MSc in Geology-Geoscience

Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen

Program Description

MSc in Geology-Geoscience

Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen

Master of Science (MSc) in Geology-Geoscience

Geology is the science of the origins, composition and evolution of the Earth over 5 billion years, and the processes that change the Earth and form the foundation for our existence.

The programme is offered in English.

As a graduate student in geology and geoscience, you will combine geological science with new knowledge and new methods within areas such as biology, physics, chemistry, nanotechnology, ecology, climatology and archaeology to build a holistic picture of the Earth's structure and evolution, providing you with an overview of our natural conditions of life.

An MSc degree in Geology and Geoscience gives you a wide variety of job opportunities in Denmark and beyond. Internationally, geologists may find employment within environmental development, as consultants in the oil and mining industries or at research institutions and universities.

Profile and Career

During the two-year MSc programme, you will specialise in the area of geology that you find most interesting. Depending on your interests, your academic focus can vary, but may include:

  • Solving selected basic problems in the geological sciences - within a wide variety of disciplines and methods and with the world as your playing field.
  • Principles and methods in the exploration for and exploitation of raw materials: mineral raw materials, oil and gas.
  • Hydrogeology - groundwater exploration and exploitation, water supply, pollution prevention.
  • The origins, evolution and future of life; climate change.
  • Research in natural and industrial materials and their technological applications.

As a graduate student, you will specialise in an area of geology of your own choosing. The programme offers a high degree of freedom to choose among topics and courses, and within certain frameworks you can compose your course of study. You may also follow courses offered through other programmes, participate in conferences, study abroad and much more.

Competence Description

Through the MSc programme you will:

  • Gain broad knowledge of the main areas within geology and geoscience as well as obtain specialist knowledge within a specified area of the discipline.
  • Acquire experience working with geology in the field and the laboratory within a specified area of geology and geoscience.
  • Learn to analyse a geological problem, set up a working model, collect and analyse geological data and prepare a professionally sound and detailed scientific report (Master's thesis).
  • Achieve relevant skills within IT, dissemination and communication and learn to express yourself and communicate geological topics in both Danish and English.

Career opportunities

An MSc in Geology gives you a world of opportunities for employment with many interesting and different socially relevant assignments in Denmark and abroad. Most types of jobs involve fieldwork, analyses and the dissemination of findings.

Public sector jobs are typically in regional/municipal/public authorities, government research institutes like the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Risø National Laboratory and the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), or at universities and other institutions of higher education.

In industry, jobs are spread out across many different sectors. The largest private sector job sources are oil companies, construction companies and consulting engineering firms.

An increasing number of geologists from Denmark find work abroad in connection with environmental development work and consulting in the mining and oil industries, and at universities and other research institutions.

Programme Structure

One block is nine weeks and counts as 15 ECTS credit points. Most of the courses equal 7.5 ECTS credit points, so you can follow two in each block.

You can choose between six tracks, or specialisations:

  • Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology
  • Geological Applied Geophysics
  • Geomorphology
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Sedimentary Basin Studies
  • Water Resources

Each track consists of a mandatory ‘track basic course' that gives you an overview of the selected area of geology, a field course or a laboratory course and, finally, a ‘track project' that serves as the beginning of the Master's thesis (totalling 30 ECTS credit points). Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to follow a number of specialisation courses, depending on the topic and type of thesis.

The course of study concludes with a Master's thesis, which is a large scientific written paper to be defended orally. You can write an experiment-based thesis equalling 60 ECTS credit points or a theoretical thesis equalling 30 ECTS credit points. An experiment-based thesis is larger because it usually includes field work, collection of samples and subsequent laboratory work. A theoretical thesis is based more on existing literature.

