The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUndergraduate study

F601 MSci Geology (4 yrs)

If you are looking for a professional career in the Earth sciences, this integrated masters MSci Geology degree programme will provide you with a great breadth and depth of geological knowledge and a complete understanding of current research areas in the geological sciences. Particular emphasis is placed on research skills developed through extensive group and independent project work. Interaction with scientists from the NOCS research community is embedded in the programme, ensuring a research-led experience.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MSci Geology at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Geology and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MSci Geology.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.


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Within the flexible modular system, the MSci Geology degree programme allows you to develop an extensive and in-depth coverage of all of the fundamental aspects of cutting-edge geology. You will examine such subjects as the evolution of the Earth as a complex land-ocean-atmosphere system, study the development, the tectonic development of the Earth’s continental margins and their impact on Earth’s resources, and the complex processes resulting in the Earth’s climate, past and present.

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 and this degree programme has an excellent track record of securing geological employment. We have links with a range of geological companies across all discipline areas, from hydrocarbon and mineral exploration to marine surveying and environmental geology.

The National Student Survey 2015

  • In the NSS 2015 Geology scored 93% for ‘the teaching on my course’
  • 96% geology students agreed or strongly agreed that staff are good at explaining things
  • 100% geology students agreed or strongly agreed that the library resources and services are good enough for my needs
Thumbnail photo of Christine Fildes

“Ocean and Earth Science has helped me get to where I am today and will continue to aid me in the future. I would recommend Southampton to anyone with an interest in geology. I have friends who have completed geology degrees at other universities throughout the UK and I honestly believe that the staff, teaching, facilities and opportunities provided by Southampton are some of the best in the country.”

Christine Fildes - MSci Geology

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB grade A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, the A grades to be from two of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Maths or Physics.

Other qualifications:

You can find a list of an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University on the Entry Requirements page.

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:
60 (overall intake across all Geology courses)
Average applications per place:

We will consider your MSci 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 determine 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.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Within the flexible modular system, this MSci 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.

Earth materials
IT communication, field and laboratory skills
Introduction to ocean biogeochemistry
Earth and ocean system
Macromolecules of Life
Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry I for Biological, Earth, Marine, Environmental, and Physical Scientists
The Earth System
The development of archaeological and anthropological thought
Quantitative Earth and Ocean Science
Introductory Mathematics for Chemists and Oceanographers
Introduction to Mathematical Methods

Year 3

There are two residential field courses in the third year, firstly a week-long structural mapping field course to Anglesey at the end of the Summer Term, followed by a five-week independent mapping project during your Summer vacation. You will choose four optional modules from the lists below.

Year 4

A major part of your final year will be an extensive individual research project that will develop your competency as a geologist. THREE optional modules should be chosen from the recommended list below. However, other options are available and may be chosen subject to timetabling and module pre-requisites.

Semester Two

For those students who choose to take SOES6059 Basin Analysis there will be an opportunity for students to work on data related to and to potentially compete in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Barrel Award (SOES6064) as an alternative to the Group Project. This option is only available to a small number of students, selected from those who would like to take the course.

MSci advanced independent research project
Imperial Barrel Award
Environmental radioactivity and radiochemistry
Seafloor exploration and surveying 2
Global climate cycles
Global Ocean Carbon Cycle, Ocean Acidification and Climate

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2016/17 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,000 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Graduates with MSci 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

Learning & 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 MSci 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.

Study Locations

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

Ocean and Earth Science is based at the world-renowed National Oceanog...Find out more

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