This broadly-based programme provides a complete study of the physics of the solid Earth and its constituent materials, and of its atmosphere, oceans and ice sheets, leading to a firm foundation in geology, geological fieldwork, physics, mathematics and computing. The programme is fully accredited by the Geological Society of London.
- Degree Programme
- Geophysics BSc
- UCAS code
- 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2016
- Mathematics and Physics required.
- AS Levels
- For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A score of 16-18 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics and Physics, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with between 28 credits awarded with Merit and a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D3,D3,D3 - D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including Mathematics and Physics.
AAA-ABB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher - AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Mathematics and Physics required at Advanced Higher
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma, plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*A-AB, including Mathematics and Physics.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
- The programme includes up to three months of field classes in the UK and continental Europe, with financial support from the department.
- UCL has state-of-the-art geophysical instruments including the new must-do technique of ground penetrating radar (GPR), a new magnetometer/gradiometer (for archaeological and environmental surveys) and new, modern seismics.
- The programme is fully accredited by the Geological Society of London.
- 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.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
In their first two years all students study a common geophysics syllabus covering the fundamentals of mathematics, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, Earth materials, structural geology and tectonics, global geophysics and Earth processes. Theoretical studies are integrated with a large element of illustrative practical work both in the laboratory and in the field.
In the third year there are more advanced courses in seismology, geodynamics and global tectonics and there is the opportunity to specialise in, for example, the environmental aspects of the subject such as groundwater resources.
We take a modern approach to teaching with courses based around laboratory practicals and theory workshops. Fieldwork provides a unique opportunity to develop independent and team skills and problem-solving abilities.
The BSc programme is identical to the first three years of the MSci programme.
From Petrology to Petrogenesis
Mathematical Methods I
Mathematical Methods II
All first year courses are compulsory.
Electricity and Magnetism
Maps, Images and Structures
Mathematical Methods III
Structural Geology and Tectonics
Surface Processes and Structures
You will select 1.0 credit from the following options:
Physics of the Solar System
Field Methods in Active Tectonics
Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
You will select 1.5 credits from the following:
Climate and Energy
Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Evolution
Earth Resources and Sustainability
Physics of the Earth
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.
You will be assessed by a combination of written examinations, practical examinations, coursework, independent project reports and sometimes an oral examination.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Geophysics BSc.
Together with subject-specific skills, geophysics graduates have a wide range of transferable skills, developed through fieldwork, computer modelling and independent research, which are highly valued by employers in general, offering opportunities for careers in the City, commerce and government.
All our students are encouraged and helped towards making informed career choices. We have excellent relationships with many employers in diverse aspects of the Earth and planetary sciences, and students are actively guided towards achieving their potential at UCL in preparation for their future careers.
In addition to further study, main employment destinations include: exploration and production for mining, oil and engineering companies; groundwater resources management; investigating ground conditions associated with land use, such as planning, construction and waste disposal; geological surveying, and collecting geological information for maps and databases.
First destinations of recent graduates (2010-2012) of Geophysics programmes at UCL include:
- Geophysicist, Saudi Aramco (2011)
- Full-time student, PhD in Environmental Science at the University of Columbia (2011)
- Healthcare Assistant, Darent Valley Hospital (2010)
- Private Tutor, Enjoy Education (2010)
- Full-time student, PhD in Geophysics at UCL (2010)
*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.
Fees and funding
- UK & EU fee
- £9,000 (2015/16)
- Overseas fee
- £20,700 (2015/16)
Details about financial support are available at: Fees and funding
Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.
- Based on academic merit
The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.