MSc Advanced Applied Field Geoscience

Our MSc Advanced Applied Field Geoscience is the most fieldwork intensive MSc in the UK. This is a highly vocational MSc course that will give you with the knowledge, skills, competence and confidence to work in a wide range of practical geoscience careers, from engineering geology and mining to quarrying, petroleum geoscience and research.

Rather than focusing on an individual geoscience career path, we focus on providing a thorough training in a number of geoscience skills including digital data capture and visualisation, analytical methods and applied field geology.

Fieldwork includes trips to Utah (USA), Finland, Azores, Spain and the UK along with work close to our campus in South Wales.

Follow USW Geology on Twitter.

 

Study Mode
2019
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Glyntaff A
Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A

The MSc Advanced Applied Field Geoscience is a one year (full time) or two year (part time) course. It comprises three 40 credit taught modules along with a 60 credit research dissertation. Each taught module is divided into four topics, with each topic delivered in a two week intensive teaching block.

  • Digital Geology
    This comprises surveying and image analysis; digital mapping; surface and subsurface correlation and visualisation, and near surface geophysics. This includes training in digital mapping software packages and also industry standard 3D correlation and modelling software. As part of this module there is fieldwork in South Wales along with courses in Utah (USA) and southern Spain.

  • Analytical Geoscience
    This focuses on how samples are collected and analysed and how resultant data are manipulated and interpreted. The module is structured through the different types of materials which might be sampled: water, air / soil, rock and geological commodities. For each, we focus on the practical skills involved in sample collection in a quality control and quality assurance framework. This is followed by the assessment of different analytical methods and how the data can be used to address different geoscience questions.

  • Applied Field Geology
    This provides training in applied field-based geological data collection, related to natural hazards, mineral exploration and mining and in geotechnics and contaminated land. Natural hazards fieldwork is carried out in the volcanic islands of the Azores. Fieldwork related to mineral exploration methods leading through to successful mining operations is carried out in Finland. For geotechnics and contaminated land we will be working in Cornwall, including the opportunity to do underground geological mapping.

  • Research Dissertation
    Here you can focus on a specific area of applied geology and use the information gained during the taught modules to carry out a research project or a commercial company placement.

Teaching

The three taught modules are delivered between September and April. Each module is divided into four topics, with each topic taught over a two week block. Teaching includes formal lectures, tutorials, practical classes, field/site visits, and field courses.

For each topic there are 18 formally taught hours along with field / site visits, field trips and directed learning. In total the formal taught classes and expected independent study equates to a full time job, with around 40 hours per week.

Some topics will be delivered by guest lecturers from industry and you will also have the opportunity to network with companies and guest speakers throughout the year. From May through to August you will be working on your research project, which may be a placement with industry.

Assessment

The MSc Advanced Applied Field Geoscience is based entirely on coursework. Each taught module is divided into four topics with one assessment for each topic.

The assessment types include 3,000 word written reports; verbal presentations; team reports and portfolios of field-based data.

The research dissertation is based on the submission of a report which will either be in the format of a scientific paper or as a commercial consultancy report.

Facilities

We have excellent dedicated geology teaching laboratories along with a wide range of analytical equipment. Specialist software for the Advanced Applied Field Geoscience MSc includes the MOVE software suite and PETREL. FieldMOVE is available for use on tablet PCs.

Featured Lecturer:
Dr Duncan Pirrie

Dr Duncan Pirrie

Welcome to the MSc in Advanced Applied Field Geology. Do you find that fieldwork is where geology comes alive ? Are you interested in a career in applied geology and wish to develop a wide range of professional skills to help you start your career? If the answer is yes then we can help!

Our MSc is designed to provide you with a packed training course in modern methods of field data collection and sampling across a wide range of Earth science disciplines.

During the taught modules you will have over 40 days fieldwork, including planned trips to Utah, Finland, the Azores and Spain as well as in Cornwall and of course South Wales. This is an intensive programme but will be the spring-board for your future career

Lecturers

The core academic staff are supported by guest lecturers from the different geoscience business sectors.

The course leader is Dr Duncan Pirrie, Associate Professor of Geology, who has wide ranging academic and industrial experience.

Dr Ian Skilling is a volcanologist with experience of volcanic hazards and mineral deposits.

Dr Sorcha Diskin is a geochemist, with interests in the provenancing of geological and man-made materials.

Dr Marios Miliozoris is a structural geologist with interests in the Variscan.

Candidates should usually have a first-class or upper second-class Honours degree in Geology, Earth Science, Geophysics, or joint honours Geology – Geography, although other applicants would be considered based on their personal circumstances.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit / Equipment *
Students undertaking courses that contain elements of outdoor fieldwork must wear appropriate outdoor clothing, which includes suitable wet weather gear, rugged boots/shoes and hat/gloves. The location and weather will determine the nature of clothing/footwear worn, and therefore the cost, and students will be informed of these requirements at the start of their studies. Please note that inappropriate clothing/footwear may prevent students from participating in an activity. Students will need to supply suitable field notebooks in order to take observations/notes during field courses. Note that some fieldwork may require visas and vaccinations, which are at the cost to the student and will vary depending on individual circumstances.
Field work * £3500 - £3500
To cover the costs associated with the travel and accommodation for the field courses to Utah (USA), Finland, Spain, the Azores, Cornwall and local work in South Wales. Generally, students will be expected to pay for their food unless specifically included within the field course.
Placement *
The research dissertation module may involve costs associated with the fieldwork, although students will be encouraged and supported to find industry-based placements.

Funding

You can apply for a postgraduate loan as a contribution towards your course and living costs.

Graduates with a Masters in Advanced Applied Field Geoscience will be equipped to seek jobs across the earth sciences, including site investigation, contaminated land assessment, geotechnics and engineering geology, mining, quarrying, petroleum geoscience and research.

Highlight Stories