Cardiff University Geology

Cardiff University logo

Cardiff University Geology

Geologists and Earth scientists are much sought after in many professions because of their global view of natural processes.

Our BSc in Geology gives you a broad view of the physical, geochemical and biological processes that formed planet Earth, its oceans, atmosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. You will learn how to observe this history within rock outcrops and interpret the processes controlling Earth’s structure and environments.

A key component of this programme is fieldwork. You will travel to a number of classic localities both in the UK and abroad. On these excursions you will learn how to record observations, to analyse and interpret a wide range of rocks and structures in the field, and be trained in making a geological map.

Our field courses are specifically designed to focus on key themes, such as the origins of oceanic crust, the development of sedimentary basins and their oil and gas potential, and the growth and collapse of mountain belts.

In year one the main location visited is currently Pembrokeshire while in year two students usually visit Arran, southwest England and northern Spain. In year three you will usually visit Cyprus, where all that you have learned previously can be synthesised into a picture that truly shows the nature of our dynamic earth.

NOTE: As an alternative to the conventional three-year BSc course, there are four-year MESci and MESci (International) schemes. These focus on research training and critical analysis, making students who take these programmes very employable in a range of professions. Both feature a master’s research dissertation in year four and the international MESci includes a year studying at a university overseas.

Distinctive features

In this broad-based, accredited degree you will learn how to read the rocks, assess the processes involved in their formation, reconstruct past environments and interpret how life evolved.

A key component of this course is fieldwork in all three years, currently in the UK, Spain and Cyprus.

You will learn how to record observations, analyse and interpret rocks and structures in the field and make a geological map.

You will receive teaching by highly qualified earth scientists from a wide variety of disciplines, involved in national and international research programmes.

I wanted to study geology and travel. The MESci Geology (International) course at Cardiff incorporated these two criteria, with the added bonus of being taught key research skills. I spent my 3rd year in America at the University of Wyoming. Every University department is different so by studying abroad I was taught different aspects of geology by a wide variety of experts, an experience that allowed me to make friends from all over the world, network in a professional field, expand my knowledge and experience different cultures.

Eva Marquis, MESci International Geology 2011

Key facts

UCAS Code F600
Next intake September 2017
Duration 3 years
Mode Full time
Accreditations Geological Society
Typical places available The School typically has approx 150 places available.
Typical applications received The School typically receives approx 740 applications.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

For detailed entry requirements see the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences admissions criteria pages.

Typical A level offer ABB. At least two A-levels should be a Science, Geography, Geology or Maths. Please note that for 2017 entry applicants must have two science related A-Levels
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer ABB. WBQ Core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level, excluding the two required Science/Maths/Geology/Geography A-levels.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer 30-32 points, including at least two Sciences at Higher Level.
Other requirements Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.


Core modules
Earth and Planetary System Science EA1101 20 credits
The Sedimentary System EA1102 10 credits
Dangerous Earth EA1103 10 credits
Natural Resources and Energy EA1106 10 credits
Formation of the British Isles EA1107 10 credits
Life Through Time EA1108 10 credits
Geological Maps, Sections and Structures EA1110 10 credits
Earth Materials EA1112 10 credits
Introduction to Earth Science Skills EA1122 10 credits
Introduction to Earth Science Fieldwork EA1123 20 credits


Core modules
Geological Fieldwork and Mapping Training EA2102 20 credits
Palaeoecology EA2106 10 credits
Geophysical Exploration EA2107 10 credits
Structural Geology EA2108 10 credits
Plate Tectonics EA2109 10 credits
Geological Resources EA2111 10 credits
Metamorphic Geology EA2124 10 credits
Igneous Geology EA2125 10 credits
Applied GIS EA2130 10 credits
Sedimentary Processes, Petrology and Stratigraphy EA2135 20 credits


Core modules
Geological Mapping Project EA3104 30 credits
Geology Fieldcourse EA3128 10 credits
Dynamic Earth EA3135 10 credits