Master's thesis project

Examples of topics for recent MSc theses are:

  • Vulcanological and geochemical survey of Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands
  • Geochemical study of Storø gold mineralisation, West Greenland
  • Study of ground-water exchange to and from lakes using tracer tests
  • Evolution of the birds after the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary
  • Sedimentological analysis of the Balka sandstone on Bornholm
  • Geological evolution and hydrocarbon potential in the Danish part of the south-western Baltic Sea

 When and how to apply

The application procedure for EU/EEA and Swiss Citizens

  • Make sure to check the admission requirements.
  • Contact SCIENCE Student Service if you have questions.
  • Prepare your relevant documentations (see checklist) - Language tests and certified diplomas can be forwarded through the online application portal up until study start.
  • From 1 February to 1 April you can send your application through THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
  • We must receive your application no later than 1 April (Fall Semester).
  • After 1 April application deadline, your application will be evaluated by an academic admissions committee.
  • You will receive a response no later than 15 June.
  • Study start 1 September 2014.

Application Procedure Non-EU/EEA Citizens

  • Make sure to check the programme admission requirements.
  • Contact SCIENCE Student Services if you have questions.
  • Prepare your relevant documentations (see checklist). Incomplete applications will not be processed.
  • From 15 November to 15 January you can send your application through THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
  • We must receive your application no later than 15 January (Fall Semester).
  • Your application is evaluated by an academic admission committee between 15 January and 15 March: All applicants offered admission will receive an invoice for tuition fees which must be paid by 15 April
  • If admitted, you will receive your letter of admission after we have received your tuition fee payment.
  • 1 May is the deadline for applying for your residence permit.

Checklist for Documentation

In order to make sure we have all the information needed to evaluate your past achievements and future potential, you are required to submit the following items:

  • An original or certified copy* of your academic transcript from your Bachelor degree. If the transcript is in a language other than English or a Scandinavian language, please include an official English translation.
  • A certified copy* of your Bachelor diploma. If you are yet to receive your diploma, please provide a letter from your university stating the date when the diploma will be issued.
  • Course descriptions of courses undertaken in your Bachelor degree relevant to the programme you are applying for. These can be in the form of photocopies from your university's academic handbook/course lists or print-outs from the university's website. They should describe what was required of you to complete the courses, what was studied and hours of study. These course descriptions allow us to understand exactly what you have studied in your prior degree, and help us to determine whether you meet the requirements and are eligible for the MSc degree at the Faculty of Science.
  • An updated version of your C.V. (curriculum vitae)/résumé A photo is not necessary.
  • A photocopy of your passport. Should you have more than one passport (citizenship) please copy the passport with which you will use to travel to Denmark. NB: You must use your EU/EEA passport should you wish to be given a tuition fee waiver.
  • Proof of English language proficiency (not applicable to native English speakers) 1) Acceptable TOEFL/IELTS exam results (these test results should be sent to us separately from the test centre upon your request) OR 2) Proof that English was the language of instruction in your prior education. See more information on the language requirements.

* An official certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been certified as a true and correct copy by a person who is authorised to witness a statutory declaration. Official certified copies are usually a photocopy of the original document stamped, signed and verified by an official in your country. Each country varies in whom is qualified to certify documents, however generally speaking your university, lawyers and embassies can certify documents for you, so that we can verify that what we have is a true replica of the original (and therefore determine if you are eligible for the MSc with us).

Please note that when you apply for admission through the digital application system, you are responsible for including and uploading all relevant documents listed in the application package as described above. If you do not have the necessary documentation at time of application you must instead upload an explanation. You can not continue the application process, if you fail to upload information when the application system requires it.

Please note that if you are admitted to an MSc programme at SCIENCE, you may be requested to present your original diploma and transcript at your arrival in Denmark. This will allow us to verify the documents.

If you have already applied digitally, you can always log on to the system and check up on the status of where in the application process your application currently is. Once your application is processed, you will also receive messages regarding your application through the online application system.

Application deadlines

  • EU/ EEA/Swiss applicants:   

1 April 2014 for admission 1 September 2014

  • Non EU/ EEA applicants:   

15 January 2014 for admission 1 September 2014

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
Start date Sept. 2017
Denmark Copenhagen
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price - No tuition fee - EU/EEA