Full-time: 4 years
£9,250 per year* (2020/21)
£14,045 per year (2020/21)
72 (September 2020 entry)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
- 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 or keen to explore a new subject area
- Geology at Derby is ranked in the Top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching and feedback, Guardian University Guide 2020
- 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 our four-year BSc (Hons) Geology with Foundation Year degree which is 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.
*Accreditation from The Geological Society applies to the four year BSc (Hons) Geology with Foundation Year course only
Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
Top10 in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching and feedback *
Geology at Derby
Unravel the history of the Earth and prepare for a rewarding future exploring and managing its resources. The ever-increasing demands on our planet have created a series of global challenges for both our environment and our resource requirements. These can only be solved through the development of a multidisciplinary workforce, which includes talented geologists.
Geologists play a key role in the environmental agenda due to their scientific knowledge of Earth’s past and present, as well as innovative modelling for the future. With opportunities for internships, volunteering and placements, our hands-on approach to study will ensure you are ready to tackle global challenges and help to safeguard Earth’s limited resources. You could also study abroad, like past final year students who have taken part in projects in Italy, Spain and France.
Quality research underpins and enriches our courses. Our facilities include a student research lab where you can conduct independent investigations and you may have the opportunity to assist our academics’ research too, helping to strengthen your employability. Through a combination of broad-based training and specialist studies, you will have the professional skills, theoretical knowledge and practical expertise to go into a wide range of employment. You’ll be well placed to respond to the changes in the geology profession and to enter roles in areas such as resources exploration and exploitation, engineering geology, environmental consultancy and monitoring, pollution control, and waste or water supply management.
An important part of our provision is practical field-based learning. Our excellent location at the edge of the Peak District National Park provides easy access to world-class field sites; this is complemented by a range of international residential trips that have recently included Tenerife, the USA and Morocco. As a student with us, you will have the opportunity to engage with our diverse range of researchers exploring globally important issues such as plate tectonic modelling, enhanced prediction of volcanic activity, unravelling global climate change, finding rare earth minerals, sustainable development and conservation strategies.
As part of your studies, you’ll look at the applications of geology in a wide range of areas, the course offers optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to a career path or area of interest, such as:
- Rocks and minerals
- Fossils and palaeoenvironments
- Natural resources
- Sedimentary processes
- How the Earth works
- Site investigation
At the University of Derby you'll be working with lecturers and tutors who have a wealth of experience in their chosen profession, so you're getting industry-relevant teaching to help you shine in your chosen career. Many are also involved in research, bringing the latest theories into the classroom. You may have the opportunity to get involved in their research projects and create new knowledge in the field of geology, helping to boost your employability. Current research includes:
- Plate tectonics
- Glacial environments
- Rare earth metals
Our academics work closely with research partners in the UK and overseas. If you take the chance to study abroad in the second year of your course, you will also learn from lecturers based in other countries who have different knowledge, skills and perspectives on geology.
We call on our network of contacts across the profession to deliver thought-provoking guest lectures at the University. Topics have ranged from how the Himalayan mountain chain formed to new technologies in petroleum exploration. You could also take part in careers events on and off campus, for example at the British Geological Survey.
Along with lectures and fieldwork, you’ll learn through laboratory-based practical sessions and will receive training in the use of industry-standard geological equipment.
Broaden your knowledge with access to thousands of rock and fossil samples, explore specimens magnified up to 20-30,00 times with our Scanning Electron Microscope, and take full advantage of our specialist sedimentology, petrology and geotechnical laboratories.
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
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
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.
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.
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.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
Who will teach you
Dr Adrian Watson
September 2020 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|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.
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|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.
£9,250 per year*
£14,045 per year
* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
Our BSc (Hons) Geology with Foundation Year opens up many career opportunities. Through a dynamic combination of broad-based training and specialist studies, you will have the professional skills, theoretical knowledge and practical expertise to go into a wide range of employment.
The petroleum and mining industries are major employers of our geology graduates but the geotechnical and environmental sectors are becoming increasingly important too. As a Derby graduate, you’ll be well placed to respond to the changes in the geology profession and to enter roles in areas such as resources exploration and exploitation, engineering geology, environmental consultancy and monitoring, pollution control, and waste or water supply management.
The self-reliance, communication and transferable skills you gain on the course also ensure you’re well suited for any type of employment where environmental awareness and broad scientific expertise are valued.
Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable transferable skills, including:
- Written and verbal communication
- Research and analytical
- Personal motivation, organisation and self-reflection
- IT literacy
- Critical awareness
Careers and Employment Service
To boost your employment skills, you can access the University's Careers and Employment Service. The team can connect you with employers to help find opportunities for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. Our careers consultants are also on hand to guide you through the career options for your degree, CV writing, or starting your own business - and we commit to helping you for three years after you graduate to find a job.
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, excellent 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.