MSci Geophysics
  • Undergraduate
  • MSci

Geophysics

Apply mathematical and physical laws to the study of the Earth.

  • Undergraduate
  • MSci

Geophysics with a Year Abroad

Apply mathematical and physical laws to the study of the Earth.

Apply mathematical and physical laws to the study of the Earth

Learn essential skills and apply your knowledge in real-world settings

Develop your geophysical skills on an optional year abroad with a partner university

How would you like to study?

Study option:

Showing course information for 2025 View 2024 course information

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MSci

  • Duration

    4 years

  • Start date

    October 2025

  • UCAS course code

    F660

  • Study mode

    Full-time

  • Fees

    • Not set Home

    • Not set Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • South Kensington

  • Applications: places

    5 : 1 (2023)

Minimum entry standard

  • AAA (A-level)

  • 38 points (International Baccalaureate)

View full entry requirements
  • Qualification

    • MSci

  • Duration

    4 years

  • Start date

    October 2025

  • UCAS course code

    F664

  • Study mode

    Full-time

  • Fees

    • Not set Home

    • Not set Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • South Kensington

  • Applications: places

    5 : 1 (2023)

Minimum entry standard

  • AAA (A-level)

  • 38 points (International Baccalaureate)

View full entry requirements

Study option:

Course overview

By studying the Earth's internal core, crust, oceans, atmosphere, and the solar system, we can gain a better understanding of how our planet works.

This course explores how maths, physics and computer modelling can all be used to help further our knowledge of Earth processes.

You'll combine traditional observational and field skills with numerical and analytical fundamental science to understand the Earth more quantitatively.

You'll benefit from our internationally leading research programme, as well as lectures and case studies from business and academic leaders.

Our courses place a strong emphasis on fieldwork, where you'll learn essential skills and apply your knowledge in real-world settings. This includes the opportunity to build your familiarity with using technical equipment on a fieldwork trip to Cyprus.

To prepare yourself for using specialist electronic mapping packages, you'll also complete a variety of computing modules.

Your final year culminates in the completion of a research project or dissertation, where you'll explore an aspect of geophysics in greater detail.

Subject to university approval.

By studying the Earth's internal core, crust, oceans, atmosphere, and the solar system, we can gain a better understanding of how our planet works.

This course explores how maths, physics and computer modelling can all be used to help further our knowledge of Earth processes.

You’ll combine traditional observational and field skills with numerical and analytical fundamental science to understand the Earth more quantitatively.

You’ll benefit from our internationally leading research programme, as well as lectures and case studies from business and academic leaders.

Our courses place a strong emphasis on fieldwork, where you’ll learn essential skills and apply your knowledge in real-world settings. This includes the opportunity to build your familiarity with using technical equipment on a fieldwork trip to Cyprus.

To prepare yourself for using specialist electronic mapping packages, you’ll also complete a variety of computing modules.

You’ll spend your third year at one of our partner universities abroad.

This will enable you to challenge yourself in a different academic environment before you return to Imperial for your final year.

Your studies will culminate in the completion of a research project or dissertation, where you’ll explore an aspect of geophysics in greater detail.

Subject to university approval.

Study option:

Structure

This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

Please note: it may not always be possible to take specific combinations of modules due to timetabling conflicts. For confirmation, please check with the relevant department.

You’ll take the following core modules.

You’ll also choose one optional modules.

Core modules

  • Dynamic Earth and Planets
  • Stratigraphy and Geomaterials
  • Programming for Geoscientists
  • Maths Methods 1
  • Deforming the Earth
  • Geology in the Field
  • Physical and Surface Processes
  • Volcanism and Internal Processes
  • Maths Methods 2

Optional modules

  • Chemistry for Geoscientists
  • Low Temperature Geochemistry

You’ll study the following core modules.

Core modules

  • Solar System Science
  • High-temperature Geochemistry
  • Maps and Structures
  • Pure and Applied Geophysics
  • Field Geophysics
  • Remote Sensing Earth and Planets
  • Maths for Scientists and Engineers
  • Mechanics and Waves
  • Seismology and Numerical Methods

You’ll study all core modules. 

You’ll also choose seven optional modules, two from Group A, one from Group B and four from Group C.

