UCL Earth Sciences

Geology







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The programme includes studies of the nature of rocks and minerals, their mode of origin and environment of formation; the study of past life and palaeoenvironments; the physics and chemistry of the Earth and major Earth processes such as plate tectonics and mountain building (tectonics).

Prospectus: BSc UCAS Code F600

Prospectus: MSci UCAS Code F601

Geology


Benefits

Degree Benefits

  • At least 105 days of field classes in Cornwall, Dorset, Scotland, Spain and Italy and independent field mapping projects in Scotland and Spain, with financial support from the Department.
  • The programme is fully accredited by the Geological Society of London, and the department will pay one year's subscription for you to become a student fellow of the society.
  • World-leading research in mineral, ice and rock physics, and in geophysical hazards, is undertaken in the department and is used in the development of our courses.
  • World-class facilities include hosting the UK's only NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility, use of the UCL University of London Observatory, and collaboration with the Natural History Museum.

Degree Overview

Together with subject-specific skills, the MSci also provides a strong intellectual and practical platform for those who wish to pursue non-geological careers as it integrates a wide range of ideas from many different scientific disciplines, including chemistry, physics and biology, and provides training in the application of scientific methods and knowledge to complex problems.

The programme includes studies of the nature of rocks and minerals, their mode of origin and environment of formation; the study of past life and palaeoenvironments; the physics and chemistry of the Earth and major Earth processes such as plate tectonics and mountain building (tectonics).

The programme includes field courses and independent field mapping projects. The field provides a natural laboratory where students can learn to apply and develop skills which complement and build upon lectures and laboratory-based coursework whilst being exposed to the true complexity of natural geological systems.

The first two years of the BSc and MSci programmes will be the same. However, the additional fourth year of the MSci allows for an individual research project and advanced options, providing extra depth and breadth of knowledge. We recommend you apply for an MSci initially, as this keeps more options open.

Your Learning

We use a mixture of lectures, practical classes, field courses, directed reading, problem-orientated learning, private study and tutorials to enable you to gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills demanded by the programme, as well as to develop key transferable skills such as critical analysis, report writing, team working and organisational skills.

Assessment

You will be assessed by a combination of written examinations, practical examinations, coursework, independent project reports and an oral examination.

Modules






Geology Modules 

Term 1 - Autumn Term 
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Compulsory:    
GEOL1001 0.5 Earth Materials
GEOL1013 0.5 The Earth
GEOL1014 0.5 Geochemistry
Options:    
GEOL1006 0.5 Foundations of Physical Geoscience(compulsory for students without A-Level Mathematics)
GEOL1015 0.5 Introduction to Planetary Science
MATH6501 0.5 Mathematics

Term 2 - Spring Term
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Compulsory:    
GEOL1002 0.5 From Petrology to Petrogenesis
GEOL1003 0.5 History of Life
GEOL1004 0.5 Dynamic Earth
GEOL1012 0.5 Surface Processes
Fieldwork:    
Dorset/Devon Coast   Part of GEOL1012 Surface Processes
Norfolk Coast   Part of GEOL1012 Surface Processes
Cornwall/Devon Coast   Part of GEOL1002 From Petrology to Petrogenesis

This programme may be modified. Notice of any changes will be posted on the departmental website. 

Term 1 - Autumn Term 
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Compulsory: 
   
GEOL2008 0.5 Vertebrate Palaeontology & Evolution
GEOL2014 0.5 Global Geophysics
GEOL2026 0.5 Maps, Images & Structures

GEOL2028
0.5 Isotope Geology
Term 2 - Spring Term
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Compulsory: 
   
GEOL2009 0.5 Surface Processes & Structures
GEOL2010 0.5 Igneous Petrology
GEOL2012 0.5 Metamorphism
GEOL2027 0.5 Structural Geology & Tectonics
Fieldwork:    
Pyrenees   Part of GEOL2009 Surface Processes & Structures
Italy 
  Part of GEOL2026 Maps, Images & Structures(taught at the end of the preceding Summer vacation). 

The third year of teaching is research-led, based around the Department’s research strengths and research grouping. 

The 1 cu module "Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns" is delivered through a problem oriented learning approach. This is a proven and highly effective way for students to learn, encouraging students to be active agents in constructing their own knowledge, through both team working and individual effort, guided instruction and self-learning.

The 1 cu modules "Geological/Environmental Mapping Project" and "Geodynamics & Global Tectonics" are delivered as a mixture of independent project work and traditional lectures and practicals. 

Term 1 - Autumn Term 
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Compulsory:
   
GEOL3042 1.0 Geological/Environmental Mapping Project
Options:
   
GEOL3036A
0.5
Biodiversity & Macroevolutionary Patterns(cannot be taken with GEOL3036)
GEOL3047
0.5
Seismology I

Fieldwork:    
Mapping   Part of GEOL3042 Geological/Environmental Mapping Project
Term 1 & 2 
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Compulsory:    
GEOL3003 1.0 Geodynamics & Global Tectonics
Options:    
GEOL3036 1.0 Biodiversity & Macroevolutionary Patterns
GEOL3011 
0.5 
Geosciences Report 

Term 2 - Spring Term
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Compulsory:    
GEOL3040 0.5
Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building & Basin Evolution (fieldtrip only see below; no classroom element)
GEOL3043 0.5 Earth Resources & Sustainability
 Options:    
GEOL3045
0.5

Groundwater Science

GEOL3046
0.5

Marine Geology

GEOL3048
0.5
Seismology II

Fieldwork:    
SE Spain   GEOL3040 Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building & Basin Evolution

The fourth MSci year is primarily intended as a research year with a major 1.5 cu independent research project, linked to a research group in our Research School and a 0.5 cu research seminar series. In addition, students take four 0.5 cu modules from the Research School’s masters’ teaching programme. 

Current students must read the registration details.

Term 1 - Autumn Term 
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
GEOLM006 0.5 Earth & Planetary Materials
GEOLM008 0.5 Physical Volcanology & Volcanic Hazard
GEOLM010 0.5 Tectonic Geomorphology
GEOLM018 0.5 Palaeoceanography
GEOLMR01
0.5
Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
GEOLMR02 
0.5

Natural & Anthropogenic Hazards & Vulnerability  
Term 1 & 2 
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Compulsory:    
GEOLM905 1.5 Independent MSci Project
GEOLM003 0.5 Earth & Planetary System Science
Term 2 - Spring Term
Module Code Unit Value Module Title
Options: 
   
GEOLM002 0.5 Earthquake Seismology & Earthquake Hazards(places are limited and cannot be guaranteed)
GEOLM012 0.5 Palaeoclimatology
GEOLM021 0.5 Melting and Volcanism
GEOLM022
0.5
Hydrogeology & Groundwater Resources
GEOLM037 0.5 Deep Earth & Planetary Modelling 

Fieldwork:    
Germany   Part of GEOLM003 Earth & Planetary System Science

Students registering for a 0.5 credit module at another College should select INTC00_5 in Portico and complete an intercollegiate form. Please email Susie Rizvi for further information.