Geology

MGeol, 4 years

This is for you if... you want to understand the theory and applications of geology to Earth processes and systems, with a view to studying for a PhD, and with the possibility of spending a year abroad.

Course Description

The Department of Geology at Leicester provides a friendly, dynamic and supportive environment in which to learn about the evolution of our planet from geoscientists at the forefront of their field. Our teaching is led by our research and you will be taught by staff recognised internationally for their expertise in fields such as palaeobiology, economic geology, volcanology, structural geology, geophysics and palaeoenvironments.

Because all our degrees include common modules in the first year, you can transfer between courses as you discover those aspects of the geosciences which inspire you most and best match your particular interests and career aspirations. We pride ourselves on our excellent staff-student relations and have high student satisfaction levels not least because of our small group teaching and tutorials, which provide individually tailored academic and pastoral support throughout your degree.

Whether you study for the BSc or the MGeol, your Geology degree will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of all the key elements of geoscience. You will learn about the essential theories, practices and techniques to come out of the discipline and become well prepared for a career as a professional geoscientist.

There are plenty of chances to get your hands dirty as well! Each year of the degree includes different field work opportunities including trips to Scotland, Spain and Wales where you will be able to apply all that you have learned here on campus.

What's the difference?

Apply for a four-year MGeol degree if you are looking to fast-track your professional geological employment or to continue on to PhD research after graduation. MGeol courses include a major cutting-edge independent research project on a topic chosen by you, giving you the opportunity to work with specialist analytical facilities, learn the skills required to succeed in a research environment and potentially see your work published in a peer-reviewed journal. Plus you may be able to spend your third year abroad.

Apply for a BSc degree if you want an ideal three-year route to becoming a professional geologist or you’re looking to pursue further geological studies through a specialist MSc course. 

It is possible to transfer between the BSc and the MGeol up to the end of Year 2.

Fieldwork

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.


Key Facts
Typical offer
AAB
UCAS code
F601
Start date
September 2017
Department
Geology
Contact
Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
seadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3912
geology@le.ac.uk

Department of Geology website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

Our 2016 National Student Survey student satisfaction score of 96% reflects the quality of our accredited geoscience degrees.

We have our own dedicated careers tutor with industry experience who works with the University Careers Service to deliver an exclusive and tailored Careers Development Programme throughout your degree.

The Department is home to SEIS-UK, the UK’s national seismology research facility, and is a leading participant in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), the world’s largest Earth science research project.

Our student society organises talks, meetings, field trips and social activities. Four further groups cater for those with interests in economic geology, geophysics, palaeobiology and geoscience for global development.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

You will have a broad introduction to geoscience and discover the role of geology and geoscientists in today's society.

Modules

All four of our geoscience subjects have the same first year so you can transfer between subjects before Year 2 if you wish to. This is the same as Year 1 of the BSc.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

You will learn about more advanced aspects of geosciences such as the structure of the Earth's crust and the applications of geophysical techniques to hydrocarbon exploration.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose one option module from:

This is the same as Year 2 of the BSc. At the end of Year 2 your performance must meet a set level to continue on the MGeol. If this is not the case, you will transfer to the BSc and complete your degree in three years.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 3 (Optional Year Abroad)

Year 3 (Optional Year Abroad)

In your third year you can choose to stay in Leicester, in which case your third year will be the same as the final year of the BSc. During this year you will have the opportunity to take your degree in the direction that you want. The core modules will ensure that you are advancing in the essential areas of geology. Optional modules provide the chance to continue with the fundamental principles of geology at an advance level or specialise in the areas that fascinate you.

Core modules

Field Courses

Choose one field course from:

    Option modules

    Choose four option modules from:

    This is the same as the final year of the BSc.

    Year Abroad

    If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2).

    NB. A year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them.

    Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

    The Department of Geology has links with two partner institutions:

    • University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand - Explore the stunning Southern Alps, geothermal sites, mud pools and geysers, the active volcanoes of the Taupo volcanic zone – and Mount Doom!
    • University of Arizona in Tucson, USA - Explore the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Meteor Crater, the San Francisco volcanic field, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, the Colorado Plateau, the Sedona and Salt River canyons, the rugged mountains of the Sonora Desert – and Las Vegas!

    To be considered for the year abroad requires a 65% average by the middle of your second year. Places are limited, competition is high, and selection is based on academic thresholds determined by the department.

    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

    Final Year

    Final Year

    During your final year you will concentrate on specialising within a predominantly optional module structure. Your research project will be an opportunity to delve into an area of geoscience that has captured your interest during the first three years under the supervision of our highly accomplished staff members.

    Core modules

    Option modules

    Choose two option modules from:

    And one field course option module from:

    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

    Additional Information

    Accreditation

    All our degrees are accredited by the Geological Society of London, the professional body for geologists in the UK. Their accreditation panel said that our courses are “excellent” and they were “particularly impressed by the amount of fieldwork undertaken.”

    Teaching and Assessment

    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.

    Entry Requirements

    • A-levels: AAB including at least two from: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Maths, Use of Maths or Physics.
    • EPQ with A-levels: AAB + EPQ at grade B. A-level subjects to include two from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Maths, Use of Maths or Physics.
    • GCSE: Maths Grade C, English Language Grade C
    • Access to HE Diploma: Pass science diploma with 45 credits at level 3 including at least 30 at distinction
    • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 34 points including higher level subjects from those listed above.
    • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDD, plus GCSE requirements.
    Other national and international qualifications considered.

    If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

    Selection Process

    If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

    English Language Requirements

    IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

    International Qualifications

    Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

    Countries list

    Fees and Funding

    • Starting in 2017

      An inflationary increase (2.8% based on RPIX*) in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Government for 2017. This is still subject to formal parliamentary approval however, if approved, fees for 2017/18 entry could rise to £9,250 in 2017/18.

      After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations.

      (*RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)

      Scholarships

      You can apply for dedicated bursary schemes run by Aggregate Industries and Carl Zeiss Microscopy. These typically have a total value of £13,500 and include work experience with the sponsor. We also offer £1,700 of bursaries funded by the Holloway Trust for students to develop outreach projects. There are competitive prizes and awards in each year for academic achievement and overall performance. 

    • Starting in 2017

      • To be confirmed

      Scholarships

      You can apply for dedicated bursary schemes run by Aggregate Industries and Carl Zeiss Microscopy. These typically have a total value of £13,500 and include work experience with the sponsor. We also offer £1,700 of bursaries funded by the Holloway Trust for students to develop outreach projects. There are competitive prizes and awards in each year for academic achievement and overall performance. 

      Find out more about scholarships and funding.

    Career Opportunities

    Our dedicated Careers Tutor is a former industry geologist with many years' experience.

    Our annual Geology Careers Day is attended by a wide range of companies from across the geoscience sector.

    We provide up-to-date information exclusively for our undergraduates on current vacancies, work experience opportunities and options for further study.

    Our excellent links with employers provide great opportunities for vacation or year-out work experience.

    Our graduate employment record is excellent. Around a quarter of our graduates go on to do further study on a diverse range of MSc courses, or studying for a PhD. For those going in to work, over 75% are employed in graduate level occupations; the majority within the geoscience sector.

    Careers

    Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

    Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
    Geology MGeol 4 years full-time F601 Apply Now
    Course
    Geology
    Qualification
    MGeol
    Duration
    4 years full-time
    UCAS Code
    F601
    Availability