Research course

Volcano Dynamics

Open University · Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area.

Months of entry


Course content

Researchers in the Volcano Dynamics Group are interested in understanding how volcanoes work and how they affect the environment, wherever they occur, even on other planets. Our research covers satellite-based volcano monitoring and eruption detection, deep Earth processes, surface environmental impact, and planetary perspectives of magmatism.

Our research takes us to active and ancient volcanoes across the world - to Central America, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, India, Africa, and more. At any one time there are about ten students working towards a PhD in volcanology-related topics. This makes us one of the major university volcanology groups in the UK, and you will find us regularly presenting our work at international and national conferences.

Students work with volcanologists, petrologists, geophysicists, geochemists, geochronologists, biogeochemists, statisticians, planetary scientists, ecosystem scientists and specialists in remote sensing on research projects to solve problems relating to the following types of topic:

  • Forecasting volcanic eruptions
  • Environmental impacts of volcanic activity
  • Geochemistry of igneous rocks and solid Earth processes
  • Rates and timescales of volcanic processes
  • Monitoring active volcanism from satellites.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
      part time
      72 months
      • MPhil
        full time
        15 months
          part time
          24 months

          Course contact details

          Administrative Support

          +44 (0)1908 858253