The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUndergraduate study

F6F8 BSc Geology with Physical Geography (3 years)

Develop an understanding of the nature and dynamics of the internal and surface processes operating on the Earth today and in the geological past, and explore how they evolved by studying at the heart of one of the UK’s top geology research centres.

Southampton’s three-year BSc Geology with Physical Geography will suit you if you have a background in Geography and would like to focus your studies on geological processes. You will develop highly sought-after skills for a variety of career pathways, both within the Earth science sector and beyond.

Introducing your course

You will be taught by academics who were recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) for the high quality of their research and will be able to make the most of our extensive programme of field courses across the UK and into Europe (e.g., mainland Spain, Tenerife).

The modules available on the BSc Geology with Physical Geography degree will not only provide extensive coverage of all of the fundamental aspects of cutting edge geology and physical geography (including glaciology and climate change) but also the ability to tailor your degree to your own requirements, by choosing to specialise in particular areas.

Geology modules will comprise 75 per cent of your degree and Physical Geography 25 per cent.

All of our Geology programmes are accredited by the Geological Society of London.

Geology

Overview

What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

The flexible modular system provides you with extensive coverage of all of the fundamental aspects of cutting edge geology. In the later stages, you can tailor your degree to your own requirements, by choosing specialist modules in particular areas.

Geological specialisations range from the applied aspects of resource and environmental geology to the frontier areas of sediment dynamics, seafloor exploration and the history of the oceans. An equally-wide choice is available to you in physical geography, with most BSc Geology with Physical Geography degree students choosing to specialise in surface physical processes such as rivers, glaciers, coastal erosion and in such areas as Quaternary climatic change.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the 'How to Apply' tab on the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply including deadline dates or click here to go directly through to the UCAS website.

Accreditation

The Geological Society of London

Key Facts

Southampton has one of the country's top geography departments and geology has been taught at Southampton since 1862

The National Student Survey 2017

100% of BSc Geology students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course. 

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
QualificationGrade
GCE A-level

ABB grade A-levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, to include Geography (Grade A) and at least one from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Maths, Environmental Studies or Physics.

Other qualifications:

You can find a list of an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University on the Entry Requirements page.

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:
Intake:
60 (overall intake across all Geology courses)
Average applications per place:
5

We will consider your application for the BSc Geology with Physical Geography degree as soon as possible after it arrives at the University. In selecting applicants, we use the information provided on the UCAS form to determine whether you have the potential to flourish within Ocean and Earth Science.

Candidates who are predicted to attain our standard degree offers will be invited to visit the University and the waterside campus. During this visit, you will meet with one of our academic staff to discuss the offer and explore how your interests and aspirations fit with the course. This formal interview also gives us the opportunity to get to know you.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

Within the flexible modular system, this degree in geology with physical geography programme allows you not only to develop an extensive and in-depth coverage of all of the fundamental aspects of cutting-edge geology, but the ability to tailor your degree to your own requirements, by choosing to specialise in particular areas of both Geology (75%) and Physical Geography (25%).

Year 1

Year one modules will provide you with a thorough introduction to mainstream geology, assuming no previous knowledge. The Physical Geography component of the course will introduce you to Geomorphological processes and process and change in the Earth system.

Semester One

Depending on your mathematical background, you will take one mathematics module from SOES1010, MATH1004 or MATH1008.

If you have the International Baccalaureate, Standard Level Maths at grade 6 or higher you may consider selecting MATH1004. If you have Standard Level Maths below grade 6 you should select SOES1010. If you have A-Level qualifications then please click the individual module below for further advice. If you are uncertain then please contact the Programme Leader.

Compulsory
SOES1001
Earth Materials
SOES1003
IT COMMUNICATION, FIELD & LABORATORY SKILLS
SOES1008
Earth and Ocean System
GEOG1001
The Earth System
Optional
SOES1010
QUANTITATIVE EARTH & OCEAN SCIENCE
MATH1004
Introductory Mathematics for Chemists and Oceanographers
MATH1008
Introduction to MathematicalMethods

Year 2

At the start of the Summer vacation between first and second years, you will participate in 12 days fieldwork in Yorkshire during which you are guided through the processes of preparing a geological map of an area around five square kilometres.

Over the two second year semesters, you will take three optional modules, including one SOES and two GEOG modules from the recommended list below.

Year 3

At the end of the summer vacation prior to the start of the third year, there is a compulsory residential field course in the final year, which is a week-long mapping trip to Anglesey. You then have a choice of either a laboratory based project (SOES3027) or the five-week independent mapping project (SOES3025) during your Summer vacation. You must also take five optional modules across the two semesters. From the options listed below, you will normally choose two GEOG modules and THREE SOES modules.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternationalChannel Islands
BSc Geology with Physical Geography2018Full-time£9,250£20,320£9,250
View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

TypeDescriptionCost
Printing and copying Coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations may be submittable online. However, some items will require submission as a printed copy, including some items where it is not possible to submit online Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance towards the costs of printing lecture handouts or you may choose to use digital versions only during lectures. The University Print Centre also offer a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/copyrooms/service.page). They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Current costs can be found here (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/exhibition/academicposters.page). £0.05-0.50

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
StationeryApproved Calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentField Equipment and Materials: Please see Appendix 4.
EquipmentLaboratory Equipment and Materials: Laboratory equipment and consumables will be provided where appropriate. (Please also see Appendix 4).
FieldworkLogistical costs : Please see Appendix 4.
ClothingLab coats and safety spectacles: Marine Biology students will receive a lab coat, dissection kit and waterproof notebook during Induction. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
ClothingWet Suits: You will need to purchase a suitable wet suit and associated snorkelling equipment if participating on SOES6052.
EquipmentData Storage: Students are expected to provide their own data storage device
EquipmentSoftware Licenses: Will be provided by the University where appropriate
EquipmentHardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Appendix 4: Fieldwork and related University contributions and Costs

This appendix covers all programmes offered in Ocean and Earth Science that include fieldwork.

