From earthquakes to mudslides, flooding to volcanic activity, tsunami to avalanches, natural disasters regularly dominate our news. One of only a few courses of its kind in the UK, the BSc (Hons) Geology and Environmental Hazards takes you behind the headlines, giving you scientific insights into how such events are triggered and what we can do to address them.
- Discover the causes of hazards and the fascinating processes which take place on and within the Earth
- Explore hazards ranging from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, coastal erosion to landslides, drought to flooding
- Gain highly specialised skills and knowledge which will prepare you for careers which are critical to our collective global future
- Benefit from a powerful combination of latest theories, practical work and field studies, with a strong emphasis on hands-on experience
- Investigate active hazards on fascinating fieldtrips: in the past our students have conducted fieldwork as far afield as the USA and Tenerife
- Study amid some of the most outstanding geology and landscapes in the British Isles, with the Peak District National Park right on your doorstep
- Join a university with an outstanding reputation in this field: Geology at Derby was ranked second for both teaching quality and student experience in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018
- Learn from friendly, supportive and expert staff whose research is breaking new ground in many aspects of geoscience
- Look forward to a first-rate learning experience: 95.1% of students said that they were satisfied with the overall quality of the course, according to the National Student Survey, 2018
On the frontline of tackling hazards
High-calibre graduate geologists are in great demand across the world – and our BSc (Hons) Geology and Environmental Hazards gives you specialist skills and knowledge for careers in one of the most challenging branches of geology.
While it has a strong focus on geology, the course takes applied and multidisciplinary approaches to address real-world problems caused by environmental hazards. It explores important questions at a time when climate change, population growth and the exploitation of natural resources are intensifying the pressure on our planet.
You’ll delve into fascinating aspects of how the Earth works, how it has evolved over time and the essential resources it provides. In particular you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the tectonic, climatic and geomorphological processes which cause environmental hazards and the different measures we can take to prevent and manage those hazards.
The scope of this subject reaches from the local to the global, so you will look at everything from slope stability and flood management in Derbyshire to climate change on an international scale.
Focus on your practical skills
We specialise in real-world learning, providing you with plenty of opportunities to translate theory into practice. Most of the modules on the BSc (Hons) Geology and Environmental Hazards feature training in technical, practical and fieldwork skills. Field-based study is integrated across all years of the course and you will become familiar with innovative techniques in areas like spatial analysis.
To equip you for the challenge, you will receive free basic field equipment in your first year. The kit includes a compass clinometer, hand lens, hard hat, high-visibility jacket, professional field notebook and copies of the British Geological Survey geological map of the UK.
An exciting programme of fieldtrips
Vital for your career development, fieldwork is at the heart of this course and we offer a range of opportunities* which may include overseas study tours. Locally, you could find yourself taking regular fieldtrips into the Peak District, touring industrial sites, exploring flood risks on the river Trent or visiting the British Geological Survey site.
Further afield, you could have the chance to visit areas of active natural hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, floods and drought. In the past our students have investigated volcanic processes and hazards amid the spectacular scenery of Tenerife or explored how sedimentary basins were formed through crustal collision in the North Pyrenees of France.
They have also visited the Pacific Northwest of America to conduct a series of fieldwork-based case studies exploring earth-surface hazards, their effects on people and their management. Highlights included visiting the sites of the 1980 Mount St Helens eruption and earthquake-prone areas of downtown Seattle.
Explore our fieldtrips
*Please note that our programme of fieldtrips is subject to change.
Exceptional learning facilities
You’ll have every opportunity to develop your practical skills in realistic environments. Our facilities include a spatial data laboratory as well as purpose-built petrology, sedimentary, geotechnical and specialist computing laboratories. We also provide a student research laboratory which gives you a dedicated space for conducting your independent investigations.
The labs house thousands of rock, mineral and fossil samples from across the world, helping deepen your understanding of rock formations and their role in the history of the Earth.
Expertise to inspire you
You’ll be taught by our team of highly skilled geoscientists who are passionate about their subjects and committed to your academic and career success. They include active researchers, respected authors and experienced consultants who regularly work with local and international partners.
