School of Earth and Environment

Geophysical Sciences (International) MGeophys, BSc

(Full time) 2019 start


Key facts

  • UCAS code: F641
  • Start date: September 2019
  • Duration/Mode: 4 years full time
  • Typical A level offer: A*AA
    (specific subjects required)
  • UK/EU fees: To be confirmed
  • International fees: To be confirmed
  • Study abroad option: Yes
  • Work placement option: No
  • Course terms and conditions

The Geophysical Sciences MGeophys, BSc is a four-year Integrated Masters degree with a year spent in New Zealand, Canada or the USA, experiencing geological settings that don’t exist in the UK.

If you have a strong interest in geophysics research this degree may be for you. It draws on the expertise and active research of one of the UK’s largest teams of academic geophysicists. You’ll study all aspects of geophysics, such as exploration for hydrocarbons and mineral deposits, monitoring natural hazards, investigating the interior of the Earth and other planets, and measuring the movement and deformation of the Earth's tectonic plates. We also teach analytic and numeracy skills highly valued by geophysics companies, research institutions, and financial and government departments.

You’ll have access to outstanding facilities and will apply your knowledge in the real world through hands-on learning and national and international field trips.

The year abroad

A year in New Zealand, Canada or the USA can add real value to your degree, broadening your academic horizons and demonstrating a high degree of independence – attributes highly valued by prospective employers.

Your Year Abroad is fully integrated into your course, so it counts towards your final degree classification, and you take only Masters-level modules during your fourth and final year. Leeds was the first university in the UK to introduce the fully integrated international study year abroad and we have many years’ experience of working with internationally renowned institutions in North America and Australasia.

A top 10 university for Earth and Marine Sciences

Leeds is one of the Top 10 Universities in the country for Earth and Marine Sciences (The Guardian League Table 2016).

If you study in our School of Earth and Environment you’ll join one of the largest and most vibrant schools in the country.

Excellent relationships with industry

We attract industry sponsorship and maintain excellent relationships with major companies in the sector, such as BP and GETECH. Their developing commercial requirements inform and influence the development of our course content.

Student experience

We want to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. Read more in Student experience.


This course has been accredited by The Geological Society of London, the recognised professional body for geoscientists.

An accredited degree is the first step to becoming a Chartered Geologist, an increasingly important professional qualification.

The Geological Society - accredited degree programme
Accredited by the Geological Society

Alumni profile

The first year provided a sound foundation of maths courses and an introduction to all fields of Geophysics.Emma Doyle, MGeophys Geophysical SciencesRead more


Course terms and conditions

Course content

Each year of the course is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules. In addition to these, you choose optional modules, which allow you to follow your areas of interest.

In your first year you’ll study compulsory modules only, training you in the fundamental skills in geology, maths, physics, geophysics and computer programming that you will use throughout your degree. Students who don’t have A-level Further or Pure Maths will also study a module “Intermediate Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists”. Students with this A-level study a discovery module (see “Broadening” below).

In your second year compulsory modules train you in the key geophysics techniques used in resource exploration and the study of tectonic plates. You will also study advanced mathematical and computer programming needed to understand and process geophysical data. Optional modules allow you to specialise in topics from exploration geophysics, natural hazards or physics.

You will spend your third year studying abroad at one of partner universities. The marks you receive are translated to Leeds equivalents and count towards your final degree classification. The topics you study will depend upon your interests and your choice of destination. Staff at Leeds will help you choose which destination and classes are right for you.

Year 4 includes a project that allows you to do research with a member of staff on a topic in their area of expertise. In compulsory modules you will study the global structure and dynamics of our planet, and attend seminars from visiting researchers from around the world. Optional modules allow you to pursue interests in, for example, volcanic systems, or the petroleum and energy sector; some of these modules will give you a taste of the topics on offer in our one-year vocational MSc degrees.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Introductory Physics (Geophysics) 15 credits
  • Vibrations and Waves (Geophysics) 10 credits
  • Fundamentals of Geophysics 10 credits
  • Geophysics Tutorial Module 5 credits
  • Computers and Programming in Geosciences 10 credits
  • Advanced Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists 10 credits
  • Geology 1 for Geophysicists 20 credits
  • Geology 2 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Intermediate Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists 10 credits