Fieldwork: introduction

Experience of working in the field is an essential part of your learning process and is also widely regarded as valuable in personal development.

Please note that circumstances may dictate that some field-courses are timetabled within part of the vacation period.

For compulsory residential field courses, accommodation and travel are provided (for Independent Geology Mapping a fixed amount is provided to cover these costs for the least expensive area). You are usually expected to cover the costs of food and drink, although some courses may include meals. For optional field courses, students are asked to make a contribution to the travel and/or accommodation costs. Details are provided in the table below.

Please note that if a field course is compulsory for your degree programme and you later move from that degree programme to one where that field course is optional, you will be charged for the cost of that field course. To provide an example: students on the MSci Marine Biology programme undertaking the field course to Bermuda will be charged the full cost of the field course if they later choose to transfer to the BSc Marine Biology degree programme.

In addition to the field courses mentioned in this booklet, there are also one-day field courses associated with specific modules; students are expected to cover food and drink costs for these days, but transport is arranged and paid for by the department. As the department arranges transport, should students wish to make their own way to or from field courses, then they must meet these costs themselves.

Additional Information

SOES3020: Tenerife Field Course

As this is an overseas field course which requires the department to make early flight bookings to minimise costs, students who pre-register for this module will be liable for the full flight costs if they subsequently opt not to take the module.

SOES3025: Independent Geology Mapping

Precise costs depend on specific arrangements made by students and on individual destinations. The department undertakes to cover the costs for accommodation and travel up to the cost of the least expensive destination, and currently provides £500 per student.

SOES6052: Tropical Field Course

This field trip is optional and open only to MSci Marine Biology and MSci Biology with Marine Biology students. Students are expected to fund their travel and to provide their own snorkelling equipment, including 3mm-thick wetsuit. The total cost is currently expected to be no more than £800-900. The department provides full board, IT and lab facilities and course-related travel whilst on Bermuda.

Notes:

Where a student contribution is made, invoices will be issued approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of a field course and payment will be due within 7 days.

Dates and costs are correct at the time of going to press.

Fieldwork equipment 

Geology and Geophysics students

• Geology and Geophysics students will need a minimum amount of field equipment and this is provided by the department. Most will be provided during Induction.

• Geology students receive: compass-clinometer; geological hammer; hand lens; waterproof field notebooks (quantity depends on degree programme); steel tape measure; safety helmet; clip board; safety goggles; bottle for dilute hydrochloric acid; outdoor first aid kit; 3 mapping pens; grain size comparator cards.

• Geophysics students receive: compass-clinometer; hand lens; waterproof field notebooks (quantity depends on degree programme); steel tape measure; safety helmet; clip board; safety goggles; bottle for dilute hydrochloric acid; outdoor first aid kit; 3 mapping pens; grain size comparator cards.

• All Geology and Geophysics students are recommended to purchase the following items: a pair of compasses; set squares; protractor; pencils (including coloured); eraser; University-approved calculator.

• Geology and Geophysics students will also need to provide their own walking boots, waterproof clothing, and a rucksack; some students purchase a ‘Weather writer’ which affords more protection for maps in wet weather.

• Some of the items not included in the induction pack can be purchased from the department/University. Please visit Room 161/05, Level 1, NOCS.

Marine Biology and Oceanography

• Marine Biology students will receive a lab coat, dissection kit and waterproof notebook during Induction.

• Oceanography students will receive a lab coat and waterproof notebook during Induction.

Insurance (travel, medical, personal property and baggage)

Students are automatically insured whilst on University organised field courses undertaken as part of their official studies, including field work.

 

 

Career Opportunities

Graduates with a degree in geology with physical geography can expect to find work in the following areas:

  • Environmental surveying, research and consultancy
  • Engineering geology, construction industry and geotechnical surveying
  • Teaching
  • Government and voluntary agencies
  • Master's degree and postgraduate research
  • The broad basis of the degree gives you entry into a wide range of other science-based careers

Learning & Assessment

Ocean and Earth Science is strongly committed to providing the very best learning experience to all our students in a friendly and stimulating environment. We are known nationally and internationally for our excellence in teaching, and are continually improving the scope and delivery of our activities.

On arrival at the University all BSc Geology with Physical Geography degree students are assigned a personal tutor from the academic staff, who provides help and encouragement throughout the degree course and beyond, into industrial or academic careers and research opportunities. Each degree programme is a stimulating mix of lectures, practical classes, field work and tutorials, supported by computer-aided learning, and independent study. You will acquire an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles and modern concepts within your chosen subject, as well as a good personal and transferable skills profile. The fully modular course structure allows you maximum flexibility for specialisation according to your own interests.

As part of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), Ocean and Earth Science has a strong research-led world reputation. Cutting-edge research carried out by academic staff provides direct and enthusiastic input into a challenging and stimulating teaching programme. There is a unique opportunity for students to undertake research projects with leading OES Earth scientists and NOCS-division scientists.

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study32%32%30%
Independent study68%68%70%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment59%36%23%
Practical exam assessment15%13%35%
Coursework assessment26%51%42%

Study Locations

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

Ocean and Earth Science is based at the world-renowed National Oceanog...Find out more

Highfield Campus: Shackleton Building

Highfield campus

Some teaching and research activities may take place on the Highfield ...Find out more

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