Strategic Earth Resources (MSc) 2021 entry
The MSc in Strategic Earth Resources prepares students for the challenges in resource extraction in the 21st century. It tackles not only the geological skills and understanding required for mineral exploration targeting and estimation, but also the economic, environmental, and social aspects of mining: from exploration, extraction to remediation. This is a new degree programme, which builds on the Mineral Resources MSc, which has now been withdrawn.
Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Science (MSc)
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 September 2022
This is a new MSc course, but it builds on Mineral Resources which ran 2020-2021. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
One year full time or two years part time
- A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a subject-related area. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
Wednesday 11 August 2021. Applicants should apply as early as possible due to limited spaces, and to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- CV or résumé
- personal statement
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
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The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2020-2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.
Across the first two semesters, students must take the following compulsory modules:
- Core to Crust Ore Genesis - High T: focuses on the geological processes, geodynamic setting, and mineralogy of the principal metallic and non-metallic mineral deposits related to magmatic and magmatic-hydrothermal processes.
- Core to Crust Ore Genesis - Low T: focuses on the geological processes, geodynamic setting, and mineralogy of the principal metallic and non-metallic mineral deposits related to low-temperature hydrothermal and surficial processes.
- Applied Digital Field Methods: field-based module that focuses on creating and interpreting surface and underground maps, and on drone-based or other remote sensing exploration technologies.
- Exploration to Estimation: explores the fundamental geochemical and geophysical concepts used by the mineral exploration industry, introduces three-dimensional geological modelling using industry-standard software, and covers key aspects leading to mineral resource estimation.
- Global Resource Challenges: tackles the economic, environmental, societal, geopolitical and ethical issues regarding mining, and future challenges shaping mineral exploration into the mid-21st century.
- Statistics and Analytical Sciences: provides students with a strong background in statistics and methods of data analysis used in earth sciences.
- Field Excursion: international field course to see major deposit types and mining operations.
Students can choose from three optional modules:
- Geodynamics: studies the geodynamic evolution of Earth's crust through geological time, the evolution of convergent and divergent margins, and the relationships between tectonics, erosion and climate. The module develops skills of geodynamic interpretation, field observation and use of numerical models.
- Special Topics in Climate Science: tackles a variety of topical research subjects in climate science, such as climate sensitivity, past warm climates, external forcing, and geo-engineering.
- Advanced Geochemistry: trains students in the advanced techniques and methodologies used to address fundamental and applied questions related to the Earth system and the cycling of natural materials between fluid and solid phases.
The third semester of the MSc course focuses on independent field or laboratory-based research conducted with an academic supervisor. The topic is defined by the student and can be chosen from research foci within the School, or with an external industrial or academic partner. For laboratory-based dissertations, students will have full access to the state-of-the-art analytical facilities available at St Andrews.
The research project will involve:
- project formulation, together with the chosen supervisor
- proposal writing and analytical design
- oral presentation for feedback on the proposed study
- data collection, integration and interpretation
- presentation of the project results via a poster conference
- a dissertation of not more than 15,000 words, submitted by a date towards the end of August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.