Earth Sciences (International Programme) MSci
This four-year programme allows students to follow any of the MSci programmes offered by UCL Earth Sciences, with the additional opportunity to spend year three studying at an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, continental Europe, China, Japan or North America.
- UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
- Application deadline
- 26 January 2022
- London, Bloomsbury
- Two sciences preferred.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- CCC (more about contextual offers)
- Two sciences preferred.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects to preferably include two sciences, with no score lower than 5.
- 30 (more about contextual offers)
- A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects to preferably 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:
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction. Science subject units preferred.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Science subject units preferred.
D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Two sciences preferred
AAB at Advanced Highers (or AA 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 AAB. 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
UCL 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 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.
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.
Our department delivers world-leading research embracing the origins and history of life, Earth’s composition and structure, earthquake and volcanic hazards, and past and present climate change, and these are fully integrated within our taught programme.
We have recently moved into the renovated Kathleen Lonsdale Building with new, world-class facilities include bespoke teaching laboratories, new microscope facilities and student study areas, all in the heart of the department, next to staff offices and research laboratories.
The department has one of the highest staff/student ratios in the country, resulting in small classes. Teaching is delivered by all of our research-active staff guaranteeing up-to-the-minute understanding and providing opportunities to take part in cutting-edge research activities.
Students carry out a major 4th year research project within one of our research groups, with research often leading to student-led publications and conference presentations.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
You will initially follow the first two years of one of the degree programmes on offer in UCL Earth Sciences (Environmental Geoscience, Geology, Geophysics, or the General, Palaeobiology or Environment and Policy pathways in the Earth Sciences programme) but with an additional option of a foreign language elective.
Your third year is spent abroad at an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, continental Europe, North America, China or Japan. You will return to UCL for your final year.
The final title of the degree awarded may reflect the particular choice of modules that you have taken, for example Earth Sciences (International Programme) (Geology) MSci.
The number of places available for direct entry onto the International programme is limited and, therefore, competitive. Eligibility to continue will be assessed in both the first and second years of study. Students failing to maintain the required standard will be transferred to the corresponding UK-based MSci or BSc programme.
Upon successful completion of 480 credits, you will be awarded a MSci (Hons) in Earth Sciences (International Programme).
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.
From Petrology to Petrogenesis (including Cornwall fieldwork)
History of Life
Surface Processes (including Dorset/Devon fieldwork)
You will select 15 credits of optional modules from Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Geoscience programmes, and the Palaeobiology or Environment and Policy pathways.
Maps, Images and Structures (including fieldwork)
Structural Geology and Tectonics
You will select 90 credits of optional modules from the Environmental Geoscience, Geology and Geophysics programmes, and the Palaeobiology or Environment and Policy pathways. Options available within the department may include:
Vertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution
Principles of Climate
Surface Processes and Structures
Numerical Methods for Earth Sciences
Year abroad at an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, continental Europe or North America.
Earth and Planetary System Science (including fieldwork)
Independent MSci Project
You will select 60 credits of optional modules from the Environmental Geoscience, Geology and Geophysics programmes or the Palaeobiology or Environment and Policy pathways depending on your programme diet. Options available within the department may include:
Earth and Planetary Materials
Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazards
Earthquake Seismology and Earthquake Hazards
Melting and Volcanism
Deep Earth and Planetary Modelling
Sustainable Management of the Environment
Advanced Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Studies
Because the Earth Sciences (International Programme) MSci spans several degree programmes, the modules shown here are illustrative only, using the General pathway in the Earth Sciences MSci as an example.
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 module descriptions are available on the department website: Earth Sciences (International Programme) MSci.
You will develop both discipline-based and highly sought after analytical skills, together with practical skills such as planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, collecting, recording and analysing data and the ability to undertake field and laboratory research.
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.
UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
- UK students
- £9,250 (2022/23)
- Overseas students
- £32,100 (2022/23)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
The department makes a substantial contribution towards fieldwork costs (ranging between £150-800 per student per trip), covering all accommodation and in-field transportation for all fieldwork which is organised by the department. The majority of the fieldtrips include breakfast and/or dinner. Some fieldtrips in the second year are self-catered. Students are expected to cover their transportation to and from the beginning of the field location for some of the 2nd and 3rd year non-UK field trips (cost of a return flight/train or bus), at an estimated cost of £200-£400.
During the year abroad, students may wish to participate in field trips or activities arranged by the partner institution which may incur additional costs. For more information and guidance about the costs of studying abroad, please see study abroad pages.”
In the fourth year, there is a 4-day trip to Germany. Students are expected to cover their transport to Germany (~£150). In-field transportation and accommodation (half-board) are covered by the department.
In addition, please note that if you wish to study abroad during your programme at UCL, this is likely to incur additional costs. Studying abroad may cost between £200–£1,000 per month depending on where you choose to study. The cost of studying abroad can be difficult to predict as it will depend on your priorities and choices. There is more information available on the UCL Study Abroad website.
A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).
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.
Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.
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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.
Page last modified on 13 January 2022