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.
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The Modern Geoscientist
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:
- Supply sustainable energy
- Source minerals for green technologies
- Build safe urban infrastructures
- Ensure clean, viable water resources
- Protect society from natural hazards
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.
- Sustainable Geological Resources: this pathway focuses on sustainable extraction of mineral, energy and water resources, include sourcing and extracting critical minerals needed for green technologies; understanding the subsurface to harness geothermal energy; and sustainable use of groundwater resources. This will appeal to those with an interest in the role Geoscience has in sustainable use of critical Earth materials and resources
- Hazards and Society: this pathway focuses on understanding and managing environmental hazards. It encompasses climate change related hazards as well as those related to geological processes, including climate related hazards important to the UK (floods and coastal erosion), the link between hazards and development and managing hazard risk. This will appeal to those interested in the role Geoscience has in understanding and mitigating the impact of environmental hazards and climate change
- Geo-environmental Solutions: this pathway focuses on understanding the earth’s environmental systems and identifying, solving, managing and mitigating environmental problems, including geological engineering, sustainable urban drainage and land remediation and reclamation. This will appeal to those with an interest in the role Geoscience has in underpinning infrastructural developments and building environmentally sustainable living environments
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.
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.
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:
- Carbon capture
- Rewilding initiatives
- Contaminated land
- Flood risk management
- Green spaces
- Sustainable mining
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:
- Scientific writing and use of scientific software
- Written and verbal communication
- Research and statistical analysis
- Data handling and analysis
- Personal motivation, organisation and self-reflection
- Digital competency
- Laboratory and fieldwork data collection and analysis
- Critical awareness
- Project management