Admission Requirements

Graduates with an honours degree, or equivalent, in earth, atmospheric or space science, physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, astronomy, engineering, or engineering physics from a recognized university, with at least B standing (or upper second class honours in a degree from a British University), may be admitted as Candidates for the MSc degree, which normally requires at least 24 months to complete.

Degree Requirements

MSc Degree by Thesis

Candidates for the MSc degree by thesis must fulfil the following requirements:


In addition to successfully completing the required Research Evaluation courses ESS6030.03, Candidates must successfully complete 2 full graduate courses (12 credits), or equivalent. One half course (3 credits) from the Research Evaluation courses may be included. Students may be required to take a further half-course, if the supervisory committee determine that this is necessary to strengthen a student’s background in the thesis area.

Thesis and Oral Examination

  1. All entering Candidates plan a research program with their supervisor at the start of their degree studies, and conduct the research under the general direction of their supervisor and supervising committee and describe it in an appropriate thesis. The research and thesis should demonstrate the Candidate’s research ability in the area of investigation. After the formal submission of the thesis, an oral examination, centred on the thesis-research, is held. Prior to the oral examination each Candidate delivers a formal lecture on his research work.
  2. Research progress is monitored by meetings of the Supervisory Committee with the Candidate and by an annual progress report consisting of a written paper and a public oral presentation normally in May or June. Satisfactory progress results in credit for ESS6030.03 (Research Evaluation) and a statement of the Candidate’s progress in the Candidate’s record. In the event of failure to achieve satisfactory progress the student will normally be required to withdraw from the program.

MSc Degree by Coursework

Candidates for the MSc degree may occasionally take the three full courses and research exercise option instead of the thesis option on the recommendation of the Program Director. Candidates are required to successfully complete three full courses, and must also conduct an exercise in research procedures and report on it in an appropriate manner. The selection of graduate courses and of the topic of the research exercise must be arranged in consultation with the Program Director.

Language and Cognate Requirements

There is no foreign language requirement for the M.Sc. degree but Candidates must give satisfactory evidence of an ability to program and use electronic digital computers for the solution of non-trivial scientific problems.