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.
What you will study
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.
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.
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