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Undergraduate Study

BSc Geology

UCAS code F600
Duration 3 years
Entry year 2024
Campus Penryn Campus
Discipline Geology
Contact

Web: Enquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725818

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

A level: ABB
IB: 32/655
BTEC: DDM 

Contextual offers

A-Level: BBC
IB: 28/554
BTEC: DMM

Overview

  • Designed to prepare you to tackle important global challenges including climate change, natural hazards, and the supply of critical raw materials and resources
  • BSc Geology will provide you with a detailed understanding of the Earth, its evolution, processes, systems and resources
  • Gain technical experience through over 60 days of fieldwork as well as laboratory classes, opportunities for industry placements, and independent research possibilities
  • Study in Cornwall with access to world-class geology on your doorstep
  • Taught at Exeter’s Penryn campus by Camborne School of Mines, a combined geoscience and mining department with an international reputation for research-inspired teaching and excellent graduate prospects

Top 5 in the UK for Earth and Marine Sciences

4th in The Guardian University Guide 2024

Top 5 in the UK for Geology

5th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

Top 100 in the world for Geology and Geophysics

QS World University Subject Rankings 2023

Accreditations

Our programmes are accredited by The Geological Society which is the first step on the ladder to Chartered Geologist status after graduation.

This degree has also been accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council as: 1. fully satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng). 2. partially satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). A programme of accredited further learning will be required to complete the educational base for CEng. See www.iom3.org for further information.

Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). Accreditation is awarded for a maximum of 5 years under each assessment exercise. The dates applicable to the current accreditation of this degree programme can be viewed on the Engineering Council list of accredited degrees: www.engc.org.uk 

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I chose Geology because it really got me fired up. It’s an amazing subject with such depth and the enthusiasm of the CSM staff was really inspiring and exciting.

Studying in Cornwall is wonderful, I grew up here and I just think it’s beautiful. It’s such a natural playground so there’s always something different to do every weekend (as long as you don’t mind getting a little wet in the winter!).

The career zone have helped me with writing my CV to apply for summer work experience and CSM professionalism modules make sure you understand the business jargon needed when you graduate. The thought of going into work can be intimidating but it’s nice not to feel alone.

Read more from Lydia

Lydia

Studying BSc Geology at the University of Exeter

Entry requirements (typical offer)

Qualification Typical offer Required subjects
A-Level ABB GCE AL in two science subjects at grade B or AL Geology at grade B.

GCE AL science includes: Biology/Human Biology*; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Economics; Electronics; Environmental Science; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths*; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Statistics. *If more than one of these is taken they would only count as one 'science' but could count as two A-levels towards our general requirements.
IB 32/655 HL 5 in Geology or HL 5 in two other Science subjects
BTEC DDM BTEC Extended Diploma (2016) Applicants studying one of the following new BTEC Extended Diplomas will be considered without GCE AL requirements: Applied Science, Engineering
GCSE C or 4 English Language and Mathematics
Access to HE 24 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade and 21 L3 credits at Merit Grade. Either 12 L3 Credits at Merit Grade in Geology OR 24 L3 Credits at Merit Grade in two acceptable Science subject areas.
T-Level Distinction T-level Design, surveying and planning for construction only
Contextual Offer

A-Level: BBC
IB: 28/554
BTEC: DMM

Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.

Other accepted qualifications

View other accepted qualifications

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

NB General Studies is not included in any offer.

Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply

Course content

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

During your first year, which is shared with all Geology students, you will gain a solid foundation in geology and the geosciences. You will undertake nine one-day field classes to iconic locations across Cornwall during terms 1 and 2, and attend a one-week residential field class in Pembrokeshire during early May.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
CSM1042Dynamic Planet15
CSM1031Earth and Environmental Chemistry15
CSM1043Crystallography, Mineralogy and Gemstones15
CSM1044Earth History and Palaeontology15
CSM1036Field Geology and Geological Maps30
CSM1045Surveying and Digital Mapping15
CSM1041Quantitative Methods for Geoscientists15
CSM1904CSM Professionalism Year 10

In Year 2 you will explore how physics is used to investigate the Earth’s subsurface in our geophysics module. You will also develop core geological and transferable skills that build on Year 1 knowledge by learning about sedimentary processes, volcanic and magmatic rocks, how rocks fold and fracture, and geological maps. The Independent Research Project (IRP) is a third-year module that starts in the summer period between second and third year, when you carry out four to five weeks of independent field-based research. Most of our students choose a geological mapping project, which they may do anywhere in the world.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
CSM2182Structural Geology and Tectonics30
CSM2183Sedimentology and Stratigraphy30
CSM2184Geological Mapping Techniques15
CSM2190Geophysics15
CSM2051Magmatic and Metamorphic Rocks15
CSM2910Magmatism and Metamorphism15
CSM2904CSM Professionalism Year 20

Your third year begins with a written report based on your independent research project. You’ll also study a range of advanced topics and techniques including collating geospatial data in computer-based maps and models. The ‘Geology Overseas Fieldclass’ provides an opportunity to examine an outstanding area of geology famous for its volcanic, sedimentological or geological evolution, and typically cycles between European destinations including Tenerife, Spain, or Italy.

