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 your students 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 of Built and Natural Environment, introduces our new Geoscience degree and explains how Geoscience is the key to a sustainable future in the video below.

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

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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?

Geoscience is a combination of geology, astronomy, meteorology and oceanography, which encompasses a broad area of topics including, environmental sciences, ecology, geology, geography, hydrology, mineralogy, paleontology, and volcanology. Geoscience focuses on areas such as renewable energy, environmental protection, the Earth's resources, and policymaking, all designed to resolve the resource, energy, and secure and sustainable infrastructural challenges facing the planet. 

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 means that a geoscientist has the expertise to address some of society’s biggest challenges. 

We need geoscientists to:

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 students will graduate with the vital skills and knowledge required to tackle the pressing issues our planet and societies are facing. Graduates will be prepared to solve the problems of providing clean energy, sustainable earth resources and safe, secure living environments.

Our Geoscience course allows students to choose one of three pathways which will enable them 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 students 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 students to obtain careers 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 students 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. Students will benefit from this research as their lecturers bring the latest thinking to their studies. As part of the course, they will conduct their 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 students 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

Students 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). They 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 students graduate with the right attributes, competencies and knowledge expected in the industry. Students will also be given the opportunity to gain work experience either through an Industrial Placement Year or the Industrial Project module, where they will apply theories in a practical setting and will be ready for the world of work 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).

Student studying this course will develop skills that 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, students will gain valuable skills, including: