MSci Geophysics - University College London

Programme title:
Final award (BSc, MA etc):
(where stopping off points exist they should be
detailed here and defined later in the document)
UCAS code:
(where applicable)
Cohort(s) to which this programme
specification is applicable:
Intakes from 1999
(e.g. from 2008 intake onwards)
Awarding institution/body:
University College London
Teaching institution:
University College London
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Parent Department:
Earth Sciences
(the department responsible for the administration of
the programme)
Departmental web page address:
(if applicable)
Method of study:
Full time
Criteria for admission to the
Length of the programme:
4 years
(please note any periods spent away from UCL, such
as study abroad or placements in industry)
Level on Framework for Higher
Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
(see Guidance notes)
Relevant subject benchmark statement
Masters Level (Level 7)
Earth Sciences
(see Guidance notes)
Brief outline of the structure of the
(see guidance notes)
Board of Examiners:
Name of Board of Examiners:
Earth Sciences
Professional body accreditation
(if applicable):
Geological Society
Date of next scheduled
accreditation visit:
September 2020
 To provide a broadly based education in all major branches of geophysics, integrating theoretical studies with essential practical skills
in the field and to the laboratory.
 To develop the ability to work on group projects, prepare written reports and acquire oral skills.
 To provide a sound training that may lead to careers in geophysics either with industry or through
academic- research.
 To provide training in the methods of scientific research, including literature research, the identification and analysis of a
research problem, the design of experimental and observational tests of hypotheses, the acquisition, analysis, and
interpretation of data in a rigorous and reproducible fashion, and the application of data to solve complex problems.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding,
qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:
A: Knowledge and understanding
Knowledge and understanding of:
 The origin, evolution and structure of the
Earth as a physical and chemical system,
including the solid Earth, its oceans, ice
sheets, atmosphere and climate.
 The origin and nature of the geophysical
fields, including the gravitational, magnetic,
electrics and global stress fields.
 Earthquake seismology and the relation to
earth structure and its dynamics.
 The physical and chemical principles
underlying the processes by which rocks
form and change through melting,
crystallization, solid-state flow.
recrystallization, chemical diffusion,
weathering, erosion, deposition of sediment
and rock deformation,.
 The origin, evolution, and internal structure
and dynamics of the Earth and planets. The
interpretation of geophysical data and images
towards an understanding of earth surface
 The understanding of the origin and
evolution of surface features and how such
features provide information on earth &
planetary interiors, dynamics and evolution.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
lectures, practical classes, various forms of coursework including
written assignments, computer-based teaching, fieldwork, and
Assessment is by annual written examination, assessed
laboratory work, course work, and field work, tutorial
essays and marked problems, reports on individual field
work, and independent projects. For most courses the
ratio of assessed coursework to written examinations is
40:60. The minimum pass-mark is 35%, and the
progression to MSci level at the end of the 3rd year
requires a minimum mark of 55%.
B: Skills and other attributes
Intellectual (thinking) skills:
1. Reason inductively and deductively
2. Identify and solve problems
3. Analyse and interpret data
4. Test hypotheses critically
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Intellectual skills are developed through the teaching
learning programme outlined above. Laboratory and
field-work exercises involve the collection and analysts
of scientific data, and the use of the data to deduce
processes, and to test or construct hypotheses.
Intellectual skills are assessed particularly through
written reports and examinations, as well as through
assessed coursework.
C: Skills and other attributes
Practical skills (able to):
 The identification, analysis, and
classification of Earth
 The interpretation of structures,
textures, and fabrics in rocks in terms
of the processes by which they have
 The methods of observation,
measurement, and recording of
geological and geophysical data in the
field, and the construction and
interpretation of geological and
planetary maps.
 The geometrical analysis of complex
three-dimensional structures.
 The measurement and interpretation of
geophysical data, and its analysis in
terms of the internal structure and
composition of the Earth.
 The application of geological and
understanding of earth and planetary
surfaces and interiors.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Practical skills are taught in laboratory and field classes,
and in tutorials, and involve a combination of
demonstration, group exercises, and individual exercises.
An important aspect of the skills teaching is the
independent mapping project, in which the students have
to apply their training, unsupervised, and produce a
planetary map and report using mission image data. This
exercise has the effect of developing the self-confidence
and independent ability of the student, and allowing them
to test and develop their interpretation skills.
Practical skills are assessed primarily through assessed
coursework and projects.
D: Skills and other attributes
Transferable skills (able to):
 Independent project design,
management, and completion to time,
 Team-based problem-solving.
 Communication and discussion of
scientific ideas.
 Oral and written presentation skills.
 Graphical design skills,
 Numerical skills appropriate to a
physical scientist.
 Use of information technology (wordprocessing, internet databases,
spreadsheets, statistical and graphical
 Job application and interview skills.
 First-aid training.
Teaching/learning methods and strategies:
Transferable skills are inculcated through (1} individual
and team-based course-work assignments involving
independent projects that have to be completed to a
schedule, (2) seminars and oral presentations in
tutorials, {3} preparation of major written including
computer-based graphics covering independent
research projects. (4) coursework involving calculations,
usually computer-based and involving spreadsheets,
mathematical and statistical software; and (5) literature
based research using electronic databases and the
internet. First-aid training is part of our field-skills
Transferable skills are assessed in part through
assessed coursework and projects, and through the
informal medium of the tutorial system.
The following reference points were used in designing the programme:
 the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications:
 the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements:
 the programme specifications for UCL degree programmes in relevant subjects (where applicable);
 UCL teaching and learning policies;
 staff research.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the
learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes
full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes,
content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the
departmental course handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually
by UCL and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.
Programme Organiser(s)
Professor Paul Bown
Date of Production:
February 2003
Date of Review:
December 2014
Date approved by Head of
17 December 2014
Date approved by Chair of
Departmental Teaching
Date approved by Faculty
Teaching Committee
17 December 2014
February 2015