Compulsory modules

CodeModuleCredits
CSM3047GIS for Geologists15
CSM3068Geology Overseas Field Class15
CSM3072Climate change: Past and Future15
CSM3070Volcanology15
CSM3379Summer Vacation Project30
CSM3904CSM Professionalism Year 30

Optional modules

CodeModuleCredits
CSM3059Evolution of Earth and Planetary Systems15
CSM3061Energy Resource Geology15
CSM3152Hydrogeology15
CSM3071Geological History of Life on Earth15

Fees

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £29,700 per year

Scholarships

The University of Exeter has many different scholarships available to support your education, including £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. Financial support is also available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.

* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Find out more about tuition fees and scholarships

Fieldwork

All our Geology degree programmes provide a wealth of practical experience of working in the field at amazing locations across the UK and abroad.

The first year includes a six-day residential field course in Pembrokeshire along with nine one-day field-classes in Cornwall. The second year includes 34 days of fieldwork, in locations that include Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The third year includes a geological field course in Cyprus or southern Spain.

Fieldwork is assessed through field notebooks, technical reports, and practical field-based assignments.

For more information see our fieldwork pages.

Learning and teaching

Learning on campus

Learning and teaching are delivered through a combination of lectures, ‘hands on’ practical classes, seminars, tutorials, field-based teaching, and independent study. Laboratory practical classes will develop your understanding of a range of geological topics and help put theory into practice.

On average you will have 18 teaching hours per week and will need to undertake additional independent study (e.g., directed reading, assignments, and project work). You can expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time.

Our geology degrees are also flexible; you can transfer between any of our BSc and MSci degrees during your first year.

Research-led culture

You will benefit from being taught by experts active in internationally-relevant research. In doing so, you will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field, and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics. You will also be taught by leading industry practitioners.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary between modules and may include individual or group reports, presentations, practical write-ups and exams. More innovative assessment techniques are also used, and may include the use of websites, posters, social media, videos, science communication, and dragons-den style presentations. You must pass the first year in order to progress to the second year, but your first-year marks do not count towards your final degree classification.

Support

Optional modules outside of this course

Each year, if you have optional modules available, you can take up to 30 credits in a subject outside of your course. This can increase your employability and widen your intellectual horizons.

Proficiency in a second subject

If you complete 60 credits of modules in one of the subjects below, you may have the words 'with proficiency in [e.g. Social Data Science]' added to your degree title when you graduate.

  • A Foreign Language
  • Law
  • Social Data Science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership

Find out more about proficiency options

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Your future

Geologists are required to help the global community deal with a range of environmental problems related to climate, energy, water, air pollution, natural hazards, supply of raw materials, and more.

Geology and geoscience degrees not only prepare you to tackle the world’s biggest environmental challenges, but they also lead to high employment rates and decent salaries, with graduate opportunities in the UK and around the world. The Camborne School of Mines Association and the award-winning University of Exeter Careers Service have the skills and a strong network of alumni to help you find employment.

Employer Visits

We provide regular ‘Pint and Pasty’ employer events throughout term that allow our students to network and meet with potential employers, and learn more about possible career paths.

Career Paths

Our graduates enjoy excellent career opportunities in a range of subjects, including mineral exploration, hydrogeology, geophysics, geotechnics, and environment-related industries. Graduates also go on to roles outside of geology, utilising the array of transferable skills they have developed. Recent graduates work in fields as diverse as the UK civil service, Arup Geotechnics, the National Trust, the Ministry of Defence and Geomarine Ltd.

The broad-based skills acquired during your degree will give you an excellent grounding for a wide variety of careers, not only those related to Geology but also in wider fields. Examples of roles recent graduates are now working as include:

  • Chartered Surveyor
  • Engineering Project Manager
  • Project Engineer
  • Engineering Professional
  • Estimator, Valuer or Assessor
  • Environment Professional
  • Financial Accounts
  • IT Operations Technician
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Physical Scientist

Employer-valued skills this course develops

Career opportunities for geologists are limitless. Our programmes provide the essential skills for employment in a modern workplace, including discipline specific skills like Geographical Information Systems (GIS), geological mapping and fieldwork, mineral deposit identification and exploration, scientific programming, and use of technical software, in addition to transferable skills such as problem solving, communication, teamwork, leadership, and quantitative data analysis.

Geologists from the University of Exeter are recognised as being articulate, resourceful and diligent, and claim great job satisfaction and excellent salaries.

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