Plymouth University Geology

By | 23rd August 2017

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Plymouth University Geology

Plymouth University Geology

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

BSc (Hons) Geology

Understand how the Earth has evolved over time, how the planet works, and develop an understanding of its possible futures. In both laboratory and the field you will establish a thorough scientific understanding of the physical forces acting on the Earth, the chemistry of its constituent materials and biology revealed by fossils. Developing your knowledge of processes and materials controlling the development of our planet, you’ll be primed for work in a diverse range of geological industries.

In the 2016 National Student Survey, 100% of students felt that the staff were good at explaining things; 94% felt staff made the subject interesting; 94% found staff enthusiastic about teaching; 100% found the course intellectually stimulating; 81% felt they had sufficient support with their studies and 100% were satisfied with the programme overall.

Entry requirements may differ during Clearing, so please contact us on 0333 241 6929 to discuss an application.

More courses available for 2017 entry

Our 2017 Clearing course vacancies page shows which courses are still available for entry this year.

Clearing hotline 0 0333 241 6929

Clearing with Plymouth University

Call our friendly Clearing team on 0333 241 6929.

We will help you find the right course for you.

  • Clearing officially opens on results day, Thursday 17 August.
  • Clearing closes on Wednesday 20 September.

For opening times and further information, visit our Clearing page.

Key features

  • In the 2016 National Student Survey, 100 per cent of students felt that the staff were good at explaining things; 94 per cent felt staff made the subject interesting; 94 per cent found staff enthusiastic about teaching; 100 per cent found the course intellectually stimulating; 81 per cent felt they had sufficient support with their studies and 100 per cent were satisfied with the course overall.
  • Excel in your studies, students report a 100 per cent overall satisfaction on our course.
  • Learn from the experience and expertise of our highly qualified staff. The varied teaching practices range from seminars and tutorials to practical classes and workshops.
  • Develop your confidence with a personal tutor, providing you with weekly guidance throughout your first year.
  • Progress your skills in our open access laboratory, LABplus.
  • Take part in the substantial fieldwork offered in a variety of UK and overseas locations. You’ll become an experienced field-worker, able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to existing Earth science problems.
  • Explore the natural geology of our rich surrounding area. Plymouth’s location is of central importance to studying geology, with opportunities for fieldwork right on our doorstep.
  • Benefit from essential field equipment and e-books, free as part of your welcome package.
  • Work towards becoming a Chartered Geologist, our accreditation by the Geological Society helps you to gain the required experience.
  • Take the opportunity to spend your second year studying abroad in Canada, Australia, USA or elsewhere through our direct exchange, Erasmus or ISEP programmes. Plymouth is currently the only UK institution to offer exchanges through ISEP, giving our students the greatest range of Earth science exchange opportunities available.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Laying the foundations of geological knowledge, your first year provides you with an introduction to laboratory and field skills. You’ll learn about key Earth processes including plate tectonics, and take a practical approach to the study of minerals, rocks, fossils and geological structures. Our tutorials will help you gain effective study techniques and computing skills and you’ll develop your confidence with a personal tutor, providing you with weekly guidance throughout your first year. You’ll also undertake fieldwork, including residential classes, across the South West.
    Core modules
    Optional modules
  • Year 2
  • Year 2 consolidates the knowledge and skills developed in year one, with an emphasis on the practical side of geology. You’ll develop observational, analytical and interpretive skills and the ability to use them to answer fundamental geological questions. You’ll also learn to make geological maps and develop new field skills which will be used in fieldwork you undertake in both the UK and in Spain. You’ll also have the opportunity to spend your second year studying abroad in Canada, Australia, USA or elsewhere through our direct exchange, Erasmus or ISEP programmes.
    Core modules
  • Optional placement year
  • Take advantage of our optional placement year, giving you the opportunity to develop your geological skills in the workplace and gain valuable experience.  Find your perfect placement with the help of our employability service and benefit from specialist workshops and tutorials in your second year, helping you prepare for your year in industry.
    Core modules
  • Final year
  • Your third year gives you the opportunity to develop specialised geological knowledge and skills through selecting optional modules from your specialist degree route. Optional modules include palaeontology, sedimentology, tectonics, volcanology and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). You may also undertake advanced fieldwork and will complete an independent field-based mapping and research project, which will develop your professional skills. Our optional field courses visit exciting locations such as Sicily and Cyprus.
    Core modules
    • GEOL3001 Geological Mapping Research Project and Professional Skills

    Optional modules

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Geology Programme Specification September 2016 5366

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


28 – 30 points. 28 points overall to include 4 at Higher Level in two science subjects. 30 points overall to include 4 at Higher Level in one science subject. English and mathematics must be included.

A level
Depending upon subjects studied, from a minimum of 2 A levels, to include grade C from at least one A level subject from list of subjects below: biology, mathematics/use of mathematics, physics, chemistry, environmental science/studies, applied science, geography, geology or technology, excluding general studies.

DDM-DDD – science related subjects within a science related BTEC 18 Unit Extended Diploma

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access course:
Pass an Access to HE Diploma (science based) with at least 33 credits at merit. Please contact if you do not meet this criteria.

English language requirements

Information on the Academic Excellence Awards

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,500 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed

Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

    • For more information about our fees and funding visit


How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.
To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email