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Undergraduate study
Geology (with Foundation Year)

Geology (with Foundation Year)
BSc (Hons)

 

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.

This foundation degree course is ideal if you wish to study for a university degree but you don’t have the necessary Level 3 qualifications required for direct admission or you need additional preparation in the fundamental sciences underpinning geology. Apart from the foundation year, the rest of this degree is identical to the BSc (Hons) Geology and leads to the same level award.

After completing the foundation year, the next two years of study provide 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 your 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 0 (foundation year) core modules

Big Data

Big data – it’s a phrase that a lot of people would argue is overused, or at least not always used in the appropriate context. So what is it really? How is it made and how do we make sense of it?

In this module you learn how big data is not just abundant but a growing field in so many aspects of our society from policing and conservation to health and bioinformatics. You explore how groups and communities use and share big data to help keep themselves safe in disaster zones around the world. You begin to value the role data plays in helping to make sense of community relationships in society, from uncovering criminal networks, tracking disease outbreaks to developing a deeper understanding of our ecology.

Data might end up in a data-frame spreadsheet format but it doesn’t begin there. It is often created with people and animals engaging with each other and technology. You explore how search engines collate and store the data we need to help make predictions, enhance decision making, or simply to better understand society’s needs.

Chemical Science and the Environment

This module provides an overview of fundamental concepts in chemistry and their application in the context of environmental and life sciences

Chemistry is the study of the structure, properties and reactivity of elements and compounds, and plays a key role in all physical, life and applied sciences. The topics covered include the structure of the atom, the periodic table, chemical bonding, chemical reactivity, environmental science, biogeochemistry, pollution, green chemistry and climate change.

Experimental Methods for Life Science

This module is based around a series of laboratory sessions. The first sessions emphasise important foundation skills, such as how to work safely in a practical environment and how to properly document practical work. These are followed by a series of sessions based on your wider academic interests including the basics of microscopy, handling microorganisms, safe handling food, using volumetric glassware and investigating acid base titrations.

Global Grand Challenges

This module focuses on how science can help address some of the biggest global Grand Challenges that face society. This reflects the University’s focus on externally facing research that makes a real, practical difference to the lives of people and the success of businesses and economies.

You work on a project in a group, to enabling you to develop innovative answers to some of the biggest issues of our time based on five thematic areas – health and wellbeing, resilient and secure societies, digital and creative economy, sustainable environments and learning for the 21st century.

Life on Earth

You explore the diversity of life on earth and the concept of evolution. You consider Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection to demonstrate relationships between species, the principles of taxonomy and speciation, and how they relate to the evolutionary tree.

You are introduced to the physiological processes, cellular organisation, homeostasis, metabolism, growth, reproduction, response to stimuli and adaptation - all hallmarks of living organisms equipping diverse species to survive and thrive.

Life Science

This module focuses on the life sciences from a human perspective. While developing an understanding of human biology you explore the role of different but interconnected life science disciplines in modern life.

While reviewing life science from an interdisciplinary context, relatable to a variety of backgrounds, you examine the major human body systems – cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, endocrine, nervous, digestive, skeletal and reproductive. This module enables you to appreciate how such knowledge is relevant to issues in health, disease and modern society.

 

Year 1 core modules

Earth Systems

Learn about the fundamental global systems that sustain and shape our world. You explore the main systems and processes which shape how our world works: tectonics and earth’s structure; our atmosphere and oceans circulations; climatic changes in the past and in the future; as well as the processes which continue to shape the earth’s land surface.

Global Environmental Issues

Humankind faces environmental challenges which are severe and varied. Threats as diverse as climate change, the supply of fresh water, soil fertility and plastic waste pose problems which differ in immediacy and scale. You will be introduced to the careful appraisal of information relating to these challenges, how the scale of the problem and its consequences may be measured and where the solutions might lie.

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.


Physical Geography and Geology Field Work

Learn how we map, measure and monitor different natural processes and systems in the field. Delivered through a series of individual field days across the region, this module introduces you to different approaches and techniques for field work in both geography and geology. You will learn discipline specific skills, as well as working together with your colleagues to understand how landscapes form through the interactions between geological and surface processes.

