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Exploration Geophysics MSc

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Geophysics Soil Conservation

Course type


Course Summary


Geophysics involves the use of physical techniques to study the Earth's interior. It involves a range of disciplines, including seismic, gravity, magnetic and geo-electrical methods.

Exploration Geophysics is a key element of understanding the resource potential of the subsurface – whether they are water, minerals, geothermal heat, hydrocarbon reserves, or prospective storage repositories. It is applied in engineering site investigations and environmental assessment, and is a significant component of archaeological mapping and glacier monitoring. Our Exploration Geophysics Masters degree gives you the skills to embark on a career in any of these industrial or academic sectors.

Established for over 50 years, MSc Exploration Geophysics has strong links both to sectors of industry and Leeds’ new GeoSolutions centre, which aims to apply geoscience expertise to support the clean-energy transition. The course provides you with a breadth of practical skills, underpinned by a theoretical understanding that equips you to become a professional in your chosen field.

Central to the course is a four-month individual project, typically conducted in close association with an external company or institute, and often in their offices on placements or subsidised internships.


The quality and relevance of our teaching has been recognised by an independent body of academics and industrialists through our Geological Society of London Professional Accreditation.

Learning and teaching

Learn through field-based and practical-based (individual and group) training, while your lectures and seminars are supplemented by desk-based and workstation-based practicals and fieldwork including two residential field classes.


During the taught-course element of the Masters you will be assessed by written exams, and by coursework (in-class and independently completed, project report writing and group presentations) in roughly 55%:45% proportion overall.

Career opportunities

There is a high demand for geophysicists. A Masters is generally considered an appropriate level to embark on a career in resource exploration or engineering/environmental site investigation, and the course at Leeds has an exceptionally good record of job placement for students.

Many energy, and service-sector companies target the course directly for recruitment with numerous company visits through the year. Other opportunities arise from project placements, the EAGE, or Project Presentation day in September.

Most students join energy or minerals companies, or geophysical acquisition, processing, interpretation or software companies.


On completion of this module, the student will be able to understand the principles and practice of interpreting industry seismic reflection data, in both a general geological and structural context and in a detailed sequence-stratigraphic context. The student will be able to produce 3D-based geological models by interpreting 2D seismic lines and 3D seismic cubes, both using paper sections and computer-based software.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in geosciences (e.g. geology or geophysics) or in a relevant numerate subject, such as physics, mathematics, or some engineering discliplines. Relevant and extensive industry experience can also be taken into account. You must have mathematics to a good A-level grade (or equivalent) as a minimum. Your mathematical competence will be assessed prior to joining and additional training may be required. The course is computer-intensive and we assume you have basic computer literacy including Windows and MS Office. 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. Applicants with a 2.2 will be considered on a case by case basis where applicants can demonstrate relevant work experience or aptitude in a relevant specialist field. Graduates from other disciplines and those with professional experience in the sector will also be considered.