University of Leeds

University of Leeds

Exploration Geophysics

Geophysics is the remote study of the Earth through physical techniques, principally analysing seismic data, but also applying gravity, magnetic, electromagnetic, and electrical methods. It is a key element of geological analysis for oil, gas and mineral exploration or for environmental and engineering assessment. This course prepares you to embark on a career in resource exploration, environmental and engineering geophysics. Running for over 50 years it is well-established and has strong links to industry. It provides you with a broad range of practical skills, underpinned by a theoretical understanding that equips you to become a professional in your chosen field. You will also undertake a 4-month individual project, mostly in association with an external company or institute and often in their offices.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree with a 2.1 (Honours) or above in geosciences (eg geology or geophysics) or a numerate discipline, such as physics or mathematics, although relevant and extensive industry experience can also be taken into account. Applicants should have mathematics to a good A-level grade (or equivalent) as a minimum. Mathematical competence will be assessed prior to joining and additional training may be required. The course is computer-intensive and basic computer literacy including Windows and MS Office are assumed. EDCL/ICDL qualifications are not formally required, but represent the level expected. Familiarity with Linux would also be advantageous as it forms the platform for much of the workstation based training. We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Course modules

Modules include: Exploration geophysics: project and dissertation; computational inverse theory; petrophysics and petroleum geology; seismic reservoir evaluation and recent developments; geophysical and geological field methods and geological interpretation; gravity, magnetic and csem methods; seismic fundamentals and acquisition; seismic data processing; seismic reflection interpretation and sequence stratigraphy.

Assessment methods

Assessment is through written exams, coursework (both in-class and independently completed), project report writing and group presentations.

Sponsorship information

Based on the programme's long history of developing well qualified graduates, it has had the largest number of masters-level geophysics industry scholarships open to UK/EU students. Scholarships are typically available from Apache North Sea, BG Group, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, ION GX Technology, NexenCNOC, Shell, TOTAL. Most scholarships cover full fees, living costs, and project and conference attendance allowances (eg the EAGE). Industry scholarships usually include a summer internship at the sponsoring company. Petroleum Leeds scholarships worth £5,000 are available. You cannot apply directly for this scholarship but you will be automatically considered if you have applied for an Industry scholarship, and are not in receipt of any other source of funding.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,250 per Year 1 (England) 12 months
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 22,500 per Year 1 (International) 12 months
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,250 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 12 months
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,250 per Year 1 (Scotland) 12 months
MSc Full-time September 2016 GBP 9,250 per Year 1 (Wales) 12 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
University of Leeds Leeds LS2 9JT Yorkshire and the Humber

Key information

School of Earth and Environment
Telephone number: 
0113 343 8109