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Geophysics Second Cycle

A short overview:
»Geophysics« is a second-cycle master study programme, which is implemented by three faculties of the University of Ljubljana: Faculty of Mathematics and Physics (‘FMF’), the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering (‘FGG’) and the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering (‘NTF’). The programme consists of joint courses (attended by all students of »Geophysics«), courses connected to the selected module and free elective courses (which students can choose themselves). There are three modules available: Meteorology (FMF), Hydrology (FGG) and Solid Earth (NTF). The description of the program will focus on the module Meteorology which is performed by FMF.

For more information contact Gregor.Skok@fmf.uni-lj.si.

Programme level:
Second-cycle master study.

Title achieved:
Master of Geophysics or, in abbreviated form, M.Sc.Geophys.

Modules:
Meteorology (FMF), Hydrology (FGG) and Solid Earth (NTF).

Duration:
2 years (4 semesters), total 120 ECTS credit points.

Main objectives of the study programme:
The basic objective of the university study programme in Geophysics is to train students to become experts capable of solving problems related to basic research in the majority of geophysical fields, working with applications and using of geophysical methods in engineering and technology. The geophysical contents encompass several fields of geophysics and thus facilitate the tackling of interdisciplinary problems. A graduate of the second-cycle study will be able to autonomously resolve demanding and highly specialized problems and tasks in a selected area of geophysics – the area they selected upon enrolment in one of the available study modules.

General competencies gained in the course of the study programme:
The general competencies a graduate of the master study programme in Geophysics acquires are as follows:

Subject-specific competencies gained in the course of the programme:
With the Geophysics study programme the graduate will mainly acquire the following specific competencies:

Information on the employability of graduates:
It is evident from the letter of support which the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia sent to the FMF, in which it stated its willingness to offer practical training to students, that the majority of graduates of the Hydrology and Meteorology modules as well as some graduates of the Solid Earth module could find employment in any of the Agency’s offices. So far, the Agency has employed about two-thirds of all Slovenian meteorologists and many civil construction and water management engineers specializing in water science or hydrology. (This is also evidenced by the former name of the Agency which was ‘Hydrometeorological Institute’, the latter is now a section of today’s Agency.) The Agency’s needs are considerable and so far all meteorologists or hydrologists who wanted to work in their field of expertise have been employed (except those who decided to pursue a different career, of course). The study programme has also been supported by the Geological Survey of Slovenia and the Institute for Water of the Republic of Slovenia which are important potential employers of graduates of this programme (Enclosure 8). Other potential employers include other institutions, agencies, administrative bodies whose area of work relates to Earth sciences.

Graduates of the second-cycle master study programme in Geophysics will, among other things, be trained to undertake the following tasks and duties in accordance with the applicable legislation:

The assessment of the employability of graduates of the second-cycle master study of Geophysics is therefore based on two facts:
a) In Slovenia, all meteorologists have been employed in their field of expertise if they have so desired.
b) Data from the Alumni Club of the study of Water Science and Municipal Engineering at the FGG show that the graduates of hydrology find employment easily, within 4 to 6 months at the latest. There are practically no unemployed graduates of the existing university study programme of Hydrology and Municipal Engineering and the study of Geophysics is a logical second-cycle continuation of studies for natural-science students.

Admission requirements

Pursuant to Articles 38a, 38b and 41 of the Higher Education Act and Article 115 of the Statute of the University of Ljubljana a person may enrol in the second-cycle master study programme in Geophysics if they have completed the following:

a) First-cycle study programme in the fields of civil engineering, mathematics, physics, meteorology with geophysics, geology, geotechnology and mining engineering;
b) First-cycle study programme in other natural-scientific, technical or other fields not included in the previous paragraph if the applicant, prior to enrolment, completes the study load required to continue the study of geophysics or an individual module worth at least 46 credit points: mathematics, physics, hydrology, meteorology, geology, geotechnology and mining engineering or any other Earth science;

If candidates from other fields have not completed the study load of the paragraph B during their first-cycle study, or they completed these only partly, they may complete them in the advancement study programme or by exams prior to enrolling the master programme. The requirements to be fulfilled shall be determined by the Geophysics Study Council, depending on the applicant’s knowledge and the prerequisites for the chosen module. This also applies to the enrolment of students who have completed study at another higher education abroad – they enroll under the same conditions as the students from Slovenian study programmes.

Selection criteria for limited admission

There are 40 places available in the full-time study and 15 in the part-time study. The selection of applicants for enrolment in the study programme shall be based on the final assessment grade of the first-cycle study (70 percent) and grades for the following first-cycle courses (30 percent): Mathematics, Physics and – depending on the selected module: Geophysics, Hydrology I and Hydraulics I, Meteorology and Weather Systems.

