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Exploration Geophysics MSc

Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary


Geophysics is the remote study of the Earth's interior through physical techniques – principally seismology, but also applying gravity, magnetic, electrical and electromagnetic methods.

It is a key element of oil, gas and mineral exploration; environmental, cryosphere, and archaeological assessment; and engineering site investigation. Our Exploration Geophysics MSc prepares you to embark on a career in any of these industrial or academic sectors.

Running continuously for over 50 years it is very firmly 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 four-month individual project, typically in association with an external company or institute, and often in their offices on placements or subsidised internships.

Course highlights:

Network with energy, service, and consultancy geoscience companies, who visit regularly to engage and recruit our students.
Complete a 4 month individual project, typically in association with an external company or institute and often in their offices.
Access our state-of-the-art computer suite that runs a comprehensive range of industry-standard software on hi-spec twin-screen workstations.
Develop your field skills with our sector-leading portfolio of field geophysical equipment.

Programme team:

The course is delivered by a large pool of internationally recognised experts in geophysics and related subjects from the Institute of Geophysics and Tectonics and the Institute of Applied Geoscience.


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

You will be taught by leading academic geoscientists, with input from industry experts giving supplementary lectures, practicals, and workshops throughout the course.

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 (NB no supplementary charges are levied for these or any other mandatory component of the taught programme).

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.

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date



In this module, students will learn principles of digital signal analysis and learn to process seismic reflection data. After completing this module, students will be able to: ?- understand the theory and principles behind surface-seismic reflection and VSP data processing; ?- have a practical understanding of, and be able to apply, processing tools to 2D seismic reflection lines and to a VSP to a credible professional standard; then to be able to report on and document the work, also at a credible professional standard. ? Learning outcomes will be assessed using practical exercises, an independent processing report, and an unseen exam.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

Please contact university and ask about this fee

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

Please contact university and ask about this fee

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students need to have a bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in geosciences (e.g. geology or geophysics) or a numerate subject, such as physics, mathematics, or some engineering disclipline. Relevant and extensive industry experience can also be taken into account. They must have mathematics to a good A-level grade (or equivalent) as a minimum. Their 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. All applicants will need to have GCSE English Language at grade C or above, or an appropriate English language qualification. We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.