Postgraduate advice and forms

Contact the relevant staff member for your programme for further advice or information.

More information is also available on the College of Science Postgraduate advice and forms webpage, and on UC's postgraduate website.

Key dates

The University Key course dates webpage lists important dates for the university academic year such as semester dates and public and university holidays.

Laboratory demonstrating work

Our MSc and PhD students are encouraged to demonstrate and instruct in undergraduate laboratory classes, for which they receive payment. Please, first talk to the lecturers of any course you would like to demonstrate. Find out more about our Lab Demonstrating policies on Learn.

Research is central to the postgraduate experience. It can be very rewarding, but also requires good time management and a high level of engagement. If you plan to enrol in BSc (Hons), Professional Masters, MSc or PhD, your degree will involve a significant research component. The following tips are designed to help you choose a research topic and supervisor.

Tip #1 - Start looking early

Choosing a topic requires careful thought, so start as soon as you can. Supervisors can only take on a finite number of students so if you want to work with a particular person, approach them early.

  • BSc (Hons) students

Think about your research project in the July or August of the year before your course starts. Your enrolment into BSc (Hons) will not be approved until you have advised the 4th year Course Advisor of your research project and supervisor. Most students doing field work need to have finalised plans before the start of the field season in November and may need to start their field work over the summer before 4th year officially starts.

  • MSc students

Research is a major part of your degree so you should spend as much time thinking about your research interests as about which 400-level courses to take. A research statement is due early in May during your MSc part I and gives us an indication of your research interests so that we can better ensure you have a project and supervisor lined up. Most students begin preliminary research in October/November. There are a variety of scholarships available for MSc Part II, so ensure that you browse the University scholarships page throughout the year.

  • PhD candidates

Find a research topic that is of interest to you and a supervisor well in advance of scholarship application due dates. Scholarships are highly competitive so make sure you begin the application process several months in advance of the due dates.

Tip #2 - Pick an area of genuine interest to you

Research comes with highs and lows and requires high motivation to get through the tough times. The secret to success is to work in an area where you really want to know the answer to the research questions you pose. If you are only mildly curious about the topic, it will be tough to get through the more challenging parts and complete the thesis. We don’t recommend taking on a project that doesn’t sound interesting to you just because an academic is offering you a spot in their research programme.

Tip #3 - Look for a good match between supervisor and topic

Approaching staff who have interests that overlap your own is vital. All staff welcome queries in person or by email. They often have research ideas that can be developed into proposals, so ask them what they are working on. Research projects also develop from discussions with staff around a topic of mutual interest: don’t be afraid to take your ideas to them. Staff lecture topics may not reflect their core research interests – look at their recent publications and their current research. Research projects are not guaranteed and you may be competing with other students for topics and your choice of supervisor. Some academics have limited space in their programme so give yourself the best chance by reading up on the research area. It is “Publish or Perish” if you want a career in research, so choose an area that is actively publishing in good journals.

Talk to postgraduate students from the research programme you wish to join. They can give you a sense of what the research is like, and what the academic is like to work with.

Tip #4 – Relationships matter

Once you have teamed up with a supervisor you will have regular meetings and will work together to evolve your project and develop approaches to tackle your research. Your supervisors are there to help, don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from them.

Postgraduate forms

Standardised postgraduate forms are held on the College of Science webpages.

BSc Honours proposal

All BSc(Hons) candidates must complete and submit a project proposal to the Postgraduate Studies Coordinator (PGC) before starting their research project. Consult your supervisor before you submit this proposal. It will be reviewed by the Thesis Committee and may be returned to the candidate if revisions are required. Note: This form is to be completed using the space provided in a type font not smaller than 10 point. Please submit your proposal to the PGC by the dates indicated. 

Mason Trust

Brian Mason kindly donated funds to encourage and promote the scientific activities of the Department of Geological Sciences at UC by means of financial assistance to students, staff and visiting scientists. 

Various types of awards are available to provide partial assistance to students and staff members within the Department of Geological Sciences with conference and research expenses.

IP agreement form

All BSc(Hons) candidates must submit an IP agreement form together with their project proposal to the Postgraduate Studies Coordinator (PGC) before starting their research project. This form needs to be discussed with (and countersigned by) your supervisors. It addresses the issues of how any scientific outcome of your research will be dealt with if it comes to subsequent publishing and data storage.

Discharge certificate

This is required by the Department to ensure all equipment is returned and your office is left in an acceptable state. You will need to get the form signed by all relevant staff and returned to the Postgraduate Coordinator. Failure to do so may cause a delay in receiving information on your degree.

Standard MSc forms

Standardised postgraduate forms are held on the College of Science webpages.

MSc forms for Geology

Mason Trust

Brian Mason kindly donated funds to encourage and promote scientific activities of the Department of Geological Sciences at UC by means of financial assistance to students, staff and visiting scientists. 

Various types of awards are available to provide partial assistance to students and staff members within the Department of Geological Sciences with conference and research expenses.

