Undergraduate 

Geology BSc/MSci

A panorama of he basalt columns of Staffa Island at Fingal s cave, Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

Geology is the study of the Earth, its structure, composition, and history, and its hazards and resources. Geology uses rocks, minerals and fossils to provide an integrated understanding of whole Earth processes in 4D, linking the deep Earth, its crust, the surface environments. This knowledge is applied to contemporary geological and socio-environmental problems, including natural and anthropogenic change and the sustainable development of resources. Our Geology graduates have gone on to work in engineering, mining and exploration, renewables and hydrocarbon industries. 

  • September start: session dates
  • Geology BSc (Hons): F610 4 year degree
  • Geology MSci (Hons): F611 5 year degree
  • Glasgow: main campus

Why study Geology?

  • Geology at the University of Glasgow is ranked in the top 10 in the UK (Complete University Guide 2019)
  • Fieldwork is a fundamental part of studying Geology at the University of Glasgow, and all students undertake field classes in Aliaga and Andalusia in Spain, Tenerife, and closer to home in Oban and Mull, giving you a comprehensive learning experience
  • You'll have the opportunity to specialise in the area of your choice; a wide range of optional courses including Planetary Science, Engineering Geology, and Climates: Past and Future are available
  • The School works collaboratively with the Hunterian Museum, which provides students with world-class samples to work with
  • State of the art equipment and software is available in our four fully dedicated laboratories, which are accessible 24 hours a day
  • Find out more about what it's like to study in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences: meet our students

Programme structure

Year 1

Core courses:

Initially you will study the major themes of Geology, undertaking two courses in your first year. The first course covers fundamental geological principles, including the structure of the Earth, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, how rocks deform, and the evolution of the oceans and continents. The second course covers the evolution of life, surface processes and environments, climate change, the sustainable exploration for resources and energy, and associated environmental remediation.

Year 2

Core courses:

You will undertake two courses in the second year. The first course builds your knowledge of the solid Earth, focusing on key geological, geochemical and geophysical processes, and in particular the relationship between the deep Earth and crustal and surface processes. The second course develops your understanding of the evolution of Earth life and environments, changing climate and biogeochemical cycles, Earth exploration, and resource management.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.

Year 3

Core courses:

Year 4

Core courses:

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will study a number of core courses covering igneous geology (including geochemistry, chronology and volcanology), sedimentary geology (including environments and basin analysis), metamorphic and structural geology, stratigraphy and tectonic synthesis. You will also develop advanced practical skills in Earth observation, geophysics, spatial and numerical analysis, and the construction and interpretation of geological maps.

You will participate in extensive residential field classes in the UK and overseas and undertake an independent geological mapping project in your final year. You will also tailor your degree to include additional areas of interest chosen from a wide range of optional courses, many of which are focused on applied and environmental aspects of Geology, such as engineering geology, hydrogeology, petroleum geology and economic minerals.

Year 5

You can take Geology as an MSci degree, which is particularly suited to those interested in further study. The MSci includes an additional year, centred on an extensive independent research project that involves the use of advanced analytical facilities in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

Travelling and overseas work are major features of a Geology career and we encourage our students to take advantage of the University’s extensive exchange programmes to study abroad. Our students have studied in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, California and Europe. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2020

BSc/MSci

A-levels

  • Standard entry requirements: AAB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum entry requirements: BBB considered for offer if additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Minimum of ONE relevant Science A-level. 

Advanced entry

We offer Advanced Entry to some of our programmes. Applicants who achieve exceptional grades may be considered for Advanced Entry, meaning that an Honours degree can be completed in three years instead of the normal four years, or four years for five-year integrated Masters programmes. 

Indicative Grades for Advanced Entry Consideration (in addition to having met the Standard and Additional Entry Requirements)

  • A*AA.

About A-level entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


Accepted Science subjects

Accepted Science subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Human Biology
  • Lifeskills Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics of Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

A-Level qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.


