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Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences MSci & BSc degrees are intended as an entry route for high-level professional employment or postgraduate education.

This flexible programme allows you to select from the range of options offered across environmental geoscience, geology and geophysics. You may also graduate with a degree in Earth Sciences Palaeobiology or Environment and Policy dependent on your chosen courses.

Earth Sciences Degree

Other ES streams:

Further enquiries:

Dr Pieter Vermeesch

 

On entry to the programme, you will select a 'diet', following a pathway through the subject (General, Palaeobiology, or Environment and Policy). There is some overlap between these diets and opportunities to switch diets particularly in the first and the second year of study. The holistic nature of the subject is emphasized. Students should normally take at least four half course credits in the Earth Sciences Department each year. Optional modules based in other departments may be chosen from those listed for the Geology, Geophysics or Environmental Geoscience  degree programmes.

The first and second years provide core skills and knowledge in the subject. The third year provides opportunities for specialisation and diversification, with an emphasis on individual initiative and problem-based learning. Fieldwork provides a unique opportunity to develop independent and team skills and problem-solving abilities.

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.

Modules:

Year 1

On entry to the programme, students select one of the following streams through the programme: General, Palaeobiology or Environment & Policy.

Please note that places may be limited on GEOG* courses. However, you are requested to submit your choices on Portico and await approval from the Geography department.

Term 1 - Autumn Term

Module CodeCredit ValueModule Title
Compulsory:  
GEOL000115Earth Materials
GEOL000715The Earth
GEOL000815Geochemistry
 
Options:  
GEOL000515Foundations of Physical Geoscience (normally compulsory for students without A-Level Mathematics)
MATH004915Mathematics for Engineers I (students must have A-Level Mathematics)
GEOG0005 *15Earth: An Integrated System
BIOL000115Quantitative Biology
BIOL0004 15Life On Earth
HPSC0009 15Revealing Science
 

Term 2 - Spring Term

Module CodeCredit ValueModule Title
Compulsory:  
GEOL000215From Petrology to Petrogenesis
GEOL000315History of Life
GEOL000415Dynamic Earth
GEOL000615Surface Processes
Fieldwork:  
Dorset/Devon Coast Part of GEOL0006 Surface Processes(takes place in the Easter Vacation)
Cornwall/Devon Coast Part of GEOL0002 From Petrology to Petrogenesis
Year 2

Students may take 15 credits of a language in either Year 2 or Year 3.Please note that places may be limited on GEOG* courses. You are requested to submit your choices on Portico and await approval from the Geography department.

Term 1 - Autumn Term

Module CodeCredit ValueModule Title
Compulsory:  
GEOL001515Maps, Images & Structures
GEOL001615Structural Geology & Tectonics 
Options:  
GEOL000915Vertebrate Palaeontology & Evolution
GEOL001215Global Geophysics
GEOG001915Geomorphology 
GEOG002015Ecological Patterns and Processes 
GEOG002615Hydroclimatology 
HPSC001315Science in Popular Culture 
Fieldwork:  
Scotland Part of GEOL0015 Maps, Images & Structures (taken at the end of the preceding summer vacation)

Term 2 - Spring Term

Module CodeCredit ValueModule Title
Options   
GEOL0010 15Surface Processes & Structures 
GEOL001115Igneous Petrology
GEOL001315Principles of Climate
   
GEOL001715Isotope Geology 
GEOG002115Reconstructing Past Environments 
GEOG002715Environmental Remote Sensing 
HPSC003615Engaging the Public with Science 
Fieldwork:  
Pyrenees Part of GEOL0010 Surface Processes & Structures (taught in the Easter vacation)
Year 3

Students may take 15 credits of a language in either Year 2 or Year 3.

Term 1 - Autumn Term

Module CodeUnit ValueModule Title
Options:   
GEOL002115Biodiversity & Macroevolutionary Patterns
GEOL0022 15Ocean Physics & Climate Change 
GEOL002430Geological/Environmental Mapping Project
GEOL002915Seismology I 
GEOL0032 15Metamorphism and Metamorphic Processes
GEOG004415Global Environmental Change 
Fieldwork:  
Part of GEOL0024 Mapping Part of GEOL0024 Geological/Environmental Mapping Project

Term 1 & 2

Module CodeUnit ValueModule Title
Options:   
GEOL0014 15Geosciences Report

Term 2 - Spring Term

Module CodeUnit ValueModule Title
Options:   
GEOL002315Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building & Basin Evolution (fieldtrip only see below; no classroom element)
GEOL002515Earth Resources & Sustainability
GEOL005715Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
GEOL0027 15Groundwater Science 
GEOL002815Marine Geology
GEOL003015Seismology II 
GEOL0031  Advanced Geochemistry
Fieldwork:  
SE Spain GEOL0023 Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building & Basin Evolution
Year 4

MSci Co-ordinator: Prof. David Dobson

Before entry to the Fourth Year of an MSci course, a student should normally have passed at least 330 credits, with at least 105 credits at Level 6, and achieved a mean mark of at least 60% for the third year of study.

Term 1 - Autumn Term

Module CodeCredit ValueModule Title
Options:   
GEOL002615Earth & Planetary Materials 
GEOL004115Physical Volcanology & Volcanic Hazard
GEOL004315Tectonic Geomorphology
GEOL004415Palaeoceanography
GEOL0035 15Sustainable Management of the Environment 

Term 1 & 2

Module CodeCredit ValueModule Title
Compulsory:   
GEOL007245Independent MSci Project
GEOL003915Earth & Planetary System Science

Term 2 - Spring Term

Module CodeCredit ValueModule Title
Options:   
GEOL004215Earthquake Seismology & Earthquake Hazards
GEOL004515Palaeoclimatology
GEOL004015Melting and Volcanism
GEOL004615Deep Earth & Planetary Modelling 
GEOL003615Advanced Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Studies 
Fieldwork:  
Germany Part of GEOL0039 Earth & Planetary System Science

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.