Discovery modules

  • Natural Hazards 10 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Mathematics for Geophysical and Environmental Sciences 3 10 credits
  • Deformation Processes 10 credits
  • Time Series Analysis and Digital Signal Processing 10 credits
  • Tectonophysics 10 credits
  • Numerical Methods and Statistics 10 credits
  • Applied Geophysics 30 credits
  • Mathematics for Geophysical and Environmental Sciences 4 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Fluid Dynamics 1 10 credits
  • Quantum Physics and Relativity (Geophysics) 10 credits
  • Electromagnetism (Geophysics) 10 credits
  • Sedimentary Processes 10 credits
  • Introductory Oceanography 10 credits
  • Climate Change: Science and Impacts 10 credits
  • Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics 10 credits
  • Energy Transitions: Technologies, Markets and Policy 10 credits
  • Petroleum Reservoir Engineering 10 credits
  • Sedimentary Basins and Hydrocarbon Resources 10 credits
  • Explosive Volcanism: Processes, deposits and resources 10 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Study Year Abroad 120 credits

Year 4

Compulsory modules

  • Research Seminars and Career Skills in Geophysics 10 credits
  • MGeophys Independent Geophysical Project 40 credits
  • Practical Geophysics 10 credits
  • Global Geophysics 10 credits
  • Global Seismology 10 credits
  • Inverse Theory 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Rock Mechanics 15 credits
  • Near-Surface Geophysics 15 credits
  • Gravity and Magnetic Methods 15 credits
  • Seismic Data Processing 15 credits
  • Engineering Geology 15 credits
  • Field Class: Petroleum Reservoir Analogues 15 credits
  • Advanced Sedimentology and its Applications 15 credits
  • Structural Geology 15 credits
  • Volcanic Processes 15 credits
  • Petroleum Systems Case Studies 15 credits
For more information on typical modules, read Geophysical Sciences (International) MGeophys, BSc in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Most modules combine lectures with practicals, workshops or seminars, depending on the subject. These are enhanced with skills classes, fieldtrips and small group academic tutorials. You can expect to study in a variety of settings, from large lecture theatres to computer clusters, seminar rooms, tutorials, laboratories, visualisation suites and out in the field. Our state-of-the-art building is in the centre of the campus and provides an ideal working environment, and offers quiet study and coffee areas when you are not in class.

Read more about learning and teaching methods.

We offer research-led teaching across the breadth of our disciplines, from specialists in their field. As Leeds is a research-intensive Russell Group University, you’ll be studying amongst staff who are at the cutting edge of research world-wide, and who will incorporate this expertise into their teaching.


Our school boasts excellent facilities for both teaching and research; read more about our laboratories, microscopes and more.


You'll be assessed through a variety of methods, specifically designed to help students learn, whatever their preferred learning style. We use both coursework and exams, but with a general progression from an emphasis on exams in year 1 towards an emphasis on coursework your final year.

Read more in learning and teaching methods.

Alumni profile

I learned all aspects of Geophysics, from methods used in the oil and mineral industry to properties of the earth’s gravitational and magnetic field, allowing me to specialise in the final year.Read moreEmma Doyle, MGeophys Geophysical Sciences

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: A*AA including mathematics and physics.

Offers exclude general studies.

GCSE:English and Mathematics at grade C (4) or above, or an equivalent appropriate English language and Mathematics qualification.

If you do not achieve the higher grades required for this four-year programme, we guarantee you a place on the BSc programme (provided you achieve the grades required for the BSc). A successful performance during years 1 and 2 will support an application to transfer back to this Integrated Masters programme.

