- Build a strong platform for success in your studies: the foundation year is invaluable if you are thinking of a career change, keen to explore a new subject area or lack the formal qualifications to embark on our honours degree straight away
- Gain the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to complete this academically challenging and stimulating honours degree in four years
- 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
- 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 our Geology students were satisfied with the quality of their course, according to the 2018 National Student Survey.
A smooth transition to the honours degree
This four-year course is for you if you have the ability and ambition to study Geology and Environmental Hazards at Derby but perhaps lack the entry requirements to join our three-year honours degree directly. It is also a wise choice for anyone who is thinking of changing their career plans and would like to improve their knowledge of what may be a new area of study for them.
By starting your journey at foundation level, you will gain a solid introduction to the subject while developing the academic skills to prepare you for studying an honours degree. The foundation year covers geoscience, organisms and their environment, chemistry and physics as well as research and data handling.
Once you have successfully completed the foundation year, you can progress directly to the first stage of the honours degree with confidence. You won’t need to apply again for the full BSc (Hons) degree.
Hands-on learning experiences
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 with Foundation Year 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 second 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.
Bringing theory to life
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.
Realistic learning environments
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.
The perfect outdoor classroom
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 study modules such as:
- Study Skills in Science
- Research Methods in Data Handling
- Foundations in Geoscience
- Organisms and their Environment
- Principles of Chemistry
- Foundations in Physics
If you already have level 2 English and Maths, you will not be required to take English and Maths core modules.
- Fundamental Skills for Geoscientists (2) - This module is designed to help you develop a range of intellectual, personal and subject-related skills that are fundamental for geoscientists
- Environmental Hazards and Disasters - This module introduces natural environmental hazards and disasters in a global geographical and geological context, and looks at each of the major hazards affecting Earth’s surface, people and society
- The Stratigraphical Record (1) - The module will explain the principles of stratigraphy and provide an overview of the fossil record, both as an element of Earth history in its own right and as a tool for investigating other aspects of environmental change over geological time
- Rocks, Minerals and Gemstones (1) - This module will introduce you to the subject of rocks and minerals and origin of gemstones
- Earth Surface Processes and Environments (1) - This module will introduce you to the processes which have an impact on the surface of Planet Earth
- Resource Geology (1) - The aim of this module is to introduce the concepts of geological reserves and resources
- Geological Mapping and Applied Skills for Geoscientists (2) - This module introduces the basic geological techniques and procedures used in the compilation of geological maps and report
- Volcanology and the Earth's Interior (3) - This module seeks to promote an understanding of volcanology and the diversity of its processes, products and hazards
- Imaging Earth’s Surface and Subsurface (1) - The module aims to develop skills in the acquisition, processing and interpretation of images and data acquired by remote sensing of Earth’s surface and by subsurface geophysical techniques
- Water: Resource and Hazard - This module aims to develop a holistic, interdisciplinary understanding of water through a rigorous examination of both geographical as well as a geological analysis
- Preparing for Independent Study in Geoscience - This module aims to prepare students for their Independent study. Independent study often includes fieldwork which normally starts at the end of the second year
- Applied Environmental Hazards Workshop
- Economic Mineral Deposits (1) - The purpose of this module is to promote an appreciation of the natural processes and geological environments in which normally dispersed elements are concentrated into deposits of economic value
- Applied Sedimentology (2) - In this module, you will study the composition, texture, structures and field relationships of modern sediments and ancient sedimentary rocks
- Glacial Environments (1) - This module examines the nature of surface processes operating in cold environments and their role in landform development
- Deformed Terrains (2) - The purpose of this module is to introduce you to a range of tectonic and metamorphic features associated with deformed terrains
Industrial Placement Year (optional)
This course offers an ‘Industrial Placement Year’ giving you the opportunity to enhance your practical skills by putting theory into practice, network in your industry and stand-out in the graduate job market. The placement year takes place in your third year, once completed, you would return to University to complete your final year of studies.
- Independent Studies for Geoscience (2 or 3) - This module is a continuation of the process of Personal Development Planning (PDP) initiated in level 4 and 5, to develop an advanced skill-set which will enhance the graduateness and employability of students
- Applied Environmental Hazards
- Basin Analysis (3) - This module will examine sedimentary environments in tectonic settings, particularly focusing on commercial interests, during lectures
- Crustal Evolution (3) - This module provides a deep understanding of the origin, evolution and differentiation of the Earth’s continental crust
- Terrain Evaluation (1) - This module investigates the theory and practice of terrain evaluation with particular reference to engineering construction
- Engineering Geology (1) - The module is designed to develop your understanding of the mechanical properties of rocks, rock masses, soils and other unconsolidated materials in an engineering context
- Reconstructing Past Environments (1) - In this module students will learn how to reconstruct ancient environments through providing an integrated picture of the relationships between life and the environment
- Vocational Module (Work Placement) - This module provides an opportunity for students to obtain and undertake a placement with a company, voluntary body, the University of Derby or a public establishment
- Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation Perspectives - This module aims to develop a sound understanding of the nature and causes of climate change
- Applied GIS (1) - This module provides an appropriate portfolio of subject knowledge and applied skills typically required for an introductory position in the field of GIS or for going on to specialist postgraduate study in GIS
(1) Module includes fieldwork
(2) Module includes residential fieldwork
(3) Module includes residential overseas fieldwork
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||72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level||N/A|
|Specific requirements at GCSE|
GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2.
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 with Foundation Year 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.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† 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 samplesYour 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.
This is a new course so the data displayed via Unistats is for students studying in another subject area.