MSc VolcanologyFind a programme
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
One year full-time;
two years part-time
|Location of programme||Clifton campus|
|Part-time study available||
Part-time study requires daytime weekly attendance during the taught elements of the course.
|Start date||September 2020|
This MSc examines the physical processes governing the behaviour of volcanoes. The programme is taught by leading scientists working at the cutting edge of research into volcanoes, and will provide you with a strong background for independent research to PhD level or for a career in industry, the public sector or a non-governmental organisation.
Increasing numbers of the global population being at risk means that volcano hazard prediction and mitigation is a fast-growing and competitive area of research that crosses the boundaries between traditional subject areas.
The programme is designed to equip you with knowledge of the physical processes of volcanoes, including both sub-surface and surficial behaviour, insights into important historical eruptions, understanding of risk and risk mitigation, and instruction and experiential learning on data gathering, handling analysis and presentation to publishable standard.
You will develop a wide range of skills, such as quantitative and computational skills, including the application of basic mathematical descriptions of physical processes and the use of statistical and data handling software; proficiency in critical analysis of scientific material from a variety of sources, including primary research documents and original data; and the ability to synthesise concise and informative material produced for a variety of audiences. A familiarity with A-level mathematics (or international equivalent) is recommended.
Fees for 2020/21
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:
- UK/EU: full-time
- UK/EU: part-time (two years)
- Overseas: full-time
- Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time
- Bench fee
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.
Funding for 2020/21
Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.
The first part of the programme comprises mandatory core units and optional units from which you may choose. These units are taught through lectures, practicals and supervised independent research, for which training through supported research activity and skills development is included. Optional units include a two-week field trip to Guatemala (there are additional costs associated with this trip).
The final part of the programme consists of a research project, which involves self-directed original research leading to a written thesis. For further information on research projects, please see the School of Earth Sciences website.
Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Volcanology.
An upper second-class honours BSc or MSci (or international equivalent) in earth sciences, geographical sciences, chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics or another related subject. Previous professional experience or qualifications can also be put forward for consideration as equivalent to the academic entry requirements given above. These will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
The MSc in Volcanology will prepare you for a research-based career. Most students follow one of three paths, using the skills they have acquired at Bristol.
About 40 per cent go on to study for a PhD at a range of institutions in the UK, Europe, North America, Australia and Singapore. Most overseas students return to their home country to work for government agencies in hazard management. Other graduates choose to work in the commercial sector for either geotechnical companies (who manage assets for large multinationals), or risk management and reinsurance companies.
This volcanology programme is rigorous and quantitative, and will prepare you for settings where both subject-specific knowledge and the ability to conduct independent research are highly valued.
We welcome applications at any time of year. Early application recommended.
Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.
REF 2014 results
- Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences:
- 36% of research is world-leading (4*)
- 62% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
- 2% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.