Geology 

(2018 Entry)

BSc (Hons)

Geology impacts on most aspects of modern life, with geologists needed to explore for future energy, mineral, metal and water resources.

Single Honours
Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
Placement year
3 years/ 4 years with international or placement year

UCAS code: F642

View entry requirements

Course Overview

The Geology single honours degree course extends our core combined honours Geology modules by adding wider, interdisciplinary elements such as geophysics and geochemistry to your degree. In addition to looking at rocks, minerals and fossils, how they were formed, what they can tell us about the history of the Earth and its past environments, as well as investigation of geological processes such as plate tectonics and exploration for geological resources such as oil, gas, metals and minerals, you will also study broader subjects such as geoscience and society, forensic geoscience and Earth systems.

There is a strong emphasis on fieldwork and applied problem-solving laboratory classes in the course, with field courses both in the UK and overseas. A pathway through your degree is available where field course transport and accommodation costs are covered by the University.

What will this mean for my future?

Geology graduates are needed more than ever as modern society demands increasing amounts of energy, raw materials and other resources such as water, the vast majority of which are discovered by geoscientists, and this is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Geologists are also needed for civil engineering in designing foundations and tunnels and in environmental projects such as carbon dioxide sequestration. You could go on to work in the mining, oil and gas, hydrogeology or geotechnical sectors. The single honours Geology degree is accredited by the Geological Society of London which an speed your progression towards Chartered Geologist status.

Indicative modules

First year

  • Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology
  • Geology: Time and Space
  • Geology: Planet Earth
  • Introduction to Sedimentology and Palaeontology
  • The Earth System

Second year

  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Reconstructing Past Environments
  • Advanced Structural Geology and Geological Mapping Training
  • Geoscience Field Techniques

Third year

  • Independent Fieldwork Project
  • Geological Communication Skills
  • Volcanic and Magmatic Processes
  • Structure and Geodynamics
  • Natural Hazards
  • Hydrological and Engineering Geology
  • Micropalaeontology
  • Economic Geology
  • Advanced Sedimentology
  • Exploration Geophysics

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

The Geology programme is modular in structure. Students take 15 credits from an elective at Level 4, but otherwise just take modules in Geology. Students may select to transfer to study M. Geology at Levels 6 and 7 (see M. Geology Programme Specification for details), or continue with the Single 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.

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

105

0

0

15

15

2

120

0

0

0

0

3

60

60

60

0

0

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

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.

 

You have a free choice of one of the Free-Standing Elective modules offered by all Faculties within the University, including a modern language. An elective module is offered at Level 4 in order to enhance the interdisciplinary nature of the Geology degree course and to provide compatibility with part of the University’s philosophy for undergraduate education, which is broadly based rather than over specialised.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Minerals, Rocks and Fossils †

30

None

 

Earth Structure and History †

30

   

Geology Data Visualisation, Analysis and Interpretation

30

   

The Earth System

15

   

† Module contains fieldwork

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

During Level 5 particular attention is paid to first hand observation, recording and interpretation of geological, geophysical and geochemical phenomena in the field and laboratory. 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

   

Geology & Society †

30

   

Geochemistry

15

   

Palaeoclimatology and Quaternary Studies †

15

   

† 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:

 

Compulsory 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)

This year starts during the summer vacation when students carry out an independent field project, which normally takes 5 weeks. During the autumn semester students prepare a dissertation based upon this field project. In addition, there is a choice of option modules/ programme approved electives from a wide range of geological subject areas. In addition, Geology students can select some Physical Geography option modules. 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 60 Credits)

Credits

Geology: Independent Field Project †

30

Structure and Geodynamics †

15

Economic Geology †

15

Natural Hazards

15

Advanced Petrology and Structural Geology Field Course †

15

Hydrological and Engineering Geology

15

   

Exploration Geophysics for Hydrocarbons

15

   

Micropalaeontology: Principles and Applications †

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