Undergraduate study
 
 

Course overview

Studying geology is studying the Earth – the materials it’s made of, their structure and the processes acting on them. It’s a huge science that overlaps with other sciences, maths and engineering.

The BSc (Hons) Geology provides you with the knowledge and understanding of a range of applied geoscience disciplines. You develop core geological skills in sedimentology, igneous and metamorphic geology, and structural geology.

The first two years of study give a thorough grounding in the major principles of geology, together with an overview of earth system science and the fundamentals of mineralogy, stratigraphy, geological maps and surveying.

The course includes a field-based module during each year to ensure you are confident using geology field skills, surveying, geological mapping and environmental impact assessments. In the final year you have the opportunity to apply these skills within a range of professional and technical environments including the option of an international field trip and focused modules aimed at enhancing employability.

A key benefit to studying geology at Teesside University is the learning linked to our location. Fieldwork is integral to our programme – Teesside is ideally placed to explore the geological diversity of its region.

Study the North Jurassic coast running from Saltburn to Scarborough – also known as Yorkshire’s Jurassic Park where rocks from the Jurassic period are exposed along the Yorkshire coast in a series of cliffs and bays. Also within easy reach are the unique North York Moors, a manmade moorland created by Neolithic man and the Yorkshire Dales, limestone upland and unique limestone pavements.

All these locations provide opportunities to gain valuable practical experience. In the final year you have the option to take part in an overseas field trip.

You develop your technical background so that you can work in a range of careers. This degree enables you to develop as broad a skills portfolio as possible.

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Core Skills in Life Sciences

Knowledge of the degree subject is not the only thing you learn whilst at university and it’s not the only thing that potential employers are looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills applicable for a variety of career pathways These include your ability to articulate yourself clearly, confidently and effectively to different audiences; to work independently or on your own initiative demonstrating creativity and adaptability when tackling problems where you don’t have all the necessary information available; to locate information and critically assess its usefulness; and to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess your own performance, giving you the chance to recognise and build on your strengths, and identify and improve your weaknesses as a way to raise your aspirations. This module also introduces you to basic principles and good practice in collecting, recording and evaluating data, and using information resources and referencing. You also consider the assessment and handling of scientific errors. You review a range of basic mathematical skills and introduce statistical methods that are essential in a wide range of scientific endeavour. Emphasis is placed on using spreadsheets for data recording, presentation and statistical analysis.


Earth Sciences

You are introduced to the concepts of the earth as a system and develops the skills used to investigate environmental issues. It begins by considering, rocks and minerals, the fundamental building blocks of the planet. Using this knowledge the internal physical and chemical structure of the planet can be defined, from which deep earth structure and processes can be deduced. This includes the theory of plate tectonics, which in 50 years has revolutionized our understanding of the development of the planet, its atmosphere and the evolution of life.

Complex interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere are at the heart of current environmental issues, such as climate change, which will influence the immediate future of every aspect of life and commerce, perhaps even including survival of the species. Lectures, seminars, classroom problems and practical work are used to develop observational and data recording skills, culminating in a field-based activity to acquire data relating to a real-world environmental problem. The module is intended for those who have little or no previous experience of earth science and/or geoscience to enable them to appreciate environmental science in the context of the earth as a dynamic spatial system which evolves with time and human intervention.

Interpreting Environments

You are introduced to key approaches to geographical enquiry, covering key concepts in spatial thinking, and quantitative and qualitative methods of enquiry. Through lectures and hands-on practical activities, the module outlines how we understand and visualise the world around us, from simple hand-drawn maps to an introduction to Geographical Information Systems.

You then explore different ways in which geographers interpret the world, through both quantitative approaches, such as questionnaires, and qualitative approaches, such as interviews and participatory research. You also gain hands on experience in these techniques, learning to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and what each technique can tell us.

Introduction to Geotechnics and Surveying

The measurement of large items in 3D space using various techniques and equipment are practised and associated errors examined. The subject will be introduced in lectures, the topic will be explored and your skills will be developed through a series of practical sessions.

Assessment will be by written assignment and calculation and an end examination.

