MSc Exploration Geology
|Duration||Full time 1 year|
Mineral exploration geoscience is concerned with the location of ore and industrial minerals found within the earth. The work of exploration geologists is essential to energy and production industries as it acts as a starting point for extraction.
This MSc will equip students with specialist knowledge and skills that are required when exploring and evaluating new mineral deposits around the world. As major orebodies are exhausted, the search for viable deposits in more complex geological terrains and in remote regions has intensified, creating a need for trained geologists able to carry out mineral exploration in varied environments.
The collection, interpretation and reporting of geoscientific data forms the major focus of this course; based around a robust understanding of current theories for orebody genesis, exploration techniques and the application of industry-leading software. You will have the opportunity to gain experience in acquiring, synthesising and critically evaluating data from a range of remote sensing, geophysical, geochemical and drill hole sources. The programme provides pathways to careers in the national and international exploration and mining sectors as well as important transferable skills used in the broader geotechnical, site investigation and environmental industries.
This programme is modular and flexible, carrying 180 credits in total and offering flexibility in choice of modules studied.
MSc Exploration Geology consists of eight core modules totalling 180 credits, which includes the 60-credit research project.
The programme begins in September each year and the taught elements are concluded by May. The research project, under the personal supervision of an expert in the chosen area, continues until September.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
Learning and teaching
The programme is delivered through a mix of lectures, workshops, tutorials, practical activities, case studies, industry visits, computer simulations, project work and a dissertation. The taught part of the programme is structured into two semesters. Field visits and practical field-based assignments are used, where appropriate, to emphasise key areas within each module.
A research- and practice-led culture
We believe every student benefits from being taught by experts active in research and practice. You will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics.
Students are encouraged to undertake projects directly linked with industry, which may result in industrial placements for their project period.
On this MSc programme you will receive a great deal of practical experience of working within the minerals industry. The programme aims to produce high-quality graduates who can enjoy high employment rates and easy transition into further PhD study. Emphasis remains on applied teaching and research relevant to careers in the earth resources and renewables sectors. Field visits and practical field-based assignments are used, where appropriate, to emphasise key areas within each module.
You will spend a significant proportion of your time in the field during the autumn term. Over the Easter period you are required to participate in an international field trip to visit mines and exploration projects in Scandinavia. This trip will prepare you to undertake typical greenfields and brownfields exploration work, including boulder tracing, stream sediment sampling and glacial till investigations, and link the results back to exploration targeting and existing operating mines.
Reputational and networking benefits
A unique benefit of studying at Camborne School of Mines is the community and connections you will gain, both during and after your studies. Camborne School of Mines has a world-class reputation and excellent alumni network, allowing our graduates to prosper in their respective fields in all corners of the globe:
“I have worked in many places around the world and have yet to visit a country where I could not find at least one CSM graduate. In fact, there are normally several and they can often be found in influential positions.”
- Tim Henderson, CSM graduate and current Technical Director at Glencore
Graduate skills and destinations
In addition, a degree form Camborne School of Mines will teach the necessary technical skills and theoretical knowledge required, as well as additional complementary skills relating to communications, teamwork and problem solving. We have excellent rates of graduate employment, with many postgraduates working overseas.
Support and opportunities
The Career Zone (CAS) at our Cornwall Campus provides high-quality careers information and guidance to students of all disciplines. Our experienced careers team can give you individual support whilst you are at the University and after you have graduated.
Services include talks, confidential careers interviews and an extensive careers library of reference books, magazines and journals. A new computer suite is also available for accessing online careers information, vacancy services and specialist software on, for example, sources of funding for courses and worldwide volunteering.
The CAS can help you to identify attractive jobs, careers paths and employers and assist with your CV, interview technique and identifying work experience placements.
From May to September you will undertake a major research project, usually in association with a mining/exploration company, and present a dissertation. Recent projects have been carried out in West Africa, Canada and Europe.
Examples of recent mineral exploration research projects
- A Geochemical Assessment of the Exploration Potential for Alkalic (Cu-Au) and Calc-Alkalic (Cu ± Mo ± Au) Porphyries within the Quesnel Terrane, British Columbia, Canada
- Using stream sediment geochemistry to aid polymetallic-Sn-W exploration targeting in the Vosges Mountains, France
- Petrographic investigations into the potential for REE-pegmatite and orogenic gold deposits, Sierra Leone
- A Remote Sensing Study into the mineral potential of the Taimyr Peninsula, Arctic Russia
- Gold and REE exploration in the Birimian Greenstone Belt, Ivory Coast
At minimum a 2:1 honours degree from a recognised university in Geology. Consideration will also be given to appropriate equivalent professional qualifications and training on a case-by-case basis.
Requirements for international students
If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.
English language requirements
Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.
Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.
Pearson Test of English (Academic)
58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.
Other accepted tests
Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.
Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees per year 2020/21
- UK/EU: £10,950 full-time
- International: £22,950 full-time
Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.
UK government postgraduate loan scheme
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Global Excellence Scholarship
We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2020.
Please note that this scholarship isn't offered for all our masters programmes.
If you have any questions about any of our taught masters programmes, please contact us:
Tel: +44 (0) 1326 371801
Web: Enquire online