- Geology at Derby is ranked third for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2019
- 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
- Geology at Derby is ranked fifth nationally for student satisfaction with course, second for satisfaction with teaching and third for satisfaction with feedback according to the Guardian University Guide 2019
- Gain the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to complete this academically challenging and stimulating honours degree in four years
- Prepare to join a profession where high-calibre graduates are in great demand across the world
- Meet rigorous standards on a degree accredited by The Geological Society and take your first step towards becoming a Chartered Geologist
- Make the most of the exceptional geology of the Peak District National Park which lies right on our doorstep
- Hone your skills through challenging fieldwork: our students have undertaken geological investigations in Snowdonia, Scotland, Tenerife and the Pyrenees
- Explore environmental hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes
- Learn from an enthusiastic and experienced team of research active staff
You can also take Geology as a Joint Honours subject.
Developed with your future employment in mind, this course is your stepping stone to a career exploring, producing and managing the Earth’s resources.
A smooth transition to the honours degree
This four-year course is for you if youhave the ability and ambition to study Geology 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.
An in-depth understanding of the Earth
How does our planet work? How has it changed over time? How did life evolve on Earth? How can we safeguard our energy, water and mineral resources? How should we tackle environmental hazards?
You can explore these and many other important questions on the BSc (Hons) Geology with Foundation Year. You’ll enjoy fascinating insights into the Earth, what it’s made of, the processes which are changing it, the essential resources it provides and the organisms that have lived here.
The knowledge and skills you gain will open doors to a vast range of careers – from the petroleum and mining industries to the geotechnical and environmental sectors.
Reach high professional standards
You’ll be studying for a degree which has received the stamp of approval from an independent body of academics and industrialists. Because it is accredited by The Geological Society, you can be sure that your course offers high quality teaching and professional relevance.
The Society’s endorsement helps enhance your credibility in the graduate job market and puts you on a fast-track route if you decide to apply to become a Chartered Geologist or Chartered Scientist. Qualifying from an accredited course reduces the amount of professional experience you will need to demonstrate when you apply.
Your classroom in the great outdoors
At Derby you’ll discover some of the country’s most important geological sites right on your doorstep. The nearby Peak District National Park has long been a magnet for geologists keen to explore its limestone, sandstone and metal-bearing mineral veins.
As a first-year student, you will receive free basic field equipment to help you make the most of this giant outdoor classroom. The pack 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.
Fieldwork at home and overseas
Field skills are essential for any geologist’s career development, so we provide ample opportunity for you to put theory into practice and gain hands-on experience. Along with regular fieldtrips to the Peak District and visits to industrial sites, you could find yourself honing your skills further afield in the UK and abroad.
Our Geology students have, for instance, investigated a broad variety of rocks and structures in Scotland, studied sedimentary sequences in Wales, analysed volcanic processes, environments and hazards in Tenerife, and explored mountain building processes in the Pyrenees.
Explore our fieldtrips
Modern labs with industry-standard resources
Laboratory-based practical sessions will be integral to your studies and we offer full training to help you harness industry-standard geological equipment.
Our high-quality include a spatial data laboratory, petrology laboratory, sedimentary laboratory, geotechnical laboratory and specialist computing laboratory as well as a map library. We have thousands of rock, mineral and fossil samples from all over the world to help you deepen your knowledge of rock formation and its role in the history of Earth.
For your independent investigations, you will also have a dedicated space in our student research laboratory.
An expert team to guide you
We have an international reputation for the quality of our geology research. Our academics are conducting influential studies into subjects such as sedimentology, volcanology, glacial environments and land degradation. It means that teaching on your degree is informed and inspired by the very latest developments and debates in geology.
Our strong associations with research partners in the UK and overseas bring an extra dimension to your studies. If you take the chance to study abroad in stage two of your degree, you will gain fresh perspectives from lecturers based in other countries.
A vibrant programme of guest lectures also sheds new light on current topics within the profession. Themes have ranged from how the Himalayan mountain chain formed to new technologies in petroleum exploration. In addition, we give you the chance to take part in careers events on and off campus, for example at the British Geological Survey.
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.
- Rocks, Minerals and Gemstones (1) - This module will introduce you to the subject of rocks and minerals and origin of gemstones
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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 reports
- 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
- 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
- Applied Sedimentology (2) - In this module, you will study the composition, texture, structures and field relationships of modern sediments and ancient sedimentary rocks
- Deformed Terrains (2) - The purpose of this module is to introduce you to a range of tectonic and metamorphic features associated with deformed terrains
- Glacial Environments (1) - This module examines the nature of surface processes operating in cold environments and their role in landform development
- 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
- 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
- Study Abroad Module - This is a block credit module primarily for Geography and Geology single honours students who undertake 1 semester of overseas study as part of their degree programme
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Terrain Evaluation (1) - This module investigates the theory and practice of terrain evaluation with particular reference to engineering construction
- 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
(1) Module includes fieldwork
(2) Module includes residential fieldwork
(3) Module includes residential overseas fieldwork
You are expected to put 200 hours of work into each module, and you will normally take 3 modules per semester. In a typical Geology module, you will spend 6 hours per week in lectures, practical classes and tutorials. Some modules include field day, or residential fieldwork ranging from 5 to 12 days.
You’ll learn through lectures, laboratory-based practical sessions, tutorials and fieldwork in the UK and overseas. For example, you’ll visit Scotland and Snowdonia to learn how to make a geological map, Anglesey to study metamorphism and deformation, and Tenerife to analyse volcanic processes. In your third year, you will study mountain building processes in the Pyrenees. You’ll be taught by a team of enthusiastic and highly skilled geologists, who are active researchers working with local and international research partners.
This course is very practical and gives you the hands-on experience that you need to prepare you for your future career. We have invested in our facilities to ensure that you learn in realistic environments in new laboratories with modern equipment. Take a look at our facilities.
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.
We are committed to equipping you with the professional skills, theoretical knowledge and practical expertise which will serve you well in a vast range of graduate careers. We also foster your personal attributes such as self-reliance, communication and leadership to help set you apart in the eyes of a prospective employer.
When you complete your course, you will be well prepared to respond to the changes which are transforming the geology profession today. While the petroleum and mining industries remain major employers of Geology graduates, there are growing opportunities in the geotechnical and environmental sectors too.
You could secure fulfilling and challenging roles in areas such as resources exploration and exploitation, engineering geology, environmental consultancy and monitoring, pollution control, and waste or water supply management. In fact, the skills you gain at Derby will make you well suited for any type of employment where environmental awareness and broad scientific expertise are valued.
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
- You will also be provided with a laboratory coat, safety glasses, hard hat and high visibility vest for fieldwork
- Your day and residential field trips 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, The Pyrenees, N. Wales and NW. Scotland
- Full access to Digimap online and downloadable mapping service
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- You will need to purchase mandatory appropriate clothing and footwear for field trips - approx cost £100
- Field mapping as part of your final year independent study incurs a cost for transport and accommodation, this is variable depending on destination- approximate cost is £1000. Field supervision is provided by geology staff for all students undertaking the IS final year field project
Optional costs not included in your fees
- You may wish to purchase optional maps, textbooks or e-books to support your study 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.