Durham University Geology

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Durham University Geology

The degree courses offered by the Department are intended to give all students as much flexibility as possible, while retaining the core Earth Science subjects. Individual degree courses are comprised of modules, and students take a total of six modules (120 credits) in each academic year. This allows you to follow your own interests, as they develop.

In the first year you will be introduced to major topics in the Earth Sciences, the practical skills required to study rocks and fossils in the field and study skills. We encourage all first-year students to participate in the Durham Award, allowing you to demonstrate you have the skills necessary to succeed in future employment. In year two you will deepen your understanding of these topics. A key part of this year is to gain the knowledge and skills required to undertake your Dissertation. In year three a mix of compulsory and elective modules allow you to specialise and study topics at the cutting-edge of Earth Sciences. The MSci Earth Sciences course allows those with an aptitude to make the first steps to a research career. The majority of our degrees are accredited by the Geological Society of London, this gives you the assurance our teaching is of the highest quality, has been approved by an independent body of academics and industrialists and provides a fast track to Chartered Geologist status.

Year 1
Compulsory modules:

  • Principles of Earth Sciences
  • Earth Materials
  • Understanding Earth Sciences
  • Field Studies.

Optional modules:

  • Environment and Resources
  • Mathematical Methods in Geosciences
  • Further Mathematics for Geoscientists
  • Physics for Geoscientists
  • Up to two modules from another academic department.

Year 2
Compulsory modules:

  • Fieldwork (Geological)
  • Structural Geology and Tectonics
  • Sedimentary Environments
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Geochemistry and Petrology

Optional modules:

  • Geophysical Methods for Geoscientists
  • Geoinformatics
  • Palaeoecology
  • The Geological Evolution of the British Isles
  • Water and Climate
  • Modelling Earth Processes
  • One module from another academic department.

Year 3
Compulsory modules:

  • Dissertation
  • Challenges in Geodynamics I

Optional modules:

  • Earth System and Climate
  • Earth Structure and Dynamics
  • Petroleum Geophysics
  • Sedimentary and Petroleum Systems
  • Magmatism
  • Palaeobiology
  • Tectonics and Deformation Processes
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Earth Sciences into Schools
  • Hydrogeology and Geomechanics.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.
  • Two science subjects at A-level or equivalent are required for all courses
  • For Geophysics with Geology (F662), one of these science subjects must be Mathematics or Further Mathematics at A-level at grade B or above, or a comparable qualification in Mathematics.
  • We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
  • Please consult the University website for required evidence of English language proficiency.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A-levels

Applicants taking Science A-levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A-levels with an English examination board.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply


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