The minimum entrance qualification is an upper second class (2.1) honours degree in earth science or a related subject from a UK university, or its equivalent from an overseas academic institution - however, most successful applications have a first class (1) honours degree or equivalent. Professionals with other qualifications, but with a minimum of three years' relevant industrial experience, are also encouraged to apply.

English language requirement

It is essential that students can speak and write English fluently, in order that they can understand lectures, produce reports and other written work, give oral presentations, and undertake exams. Imperial College will normally accept students with an IELTS score of at least 6.5. Full details of the English language requirements can be found on the Postgraduate prospectus site.

Tests are available from the British Council in most countries, or through English language institutions. Prior to the first term, the College run a pre-session course in English who fall marginally below the entry requirements. For further details see the College's webpage on English language requirements.

Course fees and costs

Course fees vary depending on residential category:

  • If your normal residence is in the UK, or you are a resident of any EU country, you will be classed as a Home Student for fee-paying purposes;
  • If your permanent residence is overseas, or you hold a British passport but have been out of the UK for the past 3 years, then you will be classed as an Overseas Student for fee-paying purposes.

For further details, follow the links on the College's postgraduate student webpage for fees for Home and Overseas students.

The course fees cover registration, academic tuition, examination, graduation and membership of the Library and Student Union. For Home Students entering the 2017-18 course, fees have been raised to include travel and accommodation costs for fieldwork (currently 30 days in the UK and USA). Students are required to have adequate field clothing and equipment (suggested budget of £500) and need to meet some subsistence costs (food, etc.) on fieldtrips (suggested budget of £15 per day), neither of which are covered by the course fees.

The fees do not include living costs in the UK. It can be difficult to assess the financial implications of living and studying in London. Students who miscalculate these costs and subsequently suffer financial difficulties almost always find that this has a serious adverse effect on their studies. The College recommends that a single student allows for living expenses of approximately £14,800 over the duration of an MSc course. For further details, follow the links on the College's postgraduate student webpage for living costs.

When to apply

Applications are accepted from early November to the end of March, when the applications process will close.

Please ensure that your applications includes a personal statement, two references (including at least one academic reference) and a copy of your academic transcript.  Applications without these important relevant documents will not be processed.  The most common reason for a delay in processing an application is incompleteness.

Successful applicants will be notified at the end of March.

We strongly encourage applicants to apply soon after the online application system opens in November. This allows us to process applications prior to the course Open Day in late January or early February, when we hold interviews for scholarships and course places for applicants from the UK and EU. The Open Day for entry to the 2018-19 course will be held on Friday 16 February 2018; UK and EU applicants should apply before 22 January 2018 if they wish to be considered for interview on the Open Day.


Applications are accepted online via the Imperial College London Postgraduate website. Find out more about how to apply.