lady in the wind rock formation

Geology with Foundation Year BSc

4-5 years

There’s always another way to follow your passion. If you don’t quite have the entry requirements to study geology at Leicester, this STEM Foundation Year degree is for you.

Geology with Foundation Year BSc, 4-5 years

There’s always another way to follow your passion. If you don’t quite have the entry requirements to study geology at Leicester, this STEM Foundation Year degree is for you.

Start date:

2024
2025

Course information

Typical offer BCC

UCAS code F993

Institute code L34

The Uni Guide logo

95% of students in work or further study six months after graduating (The Uni Guide 2023)

The Geographical Society

Accredited by the Geological Society of London

Course description

Course description

Geology at Leicester provides a friendly, dynamic and supportive environment in which to learn about the history of our planet and life on Earth. You will be taught by staff recognised internationally for their expertise in fields such as palaeontology, economic geology, volcanology, structural geology, geophysics, and palaeoenvironments. You will benefit from our excellent facilities, ranging from dedicated student study spaces, 24/7 secure access to the building, and collections of over 250,000 specimens of rocks, fossils and minerals to help you learn. In later years, you can choose modules that give you experience of our research facilities, including advanced microscopes and geochemistry labs.

All of our geology-focussed degrees include common modules in the first year, so you can easily transfer between courses as you discover the topics that inspire you most and best match your career aspirations. From the third year you can choose from a range of optional modules, and it is also possible to transfer between the three-year BSc and the four-year MGeol degrees, so you can graduate with the most appropriate qualification for your future career. Our Physical Geography and Geology degree is a bit different, with a tailor-made programme right from the start, and plenty of options later on. For details of all the modules, follow the links under each degree course.

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. You will learn through a combination of lectures, practical classes, workshops, small-group tutorials, and field trips. This means you will have plenty of contact time with the lecturers, who are happy to provide feedback as you progress through each module. Your assessments will be a mixture of exams, presentations, written reports, group projects and other activities, as we recognise that everyone has different strengths and preferred ways of learning. For many students, fieldwork is one of the highlights of their time at Leicester.

All of our geology focussed courses are accredited by the Geological Society, demonstrating that our degrees offer high-quality teaching as well as providing the skills necessary for a career as a professional geoscientist. Furthermore, our graduates are highly sought after in many professions because of the breadth of skills you will develop, including high levels of independence, team-working, and data analysis. We have a strong emphasis on embedding skills within our modules, and we provide careers advice throughout your degree, including an annual in-house careers event and through our excellent links with industry partners and alumni.

With diverse modules to choose from to develop your own interests, and with excellent field programmes and numerous scholarships and bursaries available to support your studies, we are committed to helping you achieve your full academic potential.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A-levels: BCC or points equivalent from your best three A-levels. One science subject preferred from: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Geography, Geology, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, and Statistics. You may be required to take an additional maths assessment test.
  • GCSE: Grades C/4 in Maths (if no A-level Maths) and English Language.
  • BTEC Diploma: DDM in a science related subject, which must include appropriate maths and science content. You may be required to take an additional maths assessment test.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass diploma with 26 points minimum, one HL science subject preferred. Must have maths and English if not held at GCSE grade C/4.
  • Access to HE: Pass diploma with 24 Distinctions in a science related subject, which must include appropriate maths and science content. You may be required to take an additional maths assessment test.

Other official national and international qualifications considered from across the world. You can review some of the qualifications we accept on our countries page and English Language equivalencies.

If your qualification or country is not listed, please contact us for more information, including the name and result of the qualification you have studied.

Contextual offers

The University of Leicester is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all applicants from all backgrounds. We make contextual offers to support students who may be impacted by the area they live in, their personal circumstances or who have completed one of our progression programmes. These offers are usually one or two grades lower than the standard entry requirements. To qualify for a contextual offer, you must apply for an eligible course and meet specific criteria – check if you’re eligible.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

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

Fees and funding

UK Students

Starting in 2025

Tuition fees for 2025/26 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2024/25 were:

  • £9,250 in your first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years
  • Year in Industry: your fee will be £1,850 for that year

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.

