MSc in Earth Science

The Open University

Program Description

MSc in Earth Science

The Open University

MSc in Earth Science

This MSc course explores current aspects of Earth science, investigating how the Earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere are dependent upon each other, interacting across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. You will learn to critically evaluate current research and gain skills that allow you to update your knowledge of Earth science. You will investigate how to deal with complex interacting Earth systems, how to quanitify fluxes within the Earth system and understand the climatic consequences of changing the balance between different components. You will learn how to communicate scientific information to specialists and non-specialists.

Educational aims

The overall aim of the qualification is to develop knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills, key skills and practical and professional skills in the study of Earth Science, using a systems approach. In summary, the aims of the qualification are to allow you to:

  • develop an understanding of scientific principles and current issues underlying the main areas of Earth Science
  • critically reflect on how these processes operating over a range of temporal and spatial scales impact on present and future socio-economic systems
  • develop the skills and a critical understanding of methodological approaches essential to postgraduate study in science.

After completing the qualification you should be able to:

  • use electronic means of communication, information searching and retrieval
  • critically assess literature in Earth Science
  • prepare an extended piece of writing, scientific reviews, and an online presentation that critically engage with current theoretical, methodological and/or practical issues in Earth Science.

Generic skills developed in assignments include: use of text and electronic resources, reflection on developing understanding of overarching themes in the qualification, critical reading, comprehension, communication to specialist and non-specialist audiences, synthesis of information, critical understanding of complex scientific issues.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding are acquired from specially prepared teaching materials using a variety of learning approaches, which may include self-assessment questions, working with audio and visual learning materials, reference electronic texts, directed reading, electronic journals, computer conferencing and web-based resources.

You will work independently with the teaching materials, but may form self-help groups with other students, communicating online in module or individual study group forums, by email, telephone or face-to-face. Tutors will support your learning individually and within groups, electronically.

Skills are developed throughout the programme in parallel with knowledge and understanding.

Career impact

Completing this MSc course will equip you with a set of key transferable skills, which will be relevant to Earth science, as well as providing you with a basis of postgraduate level science skills. You will learn to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in your field of study as well as evaluating research methodologies. You will discover how to deal with complex issues and make sound judgements and decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.

You will learn to communicate information and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences including professional audiences, demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a postgraduate level.

The nature of this qualification will develop your independent learning skills and enhance your ICT skills in locating information and communicating with others in both professional and academic contexts.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 10 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Duration 1 - 10 years
Price Contact school