Geological and Environmental Hazards, M.Sc. | University of Portsmouth | Portsmouth, United Kingdom
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If you're interested in becoming part of the global network of professionals who predict and prepare for geological and environmental hazards such as earthquakes or volcanic activity, this Geological and Environmental Hazards Master's course from the University of Portsmouth will give you the technical skills, training and fieldwork experience you'll need.

Visit the official programme website for more information


The course focuses on the physical processes that take place in the Earth that cause geological hazards. You'll be trained by experts in hazard identification, terrain evaluation, hazard modelling and risk assessment techniques. You'll learn how to manage – and mitigate – the impact of floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes and coastal erosion.

You'll use our geotechnics and rock mechanics labs to analyse and charactorise geological materials. You'll use spatial analysis tools, simulation software and data analysis to assess the risks of natural hazards. And, you'll design and implement an advanced research project, and produce a detailed report.

A field trip to Sicily is an integral part of the Volcanology and Seismology module, where you'll record and report field data related to volcanic activity, seismology and earthquake geology in the Mediterranean region.

When you graduate, you'll have the vocational skills you need to work in this specialist field – and the educational qualifications to progress to Chartered Geologist (CGeol) or Chartered Scientist (CSci) status.

Course highlights

  • Become skilled in the application of specialist techniques including numerical hazard modelling and simulation, catastrophe modelling, field reconnaissance and geomorphological mapping, geotechnical testing, spatial analysis and remote sensing
  • Learn about physical processes that affect and control natural hazards, including volcanology and earthquakes, flooding and hydrological hazards, coastal erosion, slope instability and landslides
  • Take part in research-based field trips, both locally and to Sicily where you’ll research volcanics and active tectonics
  • Complete your own independent research project with opportunities to work with industrial partners on a joint project. Previous partners have included SOCOTEC and Fugro

Careers and opportunities

Once you complete this MSc Geological and Environmental Hazards  degree, you'll be able to apply your lab and field experience in small and medium-sized enterprises or in global businesses or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Alternatively, you could proceed to a research degree in earth and environmental sciences.

Each of the modules that make up this course has been designed with employability in mind, for example, assessment exercises such as presentations and reports are modelled on those that take place in professional settings. 

Each year we organise a programme of guest speakers from industry to talk about their work, new developments in their field, careers paths and opportunities.

When you successfully complete this course – and after your first few years of professional work experience – you'll be able to use your Geological Society of London accredited Master's qualification in your application to become a Chartered Geologist (CGeol) or Chartered Scientist (CSci).

Graduates of this course have gone onto areas such as:

  • Environmental consultancy
  • Marine and offshore consultancy
  • Flood risk consultancy
  • GIS and remote sensing consultancy
  • Engineering geology companies
  • Re-insurance and insurance sectors

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as:

  • Civil engineer
  • Geo-environmental consultant
  • Geo technical enginner
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst 
  • GIS Geographical Information Systems Technician
  • Junior Catastrophe Risk Analyst
  • Project engineer
  • Technical integrator

Graduates of this course have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • Fugro
  • Radioactive Waste Management
  • Gateley

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Geomechanics of Natural Hazards
    • Hazard Modelling and Risk Assessment
    • Research Skills and Project
    • Terrain Evaluation and Natural Hazards
    • Volcanology & Seismology

    Key information

    Start dates & application deadlines

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    IELTS admission requirements IELTS


    On Campus

    Academic requirements

    We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

    English requirements

    IELTS admission requirements IELTS

    Other requirements

    General requirements

    • A second-class honours degree or equivalent in Geology, Earth Science, Applied Geology, Civil Engineering, Geography, Environmental Science or a related discipline. Industrial experience will also be considered on an individual basis.
    • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

    Tuition Fee

    Visit official programme website

    Living costs for Portsmouth

    710 - 1099 GBP /month
    Living costs

    The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


    Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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