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

F662 BSc Geophysics with Foundation Year

The one-year course provides an introduction to mathematics, mechanics, computer programming, electricity & electronics and engineering principles and provides the skills required to study successfully for an undergraduate degree.

Introducing your degree

This is the course page for BSc Geophysics with Foundation Year at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Geophysics with Foundation Year 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 Geophysics with Foundation Year.

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.



What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

The foundation year is the preliminary year (often called 'Year 0') of a four- or five-year programme. By applying for this course you are expressing a general interest in moving on to the BSc (Hons) Geophysical Sciences (UCAS code F640) degree. Providing you achieve the stipulated marks in each subject you will have a guaranteed place on one of these courses for the following year.

This Foundation Year also qualifies you for entry to a range of degrees in the fields of Engineering, Maths and Physics at the University of Southampton.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

Applications should be made through UCAS using the relevant UCAS code for your discipline:


Engineering courses:

BEng Acoustical Engineering with Foundation Year (H340)

MEng Acoustical Engineering with Foundation Year (H016)

BEng Aeronautics and Astronautics with Foundation Year (H420)

MEng Aeronautics and Astronautics with Foundation Year (H410)

BEng Civil Engineering with Foundation Year (H220)

MEng Civil Engineering with Foundation Year (H209)

MEng Civil Engineering with Architecture with Foundation Year (H2K1)

MEng Civil and Environmental Engineering with Foundation Year (H202)

BSc Computer Science with Foundation Year (I100)

MEng Computer Science with Foundation Year (I101)

BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H604)

MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H605)

BEng Electrical Engineering with Foundation Year (H621)

MEng Electrical Engineering with Foundation Year (H622)

BEng Electromechanical Engineering with Foundation Year (H360)

MEng Electromechanical Engineering with Foundation Year (H631)

BEng Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H612)

MEng Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H613)

BEng Mechanical Engineering with Foundation Year (H421)

MEng Mechanical Engineering with Foundation Year (J512)

BEng Ship Science with Foundation Year (H518)

MEng Ship Science with Foundation Year (H510)

BEng Software Engineering with Foundation Year (I300)

MEng Software Engineering with Foundation Year (I303)


Geophysics courses:

BSc Geophysics with Foundation Year (F662)


Maths courses:

BSc Maths with Foundation Year (DG1R)

MMaths with Foundation Year (BG1M)


Physics courses:

BSc Physics with Foundation Year (F301)

MPhys Physics with Foundation Year (F305)


For more information, contact the Engineering, Physics and Geophysics Foundation Admissions Team:

Phone: +44 (0)23 8059 3113



The majority of our degree courses carry professional accreditation.

Programme Structure

The Engineering/Geophysics/Maths/Physics Foundation Year is a one-year full-time course integrated with a further three or four-year degree course.

Key Facts

A route to a degree in a physical sciences subject for students without the traditional entry qualifications

Designed to build up your competance in maths and physics

Usually almost half of our Foundation Year students are from overseas, and up to a third are mature students (over 21)

Taught on the University's Highfield Campus.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

If you have not taken mathematics and/or physics at A-Level then you will usually need a Foundation Year. Our offer for students who have studied A-Levels is typically ABB. All applicants need Grade B in GCSE Maths and Grade C in GCSE English Language.

GCE A-level ABB (cannot include subjects suitable for direct entry, normally Mathematics and Physics)

International BaccalaureateA typical offer for the IB is 32 points overall. Please note that we cannot accept subjects that make you eligible for direct entry (for example both maths and physics at Higher Level).
BTEC National Diploma:

Typical offer for National Diploma (18 Units) in an engineering subject is DDD, to include Distinctions in Mathematics for Technicians and Further Mathematics for Technicians units.

Other qualifications:

If you have UK qualifications not listed above, your application will be considered on an individual basis. Visit our International Office pages for more information in entry requirements for international students.

If you can show a proven ability in mathematics and science, but you come from a region or country where an A-Level equivalent qualification is not available, you may be considered for the Foundation Year.

Mature applicants:

We welcome applications from mature applicants (aged over 21). Applicants will need to demonstrate recent study (in the last two years) or work experience relevant to your preferred subject area. Study could include for example an A level, a relevant Level 3 Access course, or a 60 Credit Level 1 Open University module. You will also need to demonstrate an aptitude for mathematics; applicants may be required to take our own maths test. Applicants may also be invited to an individual interview. Please contact us for more information before applying.

English language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:
140 (overall intake for Engineering, Physics and Geophysics Foundation)
Average applications per place:

Each application is considered individually. However, you need to demonstrate an aptitude for maths, either through recent study or by taking our maths test.

Each BSc Geophysics degree application is considered individually. However, you need to demonstrate an aptitude for maths, either through recent study or by taking our Maths test. For mature applicants we look for recent study (for example completed Open University modules) or relevant work experience.

More details about entry and selection are on the University of Southampton's Engineering, Physics and Geophysics Foundation Year pages.

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

Whatever degree you are aiming for, you will take all of the modules listed below. In addition you will be expected to complete coursework in all subjects. The year is divided into two semesters, each lasting 15 weeks. Modules last for two semesters.



