquire oral skills and gain training in the methods of scientific research.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), five optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
Please note that every effort is made to ensure that all modules will run but on occasion we may need to withdraw a module at short notice.
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Geoscience.
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.
- Research Methods
- Research Proposal
- Earth and Planetary Systems Science
- Earth and Planetary Materials
- Melting and Volcanism
- Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
- Earthquake Seismology and Earthquake Hazard
- Advanced Biodiversity and Macroevoltionary Studies
- Geology for Global Managers and Engineers
- Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
- Tectonic Geomorphology
- Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Evolution
- Earth Resources and Sustainability
- Sustainable Management of the Environment
Students can also choose relevant elective modules from other UCL departments.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Analysis is a fieldwork only module (to Spain) without a classroom element. The field trip to Germany is mandatory. Students are expected to pay for travel to and from the field area and any additional subsistence. Accommodation and subsistence is provided.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory and fieldwork exercises. Student performance is assessed through coursework, written assignments, unseen written examination and the dissertation.
There is a compulsory field trip to Germany. Students are expected to pay for travel to the field area (flight, train and also taxi or bus fees to arrive to airports and accommodation) and essential subsistence. Estimated travel costs are £140.
Field clothing and equipment is required and will need to be purchased if the student does not already possess these, this includes: waterproof jacket, suitable walking boots, notebook, pencils, compass clinometer, handlens, hardhat. Estimate cost £135.
Printing and binding dissertation ~£40 per copy. Two copies required = ~£80.
Please refer to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships for available funding.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2020/21
- Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
- 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.
Geoscience students have gone on to pursue careers in many varied areas, such as planning and surveying, governmental organisations, academic research.
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, which include the UK's only NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility and access to the University of London Observatory in north London. The department is based in the Kathleen Lonsdale Building, which reopened in 2018 following a £27.5 million refurbishment
The department also hosts the UCL Hazard Research Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.
Department: Earth Sciences
Application and next steps
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 is suitable for students with a background in geology, geophysics, physical geography or a relevant discipline who want to prepare for research in the Earth sciences and for entry into a PhD programme.
- 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 Geoscience at graduate level
- why you want to study Geoscience at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic background meets the demands of this programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
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.