GEOPHYSICS

About the programme
Language: English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus  |  Commencement: August / September and January / February (only applicants with a Danish Bachelor's degree)

Introduction

The MSc in Geophysics at Aarhus University provides a compelling learning experience, integrating skills in physics and math with proper geoscience. Students get to choose their own specific area of focus while exploring a variety of fields at a range of scales, from past and present climate and shallow quaternary structures and materials, over the development of groundwater aquifers and sedimentary basins to the structure and dynamics of the lithosphere and Earth’s mantle; and most often using numerical modelling. 

Some courses are taught to both Geology and Geophysics Master students, so a decent background in fundamental geology and geochemistry is assumed.

High-calibre research

Teaching in the programme is integrated with research at the highest international level. The Department of Geoscience is renowned for its research in hydrogeophysics (airborne and surface electromagnetic methods) for use in hydrogeology and mineral exploration. Further specialities are reflection seismic acquisition (on board the research vessel Aurora), processing and interpretation, as used in subsurface mapping of hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs; seismology and potential fields; and numerical modelling of surface and mantle processes.

Read more about our research

The thesis, which is heavily weighted, is a chance for students to tailor their degree to their own personal and career interests while benefiting from close collaboration with fellow students and faculty members.

Career

Geophysics graduates have found jobs across a wide range of fields, including groundwater management, geophysical exploration for water and minerals in engineering companies and in the energy sector (including oil and gas), and for geothermal energy and CO2 deposits. They also frequently move into higher education and government research.

Read, print and be inspired

Download and print a short presentation of the MA programme in Geophysics.

Admission requirements

The following Bachelor’s degrees qualify students for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Geophysics:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Geology with the special study area Geophysics from Aarhus University or the University of Copenhagen.
  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Aarhus University, with an elective subject equalling at least 30 ECTS credits in Geophysics.

The following other degrees can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme in Geophysics:

  • A Bachelor’s degree amounting to at least 60 ECTS credits in Geophysics can qualify the student for admission.*

Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above.
In connection with possible admission, further requirements can be stipulated regarding the composition of the degree programme. Find more information here.

*Comments on these regulations:

The 60 ECTS credits in geophysics may come from a broad range of topics, provided that the courses deal with physical aspects of geoscience.

You may get a first impression of the general level expected by looking at these exam problems from the introductory bachelor course in Geophysical Methods.

Course descriptions of additional, more advanced mandatory courses for geophysics bachelors at Aarhus University can be found here:

We do not require that you have one-to-one merits in exactly these bachelor courses, but it does give you an impression of the level that you will meet in the master courses.

Language requirements

Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency. 
Please see the page on language requirements for more information.

Documentation

Please see the general admission requirements.

Admission 2019

From summer intake 2019 the Master’s degree programme in Geophysics only admits a limited number of students each year. This means that meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.  Allocation of student places is based on an overall assessment.

Admission requirements

The following Bachelor’s degrees qualify students for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Geophysics:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Geology with the special study area Geophysics from Aarhus University or the University of Copenhagen.
  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Aarhus University, with an elective subject equalling at least 30 ECTS credits in Geophysics.

The following other degrees can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme in Geophysics:

  • A Bachelor’s degree amounting to at least 60 ECTS credits in Geophysics can qualify the student for admission.*

Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above.
In connection with possible admission, further requirements can be stipulated regarding the composition of the degree programme. Find more information here.

*Comments on these regulations:

The 60 ECTS credits in geophysics may come from a broad range of topics, provided that the courses deal with physical aspects of geoscience.

You may get a first impression of the general level expected by looking at these exam problems from the introductory bachelor course in Geophysical Methods.

Course descriptions of additional, more advanced mandatory courses for geophysics bachelors at Aarhus University can be found here:

We do not require that you have one-to-one merits in exactly these bachelor courses, but it does give you an impression of the level that you will meet in the master courses.

Language requirements

Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency. 
Please see the page on language requirements for more information.

Documentation

Please see the general admission requirements.

Legal right of admission

Students enrolled in the Bachelor's degree programme in Geoscience with the direction Geophysics at Aarhus University have a legal right of admission to the Master's degree programme in Geophysics at Aarhus University, on condition that admission is sought immediately after completion of the Bachelor's degree programme. This legal right of admission only applies if applications are received on time by Aarhus University. Read more about legal right of admission

Selection criteria

As the Master’s programme only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme. 

Allocation of student places is based on an overall assessment. In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assess applicants on the basis of the following criteria:

Academic background

  • Overall grade level – Bachelor’s degree
  • Grades achieved on relevant courses*
  • Relevant courses* (measured in credit units) included in your Bachelor’s degree

 

* Relevant courses include core courses within the subject areas of Geology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Statistics, Programming and Probability Calculus.

Please note that grades obtained after the time of application cannot be included in the assessment of grade level.

The admissions committee assess each applicant on the basis of the information provided in diplomas, transcripts, and course descriptions.

Programme structure

The Master’s degree in Geophysics counts as 120 ECTS credits and mainly consists of subjects within the geophysics field of study. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. You structure your own individual study programme with the help of a teacher from the Department of Geoscience by choosing courses from a course catalogue.

For more information about the individual courses, click here.

Academic regulations

If you would like information about options regarding a Master’s thesis in geophysics, go to the department’s web site.

