Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120* (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



Joint Honours

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

What is Joint Honours?

A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects.

You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with.

Course description

Combine Geology with another subject to build an impressive and broad-based portfolio of skills.

You can also take Geology as a Single Honours subject.

The Geology Society Accreditation Logo

Why you should study Geology at the University of Derby

View Our Geology course video transcript

Top10in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching and feedback**Guardian University Guide 2020

If you’d like a career where you can harness broad scientific expertise and awareness of the earth around you, Geology Joint Honours will suit you down to the ground. 

Delve into a fascinating subject

Interested in the story of how our planet works and has changed over time? Want to know more about the evolution of life on Earth? Curious about hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes? Keen to safeguard the Earth’s energy, water and mineral resources? Then studying Geology as a Joint Honours is perfect for you.

Geology is the study of the Earth, what it’s made of, the processes which are changing it, and the essential resources it provides. It also explores the organisms that have lived on our planet and how the Earth has evolved through time. 

Tailor your course

The modules you study will depend on whether you select Geology as a major, joint or minor subject. We offer a wide range of optional modules to give you the flexibility to pursue your own areas of interest in the second and third stages of your course.

You can design your own distinctive routes to match your career aspirations. You could, for instance, choose to follow an applied or an environmental theme. 

Derby is where it all started, without the course I would never have been in the position I find myself in. The course gives you all the tools to specialise in an Earth Science career whether that be exploration, environmental or engineer.

Joseph O'Neill
Geology graduate

Exciting fieldwork opportunities

Derby is close to some of the country’s most important geological sites. With its limestone, sandstone and metal-bearing mineral veins, the Peak District National Park is a haven for geologists and the perfect outdoor classroom for you.

Fieldwork lies at the heart of this course and is vital for your career development. Apart from regular field trips to the Peak District and industrial site visits, there are opportunities to go further afield in the UK and abroad.

Our students have explored a broad variety of rocks and structures in Scotland, investigated sedimentary sequences in Wales, analysed volcanic processes in Tenerife, and studied mountain building processes in the Pyrenees.

Explore fieldwork

Academic showing a group of students a rock formation.

Excellent learning facilities

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.

We have invested in up-to-date facilities so that you can develop your practical skills in realistic environments. They include a spatial data laboratory, map library, as well as a purpose-built petrology laboratory, sedimentary laboratory, geotechnical laboratory and specialist computing laboratory.

Our student research laboratory gives you a dedicated space to conduct your independent investigations. 

A strong reputation for quality

We have accreditation from The Geological Society, which assures you that our teaching is of the highest quality and has been approved by an independent body of academics and industrialists.  If you major in Geology, your studies will satisfy the first stage of professional training to become a Chartered Geologist.

Learn from experienced geologists

You’ll be taught by an enthusiastic, forward-thinking team who are highly skilled and have an international reputation in geology. Our academics are active researchers whose work informs and inspires their teaching. They are undertaking important studies ranging from sedimentology to volcanology, glacial environments to land degradation.

We also 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. In addition, you could take part in careers events on and off campus, for example at the British Geological Survey. 

an iceberg

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC)

Specialising in securing clean environments, nature recovery, and resilience to natural hazards, we work collaboratively to safeguard our planet for future generations.

Learn more about our research Learn more about our research

What you will study

You can study Geology as either a joint, major or minor subject. This will determine how many modules you’ll study at each stage. Please check your other subject to ensure it is possible to create your chosen combination.


The modules you study will depend on whether you select Geology as a major, joint, or minor subject. 

You’ll study a selection of modules, such as:

  • 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
  • Earth Surface Processes and Environments (1)* - This module will introduce you to the processes which have an impact on the surface of Planet Earth
  • 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
  • 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 - 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Independent Studies in 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
  • 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

(1) Module includes fieldwork
(2) Module includes residential fieldwork
(3) Module includes residential overseas fieldwork

*Modules needed to qualify for the Geological Society Accreditation

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.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

You'll learn through lectures and laboratory-based practical sessions, tutorials, and fieldwork both in the UK and overseas. You will be taught by a team of enthusiastic and highly skilled geologists, many of whom are active researchers working with local and international research partners. You'll also have the opportunity to attend a range of guest lectures, research talks and careers events on and off-campus, for example at the British Geological Survey.

How you're assessed

We use a diverse range of assessment methods, including essays, reports, field and laboratory notebooks, portfolios, posters, oral presentations, digital presentations, 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.


This course is very practical and gives you the hands-on experience that you need to prepare you for your career. We have invested in our facilities to ensure that you learn in realistic environments, such as our new laboratories with modern equipment.

Take a look at our facilities

Students studying rock on residential fieldtrip to Anglesey

Geology fieldtrips

Fieldwork lies at the heart of our Geology degrees, enabling you to develop strong practical skills through a combination of residential and day trips across the UK and abroad.

Explore our fieldtripsExplore our fieldtrips

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120* (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

For joint honours degree entry you will need to choose two subjects. The entry criteria here is for this subject only. Your offer will be based on the higher entry criteria from the two subjects you choose to do. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

*The UCAS Points required for entry will depend on the subjects you choose to combine. The subject with the higher entry requirements will determine your offer.

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.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*

£1,155 per module*


£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

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


Taking Geology as a Joint Honours subject paves the way to a wide range of career opportunities, especially if you want to keep your options open.

We will equip you with a dynamic combination of professional skills, theoretical knowledge and practical expertise in geology. The Joint Honours programme also helps you to stand out as a well-organised, adaptable and flexible graduate in the eyes of employers.

The petroleum and mining industries are still major employers of our graduates but the geotechnical and environmental sectors are becoming increasingly important too. As a Derby graduate, you’ll be well placed 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.

Find out what some of our former students are up to now.

Programme leader

Dr Adrian Watson

Contact us

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.

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Additional information about your studies

You will typically study your two subjects equally at stage one, before choosing whether you want to major in one subject at stages two and three.

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

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Geology can be combined with:

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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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