- Taught by the internationally established Camborne School of Mines (CSM), a combined mining school and geoscience department
- You’ll be equipped with the specialist knowledge and skills required when exploring and evaluating new mineral deposits around the world
- Collect, interpret and report geoscientific data, based around a robust understanding of current theories for orebody genesis, exploration techniques and the application of industry-leading software
- You’ll 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
- Progress into careers in the national and international exploration and mining sectors, and gain transferable skills used in the broader geotechnical, site investigation and environmental industries.
Top 10 in the UK for Geology
7th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 and The Complete University Guide 2024
Leading research facilities include £2 million analytical mineralogy labs and an automated QEMSCAN scanning electron microscope; the first in any university worldwide
Multidisciplinary expertise in mining and minerals engineering, geology and surveying
Based on our Penryn Campus in Cornwall, a beautiful and diverse county with amazing geosites on your doorstep
Our programmes are accredited by The Geological Society which is the first step on the ladder to Chartered Geologist status after graduation.
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.
Entry requirements for international students
English language requirements
International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.
This course aims to provide specialist technical training required to carry out exploration programmes in the mining industry. You will be equipped with the knowledge and skills required in exploration target generation, testing and evaluation. You will learn new skills in GIS, database management, geochemical and geophysical targeting, technical report writing and spatial modelling. This degree allows you to progress into careers in the national and international exploration and mining sectors, and gain 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 October each year and the taught elements are concluded by May. The research project, under the personal supervision of an expert in the chosen area, will be carried out from May to late August.
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.
I only really considered Exeter when looking at Masters programmes; if you’re going to be doing exploration geology Exeter is the only place to go to do it.
This is especially true given the lecturers at Exeter’s Penryn Campus, they spend their time not only lecturing but also working as industry consultants so you are getting the best specialist knowledge in the sector.
One of my favourite things about the course is probably how applied and industry focused it is. For example, we get to use actual data sets from industry so nothing is fictional and when you’re doing your work you’re working on real life scenarios. I think is really important as when you come to do it as a job later on there are no surprises as you’ve already done it in your masters. This makes the course really employability focused and helps you stand out against other graduates as you’ve worked so closely with industry and done a course that isn’t offered anywhere else. I love how what you do during your Masters truly prepares you for what you’d be doing day-to-day as an exploration geologist.
I love living in Cornwall. Being in Cornwall is particularly great for this course it has a strong mining history and so it’s brilliant from an educational point of view. You’re also close to so many amazing beaches and if you like sea and beaches you are in no better place. You can easily go out for walks you’ve got whole South West coastal path to explore. Despite not being a big city there’s still a big student community and aside from exploring the coast you’re not going to be short of things to do.
Exploration Geology MSc (2019-2020)
UK fees per year:
International fees per year:
The Richard Osman Memorial Fund Scholarship
These scholarships will enable up to two talented UK students studying on the MSc Exploration Geology programme to become distinguished Richard Osman Scholars. The successful candidates will receive a bursary covering their tuition fees in full, and a generous stipend of £12,000 toward living costs.
Women in Mining UK Scholarship 2023
Women in Mining UK and the CSM Trust are delighted to offer two £9,000 scholarships for exceptional female students enrolling in 2023 on a mining-related course. To find out more visit our funding database.
We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students. This includes over £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.
*Selected programmes only. Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details.
Teaching and research
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.
In April/ May a field trip and visit to a leading mining hub will provide you with an opportunity to put your acquired exploration skills into practice.
Reputational and networking benefits
A unique benefit studying at Camborne School of Mines is the community and relations 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.
Graduates of this programme have gone on to enjoy careers as mining and production geologists, exploration geologists, engineering and environmental geologists. Our graduates have gone to work for some exceptional companies such as Northern Star Resources, First Quantum Minerals, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals, and SRK Consulting.
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