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

F6F8 BSc Geology with Physical Geography (3 yrs)

The modules available on the BSc Geology with Physical Geography degree will not only provide extensive coverage of all of the fundamental aspects of cutting edge geology but also the ability to tailor your degree to your own requirements, by choosing to specialise in particular areas. Geology modules will comprise 75 per cent of your degree and Physical Geography, 25 per cent.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for BSc Geology with Physical Geography at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Geology with Physical Geography 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 BSc Geology with Physical Geography.

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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The flexible modular system 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.

Geological specialisations range from the applied aspects of resource and environmental geology to the frontier areas of sediment dynamics, seafloor exploration and the history of the oceans. An equally-wide choice is available to you in physical geography, with most BSc Geology with Physical Geography degree students choosing to specialise in surface physical processes such as rivers, glaciers, coastal erosion and in such areas as Quaternary climatic 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

Southampton has one of the country's top geography departments and geology has been taught at Southampton since 1862

National Student Survey 2015

  • 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.
  • 98% geology students agreed or strongly agreed that they have been able to access general IT resources when needed


Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

ABB grade A-levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, to include Geography (Grade A) and at least one from Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Maths, Environmental Studies 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 application for the BSc Geology with Physical Geography degree 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 degree in geology with physical geography programme allows you not only to develop an extensive and in-depth coverage of all of the fundamental aspects of cutting-edge geology, but the ability to tailor your degree to your own requirements, by choosing to specialise in particular areas of both Geology (75%) and Physical Geography (25%).

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. The Physical Geography component of the course will introduce you to Geomorphological processes and process and change in the Earth system.

Semester One

Depending on your mathematical 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
Earth and ocean system
The Earth System
Quantitative Earth and Ocean Science
Introductory Mathematics for Chemists and Oceanographers
Introduction to Mathematical Methods

Year 2

At the start of the Summer vacation between first and second years, you will participate in 12 days fieldwork in Yorkshire during which you are guided through the processes of preparing a geological map of an area around five square kilometres.

Over the two second year semesters, you will take three optional modules, including one SOES and two GEOG modules from the recommended list below.

Year 3

At the end of the summer vacation prior to the start of the third year, there is a compulsory residential field course in the final year, which is a week-long mapping trip to Anglesey. You then have a choice of either a laboratory based project (SOES3027) or the five-week independent mapping project (SOES3025) during your Summer vacation. You must also take five optional modules across the two semesters. From the options listed below, you will normally choose two GEOG modules and THREE SOES modules.

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 a degree in geology with physical geography can expect to find work in the following areas:

  • Environmental surveying, research and consultancy
  • Engineering geology, construction industry and geotechnical surveying
  • Teaching
  • Government and voluntary agencies
  • Master's degree and postgraduate research
  • The broad basis of the degree gives you entry into a wide range of other science-based careers

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 BSc Geology with Physical Geography 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

Highfield campus

Some teaching and research activities may take place on the Highfield ...Find out more

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