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Postgraduate Study

4 courses offered in the Department of Earth Sciences

The MPhil in Earth Sciences is a 12-month full-time programme of research that introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. It involves carrying out an original piece of research and is examined on the basis of the research thesis. There are no taught courses. Most of our postgraduate students apply for PhD admission.

The project outline will be developed in consultation with your supervisor and will comprise original research leading to the advancement of knowledge.  Research topics can be in any area which intersects with the expertise in the Department's research groups but should be agreed upon with a supervisor in advance. You will receive training in relevant research methods.

This MPhil by research will provide you with a suitable background to work as a research assistant as well as with the grounding for further study towards a doctoral-level research degree.

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We welcome research enquiries from those working for first degrees in earth science subjects, physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials, biology and related subjects. Most research studentships lead to the PhD degree. We are also happy to devise projects with you if you have specific interests that we share.

Please note: part-time study may not always be viable and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, so please discuss this option with your proposed supervisor before making an application for this mode of study.

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Awaiting Approval

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Awaiting Approval

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3 courses also advertised in the Department of Earth Sciences

From the British Antarctic Survey

This PhD course takes place under the joint supervision of a research scientist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and a University supervisor. Students may be based at BAS but will be registered for their degree with one of the partnering departments: Archaeology & Anthropology, Land Economy, Plant Sciences, Zoology, Earth Sciences, Geography and Scott Polar Research Institute, Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Computer Science and Technology.

BAS welcomes enquiries from those interested in higher degrees in earth science subjects, physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and related areas.

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From the Institute of Astronomy

The MPhil in Planetary Sciences and Life in the Universe is a 10-month cross-departmental programme designed to deliver outstanding postgraduate level training in the search for life’s origins on Earth and its discovery on planets beyond Earth.

The course structure has been designed by leading scientists to provide students with the theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and transferable skills required to undertake world-leading research in Planetary Sciences and Life in the Universe. Graduating students will be equipped with the discipline specific-specialisations and skills of a masters course, whilst gaining understanding in how the core areas that bridge PSLU fields form the cross-disciplinary foundation of this exciting new frontier.

Graduates of the course will gain valuable skills rooted in the study of the physics, chemistry, mathematics, and biology of planetary science and life in the universe. Transferrable skills training is delivered through the three group-based projects running over the year: these provide a unique opportunity for students to gain experience of leadership, collaboration, and written and oral communication.  The training provided will be an outstanding foundation for PhD research in planetary science, exoplanetary science, Earth system science, planetary astrophysics, astrobiology and allied disciplines, or for the wide range of careers where analytical skills, excellent communication, and experience of leading collaborations are key.

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From the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

The MPhil in Quantitative Climate and Environmental Sciences is a 10-month cross-departmental programme in the School of the Physical Sciences which aims to provide education of the highest quality in the analysis and modelling of Earth's climate and environment at a master’s level. The programme covers a range of skills required for the acquisition and assessment of laboratory and field data, and for the understanding through quantitative modelling of climate and environmental processes. 

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Department Members

Professor RJ Harrison
Head of Department

  • 33 Academic Staff
  • 40 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 80 Graduate Students
  • 200 Undergraduates

Research Areas