Postgraduate Career Options and Employability
The nationally accredited undergraduate and postgraduate courses provided by the Department of Earth Sciences in Durham offer the perfect start to a career in the earth and environmental sciences. Our courses are tailored to suit both academic and industry career progression. Our degrees are also widely recognised as an excellent general degree qualification by a broad range of employers in the financial services and education sectors.
The pre-eminent position of Durham Earth Sciences in the UK coupled to our close links to industry, especially at a postgraduate level really give our graduates the edge they need when competing for jobs. The UK and indeed the world in the 21st century needs Earth Scientists more than ever and a degree at Durham will ensure that you are able to maximise this opportunity and develop a successful career and play your part in society.
Postgraduate study at Durham presents an opportunity to develop a range of higher level research skills that can be transferred to the wider graduate job market. Durham University Classics and Ancient History Masters students progress into a diverse range of careers and employment sectors. Some utilise their Masters in areas relevant to their academic study such as heritage, arts, teaching, publishing and journalism. Others progress into unrelated areas including banking, law, PR, third sector, consultancy, insurance and administration. Examples of high profile recent employers include the Home Office, NHS, UK Parliament and YouGov.
The exposure to both academic and industry circles during my time at Durham was invaluable, which was greatly helped by the CeREES Geo-Energy Scholarship Programme offered by the department of Earth Sciences.
The department of Earth Sciences is a highly regarded department both in terms of research and the calibre of teaching. For example, during a successful interview for a job as a geological consultant it was mentioned that they [the employer] prefer to select students from a small number of universities, of which Durham is one, for they can trust that the student has received a high standard of teaching.Dr Jon Long
Of those students in further study
No PGT courses are offered so graduates are usually PhDs and progress into employment.
Employment development opportunities
All postgraduate research students have the opportunity to join the CeREES (Centre for Research into Earth Energy System) Geo-Energy Scholarship Programme. The Scholarship Programme is funded by industry, and was specifically designed in collaboration with Energy industry partners to help meet the looming demographic gap within the hydrocarbon sector. The Programme is unique in Europe and allows students to participate in regular (monthly) workshops, seminars, lectures and field trips run by external experts from the Energy industry. In addition to learning specific skills, students have the opportunity to network informally with the industry experts. Thus, the CeREES Programme raises awareness of the Energy industry amongst students and to allow employers to meet potential applicants.
All PhD students working on Energy-related projects have the opportunity to join the EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy, run through the DEI. This is now fully operational with a significant number of research students now receiving funding through the scheme. The principal emphasis of the Centre is to provide PhD students with an additional six months of funding to allow them to extend their learning to other opportunities in Energy. The funding allows students to engage with activities that are complimentary to, but which would not otherwise be funded under their programmes of research. Embedded skills and employability are at the heart of this initiative. It essentially allows students to broaden their learning and therefore usefulness to industry, beyond what would otherwise have been possible under their PhD programmes.
The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works with closely the department in facilitating student access to job and work experience opportunities, careers and employability events, employer workshops and presentations, skills programmes and tailored individual careers guidance. A dedicated Careers Adviser is available to support postgraduate Anthropology students individually and collectively. The Careers Centre provides events specifically for postgraduate students such as the annual PGT Conference.
The Clair co-venturers continue to sponsor an ongoing PhD programme that commenced in 2007.
By characterising the basement of the Lewisian complexes in the NW Highlands and Hebridian Islands, the programme has delivered real value in providing a better understanding of the fracture orientations, their distribution and parameters to use in our Clair Field Fracture models. The students have been actively involved in organising and running field courses and have presented in regular project reviews to the co-venturers. Working closely with the oil companies helps better prepare them for future career opportunities in the industry.Andy Conway, ConocoPhillips (Clare co-venturers).
All our postgraduate research students are encouraged to apply for industrial placements (internships). Around one quarter to one third of our annual PhD intake is successful in obtaining an internship, with companies ranging from University spin-outs to multinational energy corporations.
Durham Earth Sciences research degree graduates progress into successful and challenging careers. Their problem solving, analytical, communication and numeracy skills are in demand and most work in industry in a related field. Recent career destinations include research geologist, environmental consultant and petroleum geologist with organisations such as the Institute of Geology & Volcanology, Total, Entec and Statoil.