Forms of teaching

At the University of Aarhus, you are in close contact with researchers in a way that you rarely experience at other universities. The door to the professor’s office is always open if you need clarification of the study material, and you are encouraged to ask questions at lectures and during exercises. We make heavy demands on your academic skills and independence. In return, you gain considerable benefits in the form of academic challenges and scientific knowledge, in addition to broad competences.

The teaching at the university focuses on independence, critical thinking and collaboration. Part of the teaching is in the form of lectures that introduce new angles to the material compared with the textbooks. The theoretical and practical exercises take place in small groups where you study relevant issues in depth. Most geophysics students also spend a certain amount of time on laboratory work and work related to field courses. The degree programme also includes a number of excursions to key geological locations in Denmark and abroad.

The varied forms of teaching, collaboration in groups and the opportunity for close scientific dialogue with the researchers provide you with general competences that are in great demand in the global job market. These competences include abstract, critical and independent thinking, analytical skills and strategic planning. You can use these skills in many contexts – even in jobs you didn’t know you were qualified for.

PhD programme

If you have the necessary skills and interest, you can apply for admission to our PhD programme. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree or when you have completed your Master’s degree.

 

 

Student life

The Department of Geoscience is a small community of about 200 students brought together by shared research, team field trips and common interests.

Classes are held in modern facilities with well-established labs. You will have access to cosy study areas, quiet reading rooms, Wi-Fi, computers and, of course, a classic Danish pop-up Friday bar. As a Geoscience Master's student, you will also have access to a communal office where you can sit and study, or just hang out with other students.

Aarhus as a study centre

The university is not all Aarhus has to offer. As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus has numerous cultural activities. The well-known Aarhus Festival is celebrated for a week at the beginning of September every year and the streets really come to life. During the rest of the year, you can visit different music venues and concert halls in the city or find entertainment at one of the many theatres in Aarhus. The city’s many museums include ARoS – the major international art museum, which is a spectacular place for visual experiences. If you have had enough of cultural activities, you can ride your bike to the beach in no time or go for walks in the Risskov woods or in the beautiful woods around Marselisborg. The forty thousand young students in Aarhus make up 17.5% of the population, which leaves its mark on city life. Aarhus is a young, dynamic city with plenty of opportunities.

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

- experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.

 

The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.

Meet our graduates

TOKE HØJBJERG SØLTOFT, MSc. in Geophysics, managing director at Aarhus GeoSoftware

I chose to study geoscience, because I had an interest in groundwater, and since I have a background as an electronics technician, I quickly decided on a path within mapping of subsoil by using geophysical instruments. This meant that I have always prioritised the geophysical courses when planning my study programme.

I found the degree programme to be very business-oriented, as the courses incorporate real-life issues in classes, and the many projects during the programme gave me an opportunity to work together with companies and giving me business-related experience in my study programme.
Furthermore, there were numerous options for relevant student jobs, where you could use your knowledge from the study programme dealing with real issues.

The study environment at the Department of Geoscience, where the programmes in both geology and geophysics are located, is very nice, since you quickly get to know most students and lecturers.

Today, I work as managing director in Aarhus GeoSoftware, a company that was developed as a spin-off from a research group at Geoscience in 2015. I use my knowledge from geophysics on a daily basis in my job, but my experience with overviewing large projects and taking responsibility also comes from my education. Even though I now work with software and geophysics, my geological background from my Bachelor’s degree is also very useful when working with interpreting geophysical research results and relating them to geological aspects.


LASSE SVENNINGSEN, MSc. in Geophysics, Wind Energy Consultant at EMD International A/S

I work with developing new calculation methods for a software tool used in wind energy. Lots of different aspects have to be calculated in a wind turbine project. The wind field in the area needs to be modelled in space and time so we can place the turbines in the right location for optimal energy production. We also calculate their noise level and the shadows they cast on neighbours.

Career

The Master's degree in Geophysics is designed to meet qualification demands in both private and public businesses and organizations where advanced knowledge and skills in geoscience are required.

This Master's degree has special emphasis on geophysics and computational qualifications, aiming for jobs handling complex geomodels and large datasets.

Therefore, graduates of the programme have been very successful in a diverse range of specialized careers, occupying jobs in water and oil related industry, engineering and construction firms, as consultants to governments, and in research. Moreover, the broader scientific qualification from this programme have opened also unconventional job opportunities ranging from general IT services to optimization of windmill farms.

With a Master’s degree in Geophysics, you have the following competences:  

  • You have general knowledge of Geophysics and detailed knowledge of key disciplines, methodologies, theories and concepts within Geophysics.
  • You can independently plan, manage and implement projects and apply the results in scientifically relevant decision processes.
  • You can assess the applicability and appropriateness of theoretical, experimental and practical methodologies for the analysis and solution of scientific questions and issues.
  • You can structure your own competence development independently and critically.
  • You are able to systematically and critically familiarise yourself with new subject areas.
  • You can relay and communicate academic questions and issues to both a scientific and a general audience.
  • You can collaborate constructively on a scientific basis to solve subject-related issues.
  • You have an understanding of and insight into the connection between Geophysics and the other scientific subject areas, and have qualified knowledge regarding the interaction between Geophysics and society at large.