A maximum of three can be level 7 modules from Group C during this year. 

Core modules

  • Independent Project
  • I-Explore

Optional modules – Group A

  • Near-surface Seismic Imaging
  • Continental Tectonics
  • Climate
  • Advanced Remote Sensing

Optional modules – Group B

  • Practical Seismic Data Processing
  • Integrated Advanced Field Geology

Optional modules – Group C (Level 6)

  • Advanced Programming
  • Astrobiology
  • Earth Systems
  • Environmental Seminars
  • Geological and Coastal Engineering
  • Gravity, Magnetism and Orbital Dynamics
  • Hydrogeology and Fluid Flow
  • I-Explore
  • Mining Environmental Management
  • Ore Deposits
  • Planetary Surfaces
  • Tectonics of the Oceans

Optional modules – Group C (Level 7)

  • Advanced Exploration Geophysics
  • Applied Geomorphology
  • Collisions and Craters
  • Geodynamics
  • Geohazards
  • Geological Reactive Transport
  • Geophysical Inversion
  • Magmatic Processes and Products
  • Meteorites
  • Minerals Processing
  • Palaeobiology
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Planetary Chemistry
  • Planetary Physics

You’ll study all core modules. 

You’ll also choose six optional modules in total, one from Group A and five from Group B.

A maximum of three level 6 modules can be taken from Group B during this year.

Core modules 

  • MSci Independent Project

Optional modules – Group A

  • Geophysics Synthesis Group Project
  • Field Geology of an Active Mountain Belt

Optional modules – Group B (Level 6)

  • Advanced Programming
  • Astrobiology
  • Earth Systems
  • Environmental Seminars
  • Geological and Coastal Engineering
  • Gravity, Magnetism and Orbital Dynamics
  • Hydrogeology and Fluid Flow
  • I-Explore
  • Mining Environmental Management
  • Ore Deposits
  • Planetary Surfaces
  • Tectonics of the Oceans

Optional modules – Group B (Level 7)

  • Advanced Exploration Geophysics
  • Applied Geomorphology
  • Collisions and Craters
  • Geodynamics
  • Geohazards
  • Geological Reactive Transport
  • Geophysical Inversion
  • Magmatic Processes and Products
  • Meteorites
  • Minerals Processing
  • Palaeobiology
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Planetary Chemistry
  • Planetary Physics

You’ll take the following core modules.

You’ll also choose one optional modules.

 

Core modules

  • Dynamic Earth and Planets
  • Stratigraphy and Geomaterials
  • Programming for Geoscientists
  • Maths Methods 1
  • Deforming the Earth
  • Geology in the Field
  • Physical and Surface Processes
  • Volcanism and Internal Processes
  • Maths Methods 2

Optional modules

  • Chemistry for Geoscientists
  • Low Temperature Geochemistry

You’ll study the following core modules.

 

 

Core modules

  • Solar System Science
  • High-temperature Geochemistry
  • Maps and Structures
  • Pure and Applied Geophysics
  • Field Geophysics
  • Remote Sensing Earth and Planets
  • Maths for Scientists and Engineers
  • Mechanics and Waves
  • Seismology and Numerical Methods

The third year consists of an agreed programme of study at an approved university in either Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland or the USA.

We currently have exchange agreements with:

  • Australian National University, Australia
  • University of British Columbia, Canada
  • University of Strasbourg, France
  • University of Utrecht, Netherlands
  • University of Barcelona, Spain
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • MIT, USA
  • University of California, USA

This is an integrated year abroad so the grades you achieve will count directly towards your Imperial degree.

You’ll study all core modules.

You’ll also choose six optional modules, one from Group A and five from Group B.

A maximum of three level 6 modules can be taken from Group B during this year.

