Geophysics

Learn about the history, structure and dynamics of the Earth system and how inaccessible locations can be studied through remote sensing techniques, such as seismology.

Highly ranked

Bristol is ranked 8th in the UK for the Geology subject area, which includes Geophysics (Complete University Guide 2022).

Hands-on learning

The whole Earth is our laboratory, and fieldwork is an integral part of our teaching. An exciting programme of field trips is included in your tuition fee.

Solve problems

Apply your scientific skills and knowledge to real world challenges, as part of a community working towards a sustainable future.

Geophysics at Bristol

Study the fundamentals of geology and physics that underpin exploration for natural resources, natural hazards monitoring, and the deformation of the Earth's crust.

Join a world-renowned research community and learn from experts working to further scientific understanding of issues of global importance, from living with volcanic and seismic hazards, to understanding environmental change and our impact on it, to sustainably procuring the resources that we need for our society.

Our courses include a range of field trips, both in the UK and overseas, the cost of which is included in your tuition fee. Field locations are carefully chosen to be directly relevant to your studies and you'll develop a strong set of scientific and transferable skills by putting theory into action. We use state-of-the-art equipment in our teaching, which helps train our students for a range of future careers.

You may also be interested in other earth sciences subjects at Bristol, including Geology, Environmental Geoscience, and Palaeontology and Evolution.

The course allows me to apply the complicated and often abstract theory learnt in physics modules to solve real-world geologic problems.

Will, MSci Geophysics

Career prospects

As a geophysics graduate you will be well equipped to go into the hydrocarbon, mineral resources, mining, environmental geophysics and energy industries. Your skills will be well suited to the extraction, servicing and remediation aspects of these areas.

Many of our graduates go on to master's degrees and into research and academia following completion of a PhD.

All our geophysics degrees are accredited by the Geological Society of London.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

Our degrees cover fields as broad as natural hazards, environmental assessment and studies of the deep Earth.

Our courses are delivered through lectures, laboratory-based practicals and organised field trips. In addition, small-group tutorials help you to develop essential skills. These are held with a personal tutor who will advise you and monitor your progress throughout your time with us.

You will be expected to develop independent learning skills and to self assess your progress with the aid of feedback from teaching staff.

Choose a degree with Study Abroad to spend your third year studying at one of our prestigious partner universities overseas. Current locations include Canada, the US, Iceland and New Zealand. Find out more at Global Opportunities.

You may transfer between our different geophysics degrees.

World-class facilities

The University of Bristol's Earth Science Collection contains over 100,000 palaeontological, petrological and mineralogical samples of scientific and historical importance. Some of the oldest donations go back to 1876, when geology was first taught at Bristol.

The teaching spaces in the School of Earth Sciences are Gold LEAF certified, in recognition of the actions undertaken to improve laboratory efficiency and sustainability.

Geophysics

Clearing 2021

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Study the fundamentals of geology and physics that underpin exploration for natural resources, natural hazards monitoring, and the deformation of the crust. Taught by experts, you will develop the analytical and numerical skills valued in industry, research and policymaking.

Why study Geophysics at Bristol?

Join a world-renowned research community and learn from experts working to further scientific understanding of issues of global importance, from living with volcanic and seismic hazards, to understanding environmental change and our impact on it, to sustainably procuring the resources that we need for our society.

Our degrees cover fields as broad as natural hazards, environmental assessment and studies of the deep Earth. We use state-of-the-art equipment in our teaching, which helps train our students for a range of future careers.

Our courses include a range of field trips, both in the UK and overseas, the cost of which is included in your tuition fee. Field locations are carefully chosen to be directly relevant to your studies and you’ll develop a strong set of scientific and transferable skills by putting theory into action.

All our geophysics degrees are accredited by the Geological Society of London. Transfer between our geophysics degrees is possible.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Geophysics will be a perfect degree for you if you enjoy planetary science, the Earth system, computing and computers, remote sensing and the outdoors. You will need to be a capable mathematician and physicist and to have a broad interest in physical science.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our courses are delivered through lectures, laboratory-based practicals and organised field trips. In addition, small-group tutorials help you to develop key skills. These are held with a personal tutor who will advise you and monitor your progress throughout your time with us.

You will be expected to develop independent learning skills and to self assess your progress with the aid of feedback from teaching staff.

We use a range of assessment methods; some units are assessed by exams, some by coursework, and some by a combination of the two. You will also deliver oral and poster presentations.

What are my career prospects?

As a geophysics graduate you will be well equipped to go into the hydrocarbon, mineral resources, mining, environmental geophysics and energy industries. Your skills will be well suited to the extraction, servicing and remediation aspects of these areas. Many of our graduates go on to master's degrees and into research and academia following completion of a PhD.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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