MSc Geophysical Hazards

  • DeadlineStudy Details:

    MSc 1 year full time, 2 years part time

Course Description

Disasters resulting from natural hazards affect one in forty people across the world each year. All nations are at risk and the field of natural hazard and risk science is one of the fastest-growing areas of research in the Earth and Climate Sciences. Understanding how multiple hazards may intersect in space and time, and how their impacts may cascade over potentially global footprints, are critical areas of current research. Our programme offers a unique focus on hazard forecasting and assessment, including multi-hazards, and on how policymakers and communities can use science to increase resilience.

Our MSc in Geophysical Hazards investigates the processes that turn natural events into hazards, from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and landslides to floods, tsunami and hurricanes. It provides an essential grounding for all fields of hazard study, from pure research to applications in the commercial and humanitarian sectors.

Our programme offers a unique focus on quantitative and qualitative models for hazard forecasting and assessment, and demonstrates how knowledge of the controlling processes is vital for improving decision-making during emergencies, for raising awareness among vulnerable communities and for evaluating and implementing mitigation strategies.

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants whose qualifications are of lower second class honours standard may be admitted if evidence of an adequate academic background and appropriate field experience can be shown.

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Programme Funding

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Student Destinations

About one third of our graduates have followed careers in global insurance and reinsurance; one third have pursued research with a PhD in hazard-related studies; and one third have developed careers in other sectors including ranging from non-governmental organisations, through teaching, to the fields of emergency planning and environmental management.


Our programme provides specialist training in investigating the processes that drive natural hazards, through evaluating models of their behaviour and understanding how these models can be used to improve resilience and inform policy. You will develop transferable skills in critical analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, verbal and written reasoning, field observation, and the use of programming languages and geographical information systems.

Module Details

Compulsory modules

  • Research Proposal
  • Physical Volcanology and Volcanic Hazard
  • MSc Independent Research Project
  • Geological, Geotechnical & Hydro-meteorological Hazards
  • Research Methods and Skills
  • Meteorological and Hydrogeological Hazards
  • Geophysical Hazards Field Course
  • Seismic Rick Assessment
  • Science Policy in an Era of Risk and Uncertainty

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change.


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