Core modules

  • MSci Independent Project

Optional modules – Group A

  • Geophysics Synthesis Group Project
  • Field Geology of an Active Mountain Belt

Optional modules – Group B (Level 6)

  • Advanced Programming
  • Astrobiology
  • Earth Systems
  • Environmental Seminars
  • Geological and Coastal Engineering
  • Gravity, Magnetism and Orbital Dynamics
  • Hydrogeology and Fluid Flow
  • I-Explore
  • Mining Environmental Management
  • Ore Deposits
  • Planetary Surfaces
  • Tectonics of the Oceans

Optional modules – Group B (Level 7)

  • Advanced Exploration Geophysics
  • Applied Geomorphology
  • Collisions and Craters
  • Geodynamics
  • Geohazards
  • Geological Reactive Transport
  • Geophysical Inversion
  • Magmatic Processes and Products
  • Meteorites
  • Minerals Processing
  • Palaeobiology
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Planetary Chemistry
  • Planetary Physics

Professional accreditation

This degree leads to a Master's level qualification and is professionally accredited by the Geological Society of London.

With a professionally accredited degree, you’ll be able to demonstrate to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency. Professional accreditation also provides international recognition of your qualifications, which you can use to launch a career abroad.

Our MSci courses in Earth Science also reduce the number of years of post-graduation experience you need in order to register as a Chartered Geologist (CGeol). This is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in the geosciences industries, and can help you to enhance your career prospects and earning potential.

The current accreditation agreement started in the 2017–18 academic year and is due to be renewed in 2023.

Associateship

In addition to your degree, you’ll receive the Associateship of the Royal School of Mines (ARSM) upon completion of this course. This associateship is awarded by one of our historic constituent Colleges.

Study option:

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person at lectern giving speech
    Lectures
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial
    Tutorials
  • Field work
  • A group of people interacting
    Group exercises
  • Laboratory work

Balance of assessment

Key

  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Examination

Year 1

  • 10% Coursework
  • 20% Practical
  • 70% Examination

Year 2

  • 10% Coursework
  • 30% Practical
  • 60% Examination

Year 3

  • 5% Coursework
  • 40% Practical
  • 55% Examination

Year 4

  • 5% Coursework
  • 55% Practical
  • 40% Examination

Assessment methods

  • A person completing a written exam
    Written examinations
  • Person completing coursework
    Coursework
  • Reports
  • Poster project
    Poster presentations
  • Person giving seminar
    Seminars
  • Oral assessments

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person at lectern giving speech
    Lectures
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial
    Tutorials
  • Field work
  • A group of people interacting
    Group exercises
  • Laboratory work

Balance of assessment

Key

  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Examination

Year 1

  • 10% Coursework
  • 20% Practical
  • 70% Examination

Year 2

  • 10% Coursework
  • 30% Practical
  • 60% Examination

Year 4

  • 5% Coursework
  • 55% Practical
  • 40% Examination

Assessment methods

  • A person completing a written exam
    Written examinations
  • Person completing coursework
    Coursework
  • Reports
  • Poster project
    Poster presentations
  • Person giving seminar
    Seminars
  • Oral assessments

Study option:

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

Study option:

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

When applications open, you will be able to start your application via UCAS Hub. There you can add this course as one of your choices and track your application.

Applications open on 14 May 2024

Application deadlines – 29 January 2025 at 18.00 (UK time)

Applications open on 14 May 2024

Application deadlines – 29 January 2025 at 18.00 (UK time)

Tuition fees

Home fee

2025 entry

Not set
As a guide, the Home fee for 2024–25 was £9,250 per year

Year abroad

2025 entry

Not set
For the 2024–25 year abroad, the fee was £1,385 for that year

Overseas fee

2025 entry

Not set
As a guide, the Overseas fee for 2024–25 was £40,940 per year

Year abroad

2025 entry

Not set
For the 2024–25 year abroad, the fee was 100% of the fee for that year

How will studying at Imperial help my career?

Globe

In today's global challenges, earth science graduates are needed more than ever.

Person in a bubble surrounded by 4 skills

Develop the essential core knowledge and skills for an earth sciences career.

Man with a rocket in his mind

Become a geologist, geochemist, or geophysicist with highly sought-after skills in space-related jobs.

Graduate Cap above rolled Degree

Our graduates often pursue further study in master's programs or doctoral research.

Man standing under a sign pointing different directions

Other potential career paths include geologists, risk consultants, geophysicists, consultants and research assistants.

Course data

Compare this course – Geophysics MSci

Compare this course – Geophysics with a Year Abroad MSci

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications