Postgraduate study in Geology

Field-trip-mountains_DPT_block, Geology

Studying Geology prepares students for a diverse range of career options, such as in geo-exploration, volcanology, hazard management, engineering geology, environmental planning, water resources, science teaching and geoscience research. Undertaking postgraduate study prepares students for careers in research or industry by in-depth pursuit of a selected group of topics within geological sciences.

To apply to enrol in BSc Honours Geology, students must have passed required field courses (GEOL 240, 241, 351, 352 or equivalent), and have at least 60 points from other GEOL 300-level courses.  Students should have achieved a minimum of a B+ grade average. Honours includes a research project, so the student should arrange an appropriate lecturer to be supervisor (or with approval from the HoD a research associate may act as primary supervisor), and a project proposal must have been written in conjunction with the supervisor and approved by the Department. Students should consult the University Calendar for full details for BSc (Hons)

Required courses

This degree requires one further year of study after completion of the BSc degree, and comprises a compulsory full year course, GEOL 490 BSc Hons Research Project, and seven semester courses chosen from GEOL 473-489. With the approval of the Head of Department courses from another subject (i.e. ENGE, HAZM, GEOG, WATR, ENVR etc.) may replace up to three GEOL courses. For more information see the GEOL 400 level course outlines and timetables booklet, and the staff involved.

Research project

The research project (GEOL 490) usually involves individual field work and laboratory work during the summer months and is submitted by the beginning of Semester Two. Alternatively, for students commencing mid-year the GEOL490 project is to be submitted by the 3rd Monday of Semester One. GEOL 490 has a course weighting of 0.3333 and the other seven courses 0.125 each.

This degree requires a further 2-2.5 years of study after completing the BSc degree. It consists of Part 1 (one year of course work) and Part 2 thesis work. Part 1 may be started in February or July, at the beginning of either the first or second semesters. 

Entry requirements

For entry into MSc Part I, students should have achieved a minimum of a B grade average, have passed required field courses (GEOL 240, 241, 351, 352 or equivalent), and have at least 60 points from other GEOL 300 courses. To proceed to MSc Part II (thesis) a B+ grade average is required in MSc Part I courses, an appropriate lecturer or research associate must agree to be supervisor, and a research proposal must have been written in conjunction with the supervisor and approved within the Dept.

Part one

The programme of study for Part 1 is eight courses chosen from GEOL 473 - 489. With the approval of the Head of Department, courses from another subject (i.e. ENGE, HAZM, GEOG, WATR, ENVR etc.) may replace up to three of GEOL 473 - 489. Course weighting for each course is 0.125.

Part two

Part 2 of the MSc degree consists of a thesis on an individual investigation presented not later than 16 months after enrolment for Part 2 of the degree if Honours is to be awarded. This time limit is extended to 24 months for students qualifying for MSc without Honours. Parts 1 and 2 are weighted 1:2 in the final assessment of the degree though it is also a requirement that both Parts 1 and 2 are passed. An additional requirement is for MSc students to present a seminar in the Department on their thesis work.

It is now possible to take Parts 1 and 2 concurrently with approval of the Head of Department. Details of the requirement for this are given in the University of Canterbury Calendar.

BSc Honours graduates may proceed directly to MSc (Part 2) which may be awarded with Distinction or Merit, but without further Honours. It is possible to enrol for an MSc degree on a part-time basis.

Need more information?

Alex Nichols

Senior Lecturer
Petrology
West 321
Internal Phone: 94410

For entry to PhD Geology, a student must normally have obtained a BSc Honours or MSc degree of high standard. The PhD is examined on the basis of a thesis presented after individual study over a period normally of three or four years and no more than five years. At UC it is possible to do a PhD on a part-time basis because of employment, health, family, or other reasons. In this case submission must be within seven or exceptionally eight years of enrolment. For more information, see UC’s webpage for PhD postgraduate students.

Need more information?

Ben Kennedy

Associate Professor
Physical Volcanology
West 321
Internal Phone: 94437

Students who intend to undertake postgraduate research in Geology can find more information about the process on our Postgraduate advice and forms webpage and on the College of Science's Postgraduate advice and forms page.

Need more information?

Postgraduate students should contact the relevant Programme Co-ordinator in the first instance. Masters-level study is administered by the College of Science, and PhD-level study by the Postgraduate Office.

Geology Postgraduate Programme Co-ordinator

Kari Bassett

Senior Lecturer
Sedimentology & Basin Analysis
West 330
Internal Phone: 94495

Alex Nichols

Senior Lecturer
Petrology
West 321
Internal Phone: 94410