Earth Sciences (International Programme) MSci
Earth Sciences (International Programme) MSci (2024)
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.
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme startsSeptember 2025
Application deadline29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code
- Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Geography, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics preferred
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 4.
Contextual offer information
Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.
- A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects to preferably include two sciences, with no higher level score below 5. Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Geography, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics preferred
Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
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. Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Geography, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics preferred
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction. Science subject units preferred. Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Geography, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics preferred
D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Two sciences preferred. Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Geography, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics preferred.
AAB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Two sciences preferred at Advanced Higher. Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Geography, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics preferred.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAB. Biology, Chemistry, Geology/Geography, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics preferred.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
Access and widening participationUCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.
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
The English language level for this programme is: Level 1
Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
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 either of the two 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.
What this course will give you
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 are located in the Kathleen Lonsdale Building, providing you with access to world-class facilities including bespoke teaching laboratories, microscope facilities and student study areas, all in the heart of the department, next to staff offices and research laboratories.
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.
Teaching and learning
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).
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. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.
The MSci Earth Sciences International Programme is intended to provide a complete education and training that will qualify students for a wide range of high-level professional employment or postgraduate education and research within and outside the subject area. The structure is similar to the other degrees we offer (Geology, Geophysics, Environmental Geoscience, and Earth Sciences) but with the addition of a study year abroad at an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, continental Europe or North America.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules (usually 8 per year), normally valued at 15 credits. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from year-to-year.
In Year 1, you will develop a fundamental knowledge base in both practical, theoretical and field-based skills. A Mathematics module is taken appropriate to A level background.
In Year 2, you will develop specific skills used in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and take modules which build on the first year programme.
In Year 3, you will go abroad to universities with strong Earth Sciences programme. There are numerous approved options in North America, Australia, New Zealand and English programmes in Japan. You can take advantage of the year abroad by exploring modules not usually taught at UCL, while maintaining the proper programme balance. To qualify for the year abroad you must maintain an average of 65% over years 1 and 2, otherwise you can register on one of the cognate programmes on year 3, subject to meeting any additional requirements on those programmes.
In Year 4, you will gain specific training in research skills in preparation for postgraduate education or a professional career in Earth sciences. You will further develop your interests by choosing from a range of Masters-level optional modules, usually aligned with your chosen research project.
A major independent research project provides a focal point for the year and you are involved in project choice and design, perform the work within major research teams, and produce outputs that frequently lead to professional presentations and publications. The year closes with an Undergraduate Research Conference attended by students, staff and alumni.
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.
Typical weekly contact hours in the first three years will be 8 hours of lectures and 8 hours of practicals. Lecturers are also available for help outside these formal hours, as well regular tutorial sessions. During field trips, student will have constant contact with several members of staff (except for the independent mapping). Students are also expected to do an additional 15 to 20 hours per week independent study.
You will be assessed by a combination of written examinations, practical examinations, coursework, independent project reports and sometimes an oral examination.
The foundation of your career
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.
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.
Fees and funding
Fees for this course
|Tuition fees (2024/25)
|Tuition fees (2024/25)
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 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 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.
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.
In the third year, there is an optional fieldtrip for 30 days of independent mapping. For this fieldtrip, the department provides a cheque for ~£800 to each student.
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 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).
Funding your studies
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.
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.
We are looking for students with a broad interest in science. Previous knowledge or experience in the Earth Sciences is not needed, but you should know why you wish to take our degrees. Students will need to be hard-working, self-motivated, bright and able to work independently but as well as part of a team.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.
Although we do recommend that all applicants who receive an offer visit UCL, we recognise that this is not always possible; applicants from regions distant from London and from outside the UK are not normally required to attend. Instead thse applicants will have an opportunity to chat with current students and staff during an online Virtual Open Day.
We normally reach a decision on making an offer on the basis of the application alone. If you are resident in the UK and have been made an offer you will be invited to an applicant open day. This visit will include introductory talks on Earth sciences and our degree programmes, a tour of the department and UCL and a question and answer session.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.