International Students

Starting in 2025

Tuition fees for 2025/26 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2024/25 were:

  • £24,500 per year
  • Year in Industry: £3,675, which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee

If you are resident outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland, you will need to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure your place. This will be subtracted from your total tuition fee.

From 2022 onwards, EU nationals will pay the International fee. If you are an EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, you may qualify for the UK fee (subject to criteria).

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

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.

Accreditation

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.”

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Our Geology graduates are highly competitive in the job market as their degrees provide them with a strong set of subject-specific and transferable skills, suited to a range of different sectors. Career directions particularly include renewable energy, sustainable resource extraction and environmental geology. As well as studying topics that consider the major global challenges of the 21st century, our graduates are able to demonstrate key skills in teamwork, communication, resilience, planning, and problem solving.

Key statistics

  • 95% of graduates in work or further study after 15 months.
  • More than 50 companies are actively involved with Geology at Leicester, from funding major research projects to work experience opportunities.
  • Geology graduate employers include: Environment Agency, Network Rail, The British Museum, BP, Rio Tinto, British Gypsum, RSK, Jacobs, Hydrock, Zeiss, The Civil Service, Capita, The Government of South Australia, Isle of Man Government.

Supported by the University’s Careers and Employability Service, employability is embedded in all of our curricula from year one:

  • The Leicester Award for Employability personal development programme is embedded in core year one and year two modules, providing students with opportunities to reflect on their motivations, personality traits, transferable skills, and future career goals.
  • All students have lifetime access to and support from our award-winning Careers and Employability Service.
  • We have a dedicated Geology Careers Tutor who works with the Careers and Employability Service to support careers fairs, disseminate job opportunities and career development courses, and to provide practical information.
  • We run a School-wide annual careers day; recent speakers have included the Civil Service, Hatch Regeneris, Hydrock, RSK, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
  • All of our degrees include an additional ‘Year in Industry’ option, where the third year of the degree is spent on a work placement.
  • Our School has links with many businesses and Government departments, including Natural England, the European Space Agency, the Home Office and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Case studies

Small profile picture of ZachZach Banks (MGeol, Geology) Senior Policy advisor for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero “My role is supported by the range of modules I selected in my degree, particularly the third year Environmental Geoscience  module and my fourth year ‘Hot topics’ module. These gave me confidence in presenting and developing new ideas, skills in evaluating arguments and ideas, and opened my eyes to the interactions between geology, human activity and legislation.”

Small profile picture of KieraKiera McMahon (BSc Applied and Environmental Geology) Geological Engineer in the ground investigations industry “I work with drillers, excavators and engineers to plan construction and to monitor and mitigate the environmental impact of building works. This variously includes asbestos sampling, water quality monitoring and assessing foundations. My second and third year Mineral Resources for Net-Zero Carbon modules, and the Mineral Exploration, Economics and Sustainability module have really supported my career.”

Small profile picture of AlfieAlfie Bower (BSc Geology) Offshore Geotechnical Engineer “My role involves the collection and interpretation of drilling vessel geotechnical data. Much of our work is focused on seabed surveys for future offshore wind farm construction. I use the practical skills from my degree most days, particularly through my role in describing and logging the variety of sediments and rock types in our drill cores, and in the interpretation of geophysical data.”

Alex Talbot-Wilson (BSc Geology) Graduate geologist at Glencore “I provide geological support for Small profile picture of Alexmining operations, including mapping and monitoring of mining pits using drones and GIS software, collection of near-pit data and development of our exploration programmes. The third year module Mineral Exploration, Economics and Sustainability influenced my career, and inspired being involved in the sustainable production of key resources for the future."

Maduo Makwati (BSc Geology) Hydrogeology Official for the Debswana Diamond Company, Botswana Small profile picture of Maduo“My role is focused on understanding the role of hydrogeology in our mining operations. I collect mine borehole data, monitor rock porewater contents and sample groundwater for geochemical analysis. These data feed into our mine water balance modelling. I use a range of  skills from my degree, including geological mapping and logging, as well as industry-standard software such as ArcGIS.”

