Our courses have a practical emphasis and are based on sound theoretical understanding.
You will be assessed through a combination of coursework, fieldwork, independent reports and projects, seminars, oral and poster presentations and computer-based tests, as well as formal exams.
We place a strong emphasis on safety training, time management, and student initiative.
Your personal tutor will provide you with individually tailored academic support throughout your degree. You will receive non-assessed feedback on every module to help you improve and prepare for your assessed work.
Through the Student-Staff Committee you can raise any issues relating to your studies and suggest course developments.
In your first year you will receive basic geological field training on the Isle of Arran, one of the most geologically varied spots on Earth. Further field trips will take you to:
- Spain - field mapping and training in advanced sedimentological techniques in an arid terrain.
- Anglesey - examining and interpreting structurally complex rocks.
In your third year you will pick one from the following:
- Wales - studying the geology, palaeontology and evolution of this Palaeozoic sedimentary basin
- The Northwest Highlands - exploring classic areas of British geology such as the Moine Thrust zone and the oldest rocks in the UK
- Tenerife - studying pyroclastic rocks on the third biggest volcano in the world
- Cornwall – investigating a classic area of economic mineralisation and the environmental consequences of mining
- The Midlands – hands-on experience of near-surface geophysics and seismology.
And in your fourth year a choice of either:
- Overseas Field Course - using multidisciplinary data to unravel complex geologic relationships and the evolution of a region, or
- Leicestershire – investigating the Anthropocene, the geological epoch we live in now.
Following additional field training in your second year, you will undertake an Independent Field-based Project. This is an exercise in practical, deductive geology which forms an important part of the degree. You choose the field area, allowing you to develop your geological interests. This will enable you to demonstrate your determination, motivation and ability to solve problems based on your own observations, as well as developing your self-confidence and organisational skills.
There will be no additional charges for your course but you will incur expenses in completing your own independent fieldwork which is a requirement of the course. You will undertake this at the end of the second year of your course and the Department will provide partial financial support for this. Your own expenses will depend upon where you decide to undertake your independent fieldwork.
When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.
Your contact hours will depend on the optional modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.
Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:
- study and exam skills
- academic writing
- numerical data skills
- referencing sources
Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.