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Earth Sciences (Geology) - Course Outline

First Year


Students need to take all courses in five parallel streams:

  • Fundamentals of Geology I
  • Fundamentals of Geology II
  • Planet Earth
  • Chemistry, Physics and Biology for Earth Sciences
  • Mathematics for Earth Sciences and Materials

Field Courses
\Pembroke Field Course (pre-session)
\Arran Field Course (Introduction)
\Local field courses


First University Examinations (Theory and Practical)

Second Year


Students need to take all courses in five parallel streams:

  • Geochemistry
  • Earth Deformation and Materials
  • Palaeobiology and Palaeoenvironments
  • Geodynamics and Tectonics
  • Deposition and Subsurface Exploration

Field Courses
\Dorset Field Course
\Assynt Field Course (Mapping)


Part A1 exams (Second year, practical and theory)

Third Year


Students need to choose options and Greek fieldtrip:

  • The Oceans
  • Environmental Geochemistry/Economic Geology
  • Palaeoclimate/World Regional Geology
  • Sedimentary Basins
  • Volcanoes and Environment/High T & P Earth Materials
  • Seismology and Continental Deformation/Earth Structure
  • Earth Materials, Petrogenesis & Rock Deformation
  • Evolution and Ecosystems/Genetics
  • Introduction to the Greek fieldtrip (not optional)
  • Mathematical Methods Geodynamics

Field Courses
\Greek Field Course (Integrated Geoscience assessed)
\Field Mapping Project
\Independent Work
\Extended Essay


Part A2 exams (third year, practical for field course and theory)
BA Hons (Geology)

Forth Year

Advances in Earth Sciences

Students need to choose four options, usually, two in each term:

  • Anatomy of a Mountain Belt
  • Seismology
  • Planetary Chemistry
  • Palaeobiology
  • Environmental, rock and palaeo-magnetism
  • Topics in volcanology
  • Patterns and process in Pleistocene climate
  • Records of major environmental change in Earth's history

Field Courses
\Optional field courses
\e.g. Study trip to Oman
\e.g. Oceanography
\Research project over
\Independent work
\2.5 terms


MEarthSc Hons (Earth Sciences)
Part B Examination (Theory)

Entrance Requirement

  • A-levels: AAA/AABB
  • Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
  • IB: 38 - 40 comprising core points
  • Or any other equivalent

Candidates need to have Mathematical either to A-level or to Higher Level or Advanced Higher in the IB or any equivalent qualification. Physics or Chemistry is highly recommended. Geology, Biology or Further Mathematics may also be useful to candidates in pursuing this course. However, they are not required for admission.

During years first, second and third, the work is divided between tutorials, practical classes and lectures occupying almost a third of students week. In the forth year, students have the opportunity for independent work on particular topics or in a research laboratory.

International Opportunities

The Earth Sciences course comprises various excursions in Britain and abroad. These are built up to link closely to material covered in lectures and to convey the practice of geophysics, geology, palaeontology and geochemistry in the field environment. This work culminates in a project to map and study an area chosen by the student and deforming regions of mainland Greece and in a field trip to the volcanic island of Santorini.

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