Physical Geography and Geology Fieldwork

You are introduced to the concept of fieldwork in physical geography, and develops skills used to plan fieldwork, collect data, and describe and understand what they have done. You develop your understanding of the linkage between global themes and local processes, by exploring how understanding the spatial and temporal nature of physical processes at the local scale can inform our understanding of our environment at different scales. Fieldwork is focused on the landscapes and environments of the north of England, an area replete with opportunities to study past and present landscape evolution.

Rocks, Minerals and Fossils

You are introduced to geology as a scientific subject studying the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet and how this has all changed over time

 

Year 2 core modules

Earth Observation and Geographical Information Systems

You are introduced to spatial thinking, and geospatial analysis and remote sensing using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). You use computer-based practical exercises to guide you through the fundamentals of thinking about spatial problems, collecting relevant spatial data, and undertaking spatial analysis to explore and explain the spatial problems and phenomena which are fundamental to geographical analysis.

You also learn how to use industry standard approaches and software packages, including opensource packages, for managing, processing, analysing, and presenting data for different purposes and audiences.

Geotechnology and Earth Catastrophes

This module provides you with an introduction to the engineering characteristics of geological material and the formation of rocks and soils. It provides a basic understanding of the use of rocks and soils in construction.

You also explore the fundamental nature of the catastrophic processes that have shaped the earth and the environment we live in and the materials, such as the soils and rocks that we use.

We look at cosmology and global catastrophes, the origin of the universe, dynamic earth and structure, life on earth and extinction, meteorite impacts, internal and external earth processes, plate tectonics, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and atmospheric circulation.

We explore common rock types, mode of formation and identification, the role of ground investigation in the measurement of geotechnical parameters and landslides and related phenomena.

We use lectures, involving practical demonstrations, to outline the concepts and techniques augmented with class discussions of case studies. You use tutorials and assignments to gain skills in applying the techniques to designs. During the tutorial sessions we can give additional help to direct your further study.

At the end of the module you will have a working knowledge of soil and rocks how they are formed and how they impact on the stability of buildings. You will understand how earth processes affect civilisations.

Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

You gain an in depth knowledge of the description, classification, modes of occurrence and theories of origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks. This draws heavily on many disciplines including the physical sciences, maths, geophysics, geochemistry and structural geology.

River and Coasts

You are introduced to fluvial and coastal processes, and the management of these dynamic environments. You are guided through understanding fluvial and coastal environments, developing your understanding of how landscape and local-scale processes can allow us to understand how environments behave and how they will change in the future.

You also explore historic and emerging approaches to environmental management, exploring our changing understanding of the interaction between people and physical environments. Lectures are supported where possible by contributions from visiting practitioners in different fields of management, as well as field-based visits where possible to explore local examples of the role of management in fluvial and coastal environments.

Science Research Methods and Proposal

You will take this module if you are studying a science degree and complete a hypothesis-driven research project at Level 6 of your degree studies. It is delivered though lectures, tutorials and workshops.

You develop a proposal for your research project, which includes an explanation of the project targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, and details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. The proposal considers academic beneficiaries and economic, environmental and societal impacts. Project costs are estimated on the basis of a full economic costing model. In addition, the proposal is supported by a targeted CV.

A short lecture series at the start of the academic year provides you with an introduction to the module and advice on completing the research proposal documentation, followed by a series of assessment centre-style workshops and tasks which help assign you to a specific research project area and supervisor. These tasks familiarise you with the type of activities you might face during the application, interview and selection procedures.

You must produce a research proposal for your individual project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback on your progress.

For the proposal to be considered you must acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee. Once you are allocated a project you join discipline-based tutorials with other students. Each discipline operates tutorial sessions, which are used to provide academic guidance and support for completing ethical clearance documentation and the proposal. A series of research methodology-based workshops introduce you to various experimental designs and statistical techniques relevant to your discipline. These sessions also demonstrate how you can use software such as Minitab, SPSS and Excel to present and analyse datasets. These workshops help you decide on the design and analysis of the data associated with your project.

The module is assessed by you successfully acquiring ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submitting a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

Sedimentology

You gain an in depth knowledge of the description, classification, modes of occurrence and theories of origin of sedimentary rocks. This draws heavily on many disciplines including the physical sciences, maths, geophysics, geochemistry and structural geology.