Provisions on the use/concrete application of the criteria for acknowledging knowledge and skills acquired prior to enrolment in the study programme

A student may have his knowledge recognized if it corresponds in terms of contents and scope to the contents of courses within the study of Geophysics. The Geophysics Study Council shall decide on the recognition of knowledge and skills acquired prior to enrolment on the basis of a student’s written application, enclosed certificates and other documents proving the level and contents of acquired knowledge and skills as well as in accordance with the Rules on Procedure and Criteria for the Recognition of Informally Acquired Knowledge and Skills adopted by the Senate of the University of Ljubljana at its 15th meeting, held on 29 May 2007.

The recognition of knowledge and skills is based on the following:

In a case the Geophysics Study Council approves the recognition of the acquired knowledge, the latter shall be evaluated with the number of credit points under the ECTS equalling the number of credit points assigned to an individual course.

Assessment methods

The students’ knowledge shall be assessed and graded within each individual course and the learning process in each course shall be completed with an assessment of knowledge and skills. The types of assessment of knowledge (oral and written exams, colloquiums, seminar papers, logs, practical assignments, projects, portfolio, numerical grading) are defined in the syllabuses of the courses. The general rules on the assessment of knowledge are laid down in the Rules on Knowledge Assessment and Grading which shall be drawn up by the Geophysics Study Council and approved by the senates of the faculties implementing the study programme. The details, including the harmonisation of assessment with other study programmes at faculties implementing Geophysics studies shall be defined in the Study Regulations.

The assessment is based on a graded scale which is set out in the Statute of the University of Ljubljana:

The candidate passes the assessment of knowledge if they receive a passing grade: from sufficient (6) to excellent (10).

Students’ study load and conditions for promotion to the next year

A student can enroll in the next year of study if, by the end of the academic year, they have duly completed all study obligations defined in the course syllabuses and acquired 60 credit points under the ECTS.

A student may exceptionally enroll in the next year of study, even if they failed to complete the study load determined in the study programme and required for promotion, if they have justifiable reasons as stipulated in Article 153 of the Statute of the University of Ljubljana (maternity, long-term disease, exceptional family and social situation, status of a person with special needs, active participation in elite expert, cultural and sports events, active participation in bodies of the university).

Under the conditions referred to in the previous paragraph, a student may enroll in the next year of study if they gain at least 45 ECTS credit points. The Geophysics Study Council shall decide on the admission referred to in the previous paragraph.

For many years, the faculties implementing the study have had a well-established tutorial and mentorship system for students. It is planned that a similar student assistance system would be offered to students enrolled in the new study programme in Geophysics, which is in line with Article 7 §9 of the Accreditation Criteria. In both years of study, students will have their own mentors, whereas small groups of students will have their own tutors (teachers or second-year students) who will help them choose the appropriate field of study, elective courses and so on.

A student who achieves above-average study results shall be eligible for fast promotion. The relevant decision shall be adopted by the senate of the faculty implementing the study, based on the student’s application and a considered opinion of the Geophysics Study Council. The decision shall specify the method of fast promotion.

Conditions for repetition of a year of study

A student who has failed to complete the study load as defined for the study programme to enrol in Year 2 can repeat Year 1 once during the period of their study if they had gained at least 30 ECTS credit points.

Terms and conditions for the completion of studies

A student completes their studies when they fulfill the study load worth 120 ECTS credit points, including their master’s thesis.

Provisions on transition between study programmes

Transition means the cessation of a student’s education in the study programme in which they enrolled and the continuation of their studies in the new study programme in Geophysics, where all or part of the study load the student completed in the former study programme is recognized as a ‘completed study load of the study programme in Geophysics’ (Criteria for Transition Between Study Programmes, Official Gazette of the RS, no. 45/94).

A passed exam in the former study programme shall be recognized as a passed exam in the new study programme if the contents of the two courses overlap to the extent of at least 75 percent. When evaluating an individual year of study (60 credit points), the recognized exam shall be worth the number of credit points assigned in the first study programme, which shall not exceed the number of credit points assigned in the new study programme in Geophysics.

The transition referred to in the previous paragraph shall not mean a change of study programme or field of study due to a failure to fulfill obligations in the former study programme or field of study.

The master study programme in Geophysics envisages the following transitions:

In accordance with the Rules on Knowledge Assessment and Grading, the Geophysics Study Council may require a student to fulfill additional requirements (pass bridging exams) and set a deadline by which the student must satisfy them. In such a case the Geophysics study Council may recognize him some exams he had passed in his previous study programme that are not a part of a new study program Geophysics.