Year 1

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 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 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 addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingCoursework such as essays, projects and dissertations may be submittable online. However, some items will require submission as a printed copy, including some items where it is not possible to submit online Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance towards the costs of printing lecture handouts or you may choose to use digital versions only during lectures. The University Print Centre also offer a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here ( They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Current costs can be found here ( £0.05-0.50

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryApproved Calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentField Equipment and Materials: Please see Appendix 4.
EquipmentLaboratory Equipment and Materials: Laboratory equipment and consumables will be provided where appropriate. (Please also see Appendix 4).
FieldworkLogistical costs: Please see Appendix 4.
ClothingLab coats and safety spectacles: Marine Biology students will receive a lab coat, dissection kit and waterproof notebook during Induction. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
ClothingWet Suits: You will need to purchase a suitable wet suit and associated snorkelling equipment if participating on SOES6052.
EquipmentData Storage: Students are expected to provide their own data storage device
EquipmentSoftware Licenses: Will be provided by the University where appropriate
EquipmentHardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

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

Appendix 4: Fieldwork and related University contributions and Costs

This appendix covers all programmes offered in Ocean and Earth Science that include fieldwork.

Fieldwork: introduction

Experience of working in the field is an essential part of your learning process and is also widely regarded as valuable in personal development.

Please note that circumstances may dictate that some field-courses are timetabled within part of the vacation period.

For compulsory residential field courses, accommodation and travel are provided (for Independent Geology Mapping a fixed amount is provided to cover these costs for the least expensive area). You are usually expected to cover the costs of food and drink, although some courses may include meals. For optional field courses, students are asked to make a contribution to the travel and/or accommodation costs. Details are provided in the table below.

Please note that if a field course is compulsory for your degree programme and you later move from that degree programme to one where that field course is optional, you will be charged for the cost of that field course. To provide an example: students on the MSci Marine Biology programme undertaking the field course to Bermuda will be charged the full cost of the field course if they later choose to transfer to the BSc Marine Biology degree programme.

In addition to the field courses mentioned in this booklet, there are also one-day field courses associated with specific modules; students are expected to cover food and drink costs for these days, but transport is arranged and paid for by the department. As the department arranges transport, should students wish to make their own way to or from field courses, then they must meet these costs themselves.

Additional Information

SOES3020: Tenerife Field Course

As this is an overseas field course which requires the department to make early flight bookings to minimise costs, students who pre-register for this module will be liable for the full flight costs if they subsequently opt not to take the module.

SOES3025: Independent Geology Mapping

Precise costs depend on specific arrangements made by students and on individual destinations. The department undertakes to cover the costs for accommodation and travel up to the cost of the least expensive destination, and currently provides £500 per student.

SOES6052: Tropical Field Course

This field trip is optional and open only to MSci Marine Biology and MSci Biology with Marine Biology students. Students are expected to fund their travel and to provide their own snorkelling equipment, including 3mm-thick wetsuit. The total cost is currently expected to be no more than £800-900. The department provides full board, IT and lab facilities and course-related travel whilst on Bermuda.


Where a student contribution is made, invoices will be issued approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of a field course and payment will be due within 7 days.

Dates and costs are correct at the time of going to press.

Fieldwork equipment 

Geology and Geophysics students

• Geology and Geophysics students will need a minimum amount of field equipment and this is provided by the department. Most will be provided during Induction.

• Geology students receive: compass-clinometer; geological hammer; hand lens; waterproof field notebooks (quantity depends on degree programme); steel tape measure; safety helmet; clip board; safety goggles; bottle for dilute hydrochloric acid; outdoor first aid kit; 3 mapping pens; grain size comparator cards.

• Geophysics students receive: compass-clinometer; hand lens; waterproof field notebooks (quantity depends on degree programme); steel tape measure; safety helmet; clip board; safety goggles; bottle for dilute hydrochloric acid; outdoor first aid kit; 3 mapping pens; grain size comparator cards.

• All Geology and Geophysics students are recommended to purchase the following items: a pair of compasses; set squares; protractor; pencils (including coloured); eraser; University-approved calculator.

• Geology and Geophysics students will also need to provide their own walking boots, waterproof clothing, and a rucksack; some students purchase a ‘Weather writer’ which affords more protection for maps in wet weather.

• Some of the items not included in the induction pack can be purchased from the department/University. Please visit Room 161/05, Level 1, NOCS.

Marine Biology and Oceanography

• Marine Biology students will receive a lab coat, dissection kit and waterproof notebook during Induction.

• Oceanography students will receive a lab coat and waterproof notebook during Induction.

Insurance (travel, medical, personal property and baggage)

Students are automatically insured whilst on University organised field courses undertaken as part of their official studies, including field work.

Career Opportunities

Successfully completing the Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to the majority of our engineering, physics and geophysics courses. Our engineering courses carry professional accreditation and offer excellent career prospects.

Graduates who have entered our degrees through the Foundation Year have progressed to a variety of exciting engineering, science and technology roles in the private and public sectors, as well as to self employment and consultancy, both in the UK and overseas.

For more information please visit specific subject pages.

Learning & Assessment

Teaching and learning

Our students acquire knowledge and understanding through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory experiments, coursework and individual and group assignments. You will develop the transferable skills for degree success.

Ground-breaking research

The University has an excellent reputation for research in engineering and science. You will be taught by staff at the cutting edge of their research fields in an environment that promotes and values independent enquiry and helps you to develop these skills for yourselves.

Assessment and examinations

You will be assessed through unseen written exams, short tests, assessed coursework in the form of laboratory log books and reports, problems and other set assignments.

Study Locations

Highfield Campus: Shackleton Building

Highfield campus

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

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

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

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