Taught course

Geoscience Research

Keele University · School of Physical and Geographical Sciences

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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

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 on our website.

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

UK students
International students

The University is committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Each year we offer a range of prestigious scholarships, along with scholarships to support inclusivity:

UK/EU students - more information on scholarships and funding

International students - more information on scholarships and funding

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
  • Further details of qualification

    The MSc in Geoscience Research is a 180 credit programme that runs full time over one year, or two years part-time and will develop research skills through focusing on a geoscience project of your choice. The programme comprises five modules that run over three semesters, with the main focus of the programme being a research project, undertaken either at Keele University or on placement with either a UK-based partner or a host institution overseas: - Research Skills (30 credits) - Literature Review (15 credits) - Geology/Geoscience/Geography/Environment Option module or Modern Language module or Academic English for Postgraduate Students* (15 credits) - Research Project Design and Management (30 credits) - Dissertation (90 credits) During Semester 1, students focus on generic research skills including science communication and planning the research project through the Research Skills, Literature Review and Research Project Design and Management module. Semesters 2 and 3 are primarily focused on the research project. Students undertaking their research project at a host institution overseas will normally take an appropriate modern language module or, if available, a language and culture module for their international placement, or are encouraged to sign up for an Online Linguistic Support (OLS) module via Keele University’s Global Education Team.

Course contact details

Dr Jamie Pringle