Geology (MPhil / PhD)

In London

£ 2,187 + VAT
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Programme overview Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences shares resources, facilities and expertise with UCL’s Department of Earth Sciences, thus offering you access to a unique, world-class research environment. This programme provides an excellent opportunity for you to develop and enhance your general, transferable and specialist research skills. You will gain insight into different research methods and acquire valuable experience of conducting large-scale research projects. Our key research interests include: igneous petrology and geochemistry; sedimentology; environmental geochemistry and mineralogy; stratigraphy and palaeontology; structural geology; geophysics; palaeoclimatology; planetary geology; and earthquake studies.




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Malet Street, WC1E 7HX


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What you'll learn on the course

  • Supervisor
  • Climate Change
  • Full Time
  • Team Training
  • GCSE Physics
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Sedimentology
  • Climate
  • Professor Training

Course programme

What to do before you apply

To ensure that we have an appropriate supervisor for your research, please contact our course team and discuss it with them before you submit your application.

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below. Please note that online application will open in October 2016.

Finding a supervisor

  • Andy Beard, BSc, PhD: electron microprobe; kimberlites; ultramafic intrusions and diamonds.
  • Professor Charlie S. Bristow, BSc, PhD: clastic sedimentology; GPR and sediment; 3D modelling of sediment body geometries; sand dunes; palaeolake MegaChad.
  • Professor Andy Carter, BSc, PhD: fission track analysis; development of orogenic belts; thermochronology erosion and provenance.
  • Professor Ian A. Crawford, BSc, MSc, PhD: planetary geology and geochemistry.
  • Professor Hilary Downes, BSc, MSc, PhD, CGeol: origin and evolution of igneous rocks; geochemistry and petrology of meteorites; lower crustal and mantle xenoliths.
  • Dominic Fortes, PhD: mineral physics and processes in the interiors of planets.
  • Peter Grindrod, PhD: surfaces and interiors of rocky and icy bodies, including the Earth; planetary surface processes.
  • Philip Hopley, BSc, PhD: palaeoclimatology.
  • Karen A. Hudson-Edwards, BSc, MSc, PhD: environmental geochemistry and mineralogy; heavy metal pollution in soils and sediments.
  • Philip Pogge Von Strandmann, PhD: environment, oceans and climate; environmental isotopes.
  • Professor Gerald P. Roberts, BSc, PhD: structural geology; earthquake geology and seismic hazards.
  • Vincent Tong, BSc, PhD: geophysics; helioseismology.
  • Charlie J. Underwood, BSc, PhD: palaeoenvironmental analysis, biostratigraphy and palaeoecology; taphonomy of graptolites; taxonomy and evolution of Mesozoic sharks and rays.
  • Pieter Vermeesch, BSc, PhD: geomorphology; geochronology.

Your research topic

The earth sciences cover a broad spectrum of research topics. You may be interested in studying the evolution of life through the millennia, working with the fossil record to chart the development and extinction of species. Perhaps you want to study the dynamics involved in geohazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes. Maybe you want to reconstruct ancient environments with an eye to addressing key environmental issues of our time, such as climate change and coastal erosion.

Examples of research topics include:

  • Igneous petrology and geochemistry
  • Petrology and mineralogy of mantle and lower crustal xenoliths
  • Geochemistry of peridotite massifs
  • Palaeontology
  • Echinoderm palaeoecology in Middle Jurassic marginal marine settings
  • The effect of the end Cenomanian extinction event on high marine predator communities
  • Designing tidal creeks for managed coastal defence
  • Ground-penetrating radar applications in sedimentology
  • Palaeoclimate controls on the formation of coastal dunes
  • Sedimentary controls on the distribution of arsenic in the Ganges Brahmaputra Delta
  • The evolution of coastal dunes in response to Holocene climate change
  • Studies of displacement and strain along active normal fault zones in Italy and Greece.

Application deadlines and interviews

You can apply at any time during the year.

Online application

Geology (MPhil / PhD) (Part-time)

Geology (MPhil / PhD) (Full-time)

£ 2,187 + VAT

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