This four-year degree delivers advanced and rigorous training in both geophysics and geology, including a high proportion of fieldwork, and fundamental training in physics and mathematics. You don't need to have studied geology before, and this degree therefore opens up a range of opportunities in geoscience. Graduates benefit from a wide range of possible careers, allowing flexible paths between geology and geophysics in a large company. Transfer to a geology degree is possible up to the end of Year One.
This degree is accredited by the Geological Society of London, satisfying the requirements of Fellowship and Chartered Geologist status.
Programme in detail
You will cover core topics in geophysics, geology, physics and mathematics. Major features include training in practical geology and geophysics, exploration geophysics (particularly seismology), planetary-scale geophysics and geophysical inverse theory. Fieldwork currently involves field areas in Ireland, Wales, Tenerife, and Spain.
In Year Three, you will undertake an independent field mapping project and dissertation, either in the UK or abroad. In the final year you will work within one of our geophysical research groups to undertake a substantial research project, aiming to produce research of publishable quality thus providing an ideal entry into further research degrees if desired.
A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and field work. Fieldwork is carried out in various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.
Department Key Facts
Number of first year students
120 Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences first year students 2018
UK league tables
15th for Geology - The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019
93% of 120 Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17)
Teaching operates out of the multi award winning Central Teaching Laboratories
All our degrees are accredited by the Geological Society of London, or (for Geophysics (Physics)) by the Institute of Physics.
Why this subject?
Benefit from access to our world-class teaching facilities
Our award-winning, teaching laboratories are the most advanced in Europe and offer you an inspiring environment to learn in. You’ll be taught to confidently use state-of-the-art research and industry standard equipment during your degree.
Have confidence for the future with our accredited degree programmes
Our accredited programmes demonstrate that you have gained the skills necessary for a professional career, enabling you to become professionally chartered. Geology degrees are recognised by the Geological Society of London and Geophysics degrees are recognised by the Institute of Physics. You will build the skills necessary for many areas of employment from environmental protection and consultancy, planning and conservation, through to the petroleum, geotechnical and mineral extraction industries and careers in scientific research or academia.
Develop academically with support from our network of staff and access to research groups
You’ll be taught by research active staff, at the forefront of their chosen fields, learning about cutting-edge science before it appears in textbooks. You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake project work within the Department’s research groups.
Fulfil your potential in a supportive environment
Our excellent staff to student ratio means you will never be an anonymous student in an enormous class and you’ll have the opportunity to get to know all staff in the Department. You will have fortnightly tutorials with a member of academic staff in Years One and Two, and you will be assigned a personal tutor, who can offer guidance and support throughout your time at the University. We also have a very active Earth Sciences student society ‘The Herdman Society’, which runs academic and social events from guest lectures and fieldtrips to gala dinners, symposiums and sports events.
Complement your studies with extensive fieldwork opportunities
By the time you graduate, our extensive field training will have equipped you with the specific practical skills necessary for a career in Earth Sciences, and you will have developed transferable life-skills and independent thinking*.
*A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and fieldwork. The fieldwork is carried out at various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.