- Designed to prepare you to tackle important environmental challenges including climate change, natural hazards, and the supply of critical raw materials and resources
- MSci 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, optional industry placement and independent research possibilities
- Study in Cornwall with access to incredible and unique local 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
2nd in the UK for Earth and Marine Sciences
The Guardian League Table 2021
Top 100 in the world for Geology and Geophysics
QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020
1st for Career Prospects in Geology
The Guardian University League Table 2021
Top 5 for Geology
The Guardian University Guide 2022 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.
Our programmes are accredited by The Geological Society which is the first step on the ladder to Chartered Geologist status after graduation.
Entry requirements (typical offer)
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
GCE A-level in two science subjects at grade A or A-level Geology at grade A.
GCE AL science includes: Biology/Human Biology*; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Economics; Electronics; 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||36/666||Two science subjects at HL6 or Geology at HL6|
|BTEC||DDD||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||Grade C or 4 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics|
|Access to HE||30 L3 credits at Distinction Grade and 15 L3 credits at Merit Grade||15 L3 credits at Distinction Grade in an acceptable Geology subject area or 30 L3 credits at Distinction Grade in two other acceptable Science subject area|
Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other UK, EU and International equivalences|
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
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.
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 Individual 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.
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.
During year 4 you will undertake a research project on a contemporary topic of your choice, working at the forefront of science in collaboration with one of our world-class research groups. Your final year will also include an overseas field class as well as a module in research frontiers that will introduce you to current, internationally-significant research across the geosciences.
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £27,000 per year
The University of Exeter has over £2.5 million in scholarships available for students applying to study with us in 2023 - including our Global Excellence Scholarships* for international fee paying students and financial support 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Our graduates enjoy excellent career opportunities in a range of subjects, including mineral and petroleum 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 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.
In particular, the MSci course provides extra skills development in independent work, research, and oral presentation, which can be applied to both industry and academia.
Geologists from the University of Exeter are recognised as being articulate, resourceful and diligent, and claim great job satisfaction and excellent salaries.