Applied and Petroleum Micropalaeontology MSc

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Although primarily aimed at earth science graduates who wish to gain expertise in Micropalaeontology and Petroleum Geoscience, the course has the flexibility to engage with students from a variety of academic backgrounds and would also suit those with experience in related Geoscience disciplines.

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Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Study Options: Full time

Duration: 1 year full-time

Start date: September


Course Director: Dr Ian Boomer
Tel: 0121 414 5536

Programme Administrator: Laura Benson 
Tel: +44 (0) 414 3260


Key features:

  • Looking at specimens under the microscopeComprehensive coverage of the key microfossil groups used in hydrocarbon exploration
  • Focus on the role of microfossils in understanding major changes in global climate
  • Course taught by both academic staff and industrial partners
  • Opportunity to experience working with geological consultancies as well as an academic research environment
  • Individual research project tailored to your own skills and goals
  • The course has received financial support from BG Group, BP, Petrostrat and Shell.

Download the MSc Applied and Petroleum Micropalaeontology leaflet

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Deep sea drillingTaught modules offered include:

  • Foraminifera
  • Calcareous Nannofossils
  • Ostracods
  • Pollen and Spores
  • Dinoflagellates
  • Sedimentary Basin Analysis
  • Petroleum Geology

Fees and funding

This programme is in fee band Bfor international students

  • Home/EU students £7,290 FT only
  • International students £17,960 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding


Scholarships to cover fees are available from a number of sources. Applicants holding accepted offers may apply directly to the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB) who offer financial support for this course under their MSc Scholarship Award Scheme. We strongly advise that you apply to the PESGB. Applications will be available through their scholarships page.

The Micropalaeontological Society Educational Trust Fund also makes awards each year to the course. Applications should be made directly to the TMS; details can be found at the TMS Educational Trust Awards page.

Additional funding may also be available through direct application to the University using the application form below. A number of funded places (fees only, occasionally fees plus a stipend) are often made available through direct support from exploration companies and learned societies. To be considered for all available scholarships please complete the scholarship application form (PDF 430KB). The deadline for applications is 29th May 2015.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree, preferably upper second-class or above in an Earth Sciences based degree or related discipline.

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

The first semester is preceded by a short UK-based field trip to collect samples, and delivered through a series of modules focussing on the key microfossil groups and their applications. In the second semester, students will normally take courses to broaden their understanding of petroleum geology and sedimentary basin analysis while undertaking independent research projects.

Assessment methods

120 credits are assessed through taught modules, 60 credits are awarded following the successful completion of the independent project which is assessed through a written dissertation. A variety of assessment methods are used, ranging from written coursework, case study reports, oral presentations and standard examinations.

Related research


Course Director: Dr Ian Boomer
Tel: 0121 414 5536

Programme Administrator: Laura Benson 
Tel: +44 (0) 414 3260


  • The course is primarily designed to prepare students for work in the hydrocarbon industry and related service sector; this may involve both onshore and offshore work in the UK, Europe and Worldwide.
  • The research skills acquired will also provide a strong foundation for those wishing to undertake further postgraduate study towards the award of a PhD.


Course Director: Dr Ian Boomer
Tel: 0121 414 5536

Programme Administrator: Laura Benson 
Tel: +44 (0) 414 3260