Postgraduate study

GeoSciences (Individual Project) MScR

Awards: MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This masters by research programme is an opportunity to carry out a substantial piece of research in any of the following major branches of geosciences:

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Climate Change
  • Ecological Sciences
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Exploration Geophysics
  • Geoinformatics
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Glaciology
  • Human Geography
  • Meteorology
  • Oceanography
  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Physical Geography
  • Remote Sensing

The programme aims to provide a structured approach to basic research training, allowing you to explore an area of research that may be subsequently developed into a PhD. You may also have the opportunity to develop links with research projects at national and international levels.

The School has the largest geoscience research group in the UK, with about 370 academics and researchers. The ambition and quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, where 66% of our research was rated within the top two categories: world-leading and internationally excellent.

All research students are affiliated to one a research institute, which provides a forum for the development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early-career researchers. Our research institutes each have a very active seminar series drawing distinguished external guests as well as internal speakers, and you will be encouraged to attend and participate

The programme allows you to work on research throughout the year, with your work being judged solely on your final dissertation. You can follow taught courses by arrangement with your supervisor, but none are required.

Taught pathway option

This allows you to work on research throughout the year whilst also undertaking taught options that will enhance your research and knowledge. In this option 40 credits of taught courses are required (additional courses may be taken with consent) in addition to a research project of 140 credits. The dissertation should not exceed 23,000 words.

The degree will be awarded based on the assessment of the dissertation. Whilst the mark attained for the coursework will not affect the final grade, the student must attain an average mark of 50% or more for the coursework to qualify for the degree award.

Courses can be chosen from any postgraduate courses offered by the School of GeoSciences. It may be possible, after discussion with your supervisor, to undertake courses offered in other schools.

As a research student affiliated to a research institute, you will benefit from an excellent peer-supported network.

As a grouping of researchers with related interests, the institute provides a forum for development of ideas, collaboration, and dissemination of results, and an environment for training, development and mentoring of research students and early career researchers.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Additional programme costs (APCs) will depend on the research costs associated with your chosen project and will depend on the study mode (full-time or part-time).

Students on this programme should typically expect to pay £1000 a year.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScRGeoSciences (Individual Project)1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScRGeoSciences (Individual Project)2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Grant Institute
  • West Mains Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JW

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

Please see our step-by-step guide to applying for a PhD in the School of GeoSciences:

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Grant Institute
  • West Mains Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JW