Highers

  • S5 standard entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • S5 minimum entry requirements: ABBB to be considered for S6 offer.
  • S6 standard entry requirements: AAAAAB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders.
  • Additional requirements: Highers in TWO Science subjects, one of which is relevant to the programme.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow

  • Adjusted S5 standard entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Adjusted S5 minimum entry requirements: No minimum at S5.
  • Adjusted S6 standard entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders. Considered for offer at BBBB.
  • Adjusted additional requirements: Highers in TWO Science subjects including Higher Biology/Human Biology or Chemistry at Grade B.
     
    Successful completion and grades in either the Top-Up Programme or Summer School.

Advanced entry

We offer Advanced Entry to some of our programmes. Applicants who achieve exceptional grades may be considered for Advanced Entry, meaning that an Honours degree can be completed in three years instead of the normal four years, or four years for five-year integrated Masters programmes. 

Indicative Grades for Advanced Entry Consideration (in addition to having met the Standard and Additional Entry Requirements)

  • Three Advanced Highers at Grades AAA including two Science subjects one of which is relevant to the programme being applied for. Grades must be attained in one exam year and at the first attempt.

About Higher entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.

Adjusted Entry Requirements

We adjust the Standard Academic Entry Requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes. Criteria for eligibility include attending a Scottish target secondary school, living in a priority Scottish postcode area, current or previous experience of living in care or estrangement from family support.

For more information about your eligibility and our pre-entry programmes see: Access Glasgow.


Accepted Science subjects

Accepted Science subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Human Biology
  • Lifeskills Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics of Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

International

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,5 guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5 considered for offer if additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Minimum of TWO relevant Science subjects at HL: SL6 will be considered for one. 

Advanced entry

We offer Advanced Entry to some of our programmes. Applicants who achieve exceptional grades may be considered for Advanced Entry, meaning that an Honours degree can be completed in three years instead of the normal four years, or four years for five-year integrated Masters programmes. 

Indicative Grades for Advanced Entry Consideration (in addition to having met the Standard and Additional Entry Requirements)

  • 38 Points.

About International Baccalaureate entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


International Baccalureate qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.

European qualifications

Accepted Science subjects

Accepted Science subjects:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Engineering Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Human Biology
  • Lifeskills Mathematics
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics of Mechanics
  • Physics
  • Statistics

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: kelly.fox@glasgow.ac.uk

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


Career prospects

Our recent graduates are employed by organisations including Atkins, BAM Nuttall Ltd, Chevron, Equinor, Mason Evans, Nordgold, Scottish Water and Shell.

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

BSc (Hons)

  • Geology: F610

MSci (Hons)

  • Geology: F611

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

College of Science and Engineering Deans' Award

The College of Science and Engineering is offering ten scholarships worth £10,000 each towards tuition fees for academically excellent students wishing to study an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught programme within the College’s programme portfolio.

More Information

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2020 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

More Information

RUK Access Bursary 2019 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and  available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2019-20 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

More Information

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2019

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

More Information

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study.

More Information

The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Science and Engineering)

The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.

All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.

More Information

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

If you’re seeking full-time study you must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). International students may also apply via The Common Application – however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.

Application deadlines

The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year (UCAS only). Students residing in the UK/EU should apply by the 15 January and International students should apply by the 30 June on the year of entry.

The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students.

Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

Apply on commonapp.org (international students only)

Tuition Fee Status

Tuition fee status is determined by nationality and country of ordinary residence.

If you are a UK/EU citizen living outside the EU for over three years, it is likely that you will have to pay the international fee.

If you are unsure of your fee status, it is strongly advised that you apply by the 15 January deadline and submit a Fee Status Enquiry form as soon as possible.

UCAS tariff points

The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.

How soon will I receive a decision?

We will usually respond before the end of March.

If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.

If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.

Will I be interviewed?

An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.

Is deferred entry available?

For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.

University Transfers

Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:

  1. The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
  2. The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.

Widening participation

We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.

Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

Apply on commonapp.org (international students only)

Geology at Glasgow is ranked 2nd in Scotland and 9th in the UK

Complete University Guide 2019

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