Exploration Geophysics MSc

You will study 180 credits in total during your Exploration Geophysics MSc. These are the modules studied in 2021/22 and will give you a flavour of the modules you are likely to study in 2022/23. All modules are subject to change.

Seismic Fundamentals and Acquisition – 15 credits

A successful seismic campaign starts with understanding the key fundamentals of the seismic method, and the modern approaches by which seismic data are acquired. In this module, you will review basic concepts in seismic exploration, including data sampling concepts, and discover how marine and seismic surveys are designed and implemented.

Geological and Physical Methods of Subsurface Characterisation – 15 credits

Refresh your fundamental skills of subsurface geology and geological processes, including with a field trip to study the exposures of North Sea geology on the Yorkshire coast. Then, you will discover how the properties of rocks are expressed in petrophysical models to assess the resource and storage potential of a subsurface reservoir.

Near Surface Geophysics – 15 credits

Discover how geophysical methods, including electrical, electromagnetic and seismic approaches, are applied to interpret near surface structures for environmental and engineering applications. The module culminates in a residential field trip, where you will appraise geophysical survey methods for their ability to understand the shallow structure of a field site.

Computational Inverse Theory – 15 credits

Computational methods are at the heart of many geophysical processes and applications. In this module, you will discover and implement the maths behind the methods, and build your own software programmes for data inversion, analysis and display.

Seismic Data Processing – 15 credits

Learn and apply the principles of seismic data processing, including modern approaches for noise reduction, multiple suppression, velocity modelling and migration, for surface and borehole data. A practical class includes an example of fast-track processing of a basin-scale seismic dataset, using industry-standard analysis software.

Seismic Reflection Interpretation and Sequence Stratigraphy – 15 credits

In a highly workstation-based module, you will learn how to produce geological models from processed seismic data, plus how extended visualisation methods can be used to add confidence to interpretation. You will extend your geological understanding with the concepts of sequence stratigraphy and reservoir geology.  

Geophysical Reservoir Evaluation – 15 credits

In this module, you will bridge the gap between rock and fluid physics models and their expression in geophysical data. Discover how we quantify and interpret the fluid component within a subsurface reservoir or storage facility, and monitor its development through time.

Gravity and Magnetic Methods – 15 credits

Learn the principles and practice of the methods of gravity and magnetic surveying, for mapping basin-scale structures and prospective mineral reserves. The module also shows how the same targets are expressed in electromagnetic induction data.

Exploration Geophysics – Project and Dissertation – 60 credits

Drawing on the concepts learned during the taught-course, you will apply your geophysical knowledge to a genuine research challenge – often in collaboration with an external industrial and/or academic partner. In addition to honing your technical skills in a chosen exploration geophysics topic, you will learn how to report and present your research in thesis, poster and seminar formats.