Alternative qualifications

  • BTEC: D*D*D in Extended Diploma/3 Subsidiary Diplomas in Mathematics and Physics. We will accept a combination of BTECs and A-Levels. Please contact the School's Undergraduate Admissions Team for more information.
  • Cambridge Pre-U: D2, D3, D3 including Mathematics and Physics.
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 points overall, with 19 points at higher level to include 6 points in Mathematics and Physics.
  • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate): A1A1AAAA/H1H1H2H2H2H2 including Mathematics and Physics.
  • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers: AAABB overall with AA in 2 Advanced Highers (AH). For non-AH applicants AAAAAA. To include Mathematics and Physics.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Access to Leeds Entry Requirements for this course: AAB


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Earth and Environment Undergraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Environment Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

While the School heavily subsidises or covers the cost of all compulsory taught fieldcourses, you may have to supplement these trips depending on the destination you choose. There will however always be a free option for you to select. You may incur some costs for some optional fieldtrip modules. Full details are available on request.

Scholarships and financial support

The School of Earth and Environment offer a range of scholarships for Home, EU and International students.

Scholarships for 2019 entry are to be confirmed.

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

Geophysics graduates are in demand among companies that value teamwork skills, independence, numeracy and scientific literacy. Graduates from this programme often pursue PhD research, but are also in a good position to enter exploration geophysics companies.

Your main strengths as a Leeds graduates will be the breadth and depth of your core knowledge and skills in the Earth Sciences. You will have the ability to combine quantitative and analytical skills with a good overview and understanding of geophysical and geological problems.

Our graduates enjoy rewarding career opportunities within the UK and around the world in the petroleum and mining industries, civil engineering or environmental consultancy. Our strong research tradition means that our graduates are also found working as researchers in government organisations and universities around the world.

Read more about our Alumni Success Stories.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

The School of Earth and Environment is committed to enhancing employability and offers a range of initiatives to ensure our students receive the highest level of support throughout their studies. Read about careers and employability on the School website.

Placement opportunities

Your year abroad

The School of Earth and Environment at Leeds was the first Department in the UK to offer integrated degrees with a year in North America and we extended the scope of this highly successful programme by offering additional partner institutions in worldwide. Spending a year abroad is not only an adventure, it is a chance to add real value to your degree by experiencing geological settings that simply don’t exist within the UK.

Exchange Universities for Geophysical Sciences (International) MGeophys, BSc programme currently include:


Colorado School of Mines

Purdue University


University of Western Ontario

University of Alberta

New Zealand

Victoria University, Wellington (New Zealand)

Academic staff members and the University’s Study Abroad Office will offer you their guidance and help as you prepare for your year abroad. You also retain the option to change to the three-year BSc Geophysical Sciences programme at any stage during your first two years of study should you decide not to pursue this option.

The Year in Industry option is not normally compatible with the Integrated Masters programme, although you may consider switching options after you start your degree.

A Year in Industry is a Pass/Fail year that does not count towards your final degree classification, but that offers you the benefits of valuable hands-on experience and of earning a salary while you learn. You will be expected to maintain a minimum academic performance during Years 1 and 2 if you are interested in this option.

Your personal tutor and our dedicated work placement advisers will offer their support and guidance, although you will take personal responsibility for setting up a suitable work placement with an aligned company. This experience will be of enormous value to you in the graduate employment market.

You can make a direct application to the Industrial Placement programme (F646 BSc Geophysical Sciences (Industrial))or give this option further consideration after you start your degree at Leeds.

Alumni profile

Studying at the University of California at Santa Barbara I had the opportunity to experience a different style of teaching and alternative views of large geologic processes.Read moreEmma Doyle, MGeophys Geophysical Sciences


Fieldwork will be an essential element of your degree, and is one of the most enjoyable and sociable parts of the course for students and staff alike. As a geophysics student at Leeds you will learn to plan and carry out geophysical surveys using a wide range of equipment and techniques, as well as the principles of geological data collection and mapping. Our programme includes compulsory residential field trips in every year, with a mix of UK and international destinations.

Because we recognise the value of field experience the school heavily subsidises or covers the transport and accommodation costs for all compulsory taught fieldcourses and many optional field trips.

Alumni profile

The field trips were great at bringing the lectures to life, as well as being lots of fun! They were a great way to use all forms of field equipment too.Read moreEmma Doyle, MGeophys Geophysical Sciences
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