What you'll study
The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.
First year modules
Our Geology programmes share a core base in earth science, providing a thorough grounding for a career in the resource or civil engineering industries.
Modules in the first year of the BSc proper introduce you to key geological topics including understanding geological maps and materials and their implications for the spatial distribution of resources and geohazards.
Introduction to Petrology
Gain the key skill needs to accurately describe and identify geological materials. In addition, you’ll learn about the natural processes that control the formation of geological materials.
Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks and Fossils
Learn the principles surrounding the formation of sedimentary rocks and the fossils held within them. You'll consider how geologists describe and use them through a series of lectures, practicals and field work.
A look at the planet we live on and its constituent systems and processes: oceans, atmosphere, biosphere and tectonics.
3D Earth: Geological Maps and Structures
Gain knowledge and experience of geological field work. We focus on understanding the 3D nature of geological structures, how to analyse them, record them and report on them.
Sedimentary Basins and Structural Analysis
Sedimentary basins are the 'tape recorder' of past climate, sea-level and environmental change. Explore topics such as basin formation and structural development.
Understanding the Earth
Develop fundamental skills in geological data gathering and analysis, in areas such as GIS, statistics and geophysics through a combination of lectures, practicals and field work.
Second year modules
Modules continue the core practical training, expanding geological skills and knowledge and focusing on either crustal systems or surface systems. Theory and knowledge modules focus on Earth history and the operation of the Earth system.
Geoscience Field Course
This module gives you the opportunity to test your structural, sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic theoretical learning in a series of field tasks in Southern Spain.
Igneous and Metamorphic Geology
You’ll explore how igneous and metamorphic rocks form and learn how to interpret their histories using geochemistry, alongside your own field and lab-based project work.
Explore what constitutes a geohazard, and the specifics of a range of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, flooding, and climate-related hazards.
Look at Earth surface processes from the source in upland areas to the sink in coastal environments. You'll learn about sediments are eroded, transported and deposited.
This module teaches you the skills you need to study sedimentary rocks, which record the history of planet Earth and contain the fossils that reveal the history of life.
Earth is an integrated system. Tectonics, life and climate evolve together and the Earth system passes changes from one component to another in complex and diverse connections.
Year abroad modules
You spend Year 3 studying abroad at a partner university of your choice. During this year, you will follow a programme of study that will be agreed between yourself and the department prior to your departure. You will take all assessments set by the host university while you are overseas, for which marks will be awarded and a final transcript released.
Final year modules
This final year of study is dominated by the Mapping Project, which enables you to really get to grips with the geology of a single region. Optional modules enable you to receive advanced training in a set of topics within Earth sciences. You also utilise the skills you have developed over the course of your degree to plan and complete a dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor who has specialist knowledge in your area of interest.
Geological Mapping Dissertation
You’ll compile a geological map and research dissertation, supported by your dissertation supervisor. You’ll be expected to complete 28 days of independent geological mapping.
Advanced Geological Field Study
Currently based in Cyprus, this module challenges you to integrate a wide variety of analytical skills and develop a detailed understanding of the region's geological history, evolution and structure.
Gain skills and understanding in Earth resource geology. This includes mineralisation, prospecting, extraction and remediation, and the developing fields of carbon capture and sequestration, geothermal energy and “new metals”.
This module will take you on a journey through the current Ice Age, which spans the last 2.6 million years.
Professional Consultancy Project
Work with an external host organisation on a research project designed to be useful to them, while being supervised by university tutors.
This module provides you with real world teaching experience and allows you to conduct a project with a school into an aspect of teaching and learning in your subject.
Geotechnologies A: Advanced GIS
Develop your geospatial analysis and modelling skills with GIS. This will provide you with key expertise when you enter the geographic job market.
Advanced Sedimentary Environments
This module combines classroom, field and lab techniques from geology, geography and ecology to improve your understanding of sedimentary systems.
Volcanoes and their Hazards
Explore the key themes and current research-led understanding of volcanological processes and hazards, volcanic monitoring and management of volcanic crises around the world.
Frontiers in Geological Research
The module gives you the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on specialised topics within Earth system science, based on current research projects of our staff.
Geotechnologies B: Environmental Modelling
Learn valuable technical and analytical skills, from field-based sampling methods using geo technologies to the principles and applications of numerical and physical environmental modelling.
All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.