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University of Portsmouth: Geological and Environmental Hazards

Institution University of Portsmouth View institution profile
Department Faculty of Science and Health
Telephone 023 9284 5566
Study type Taught


Overview If you're interested in becoming part of the global network of professionals who predict and prepare for geological and environmental hazards such as earthquakes or volcanic activity, this Geological and Environmental Hazards Master's course will give you the technical skills, training and fieldwork experience you'll need.

The course focuses on the physical processes that take place in the Earth that cause geological hazards. You'll be trained by experts in hazard identification, terrain evaluation, hazard modelling and risk assessment techniques. You'll learn how to manage – and mitigate – the impact of floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes and coastal erosion.

You'll use our geotechnics and rock mechanics labs to analyse and charactorise geological materials. You'll use spatial analysis tools, simulation software and data analysis to assess the risks of natural hazards. And, you'll design and implement an advanced research project, and produce a detailed report.

A field trip to Sicily is an integral part of the Volcanology and Seismology module, where you'll record and report field data related to volcanic activity, seismology and earthquake geology in the Mediterranean region.

Earth systems and environmental sciences at the University of Portsmouth is ranked 4th of all post-1992 universities for research quality as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

The School of Environment, Geography and Geosciences offers a limited number of scholarships for international postgraduate students.

This course is accredited by The Geological Society of London.

Eligibility This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights - Become skilled in the application of specialist techniques including numerical hazard modelling and simulation, catastrophe modelling, field reconnaissance and geomorphological mapping, geotechnical testing, spatial analysis and remote sensing

  • Learn about physical processes that affect and control natural hazards, including volcanology and earthquakes, flooding and hydrological hazards, coastal erosion, slope instability and landslides

  • Take part in research-based field trips, both locally and to Sicily where you’ll research volcanics and active tectonics

  • Complete your own independent research project with opportunities to work with industrial partners on a joint project. Previous partners have included SOCOTEC and Fugro

Careers and opportunities Once you complete this MSc Geological and Environmental Hazards degree, you'll be able to apply your lab and field experience in small and medium-sized enterprises or in global businesses or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as: - Civil engineer

  • Geo-environmental consultant

  • Geotechnical enginner

  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst

  • GIS Geographical Information Systems Technician

  • Junior Catastrophe Risk Analyst

  • Project engineer

  • Technical integrator

Graduates of this course have gone on to work for companies such as: - Fugro

  • Radioactive Waste Management

  • Gateley

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Course structure Full-time (1 year) We recommend that full-time students allocate around 37 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a full-time job. Approximately: - 12 hours (2 days) of on-campus, in-person teaching per week

  • 25 hours of self-directed study time per week

Part-time (2 years) We recommend that part-time students allocate around 18 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a part-time job. Approximately: - 6 hours (1 day) of on-campus, in-person teaching per week

  • 12 hours of self-directed study time per week


University of Portsmouth


‘I already feel so much more confident applying for jobs.’

Anna, Master’s student at the University of Portsmouth

 Why Portsmouth?
A stronger sense of direction. Opportunities to specialise and further your prospects. A big step towards achieving your ambitions. Portsmouth is a university where you can connect with great people and businesses, and unlock career possibilities.

Taught qualification or independent research? On-campus teaching or online part-time study? At Portsmouth, you can choose from a wide range of subjects and modes of study.

  •    5***** rated for excellence in the QS World University rankings 2022
  • 86% satisfaction with course …
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