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 GIS

Technology has fundamentally altered our ability to see and understand the world around us. In this module you will learn the fundamentals of remote sensing for environmental management, including satellite, airborne, and terrestrial sources. You will also learn to use advanced geographical information systems (GIS) to map, model, and understand spatially distributed environmental data.

Geohazards

Natural hazards affect tens of millions of people a year around the world. In this module you will explore what makes particular environmental processes into hazards, how we monitor and evaluate hazards, and how society can adapt and evolve to meet an increasing hazard threat.

Geosciences Field Course

You develop your geological mapping skills and knowledges to landscapes and geology elsewhere on this week long residential field course. In this course you will build on the geological skills and knowledge gained in your first year, undertaking geological mapping and field description of different geological formations and structures in the field.

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.

Rivers and Coasts

Learn how earth surface processes shape our dynamic river and coastal systems, and how different organisations work to manage these environments. In this module you’ll explore river and coastal processes from source to sea, examining how water passes through the landscape, how rivers erode, transport, and deposit sediment, and how coastlines evolve over time. You will also explore the challenges of managing diverse and dynamic environments, and how working with natural processes can help us co-exist with unruly natural systems.

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 complete an in-depth, independent investigation into a specialist aspect of your field of study. In your project you will bring together a range of practical and academic skills developed in previous years of study. Regardless of the nature of the project, this process acts as a capstone experience requiring analysis and critical evaluation of data as well as critical reflection on the potential risks, moral and ethical issues. This piece of work will involve a significant individual contribution on your part. You will be supported by the appointment of an academic staff member as your research supervisor. They will act as a mentor and guide you through the development and completion of your research project.

Finally, you will communicate your independent research by producing a research poster and journal article to allow you to develop essential skills which mirror professional practice when research is presented at scientific conferences and for publication.

 

and one optional module

International Fieldtrip

You apply your skills and knowledge to unfamiliar landscapes overseas. Working as part of a team you will develop and then undertake field-based research on a week-long residential field course. You will also develop professional and employability skills aligned with contemporary geographical, geological, environmental and ecological issues, as well as key skills in interpersonal interactions, project planning, time management, and research presentation.

Sustainability Project

The generic spectrum of sustainability encompasses a range of disciplines, from those based in empirical sciences through environmental economics to social science. As such, environmental scientists must be able to work in expertise teams and communicate with teams in complementary but disparate disciplines. The goal of this module is to develop professionalism and employability skills relevant to pertinent environmental challenges.

The use of team work for problem-based and self-directed learning will be central to this module. Appropriate context will be fundamental to this. Expertise in problem-solving will be gained together with key skills such as interpersonal interactions, time management, budget management and research presentation. Due cognisance will also be taken of the principles of health, safety and ethics.

 

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

Examples of typical entry qualifications include:

  • Any combination of Level 3 qualifications (for example, A/AS levels, BTEC Certificates/Diplomas, Access to HE)
  • A High School Certificate/Diploma with good grades completed after at least 12 years of primary and secondary education
  • Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of relevant post-school work experience.

Any Level 3 subject is acceptable for entry to this course.

English language and mathematics requirements
Normally, evidence of English language and mathematical skills equivalent to at least GCSE grade 4 is required. We consider a wide range of English and maths qualifications alternative to GCSEs. Please contact our admissions staff for advice.
Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

Applicant Days
If you receive an offer to study with us you will be invited to attend one of our Applicant Days. This is a great opportunity to learn more about studying at Teesside by exploring our campus, seeing our excellent facilities, meeting staff and students, and finding out more about your course.

The Applicant Day provides you with information, guidance and advice to help you make the right choice. Even if you have attended an Open Day we encourage you to attend the Applicant Day - we are confident you will find your visit a useful experience.

Alternative progression routes

If you are not eligible to join this course directly then we may be able to help you prepare for admission by studying appropriate pre-degree Summer University modules.

Please contact us to discuss the alternative progression routes available to you.

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 obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills may include 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 preselection 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 enrolment adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2020/21 academic year

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

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years (including a work placement)
  • UCAS code: F604 BSc/GeolFY
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 
 
 
 

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Find your ideal degree course here at Teesside University and feel welcomed, supported and prepared for the career you want.

 

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Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses

 

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