Geology and Human Biology 

(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 Geology and Human Biology.

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: FC6C

View entry requirements

Course Overview

For the Geology element of the course, you will look 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.

The Human Biology element of this course is ideal if you’re interested in biology but are looking for a particular focus on the human body and how we’ve adapted to our environment. This course provides a broad understanding of the physiology of the body’s major systems as well as human health and disease and the relationship between the human body with the environment. You might explore the impact of nutrition and the environment on health, how humans in turn impact on the environment, and specialised topics such as human parasitology and human evolution. Keele’s multidisciplinary approach puts human biology in context, so you’ll have input from experts ranging from clinicians, physiotherapists, nutritionists, geographers and conservation biologists.  There are opportunities for studying abroad and for work experience; you could even add in a year’s industrial placement to create a four year degree.

What will this mean for my future?

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.

Keele enjoys high rates of graduate employment, where in 2016, were recognised nationally as 1st for employability in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey. Graduates from this programme have opportunities in a wide range of fields, with career paths in science, health, industry or the media. You might become a nutritionist, dietitian, health promotion specialist, clinical molecular geneticist, counsellor, adult nurse, sports therapist, or technical author. Alternatively, you could pursue opportunities in postgraduate research, teacher training, occupational therapy, journalism, nursing or medicine.

Indicative modules

First Year

  • Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology (includes fieldwork)
  • Geology: Time and Space (includes fieldwork)
  • Geology: Planet Earth
  • Introduction to Sedimentology and Palaeontology (includes fieldwork)
  • Physiology and Anatomy
  • Cellular Genetics and Evolution

Second Year 

  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Reconstructing Past Environments (includes fieldwork)
  • Advanced Structural Geology and Geological Mapping Training
  • Geoscience Field Techniques
  • Human Genetics
  • Research and Analytical Skills
  • Human Impacts on the Environment, scientific perspectives
  • Molecular, Cellular and Structural Immunology
  • Microbes, Viruses and Parasites
  • Nutrition and Energy Balance
  • Health and the Environment
  • Learning and Memory
  • Study Abroad Modules

Third Year

  • 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 (includes fieldwork)
  • Exploration Geophysics for the Hydrocarbon Industry
  • Behavioural Neuroscience
  • Human Parasitology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Advances in Medicine
  • Brain Disease
  • Human Evolution
  • Biology of Disease
  • Cancer Biology
  • Regeneration & Repair in the Nervous System
  • Developmental Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Life Sciences Double Experimental Project (with research skills assessment) – ISP (Double)
  • Double Applied Life Sciences Placement – ISP (Double)

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 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.

 

Geology -  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.

 

Human Biology -  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 Human Biology 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

30

30

30

0

0

3*

15

45

75

0

0

*Variations in Year 3:

Students combining with Biochemistry must select a 30 credit Life Sciences Double Experimental Project or Double Applied Life Sciences Placement.

There is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 90 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects.

Students who specialise in Human Biology must select a 30 credit Life Sciences Double Experimental Project or Double Applied Life Sciences Placement.  

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

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


Human Biology Year 1 (Level 4)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Physiology and Anatomy

30

None

 

Cellular Genetics and Evolution

30

   

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

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.

 

Human Biology Year 2 (Level 5)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

N.B. Students choose 2 modules from:

Credits

Human Genetics

15

Neurodevelopment

15

Research and Analytical Skills

15

Human Impacts on the Environment, scientific perspectives

15

   

Molecular, Cellular and Structural Immunology

15

   

Microbes, Viruses and Parasites

15

   

Nutrition and Energy Balance

15

   

Health and the Environment

15

   

Learning and Memory

15

   

Study Abroad Modules

30

 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

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

 

 

Human Biology Year 3 (Level 6)

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

N.B. Students choose 2 modules from:

Credits

Students taking Human Biology and Biochemistry:

Life Sciences Double Experimental Project (with research skills assessment)

OR

Double Applied Life Sciences Placement1,2

 

30

 

30

Behavioural Neuroscience3

15

Human Parasitology4

15

Conservation Biology5

15

Advances in Medicine

15

Brain Disease

15

Human Evolution

15

Students taking Human Biology and a subject outside of the School of Life Sciences:

Life Sciences Single Experimental Project (with research skills assessment)

OR

Life Sciences Non-Experimental Project

OR

Life Sciences Dissertation

OR

Single Applied Life Sciences Placement1

 

15

 

15

 

15

 

15

Biology of Disease

15

Cancer Biology

15

Regeneration & Repair in the Nervous System6

15

Developmental Biology

15

Biomedical Engineering

15

1 The Applied Life Sciences Placement modules may replace Life Sciences Experimental Project (with research skills assessment) modules if the nature of the placement is deemed suitable and the work carried out meets the criteria of the research project module.  

2 If a student fails the Life Sciences double experimental project module (or the alternative Double Applied Life Science placement module) but has it condoned, then they will not be eligible for an RSB accredited degree, but shall instead be eligible for the award BSc Studies in Biochemistry

3 Prerequisite: Learning and Memory.

4Prerequisite: Molecular, Cellular and Structural Immunology or Microbes, Viruses and Parasites.

5Prerequisite: Human Impacts on the Environment, scientific perspectives.

6Prerequisite: Neurodevelopment.

 

Note: All option module combinations are subject to timetabling.

 

Modules - Year Four

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

 

NB: if you choose to specialise in Human Biology in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

N.B. Students choose six 15-credit modules from

the optional/elective choices below*

Credits

Life Sciences Double Experimental Project (with research skills assessment)2

Or

Double Applied Life Sciences Placement1

30

 

30

Behavioural Neuroscience3

15

Human Parasitology4

15

Conservation Biology5

15

Advances in Medicine

15

Brain Disease

15

Human Evolution

15

   

Biology of Disease

15

   

Cancer Biology

15

   

Regeneration & Repair in the Nervous

System6

15

   

Developmental Biology

15

   

Biomedical Engineering

15

 

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