GeoScience Survey

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about an exciting new course at the University of Derby. Graduates are in high demand in the geosciences, so we want to work with you to ensure you feel inspired to pursue a career in this growing area.

Geoscience Survey

We appreciate your support in developing our new Geoscience course and really value your feedback. Dr Sian Davies-Vollum, Head of School for Built and Natural Environment has created a short video detailing more about the proposed course, which is displayed below. 

Please take the time to read all of the content on this page and then complete the survey.

Complete our survey

The Modern Geoscientist

A male and female academic examining maps with a male and female student.

View the Modern Geoscientist video transcript and audio description

What is Geoscience?

When you think of Geoscience, you probably think of fossil fuels, oils and gases but did you know that it has a fundamental role in helping the world achieve its sustainability targets? 

Renewable energy and sustainable solutions are in greater demand now than ever before. Without geoscientists, the materials needed to create innovative technologies such as electric cars, wind turbines and solar panels, can't be extracted from the Earth. Geoscientists are skilled in sourcing and safely extracting materials that advance our green economy.

It's not just the sustainability agenda that geoscientists are contributing to, did you know that the metals in your smartphones and laptops are also safely extracted by geoscientists, and demand is growing. The World Bank states that over 5,000 years we have mined 550,000,000 tonnes of copper – it estimates that we need to mine the same amount in the next 25 years to meet the demand for low carbon technologies. 

A geoscientist has the unique ability to understand the earth in four dimensions and is able to comprehend structure and processes at and below the surface of the planet. They are skilled in problem-solving, data visualisation, deductive thinking and assessing risk and uncertainty. This skill set, together with a knowledge of Earth’s resources, materials, systems and cycles mean that a geoscientist has the expertise to address some of society’s biggest challenges. 

We need geoscientists to:

The future of geoscience is exciting and will continue to power advances in technology - be a part of it. 

a volcano covered in snow smoking

New Geoscience course at Derby

Our future-focused, innovative Geoscience degree will play an important part in the worlds sustainable future, as you will graduate with the vital skills and knowledge required to tackle the pressing issues our planet and societies are facing. You will be prepared to solve the problems of providing clean energy, sustainable earth resources and safe, secure living environments.

Our Geoscience course allows you to choose one of three pathways which will enable you to explore different areas of geoscience. The pathways are designed to draw on three key areas of geoscience: Geological Resources, Environmental Hazards and Geo-environmental Solutions. 

Who is this course for?

This course is for those who are interested in the future of the Earth - its resources, societies and habitats. Whether you are interested in the development of clean energy, environmental management, hazard risk reduction, or reducing the impact of climate change, this degree has the breadth to allow you to obtain a career in the development of a sustainable future for the planet.  

a geothermal spring bubbling with hot water

Expert Teaching

This is a research-led degree, which means you will be taught by expert staff who are conducting influential studies across a breadth of topics - examples of their current research includes unravelling climate change, finding rare Earth minerals, sustainable development, plate tectonic modelling and enhanced production of volcanic activity. You will benefit from this research as their lecturers bring the latest thinking to their studies. As part of the course, you will conduct your own research and have the opportunity to contribute to the cutting-edge research projects underway at the University.

Demand for new thinking

As the harsh reality of the impacts of climate change and the sustainability of the world's resources begin to resonate, the need for innovation, bold ideas, and fresh thinking is growing in demand from countries all over the world. With an expected expansion of a green, post-covid economy and growing public interest in the environment, the growing graduate market place shows demand for skilled geo-environmental scientists. 

To meet this rising demand and ensure you graduate with skills that can be applied in the UK and globally, the content of the course is designed to support a range of key initiatives from all over the world. These include international agreements such as the ‘United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’, the ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’, and the ‘Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction’. On a national level, the content of the course addresses the goals set by the ‘25-year Environment Plan’, ‘Industrial Strategy’, the ‘UK Minerals Strategy’, and the ‘UK Energy Policy'.

Facilities and Fieldwork

You will have access to industry-standard specialist equipment and software including, field spectrometers, a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), terrestrial laser scanners (TLS), Global Navigation Satellite systems (GNSS/GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). You will also have access to bespoke laboratory spaces, a map library, and digital geospatial data via Edina Digimap.

The course also incorporates fieldwork, mainly UK based, to guarantee that you will graduate with the right attributes, competencies and knowledge expected in the industry. You will also be given the opportunity to gain work experience either through an Industrial Placement Year or by selecting the Industrial Project module in your Third Year, where you will apply theories in a practical setting, ensuring you will be ready for the world of work and able to implement these critical changes and make a difference to the Earth's future. 
Person sitting on top of a rock writing in a notebook

Course modules

  • Earth Resources
  • Earth Materials
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Earth Systems and Cycles
  • Global Environmental Issues
  • Skills for Geoscience
  • GIS and Spatial Analysis
  • Research Methods and Data Analysis
  • Field Shell Module
  • Hazards and Society Pathway - Tectonic Hazards: Earthquakes and Volcanoes; Hydro-meteorological Hazards; Hazards and Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Geological Resources Pathway - Sustainable Mineral Resources; GeoEnergy; Geophysics and Computer Modelling
  • Geo-environmental Pathway - Soils and Surficial Geology; Floods and SUDS; Geomorphology
  • Optional Placement Year
  • Independent Study or Industrial Project
  • Hazards and Society Pathway - Risk Reduction and Hazard Management; Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation; Applied Environmental Hazards. Optional modules: SIM module; Applied GIS; Global Food Security; Sustainable Clean Water; Geo-environmental Engineering 
  • Sustainable Geological Resources Pathway - Applied Basin Analysis; Advanced Mineral Deposits; Sustainable Water. Optional Modules: SIM module; Applied GIS; Climate change: Mitigation and Adaptation; Environmental Management and Policy; Geo-environmental Engineering
  • Geo-environmental Pathway - Environmental Management and Policy; Restoration and Reclamation: Contamination and Remediation; Geo-environmental Engineering. Optional Modules: SIM module; Applied GIS; Sustainable Water; Risk Reduction and Hazard Management

Career opportunities

Geoscientists have exciting futures as the global commitments to decarbonisation, the circular economy, and restoring the natural environment will likely result in new expectations placed on professional geoscientists and new career-paths available to graduates. The green economy is growing and providing career opportunities for those with a strong understanding of the earth systems, climate change and environmental sustainability along with knowledge of the built environment, and will develop in areas such as:

The top UK companies are all posting sector growth of 10%+ and the growing graduate market place shows skilled geo-environmental scientists are in demand with the top 28 UK firms hiring an additional 833 environmental consultants in 2017, equivalent to year on year growth of 7.2% (IEMA, 2019).

Your skills will be in high demand in the green sector of the economy, and will be closely aligned to the goals outlined in international agreements, such as The United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable skills, including: