Full Time 1yr
This course focuses on the physical processes that generate natural hazards through an advanced understanding of geological and environmental processes.
You will be fully trained by internationally recognised experts in hazard identification, terrain evaluation techniques as well as hazard modelling and risk assessment techniques. Providing you with the essential skills to monitor, warn and help control the consequences of natural hazards.
On this course you can:
This course is accredited by the Geological Society of London. It offers advanced professional and scientific training providing an accelerated route for you to attain Chartered Status, such as Chartered Geologist (CGeol) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) on graduation.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
This Master's is hands-on with very few exams, which suited my style of learning and learning in the field will help me achieve employment on completing this degree.
Becky Rainford, MSc Geological and Environmental Hazards student 2013
You can opt to take this course in full-time or part-time mode.
The course is divided into two parts. The first part comprises the lecture, workshop, practical and field work elements of the course, followed by a five-month independent research project. The course is a mixture of taught units and research project covering topics including site investigation, hazard modelling and mapping, soil mechanics and rock mechanics, contaminated land, flooding and slope stability.
Here are the units you will study:
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
The course provides a balanced structure of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will learn through hands-on practical sessions designed to give you the skills in laboratory, computer and field techniques. The course also includes extensive field work designed to provide field mapping and data collection skills.
Assessment is varied, aimed at developing skills relevant to a range of working environments. Here’s how we assess your work:
Dr Malcolm Whitworth
Earth and Environmental Sciences
This course provides excellent MSc accommodation, with state-of-the-art geotechical, computing and analytical laboratory facilities available to you throughout and the support of friendly and approachable staff who have extensive research and consultancy experience. It also offers excellent career prospects, and is run with a strong emphasis on employability with placement and work experience opportunities readily available.
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Our field trips consist of a series of residential technique trips (typically two or three days in duration) undertaken in the UK. They include training in soil and rock descriptions to current UK and EU standards, rock mass assessment, geomorphological mapping, landslide mapping and terrain evaluation. You will also venture overseas for a week-long study tour to study field expression of active volcanic, flooding, landslide and seismic processes. There are also plenty of opportunities for you to complete your research project abroad with previous destinations including Costa Rica, Tenerife, North America, Caribbean, Canada, Italy and France.
We offer a fully equipped geological, geochemical and a recently refurbished geotechnics lab. Brimming with ultra-modern equipment, here’s a taste of what you’ll be able to work on:
You will have access to field equipment, including GPS mapping and slope survey kit, as well as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and image processing software (ArcGIS, ERDAS Imagine, ER Mapper and ENVI). All of these facilities are fully supported by dedicated technical support staff and are freely available whenever you should need to use them.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
The cost of travel or accommodation for compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you will need to pay for meals and other subsistence costs. Compulsory project work is normally carried out in the UK, and you will be required to contribute to travel, accommodation and meals, These costs are likely to be in the region of £50 - £500 depending on the nature of the project. You will be provided with essential safety equipment for fieldwork and site visits (hard hat and reflective jacket). If you require additional field equipment you will be required to purchase these items. Total costs will be in the region of £130.
This course provides vocational skills designed to enable you to enter this specialist environmental field. These skills include field mapping, report writing, meeting deadlines, team working, presentation skills, advanced data modelling and communication.
You will be fully equipped to gain employment in the insurance industry, government agencies and specialist geoscience companies, all of which are tasked with identifying and dealing with natural hazards. Previous destinations of our graduates have included major re-insurance companies, geological and geotechnical consultancies, local government and government agencies.
It also has strong research and analytical components, ideal if you wish to pursue further research to PhD level.
We aim to provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
The University of Portsmouth has a great reputation within the geology industry and has a high employability rate. I discovered many work colleagues in the industry, and lecturers from other universities, hold Master’s or Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Portsmouth and recommended Portsmouth to me.
Jon Butland, MSc Geological and Environmental Hazards student
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