If a student wishes to switch to the master study programme in Geophysics from any of the reformed second-cycle master study programmes which are implemented by the faculties implementing the study, the Geophysics Study Council may recognize such a student’s specific exams from the former programme.

If a student enrolls the master study program Geophysics after graduating the university (pre-bologna) study programme of civil engineering, mathematics, physics, meteorology with geophysics, geology, geotechnology and mining, up to 60 ECTS may be recognized for the exams the student passed within the former study programme – which are these exams will be decided by the Geophysics Study Council.

If a student enrolls the master study program Geophysics after graduating the university (pre-bologna) study programme of other natural sciences or engineering sciences, which are not mentioned in the previous paragraph, he may enroll, if he has fulfilled in his former university (pre-bologna) study programe at least 46 ECTS from mathematics, physics, hydrology and water management, meteorology, geology, geotechnology and mining or some other geosciences. If candidates have not fulfilled such requirements or have fulfilled them only partially they may fulfill them at the first-cycle studies, in enhancement study programme or by passing the exams before enrolling the master study programme. Some already fulfilled exams may be recognized to these students - which are these exams will be decided by the Geophysics Study Council, taking into account the 46 ECTS mentioned in the first part of the paragraph and the perquisites of the study of geophysics or specific module.

A student may enroll in the second year of the new master study programme in Geophysics on the following terms and conditions:

In accordance with the Rules on Knowledge Assessment and Grading of the faculties implementing the study, the Geophysics Study Council may require a student to fulfill additional requirements (pass bridging exams) and set a deadline by which the student must satisfy them.

The second year of the master study programme in Geophysics is also open to graduates of university study programmes in civil engineering or cognate study programmes of technical and biotechnical sciences, mathematics, physics, geology, geotechnology and mining engineering, which were adopted after 1994, as well as graduates of higher education study programmes in civil engineering or cognate study programmes of technical and biotechnical sciences, which were adopted before 1994.

The Geophysics Study Council may require a student to fulfill additional requirements (pass bridging exams) worth up to 40 credit points, which the student must satisfy before the beginning of the new study, and may also consider the applicant’s expert or scientific publications or practical work experience.

Curriculum

In the first year, all students attend three joint courses (worth 15 credit points) along with three courses which are specific to the selected module (22 credit points). Most students will attend two levelling courses worth 15 credit points: 6+9 credit points (hereafter CP) or 8+7 CP. Only exceptionally, in the case of deficiencies in a student’s knowledge, might three levelling courses also be appropriate (4+5+6 CP or 5+5+5 CP). All students attend one free elective course (worth 8 CP). In conclusion, in the first year all students attend nine courses (only exceptionally, in the case of deficient knowledge and depending on the selected module – ten courses).

Note: L=lectures, S=seminar, SS=seminar sessions, LS=laboratory sessions, FW=field work, OW=other work (home assignments, projects and similar), CCH=class contact hours of student, SL=study load, ECTS=credit points.
Note: * The student load is 60 ECTS credits per year which corresponds to 1,800 hours per year; the hours include class contact hours + independent work.

YEAR 1

  Class contact hours
Semester 1LSSSLSFWOW ∑CCH*∑SL*ECTS credits*
Mathematical methods in geophysics 45 - 30 - - - 75 150 5
Satellite geodesy and remote sensing 45 - 15 15 - - 75 150 5
Global geophysics 45 - 15 15 - - 75 150 5
Levelling courses (average) 120 15 60 30 - - 225 450 15
Semester 1 – total 225 15 120 60 0 0 450 900 30
  Class contact hours
Semester 2LSSSLSFWOW ∑CCH*∑SL*ECTS credits*
Free elective course 1 60 - 60 - - - 120 240 8
Master module (average) 165 20 65 55 0 25 330 660 22
Semester 2 – total (average) 225 20 125 55 0 25 450 900 30
Year 1 – total (average) 480 35 245 115 0 25 900 1800 60
 
MASTER MODULE OF »METEOROLOGY«
Dynamic meteorology II 60 15 30 - - 15 120 240 8
Atmospheric physics 45 15 30 -   15 105 210 7
Weather analysis and forecasting 60 15 15 - - 15 105 210 7
Module of Meteorology - total 165 45 75 0 0 45 330 660 22
MASTER MODULE OF »HYDROLOGY«
Modelling in hydrology 60 - 30 30 - - 120 240 8
Groundwater dynamics 60 - 30 25 - 5 120 240 8
Environmental fluid mechanics 45 - - 45 - - 90 180 6
Module of Hydrology - total 165 0 60 100 0 5 330 660 22
MASTER MODULE OF »SOLID EARTH«
Geodynamics and tectonics of the lithosphere 60 - 30 15 15 - 120 240 8
Seismology 45 15 15 - - 15 90 180 6
Geodesy in geophysiscs 60 30 - 30 - - 120 240 8
Module of Solid Earth - total 165 45 45 45 15 15 330 660 22