Careers and Employability Service

Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Careers and Employability Service. We're here to give you a lifetime offer of support, even after graduation. Our team of specialist careers advisers and mentors will help you every step of the way. From supporting you with CVs and interviews, to volunteering opportunities and placements, we're here to help you reach your professional goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

We are committed to providing skills and knowledge to help prepare you tackle global challenges. We have mapped our undergraduate degrees for learning which aligns to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This degree includes learning which relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Course structure

Foundation Year

Foundation Year

Modules

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 1

Year 1

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

Modules

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

Year 2 of the BSc course is your third year at Leicester.

You will learn about more advanced aspects of geosciences such as the conditions required to form magmatic, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose one 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.

Optional Year in Industry

Optional Year in Industry

If you want to, you can take a year out between your second and third years and spend that time working in industry.

If you choose to do this, you’ll take a module in your second year that will help you to find a work placement and prepare you for the workplace. Throughout your placement, there will be structured support available to you from specialist staff at the University.

You’ll benefit from real-world experience in a commercial setting, enabling you to make an easier transition from studying to working after you finish your degree. It will also strengthen your CV significantly in preparation for entering the graduate labour market. On top of all this, you’ll be paid a salary for your placement.

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 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

Plus your Dissertation

Field Courses

Choose one field course from:

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

And two option modules from

This is the same as Year 3 of the MGeol.

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.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork

Fieldwork can be one of the most stimulating and enjoyable experiences of your time on a Geology degree. Your field begins in the very first week of your studies with a day spent investigating the fascinating local geology of Leicestershire.

students on a geology field tripstudents on a geology field trip

In Year 1, the Introductory Field Course takes place on Arran, a Scottish island with more geological variety per square kilometre than virtually anywhere else in the world. You’ll rapidly develop observation and recording skills through active participation in scientific discovery. 

In your second year you will focus on developing the skills that will enable you to carry out your own geological fieldwork in a variety of terrains. We’ll guide you through this with field trips to Spain, Anglesey and the Lake District.

In your third year, you will carry out an Independent Field-based Project. You get to choose your own field area, allowing you to develop your geological interests (and showcase an impressive range of transferable skills!). Depending on the specialist modules you choose, there are also trips available to Tenerife, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire.

students on a geology field tripstudents on a geology field trip

If you study for (or transfer onto) a four-year MGeol course, your final year will include an overseas trip as well as something more local. Some research projects can involve fieldwork, too.

And you’ll be pleased to know our staff are involved in field-based research worldwide, ensuring that our teaching draws on active field experience.

Fieldwork locations may vary and are subject to availability.

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.

Why Leicester?

Job prospects are excellent: 95% of our Geology students are employed (or studying for a Masters degree) six months after graduating. (DLHE)

All our degrees are accredited by the Geological Society of London. They said that our courses are “excellent” and they were “particularly impressed by the amount of fieldwork undertaken”.

Your degree will take you to geologically fascinating locations across the UK and further afield, starting with a Year 1 trip to the Isle of Arran.

Our School operates an Open Door policy, meaning you can access support when you need it.

Geology at Leicester

A combination of theory, practical and coursework made Jo industry-ready by the time she graduated.

Teaching and learning

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.

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.

And one from the following:

  • Wales - studying the geology, palaeontology and evolution of this Palaeozoic sedimentary basin
  • 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

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.

The cost of fieldwork is dependent on the year of study, destination, and whether the trip is core or optional to the programme. You will also 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 you will be provided with partial financial support for this. Your own expenses will depend upon where you decide to undertake your independent fieldwork.

Independent learning

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 option modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.

Academic support

Our Centre for Academic Achievement provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • 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.

Teaching staff

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.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Geology with Foundation Year Qualification BSc Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code F993 Availability How to apply
Course Geology with Foundation Year with Year in Industry Qualification BSc Duration 5 years UCAS Code F993 Availability How to apply

Data about this course

student using microscope in class

There is a real sense of community within Geology. The lecturers are incredibly approachable.

Hester

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