Electronic thesis submission

Students can now submit a PDF of their thesis to the Postgraduate Office. This PDF will be sent to the examiners or - if the examiner requests a paper copy - the Postgraduate Office will print a copy from the PDF. The new procedures have many advantages, but have also introduced some potential problems which all students should be aware of.

If you submit your thesis electronically we strongly recommend that you fill out the following form and submit it to the Postgraduate Office, with your thesis, in order to minimise associated problems.

Submit to Geological Sciences office

Standardised PhD forms

Standardised postgraduate forms are held on the College of Science webpages.

Phd forms for Geology 

Mason Trust

Brian Mason kindly donated funds to encourage and promote scientific activities of the Department of Geological Sciences at UC by means of financial assistance to students, staff and visiting scientists. 

Various types of awards are available to provide partial assistance to students and staff members within the Department of Geological Sciences with conference and research expenses.

Electronic thesis submission

Students can now submit a PDF of their thesis to the Postgraduate Office. This PDF will be sent to the examiners or - if the examiner requests a paper copy - the Postgraduate Office will print a copy from the PDF. The new procedures have many advantages, but have also introduced some potential problems which all students should be aware of.

If you submit your thesis electronically we strongly recommend that you fill out the following form and submit it to the Postgraduate Office, with your thesis, in order to minimize associated problems.

Submit to Geological Sciences

Our postgraduates have access to a range of software. Below are the most common applications used by students. Many other special applications are - check with John Southward or Anekant Wandres for more information.

SubjectNameUseLocation
Word Processing


Microsoft Word Reports, assignment, thesis C:\
Adobe Acrobat PDF (free software) reading and printing document C:\
Adobe Acrobat Pro PDF (advanced commercial) editing document C:\
Endnote Bibliography C:\
Drawing

Corel Draw Diagram and figures for reports, assignment, thesis etc C:\
Adobe Illustrator Diagram and figures for reports, assignment, thesis etc C:\
Microsoft Publisher Desktop publishing C:\
Image Processing



Corel PhotoPaint Editing and processing image for presentation C:\
Adobe Photoshop Editing and processing image for presentation C:\
ImageJ Image analysis aerial photos C:\
ImageTool Image analysis,  thin sections X:\
Motic Image analysis X:\
Audiovisual Microsoft PowerPoint For talk and conference C:\
Databases Microsoft Access General database C:\
FileMaker General database  
Statistics Microsoft Excel For basic stats (Harker, bar, pie, column… ) C:\
Minitab Statistical modeling student drive
SAS Statistical modeling student drive
Statistica Statistical modeling student drive
Palisade Decision Tools Risk modeling student drive
Geochemistry MinPet Most geochemistry plots, modeling X:\
Igpet05 Most geochemistry plots, modeling Anekant
Grapher 2D and 3D graphic X:\
Computation Matlab Numerical modeling processing etc student drive
Contouring Surfer gridding, contouring X:\
Mapping/GIS Civil 3D 2008 (AutoCAD) geological maps, engineering drawing C:\ 5 copies
ArcGIS10.2 storing and manipulating data C:\
3–D mapping Stereo Mapper stereo view of aerial photos see John
GPS GPS Pathfinder 4.1 processing you GPS survey data see John
Trimble Business Center RTK GPS see Anekant
Geodimeter Terramodel 10.41 processing your EDM survey see Anekant
Stratigraphy Strater advanced plotting of downhole data X:\
Rockscience Dips plotting orientation-based data X:\
RocData strength analysis of rock and soil X:\
RockSupport estimating support in circular tunnels X:\
Examine2D excavation analysis for mines X:\
Rockfall rockfall calculations X:\
Slide slope stability analysis X:\
Examine3D 3-D elastic analysis for excavations X:\
Rocklab Hoek-Brown failure X:\
Swedge stability of wedges in rockslopes X:\
Phase2 2-D plastic finite element programme X:\
RockPlane stability of planar sliding blocks X:\
Unwedge stability of wedges in underground excavations X:\
Settle3D settlement and consolidation analysis X:\
RS3 Finite element analysis X:\
RocProp Rock properties database X:\
RocTopple Toppling analysis of rock formations X:\
DAN dynamic analysis of flow-like landslide X:\
Colorado Rock Fall Simulation Rockfall simulation X:\
Other software Win_EKKO_Pro GPR X:\
Transform3D seismograph software X:\
StrataVisor seismic data processing X:\
KingdomSuite seismic data processing see John
Vulcan 8.0.2 advance3D mining modeling X:\
Voxler advance 3D modeling X:\
Move 2014.2 Structural modeling see John
Leapfrog Geo advance3D mining modeling see John
Imagine/LPS photogrammetry see John
Res2DInv resistivity see John
FLAC/PFC finite element analysis flow/plasticity see John
Visual SUNT Seismic processing see John
CLiq Liquefaction analysis C:\
ReflexW Seismic reflection analysis see John

 

Postgraduate handbooks

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