BSc or MSci - 3 or 4 years?
We offer both three year and four year courses in either Geology or Geophysics. Three year courses lead to the BSc Honours degree of Imperial College London. Four year courses lead to the MSci (Master in Science) degree. Year abroad degrees, the Petroleum Geoscience course and the Geology and Geophysics course are all available as 4 year courses only.
If you are not sure whether to choose a three or four year degree we strongly recommend you choose the four year course, because dependent upon your circumstances funding authorities may be reluctant to fund a fourth year unless you apply for it at the outset. Changing from MSci to BSc is often a more straightforward process than vice a versa.
Transfer between degrees
You may transfer between all our Geology and Geophysics courses up to the start of spring term in year 1 if you meet the original entry requirements for the degree you want to transfer to. Transfer onto our Year Abroad courses is not normally allowed as places at our partner institutions are limited.
Transfer to the equivalent three-year BSc course is normally allowed until the end of the autumn term of the third year.
Graduating after 3 years
Three year BSc degrees provide an excellent qualification for a career in a wide range of professions and can be followed by a relevant MSc degree. There are a wide range of specialist MSc degrees available in the UK and abroad. UK MSc courses are typically ‘taught masters’ and last a year, such as the ones in this department, whilst in Europe they often last two years and range from fully taught to taught-research hybrids.
Students who decide to enter employment after three years have the benefit of making a prompt start to their careers in whichever sector they choose; a range of career profiles showcasing the careers are available here.
The fourth year
The fourth year is different. It allows you to extend and deepen your knowledge through high-level (masters level) courses and seminars. The fourth year therefore provides students with a strong advantage in the competitive job market and a boost to their careers. A student with an MSci is more likely to find themselves on a fast track career with a higher salary and more opportunities as a result of the extra investment in their skills.
During the fourth year you will also undertake an independent research project in your chosen field from the beginning of the academic year. Submitting your project at the start of January, many of these projects are subsequently published in scientific journals. This project provides an excellent training not just for research (and therefore applying for PhD positions) but in many of the transferable skills that employers value highly.
Access to world class laboratories during fourth year project allows scientific skills to be developed to a top level