The team has been commended by quality inspectors and Geology teaching at Derby was ranked second in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
Our staff are conducting influential studies into everything from climate and coastal change to volcanology and glaciology. Such research will underpin the teaching on your course, ensuring that you are kept up to date with latest debates and thinking.
Strong professional and academic networks also enrich the University’s vibrant programme of guest lectures. These give you fresh perspectives on topical themes.
A qualification with credibility
Our close links with The Geological Society help ensure that you benefit from a learning experience which reflects the highest professional standards. Our BSc (Hons) Geology has accreditation from the Society and we will be seeking a similar stamp of approval for this new course. Graduating from an accredited course puts you on the fast track to becoming a Chartered Geologist or Scientist because it reduces the amount of professional experience you need before making your application.
Our Geology teaching has received a major vote of confidence from students themselves too: in the 2018 National Student Survey, 95.1% of our Geology students said they were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. This was followed by a second place ranking for student experience in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
An ideal setting for Geology studies
In a location just a stone’s throw away from the Peak District, Derby is an excellent base for aspiring geoscientists. You’ll be studying close to some of the country’s most important geological sites and will have every opportunity to conduct fieldwork in and around the National Park, with its limestone, sandstone and metal-bearing mineral veins.
From exploring the ‘Blue John’ caverns of Castleton to interpreting the landscape in rugged gritstone uplands, you’ll discover the perfect outdoor classroom in close proximity.
You’ll learn through lectures, laboratory-based practical sessions, tutorials and fieldwork in the UK and overseas. For example, you could visit Scotland and Snowdonia to learn how to make a geological map, Anglesey to study metamorphism and deformation, and Tenerife to analyse volcanic processes. You’ll be taught by a team of enthusiastic and highly skilled geologists, who are active researchers working with local and international research partners.
How you're assessed
We use a diverse range of assessment methods, including essays, reports, field and laboratory notebooks, portfolios, posters, oral presentations, presentations on social media and exams. You may be assessed individually or as part of a group. We’ve mapped our assessments against key graduate skillsets that employers require.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
At least a C in Science or Social Science at A-level (or equivalent qualification)
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
Highly practical and industry-relevant, our BSc (Hons) Geology and Environmental Hazards opens up many challenging and rewarding career opportunities worldwide. There are now a growing number of roles which involve planning for, mitigating and managing natural hazards as well as helping to reduce the impact of climate change, pollution and population pressure. However, this degree also equips you with invaluable transferable skills that can be used across many areas of employment.
By the time you graduate, you’ll have developed a full range of professional skills, theoretical knowledge and practical experience to impress prospective employers. You’ll also have the wide-ranging transferable skills, vision and self-reliance which will make you well suited to any organisation where environmental awareness and broad scientific knowledge are valued. Our graduates have gone on to secure posts in environmental consultancy, pollution control, geotechnical engineering and even the BBC’s Natural History Unit.
You could also consider taking your geological expertise to the next level by studying for a masters degree such as our MSc Environmental Assessment and Control. In an exciting new development, we are also launching an interdisciplinary MSc in Intelligence, Security and Disaster Management in September 2018. This specialist MSc will be particularly beneficial for anyone keen to pursue a career in the field of environmental hazards.
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Included in your fees
- You will be provided with field equipment, maps, a hand lens, compass clinometer, field note book and grain size chart. You will also be provided with a hard hat and high visibility vest for field work
- Practical materials for laboratory classes include maps from our map library and geological samples
- Your day and residential fieldtrips in core and prescribed modules: one in your first year, three in your second year, and two in your third year. Previous destinations have included Tenerife, N. Wales and NW. Scotland
- Full access to Digimap online and a downloadable mapping service
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- You will need to purchase appropriate clothing and footwear for fieldtrips - approximate cost is £100
- Field mapping as part of your final year independent study incurs a cost for transport and accommodation, this is variable depending on the destination - approximate cost is £1000
Optional costs not included in your fees
- You may wish to purchase optional maps, textbooks or e-books to support your studies - costs for these are dependent on what you choose to purchase - approximate cost is £100
- Professional body accreditation from the Geological Society, satisfying the early stage of chartered geologist status
- We have built fantastic links with universities overseas to give you the opportunity to study abroad in your second year
- Credit-bearing work placement opportunities are embedded in the programme and so costs for travel would need to be considered
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.