Earth Sciences - Subsurface Characterisation & Geomodelling

MSc Subsurface Characterisation & Geomodelling
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Skills that allow us to understand, model, visualise and make predictions about what lies beneath the Earth's surface are critical in an increasingly populous and resource-constrained world. This course provides generic training in the key geoscience principles and methods in data interpretation, analysis and computer modelling of the deeper and shallow subsurface. Graduates will acquire modern skills in applied geology applicable across a range of geoscience sectors. This sought-after and transferable 'know-how' will allow flexibility in your future career path in industrial, regulatory or applied research geoscience.

Further information about this course is available on the UCD School of Earth Sciences website.

The programme combines classroom-based instruction, practical workstation experience, team-based exercises and field visits. It also includes a three-month applied research project.

Vision and Values Statement
This programme provides graduates and company staff seeking career advancement with the key knowledge, skills and tools required to be successful geoscientists across the range of industries and applied research organisations working with subsurface data. We value ambition and passion to be expert problem-solvers through the application of sound geological reasoning, models and quantitative techniques. We provide a learning environment that develops students' ability to solve complex subsurface problems in a creative but pragmatic manner, to present results effectively to management and clients, and to work both individually and in teams as required in a business context. A strong emphasis is placed on learning and assessment through individual and team-based practical exercises in both the classroom and field. Students work with a wide range of industry datasets and workflows, using state-of-the-art techniques and software. The curriculum facilitates direct engagement with industry personnel via tailored short courses, site visits, joint fieldwork and business-style technical presentations.

Programme Outcomes
• Demonstrate a broad technical grounding and strong competence in characterising subsurface resources critical to modern society.
• Appreciate the main subsurface challenges in each industry sector, the controls on resource volumes and how they are constrained, and the value and business drivers that govern activity in various geoscience-based industry sectors.
• Show an advanced level of 3D and 4D understanding of the subsurface as well as critical reasoning skills developed through a wide range of practical exercises and a broad field-based curriculum.
• Assess and balance the requirement for resource development against the inevitable environmental impacts.
• Work with limited data and multiple hypotheses, balancing and assessing the merits and implications of competing models and designing work programmes to limit uncertainty.
• Manage, QC, analyse and integrate large subsurface geophysical and borehole datasets with an awareness of data limitations and interpretation pitfalls.
• Work with a range of digital subsurface and georeferenced data across different application areas including geophysical and borehole data and be able to load, visualise, manipulate and interpret these data using industry-standard software.
• Create deterministic and nondeterministic geological models of the subsurface to help visualise, manage and develop resources and convey concepts to management and the public.
• Work in mixed ability and multidisciplinary teams and engage in effective dialogue with cognate disciplines (drilling, engineering, environmental, energy).
• Display a high level of professional and ethical integrity particularly in relation to data confidentiality, intellectual property and social licence to operate.
• Operate to industry-standard Health and Safety requirements, particularly with regard to field work in remote areas and working on industrial sites.
• Clearly communicate ideas and results to management, regulatory bodies and to public forums.
• Develop skills in technical report writing and presentations as required for industry and research positons.
• Formulate, drive and execute a piece of independent research addressing an applied subsurface geoscience question.
• Build on an early network of contacts in the geoscience community.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Rock Engineering GEOL40520
Applied Structural Geology GEOL40530
Drilling and well logging GEOL40550
Geofluids and geomechanics GEOL40560
Geocomputation GEOL40570
Remote Sensing GEOL40580
Geostatistics and geomodelling GEOL40590
Fieldwork GEOL40600
Applied Research Project GEOL40610
Team-based modelling I GEOL40620
Team-based modelling II GEOL40630
Introduction to geomodelling GEOL40640
Applied Geoscience GEOL40650
Stratigraphic prediction GEOL40660
3D mapping and modelling I GEOL40670
3D mapping and modelling II GEOL40680
Fractured rock modelling GEOL40690
Applied Quaternary Geology GEOL40700
Geophysical Methods 2 GEOL40720
Geophysical Methods 1 GEOL40730

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:

MSc Subsurface Characterisation & Geomodelling FT (F181)
Duration 1 Years
Attend Full Time
Deadline Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised




1 year full time.


MSc Subsurface Characterisation & Geomodelling (F181) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 9000
nonEU fee per year - € 24200

***Fees are subject to change

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: 2020/2021 September

Post Course Info

Career & Graduate Study Opportunity
The course is industry facing and designed to equip you for a career in a broad range of industries and research organisations requiring digital subsurface characterisation and modelling. Application areas include mineral resources, the energy sector including oil and gas, geothermal, groundwater, carbon sequestration and storage, geotechnical services, national geological surveys and waste management. You will also receive training in the range of soft skills (e.g. reporting, programming) required by industry.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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