Geology with Palaeontology

MGeol, 4 years

This is for you if... you want to combine the knowledge and skills base of a degree in Geology with specialist expertise in the scientific study of fossils, with a view to studying for a PhD, and with the possibility of spending a year abroad.

Course Description

  • As part of the University of Leicester’s commitment to being a leading academic institution, we regularly review and update our degrees and modules to ensure that they reflect the most up-to-date research, knowledge, ideas and teaching practices, as well as taking into account student feedback. We also have to take into account the availability of key teaching staff where this will impact on the delivery of the course.  As a result, if there are major changes to the course that you have applied for, we will contact you as soon as possible and will ensure that any disruption to your studies is minimised.

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 Geology with Palaeontology BSc or the Geology with Palaeontology MGeol, your degree will combine the knowledge and skills base of a degree in geology with the development of expertise in the scientific study of fossils.

Palaeontology addresses how the origin and evolution of life is intricately linked with the geological history of the Earth. Through the fossil record you will explore topics such as evolutionary diversity, exceptional preservation and palaeoclimates. We will cover all major groups of invertebrate fossils, vertebrate fossils and microfossils, investigating major concepts such as the origin of life, patterns of evolution and extinction, the importance of exceptional fossil biotas, and the relationship between ecology and evolution.

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. You will also carry out an independent field-based project which may range from geological mapping in a fossiliferous area to field and laboratory analysis of fossils.

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

And 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.

  • Please note: This course replaces the MGeol in Geology with Palaeobiology (UCAS code F6CC).
Key Facts
Typical offer
AAB
UCAS code
F642
Start date
September 2018
Department
Geology
Contact
Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
seadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3912
geoladmin@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 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.

    Year 2

    Year 2

    You will develop your understanding of the fundamental aspects of geoscience. Modules in exceptional preservation and a unique field-course will begin your route toward specialisation in the field of palaeobiology.

    Modules

    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 (or optional year abroad)

    Year 3 (or 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 concentrate on palaeobiology. You will gain an advanced knowledge of vertebrates and learn about the practical study of microfossils.

    Core modules

    Option modules

    Choose two 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 our partner institution, the 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!

    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.

    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 be treated as a research student with much of your time devoted to independent research on a topic of your own choice.

    Core modules

    And choose one field course module from:

    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.

    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.

    Overall workload

    Typical workload hours for Geology courses in 2016/17: 

    Year 1: 35% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

    • Teaching, learning and assessment: 420 hours
    • Independent learning: 780 hours

    Year 2: 29% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

    • Teaching, learning and assessment: 348 hours
    • Independent learning: 852 hours

    Year 3: 38% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

    • Teaching, learning and assessment: 456 hours
    • Independent learning: 744 hours
    Final year:

    14% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

    • Teaching, learning and assessment: 168 hours
    • Independent learning: 1032 hours

    While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

    Academic support

    Our Student Learning Development Team 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.

    Research Stories

    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 a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Distinction. To include Physics, Chemistry and Maths Level 3 credits.
    • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 32 points including higher level subjects from those listed above.
    • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDD (Science Related).

    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

    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.

    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.)

      • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

      Starting in 2018

      • TBC

      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.

       

    • Starting in 2017

      • £18,855 per year

      Year Abroad: your fee will be £4,713.75 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.

      Starting in 2018

      • TBC

      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 with Palaeobiology MGeol 4 years full-time F642 Apply Now
    Geology with Palaeobiology with year abroad MGeol 4 years full-time F642 Apply Now
    Course
    Geology with Palaeobiology
    Qualification
    MGeol
    Duration
    4 years full-time
    UCAS Code
    F642
    Availability
    Course
    Geology with Palaeobiology with year abroad
    Qualification
    MGeol
    Duration
    4 years full-time
    UCAS Code
    F642
    Availability

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