Chemistry and Geology 

(2018 Entry)

BSc (Hons)

At Keele, studying a combined honours degree will include some modules from both of the single honours degrees. In this case, your programme will be made up of a combination of modules from both Chemistry and Geology.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours degrees allow you to study two different subjects in one degree. Find out more about Combined Honours degrees.


Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: FF16

View entry requirements

Course Overview

Keele’s award-winning teaching and research span the wide diversity of chemistry, helping you to develop subject knowledge and transferable skills in a supportive learning environment. You’ll develop a solid foundation of theory and practical skills, building to cover advanced concepts and contemporary issues in chemistry in later years. You can tailor your studies to reflect your interests, and learn how to pursue your own research. You’ll have hands-on experience with state-of-the-art scientific instruments and techniques, and enjoy access to dedicated IT facilities. You’ll learn to use chemistry in problem solving, and to present your theories and findings confidently and imaginatively to your audiences.

Geology is a science fundamental to modern day living, with geologists discovering society’s major resource needs including metals, minerals, energy and groundwater. The combined honours Geology course at Keele looks at rocks, minerals and fossils, how they were formed, how they might have been deformed or altered over geological time and what they can tell us about the history of the Earth and its past environments. It also covers geological processes such as earthquakes, volcanoes and plate tectonics, and how these processes produce different geological materials. Geology is a practical subject with applied problem-solving laboratory classes and field courses where you will learn how to interpret and map geological features, and explore for future geological resources. Field course transport and accommodation costs are covered by the University.

What will this mean for my future?

If you study our single honours or major route programme, your degree will be accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The many opportunities offered by this course will equip you to confidently and skilfully pursue your chosen career. You might work in industry, research or education; you could choose to become a chemical engineer, research scientist, toxicologist, patent lawyer, analytical chemist or technical writer. Many students go on to higher study after a first degree in chemistry, allowing them to specialise in an area of interest such as analytical, forensic, synthetic or materials chemistry and eventually work in a wide range of other specialist roles.

Career opportunities in geology are excellent because industry and modern society depends on geologists to find natural resources such as oil, gas, coal, minerals, metals, aggregates and water. Geologists are also needed for designing foundations, tunnels and other engineering projects. You could go on to work in mining, the oil and gas industry, hydrogeology or geotechnical engineering. Geologists are also required for environmental projects such as radioactive waste disposal or carbon dioxide capture and storage. Degrees studying Geology combined with another science subject are accredited by the Geological Society of London.

Indicative modules

First Year

  • Chemical Structure and Reactivity
  • Practical and Professional Chemistry Skills
  • Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology (includes fieldwork)
  • Geology: Time and Space (includes fieldwork)
  • Geology: Planet Earth
  • Introduction to Sedimentology and Palaeontology (includes fieldwork)

Second Year

  • Molecular Chemistry and Reactions
  • Spectroscopy and Analysis
  • Physical and Structural Chemistry
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Reconstructing Past Environments (includes fieldwork)
  • Advanced Structural Geology and Geological Mapping Training
  • Geoscience Field Techniques

Third Year

  • Chemistry Research Project
  • Chemistry Dissertation
  • Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic, Physical and Solid State Chemistry
  • Chemical Kinetics, Photochemistry and Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms
  • Materials Chemistry and Catalysis
  • Advanced Chemical Analysis*
  • Topics in Chemistry*
  • Independent Fieldwork Project
  • Structure and Geodynamics (includes fieldwork)
  • Natural Hazards
  • Hydrological and Engineering Geology
  • Micropalaeontology: Principles and Applications (includes fieldwork)
  • Economic Geology (includes fieldwork)
  • Advanced Topics in Sedimentology (include fieldwork)
  • Exploration Geophysics for the Hydrocarbon Industry

*Major Route Chemistry Only

Course structure

Our degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Modules Summary

Chemistry - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Chemistry modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

 

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

60

0

0

0

0

3*

15-105

0-45

15-45

0

0-15

* in year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 105 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects

 

It is possible to transfer onto the following courses from BSc Chemistry. You may elect to transfer between any of the courses tabulated below according to the deadlines given:

Degree Title

Duration

Transfer Deadline

BSc Chemistry (Single Honours)

3 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

BSc Chemistry with International Year (Single Honours)

4 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

BSc Medicinal Chemistry (Combined Honours)

3 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

MChem Chemistry

4 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

 

A summary of the BSc Chemistry with International Year programme is provided in Annex A. Please consult the MChem programme specification for full details. Please consult the BSc Medicinal Chemistry programme specification for full details.

 

Geology - The Geology programme is modular in structure and must be taken in Levels 4 and 5 in combination with another principal subject. Students may select to study only Geology modules at Level 6, or transfer to study M. Geology at Levels 6 and 7 (see M. Geology Programme Specification for details), or continue with the Combined Honours scheme at Level 6.

 

A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Geology modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

 

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

60

0

0

0

0

3

15

45

45

0

0

3*

45

75

75

0

0

* at Level 6 (year 3) there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects. These are the credits if you choose to specialise in Geology in your final year.

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

Chemistry Year 1 (Level 4)

There are two compulsory 30-credit modules taken by all chemistry students at Level 4.

Whilst laying the foundations of the principles and vocabulary of Chemistry, you will be challenged to question knowledge and the nature of knowledge when you start to encounter problems that have more than one answer or interpretation.  You will be exposed to experimental evidence from a variety of sources and start to learn how such evidence supports, undermines or otherwise, the theoretical models and ideas upon which the subject of Chemistry is built. The practical classes emphasise development of core practical skills through hands-on experience of key techniques and procedures, as well as skills in laboratory safety, maintaining a laboratory diary, observation, information retrieval, IT skills, scientific writing and reporting in a variety of formats.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Chemical Structure and Reactivity

30

None

 

Practical and Professional Chemistry Skills

30

   

 

Geology Year 1 (Level 4)

It is assumed that students have no previous geological knowledge and therefore the programme starts from basics. The programme provides a broad-based introduction to geological topics at Levels 4 & 5 with emphasis on the characteristics of rocks, minerals and fossils, together with the processes that govern their formation and development.