YEAR 2

Year 2 students have to attend the ‘Master’s Thesis’ (26 CP) comprehensive course and the small ‘Practical Training’ (4 CP) course – two courses which all students must attend. The number of courses which students take within a selected module differ by module; however, all of them are worth 26 CP: there are four courses in the Hydrology and Meteorology modules, whereas in the Solid Earth module the elective courses include either three comprehensive courses or up to five smaller courses. Moreover, all students also attend one free elective course (4 CP).
In Year 2, the Hydrology and Meteorology modules include seven courses whereas Solid Earth includes six to eight courses.

  Class contact hours
Semester 3 LSSSLSFWOW∑CCH*∑SL*ECTS credits*
Free elective course 2 30 - 30 - - - 60 120 4
Master module (average) 185 10 85 70 10 30 390 780 26
Semester 3 - total 215 10 115 70 10 30 450 900 30
  Class contact hours
Semester 4 LSSSLSFWOW∑CCH*∑SL*ECTS credits*
Practical Training - - - - - 60 60 120 4
Master’s thesis - - - - - 390 390 780 26
Semester 4 - total 0 0 0 0 0 450 450 900 30
Year 2 – total (average) 215 10 115 70 10 480 900 1800 60
 
MASTER MODULE OF »HYDROLOGY«
Measurements in hydrology 45 - 10 30 5 - 90 180 6
Erosion and sedimentation 45 - 20 20 5 - 90 180 6
Contaminant hydrogeology 45 - 20 20 5 - 90 180 6
Elective course in geophysics 60 - 30 30 - - 120 240 8
Module of Hydrology - total 195 0 80 100 15 0 390 780 26
MASTER MODULE OF »METEOROLOGY«
Models I 30 - 30 - - 45* 105 210 7
Numerical modelling of the atmosphere 60 15 15 - - 15 105 210 7
Elective course in geophysics** 45 - -**   15** - 60** 120 4
Elective course in geophysics 60 - 30 30 - - 120 240 8
* Within the Models 1 course (a course from the master programme in Physics) students must prepare 14 weekly projects for which they need about 45 hours (which is not specified in the Physics programme).
** The recommended selection of the first elective course in geophysics includes two specific meteorological elective courses: Climate Models in Atmospheric Sensing – the former consists of 15 seminar sessions and the latter 15 hours of field work; the sum total provided below includes the second option.
Module of Meteorology - total 195 15 75 30 15 60 390 780 26
MASTER MODULE OF »SOLID EARTH«
Elective courses in geophysics - - - - - - - 780 26
Module of Solid Earth - total 195 15 75 75 30 - 390 780 26

COURSEWORK Class contact hours
 LSSSLSFWOW ∑CCH*∑SL*ECTS credits*
Year 1 – total 480 35 245 115 0 25 900 1800 60
Year 2 – total 215 10 115 70 10 480 900 1800 60
Total 695 45 360 185 10 505 1800 3600 120

Table of elective courses
In the third semester students select elective courses which are worth a module-specific number of ECTS credits.
The list of courses students select from is approved by the Geophysics Study Council, depending on the selected module.
  Class contact hours
 LSSSLSFWOW ∑CCH*∑SL*ECTS credits*
Eco-hydrology 45 20 15 15 25 - 120 240 8
Impact of natural on the built environment 75 45 - - - - 120 240 8
Climate models 45 - 15 - - - 600 120 4
Atmospheric sensing 45 - - - 15 - 600 120 4
Geomodelling 30 - 15 15 - - 60 120 5
Geodynamics of the Alpine-Dinaric-Panonian system 30 15 - 30 - - 45 60 4
Active tectonics 45 - 15 15 15 - 90 180 6
Seismic investigations 30 - 15 15 5 - 65 130 5
Within their module, students may select a compulsory course from another module as their elective course.
The following elective courses from cognate master study programmes offered by the FGG, the FMF, the NTF and other faculties are also recommended: Multivariate methods, Numerical solutions of PDEs, Models 2, Earthquake engineering, Satellite geodesy and navigation, Remote sensing and photogrammetry II, Geodetic measurement systems, Multimedia Cartography, Spatial analysis in GIS, Quantitative structural geology, Petrogenesis of magma and methamorphic rocks, Environmental and engineering geophysics, Protection and governing of underground waters, Rocks mechanics, Surveying in Geophysics, etc.