Taught course

Geoscience Research

Keele University · Faculty of Natural Sciences

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an honours degree in Geology, Geoscience, Physical Geography, Environmental Science, or a related discipline, or hold an equivalent qualification. The minimum degree category for entry is 2:2 (or international equivalent). Students who can evidence alternative professional qualifications and/or relevant experience/training will also be considered.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to view our available projects on our website, then contact and discuss research options with the Keele University staff member listed for the research area/topic of interest before making an official application. In your application documents, state clearly your preferred subject area or specific project, including potential supervisor, and your motivation and background for carrying out a project in a particular area. Please contact us if you would like to discuss options.

Acceptance on the course is subject to having an agreed research project and project supervisor. Places with external partners and at individual host institutions overseas are limited and subject to availability. A placement at a specific host institution (or external partner) is not guaranteed and is allocated on a competitive basis after discussion with the potential host supervisor. A decision on a particular student placement is made at the time of application to the course. In the case that an agreement to host a student cannot be reached with the host institution (or external partner), students may be accepted on the MSc in Geoscience Research programme to carry out a research project in the chosen field at Keele University.

Applicants from a country where English is not the first language are required to show evidence of English language competence, either an IELTS score of at least 6.5 (with no subtest lower than 5.5), or by holding a previous degree which has been taught and examined in English, unless the specific entry for the course indicates otherwise.

A comparative IELTS score to other English Language qualifications is available on the Keele International web pages.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Please note, all course information including entry requirements relates to the 2022/23 academic year.

The MSc in Geoscience Research is a research-focused masters programme designed to provide a strong educational background for a career in research and development, or the public or private sector. During the course, you will develop generic and subject-specific research skills through working with our research-active staff on an extended research project of your choice. We have research project opportunities at Keele, with UK-based external organisations and with overseas institutions.

Our MSc in Geoscience Research is a research-focused masters programme designed to develop generic and subject specific research skills over a broad range of disciplines within Geology and Geoscience, providing a strong educational background for a career in research and development, or the public or private sector.

The programme is designed to develop generic research skills such as a critical evaluation, research design, scientific writing, data management, literature reviews, reflective practice and science communication, alongside subject-specific research skills such as fieldwork, laboratory skills, data collection, data analysis and interpretation. As part of the course, you will undertake an extended research project – you can see the available projects.

The aim of the programme is that on completion you will be able to:

  • demonstrate systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the chosen research area in Geology or Geoscience;
  • critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in your chosen area of Geology or Geoscience;
  • demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, and how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in Geology or Geoscience;
  • evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses;
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;
  • demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:
    - the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility
    - decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations
    - the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Our programme has an excellent track record of graduates entering employment in the Geography, Geology and Environment sector or moving on to PhD programmes. We also strongly encourage our students and graduates to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals where appropriate. See our 'Careers' section for more information.

Information for international students


IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component. The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.

If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.

During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.

Fees and funding

For information related to fees and funding, please visit the individual course page on the Keele University website.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details