 

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Minerals, Rocks and Fossils †

30

None

 

Earth Structure and History †

30

   

† Module contains fieldwork

 

 

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

Students will take three chemistry modules (one 30-credit module two 15-credit remaining chemistry modules.

In Year 2 the knowledge and skills acquired in Year 1 are developed with an increasing emphasis on the need to integrate knowledge and critically evaluate experimental evidence in solving theoretical and practical problems. In practical classes, new practical skills are developed and an increasing emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of experimental design and the analysis of complex data from multiple sources, including computational theoretical calculations and the scientific peer-reviewed literature. Sophisticated analytical techniques are introduced and applied to the investigation of a variety of problems, whilst communication skills are developed to include skills in oral presentation.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Molecular Chemistry and Reactions

30

None

 

Spectroscopy and Analysis

15

   

Physical and Structural Chemistry

15

   

 

Geology Year 2 (Level 5)

During Level 5 particular attention is paid to first hand observation, recording and interpretation of geological phenomena in the field and laboratory. This year includes a major overseas field course. By the end of the level you will have been given a complete grounding in geology that will allow you to carry out your own independent studies.

 

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Petrology

30

None

 

Field Techniques

30

   

† Module contains fieldwork

 

Work Placement Year

Students taking the 4-year with ‘Work Placement Year’ undertake their work placement between Year-2 and Year-3 of their degree programme.  During the work placement year, students undertake a work placement (minimum 30 weeks full time (1,050 hours) or equivalent) with a geologically-focussed company or organisation. Students take the year-long, non-credit bearing module:

 

Core modules

Credits

Work Placement Year

n/a

 

International Year

Information relevant to students taking the International Year is available in Annex A.

 

 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

Chemistry Year 3 (Level 6)

In Year 3, increasingly sophisticated theories and ideas are introduced which require you to draw upon, integrate and extend the fundamental chemical principles introduced during Years 1 and 2. Choice of modules is available to allow you to pursue your specific interests, as well as choice within Topics in Chemistry. Course work is designed to allow you to develop a range of subject specific skills, focusing on engaging with scientific literature and experimental data sets, and working towards the Graduate Attributes through presentation, interviews and various written reports. You will also carry out a 15-credit Dissertation or Project (selected from a wide variety of research projects on offer) which places increased emphasis on your ability to work independently and critically evaluate practical investigations and the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules1

Credits

Topics in Chemistry

15

Group 1:

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Research Project

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Dissertation

 

15

 

15

   

Group 2:

Advanced Organic Chemistry

Kinetics, Photochemistry & Inorganic
reaction Mechanisms

Inorganic, Physical & Solid State Chemistry

Materials Chemistry & Catalysis

 

15

15

 

15

15

1 Students must select one module from Optional Core Group 1 and two modules from Optional Core Group 2, to a total of 60 credits in Chemistry.

 

Geology Year 3 (Level 6)

This year starts during the summer vacation when you will carry out an independent field project, which normally takes 3 weeks. During the autumn semester you will prepare a dissertation based upon this field project. In addition, there is a choice of option modules from a wide range of geological subject areas. The method and approach to teaching changes emphasis from staff-centred instruction at Levels 4 & 5 to more student-oriented activities, with components of several modules based upon independent or team-based project work.

 

There is also a change from modules based upon pure aspects of geological study to more applied aspects. It is intended that students should select their option modules according to their interests and career aspirations. Much of the content of these Level 6 option modules is based on research at the forefront of the discipline and helps to strengthen links between teaching and research.

 

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules (Choose 45 Credits)

Credits

Independent Fieldwork Project (ISP)

15

Structure and Geodynamics

15

   

Natural Hazards

15

   

Hydrological and Engineering Geology

15

   

Exploration Geophysics for Hydrocarbons

15

   

Micropalaeontology: Principles and Applications

15

   

Economic Geology

15

   

Advanced Topics in Sedimentology

15

 

Modules - Year Four

If you choose to specialise in Chemistry in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules1

Credits

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Research Project

15

Materials Chemistry & Catalysis

15

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Dissertation

15

   

Advanced Organic Chemistry

15

   

Kinetics, Photochemistry & Inorganic
reaction Mechanisms

15

   

Inorganic, Physical & Solid State Chemistry

15

   

Advanced Chemical Analysis

15

   

Topics in Chemistry

15

   

1 Students may select an alternative level 6 elective module in lieu of Materials Chemistry & Catalysis for a minimum of 105 credits in Chemistry.

 

If you choose to specialise in Geology in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules (Choose 75 Credits)

Credits

Independent Fieldwork Project (ISP)

15

Structure and Geodynamics

15

Geological Communication Skills

15

Natural Hazards

15

Volcanic and Magmatic Processes

15

Hydrological and Engineering Geology

15

   

Exploration Geophysics for Hydrocarbons

15

   

Micropalaeontology: Principles and Applications

15

   

Economic Geology

15

   

Advanced Topics in Sedimentology

15

   

Glaciers and Glacial Geomorphology *

15

   

Global Environmental Change *

15

   

Water Resources *

15

   

Coastal Environments *

15

* No more than two of these Physical Geography modules may be taken

† Module contains fieldwork

 

For further information on the content of modules currently offered, including the list of elective modules, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/recordsandexams/az