Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

F600 BSc Geology (3 yrs)

This BSc Geology degree programme has been specifically designed to give you a comprehensive training in all aspects of geology, providing an understanding of the nature, dynamics and evolution of the physical, chemical and biological processes operating on the Earth over the past four billion years.

Programme Overview

The flexible modular system on this BSc Geology degree 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. These can range from the applied aspects of mineral, petroleum and environmental geology to the frontier areas of marine geophysics, sediment dynamics, micropalaeontology, active tectonics and its associated natural hazards, seafloor exploration and palaeoclimate 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.


The Geological Society of London

Key facts

    • Geology has been taught at Southampton since 1862
    • This degree programme has an excellent track record for securing work in a relevant field after graduation
    • The standard of our facilities and teaching place us in the top five universities nationally for geology
  • National Student Survey 2015  (NSS)

    • 90% of our BSc Geology students were satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching on their course
    • 96% of our BSc Geology students were satisfied or very satisfied that the course was intellectually stimulating
    • 100% of our BSc Geology students were satisfied or very satisfied that the library resources and service were good enough to meet their needs.
Where are they now?

Antony Benham

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“I place a lot of my success down to the excellent teaching at Southampton and I am very pleased that I chose to go there; it was definitely the right choice for me!”

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Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:

ABB grade A levels or equivalent, to include two sciences from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Maths, Environmental Studies or Physics.

Other qualifications:

Please click here to find out about other qualifications

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:

Intake: 60 (overall intake across all Geology courses)
Average applicants per place: 5

We will consider your BSc Geology degree application as soon as possible after it arrives at the University. In selecting applicants, we use the information provided on the UCAS form to dermine 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.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

Within the flexible modular system, this BSc Geology degree programme allows you to develop an extensive and in-depth coverage of all of the fundamental aspects of cutting-edge geology.

Innovation modules outside your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

Year one modules will provide you with a thorough introduction to mainstream geology, assuming no previous knowledge. You must also take one optional module in the year, in addition to your mathematics module in Semester 1, subject to pre-requisites and timetabling.

Semester One

Depending on your 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.


Year 3

Your final year of study commences with a one-week residential structural mapping field course to Anglesey at the end of the Summer Term which is designed to prepare you for the challenge of the five-week independent mapping project completed during your summer vacation. You must also take four option modules across the two semesters. You choose these either from the list below, or from further choices available from Archaeology, Geography or Civil Engineering subject to any pre-requisites and timetabling.

Learning and 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 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.

Career Opportunities

Graduates with BSc Geology degrees can expect to find work in the following areas:

  • Petroleum and minerals resources industry
  • Environmental surveying, research and consultancy
  • Engineering geology, construction industry and geotechnical surveying
  • Research
  • Teaching