 

Year 3 optional placement year

Final-year core modules

Advanced Geoinformatics

You are introduced to the concept of GIScience, expanding simple understanding of the use of Geographical Information Systems to ask questions about how and why we do geospatial analysis, and how this impacts on the results of our analyses.

Using computer-based practicals, you learn advanced skills in geospatial analysis, including the use of spatial statistics, handling complex datasets using databases, and the automation of complex analysis using different tools, for example the Python programming language. You also learn skills in geovisualisation, including cartographic design, web mapping, and the use of 3D visualisation.

Hydrology and Hydraulic Systems

This module provides you with an understanding of the properties of water at rest and in motion. You investigate problems related to storing water in bulk and to its conveyance in known quantities through pipelines, rivers and open channels. You consider the natural water cycle (hydrological cycle) and how we have interacted with it to produce the hydrosocial cycle for our own use and benefit. Rainfall is a major component of the hydrological cycle. This module gives an insight into rainfall types, losses and runoff. You also consider water and wastewater treatment. Module content is delivered through lectures supported by tutorial and laboratory sessions. The module is assessed by a technical report and exam.

Reservoir Rock and Fluid Properties

You cover the key concepts of reservoir rock and fluid properties. You also gain an in-depth understanding of reservoir fluid phase behavior and Pressure Volume Temperature (PVT) correlations.
You also explore rock typing and characterization and industry standard experimental techniques used for measuring reservoir rock and fluid properties.

Science Research Project

You bring together a range of practical and academic skills, developed in previous years of study, to interrogate a particular aspect of your field of study. You specialise in a particular area of science, supported by an appointed research supervisor who will act as a mentor and guide you through the development and completion of your research project.

You are required to present a poster and abstract at the School’s annual Poster Day event, which is attended by academics of the School, external examiners, and professionals from the region. The poster contributes to your final project mark. Throughout the project you are expected to maintain systematic and reliable records of your research which are reviewed on a regular basis by your supervisor and assessed at the end of the project. You submit your research in the style of a paper which could be submitted to an appropriate scientific journal related to your discipline.

 

and one optional module

International Fieldwork

You undertake an overseas residential field course including field-based research design and implementation, and analysis and presentation of field-based data. You develop professionalism and employability skills relevant to pertinent contemporary geographical, geological, environmental and ecological issues.

The use of team work for problem-based and self-directed learning is central to this module. Appropriate context is fundamental to this. You gain an expertise in problem solving together with key skills such as interpersonal interactions, time management, budget management and research presentation.

Sustainability Project

You develop professionalism and employability skills relevant to pertinent environmental challenges. The use of team work for problem-based and self-directed learning is central to this module. Appropriate context is fundamental to this. You gain an expertise in problem solving, together with key skills such as interpersonal interactions, time management, budget management and research presentation.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You learn through a range of teaching and learning methods including:

  • lectures

  • tutorials

  • seminars and workshops (including oral presentations and poster sessions)

  • laboratory work

  • computer laboratory-based sessions

  • group projects

  • research projects.


Each programme and module is supported by a specific virtual learning environment (VLE) site.

How you are assessed

You may be assessed through:

  • formal exams including 'unseen' exams

  • laboratory and/or fieldwork skills and reports

  • computer-based assessments

  • problem-solving exercises

  • data interpretation exercises

  • critical analysis of case studies

  • oral presentations and technical interviews

  • essays, literature surveys, evaluations and summaries

  • collaborative project work

  • preparation and display of posters

  • planning, conduct and reporting of project work


You will be provided with an assessment schedule providing details of the submission deadlines for summative assessments.


Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

 

Employability

Career opportunities

Geology graduates enjoy excellent career opportunities in mineral and petroleum exploration and production, geotechnics, engineering geology and environment-related industries in the UK and overseas.

Work placement

A work placement officer and the University's careers service are available to help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also gain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure and commercial awareness.

An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2019/20 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£11,825 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 years with work placement)
  • UCAS code: F600 BSc/Geol
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

2019 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 6 years if entering Year 1; 4 years if entering Year 2
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

 
 
 
 

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