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Geoscience (MSci)

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Course details

Geoscience brings together perspectives from a range of sciences to understand how our Earth works. Using a combination of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics, this course will give you a holistic appreciation to the complex systems that provide the only known home of life in its many forms.

You will study the processes that have governed the formation and evolution of the Earth and the life on it and learn how to interpret these from the records left in the rocks and fossils of our planet.

This MSci course is more advanced than a three-year BSc degree, allowing you to develop originality in the application of knowledge and research skills and deal with complex issues systematically and creatively. MSci degrees are recommended for those who might wish to retain a long-term commitment to the discipline, for example those who wish to proceed to postgraduate study or to a scientific or technical career, and also for those who simply wish to undertake a broader and deeper study of the subject.

Our graduates are highly successful in finding employment in the geoscience sectors, especially the hydrocarbon and environmental industries, or in progressing to research degrees.

Key facts

Key facts about the course
UCAS code F601
Qualification Integrated Masters of Science
Duration Four years full time
Department Earth Sciences

Fees / funding

Please visit the Fees and funding pages for the latest information about tuition fees and the different sources of funding which may be available to you.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time undergraduate degrees must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Further information on making your application through UCAS is available on the Applying section of our website.

If you are interested in applying to Royal Holloway, why not arrange a visit to our campus to see for yourself what academic and student life is like here. The College runs three annual Open days which give you the chance to meet our students and teaching staff, and get a taste of what university life is really like.

Prospective students who receive an offer of a place are invited to attend a UCAS day, where they are shown around the department, given the opportunity to speak with academic members of staff and meet current students.

Entry requirements

Year of entry (select):

Year 1
Year 2
  

Typical offers - 2016

Typical offers
A-levels

ABB, including an A2 grade B in one science subject, or equivalent.

GCSE

At least five GCSE passes at grade A*-C including English and Mathematics.  

English language
requirements

IELTS and TOEFL scores for non-native English speaking applicants.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level including a Science subject (Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography), with a minimum of 32 points overall.

BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a science subject. Substantial Maths content required.

BTEC National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction in a related subject, plus A2 grade B in a science subject.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

Distinction plus A2 grades B, B, one of which must be a science subject.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core.

Scottish Advanced Highers

AB including a Science subject: Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Higher grades as published).

Scottish Highers

AABBB (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Advanced Higher grades as published).

Irish Leaving Certificate

AABBB at Higher Level including B in one Science subject at Higher Level.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit including minimum of 15 Level 3 credits in Science units at Distinction.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below



Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification



International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

Typical offers - 2017

Typical offers
A-levels

ABB-BBB

Required subject: a Science subject (one from Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography)

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken
GCSE

At least five GCSE passes at grade A*-C including English and Mathematics.  

English language
requirements

IELTS and TOEFL scores for non-native English speaking applicants.

Other UK Qualifications Year 2
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level including a Science subject (Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography), with a minimum of 32 points overall.

BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a science subject. Substantial Maths content required.

BTEC National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction in a related subject, plus A2 grade B in a science subject.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

Distinction plus A2 grades B, B, one of which must be a science subject.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core.

Scottish Advanced Highers

AB including a Science subject: Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Higher grades as published).

Scottish Highers

AABBB (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Advanced Higher grades as published).

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including H3 in one Science subject.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit including minimum of 15 Level 3 credits in Science units at Distinction.

Other UK Qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below



Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification



International and EU Entry Requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below


Applicants living in the UK who are given a conditional offer will be asked to meet with an academic member of staff at an Applicant Visit Day (AVD).  Skype or telephone discussions will be available to overseas applicants or those unable to attend an AVD.

Students from overseas should visit the International pages for further information on the entry requirements from their country and English language requirements.  Royal Holloway offers an International Foundation Programme and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

We make decisions based on achieved or predicted grades, personal statements and references. More information on how your application will be assessed, and tips for your personal statement can be found on our Applying pages.

Why choose this course?

  • Accredited by the Geological Society as a fast track route to Fellowship with professional recognition as a Chartered Geologist.
  • The Department of Earth Sciences was ranked 2nd in the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) with 94% of our research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Teaching is complemented by an extensive fieldwork training programme with several field studies in the UK, Europe and the US.
  • The Department is highly ranked in the UK in the 2015 National Student Survey with an "Overall Student Satisfaction" rating of 95%.
  • You will benefit from the wide range of research activities and expertise within the department, and from industrial and commercial partnerships.

What you'll learn

You will take courses in the core geological subjects and be able to specialise in later years. Fieldwork is a key element of the course.

In your final year you will undertake an independent geoscience project involving research into a topic of your choice and supervision by a member of staff.

Throughout the course you will:

  • study the interaction of physical, chemical and biological processes relating to the Earth as a dynamic system through time (crust-mantle processes, surface processes, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere).
  • examine geological materials (minerals, rocks, fluids) and the use of geological maps to represent three-dimensional spatial variations and their interpretation in a temporal framework.
  • consider the application of earth sciences and its social and political role to resource exploitation (hydrocarbons, minerals, water), civil and environmental engineering (construction, waste disposal) and environmental hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides).

All undergraduate degree courses at Royal Holloway are based on the course unit system. This system provides an effective and flexible approach to study, while ensuring that our degrees have a coherent and developmental structure.

The Department’s website gives detailed lists of the course units taken for each different degree.

View the full course specification for Geoscience (MSci) in the Programme Specification Repository

How you'll learn & be assessed

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take sixteen course units at the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective thereby offering flexibility and choice. Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the course units you choose to take. The first year is foundational and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second year, third year and final year marks do count, with more importance being given to the final year marks in order to reward progress and achievement.

Employability & career opportunities

The Department offers rigorous degree courses which will prepare you for a broad range of careers. Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different roles relating to Geoscience including the hydrocarbon and mineral extraction industries and environmental professions, as well as going on to further research degrees.

 
 
 

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