The MSc Advanced Applied Field Geoscience is the most fieldwork based MSc in the UK. This is a 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. Petroleum Experts Ltd (Petex) has also donated 10 licences of the MOVE software suite, the commercial equivalent of which is £1,341,961.89 to support our teaching and learning.
Fieldwork trips could see students visit Finland, Azores, Spain and the UK along with work close to our campus in South Wales.
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The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are delighted to say that Petroleum Experts Ltd (Petex) has donated 10 licences of the MOVE software suite, the commercial equivalent of which is £1,341,961.89. MOVE allows the modelling in 3D of surface and subsurface geological datasets and is a crucial tool in modern digital geological mapping.
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.
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 at USW. Prior to joining USW he was Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Exeter, before setting up a commercial consultancy company. He has published over 115 scientific papers and books. Research on applications of forensic geology has included linking soil characteristics with crime scenes and using soils to identify geographical locations. Dr Pirrie is co-author of a book, "The Guide to Forensic Geology" by the Geological Society of London. New work, funded through the International Union of Geological Sciences is investigating the detection and mitigation of mining crime.
Dr Ian Skilling is a British-born volcanologist with 25 years of research and teaching experience at Universities in the United States, South Africa and UK. He pioneered the use of lithofacies analysis of clastic rocks generated by volcano-ice interaction to interpret depositional environments and edifice evolution and has continued to focus on the interpretation of a wide range of volcaniclastic rocks. Dr Skilling was a volcanologist with the British Antarctic Survey (Cambridge, UK), and has undertaken geologic consultancy projects for several mining companies in South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania, and collaborated on geothermal exploration programs in Kenya (UNDP). He has a particular passion for field studies, and have led 25+ field trips (often with undergraduate and postgraduate students) in many parts of the world, including Iceland, Kenya, Antarctica, UK, Canada, California, Hawaii, Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa. His most recent areas of research focus is Iceland and Oregon.
Dr Sorcha Diskin is a geochemist, with interests in the provenancing of geological and man-made materials. Her research falls under three main themes: Geochemistry and mineralogy; Quaternary climate changes; and Pedagogy in geology.
Dr Marios Miliozoris is a structural geologist with interests in the Variscan.
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
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.
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.
|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.
The research dissertation module may involve costs associated with the fieldwork, although students will be encouraged and supported to find industry-based placements.
Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.
There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.
The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.
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.
Graduates can also progress to a PhD or research degree.