About this course
Explore the mysteries of the planet and develop an in-depth understanding of the Earth as a complex system. As part of this integrated Masters course, you'll spend your third year studying abroad at a renowned research institution. You'll gain the knowledge and skills for a high-level career in geoscience or to continue your scientific research.
This course will provide you with extensive, in-depth knowledge of geology. You'll explore subjects such as:
plate boundary tectonics
natural resources and sustainable development
current and past climate change
In the final year, you'll choose a topic and carry out your own research investigation. You'll work with our academic experts and world-class analytical facilities.
Your expertise will be in high demand after you graduate, as we increase our demand for raw materials like:
rare earth elements like copper and nickel
With a degree in Geology you can:
examine past climate events to help predict climate change
develop ways to discover new natural resources and exploit known ones responsibly
understand natural hazards and help avoid them
study volcanoes and the behaviour of magma
You'll study for a year at a partner institution, including:
Pennsylvania State University, USA
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
University of Bergen, Norway
As part of this course you can:
study in a world-leading research institution, National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS)
access superb, industry-standard facilities, including the National Oceanographic Library and 150 laboratories
go on field trips and residential field courses, both in the UK and abroad
gain career benefits through our many links to geological companies
develop transferable skills such as teamwork, written and oral communication, planning, presentation, data collection and analysis
Our geology courses are accredited by The Geological Society of London, meaning our teaching is of the highest quality and has been approved by an independent body of academics and industrialists.
You can download the course details, including modules, in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window (PDF, 298.16 KB).
Location and awarding body
The course location is Waterfront (National Oceanography Centre Southampton) in Southampton and Highfield campus in Southampton. The awarding body is University of Southampton.
International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) offer
Please see the University of Southampton International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) StatementPDF opens in a new window (PDF, 62.17 KB) for further information.
Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Scottish Qualification offers
Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement (PDF, 111.01 KB) for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Find a list of accepted international qualifications listed by country.
This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.
Other ways to qualify
You might meet our criteria in other ways if you do not have the qualifications we need. Find out more about:
our Access to Southampton scheme for students living permanently in the UK (including residential summer school, application support and scholarship)
skills you might have gained through work or other life experiences (otherwise known as recognition of prior learning)
Find out more about our Admissions Policy.
This degree programme let you develop an extensive and in-depth knowledge of all of the fundamental aspects of cutting-edge geology.
The first 2 years of the degree consist of compulsory and optional modules. You'll spend your third year abroad at a partner institution, and take an individual field mapping project during your summer break.
In your final year you'll conduct a major research project alongside further taught modules.
You'll get a thorough introduction to mainstream geology. You'll study earth materials and ocean biogeochemistry, and learn key skills for geoscientists.
You can also choose 2 optional modules, of which, one must be a Mathematics module.
A set of core and compulsory Geology modules will further advance your knowledge.
You'll learn key geological skills, which replicate best practice in the industry. You'll also go on a residential trip for a mapping exercise. This will develop skills in communication and analysis, and train you to visualise geological structures in 3D.
Other modules include structural geology and a study of the origin, structure and composition of igneous and metamorphic rocks.
You'll spend the year studying at one of our overseas partner institutions. Information about available modules will be provided nearer the time.
You will undertake an individual research project in year 4. This could involve an external organisation (for example, a research institution) or be hosted by one of the National Oceanography Centre Research Groups. You'll be expected to take the initiative in choosing a research topic and contacting supervisors and external sponsors.
You'll also choose from a range of specialised optional modules. The Barrel Award module is a team project to compete in an international competition organised by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
Modules year 1
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 1:
- Dynamic Earth
- Earth Materials
- Earth and Ocean System
- Introduction to Ocean Biogeochemistry
- Key Skills for Geoscientists
- The Living Earth
You can choose from the following optional modules in year 1:
- Dynamic Landscapes
- Ecology & Evolution
- Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry I for non-chemists
- Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I for non-chemists
- Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry I for non-chemists
- Introduction to Marine Ecology and Evolution
- Macromolecules of Life
- Math Methods for Scientist 1b
- Mathematical Methods for Scientists 1a
- Patterns of life and their evolution
- Physical Oceanography I
- Quantitative Earth and Ocean Sciences
- The Earth System
Modules year 2
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 2:
Modules year 3
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 3:
Modules year 4
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 4:
- Contemporary Topics in Geology and Geophysics
- Field Research and Workplace Techniques for Professional Geoscientists
- MSci Advanced Independent Research Project (GS)
You can choose from the following optional modules in year 4:
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- classes and tutorials
- individual and group projects
- independent learning (studying on your own)
Support for your studies
You'll be supported by a personal academic tutor and have access to a senior tutor.
John Marshall is the course leader.
How we’ll assess you
We’ll assess you using:
- coursework, laboratory reports and essays
- individual and group projects
- oral presentations
- written and practical exams
Geoscientists are in high demand, and many of our graduates are now working as environmental geologists, engineering geologists and geochemists.
Roles you could go into include:
This degree is also a good basis for further study at postgraduate level.
We host an annual careers fair at the National Oceanography Centre. It is attended by over 25 key employers all looking for Southampton graduates.
Careers services at Southampton
We are a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
work experience schemes
CV and interview skills and workshops
careers fairs attended by top employers
a wealth of volunteering opportunities
study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture and our dedicated start-up supporter, Futureworlds, is open to every student.
Fees, costs and funding
You'll pay £9,250 in tuition fees for the academic year 2020 to 2021. This fee might change for further years of your course.
International student fees
You’ll pay £20,970 each year. This fee will stay the same throughout your studies.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fees pay for the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
Find out how to:
Extra costs you might have to pay
- Approved Calculators
- Software Licenses
- Fieldwork: logistical costs
- Printing and Photocopying Costs
- Computer discs or USB drives
- Field Equipment and Materials
- Laboratory Equipment and Materials
- Field course clothing
See the full list of extra items and costs in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window 2020 to 2021 (PDF, 298.16 KB).
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
Bursaries, scholarships and other funding
If you're a UK or EU student and your household income is under £25,000 a year, you may be able to get a University of Southampton bursary to help with your living costs. Find out about bursaries and other funding we offer at Southampton.
If you're a care leaver or estranged from your parents, you may be able to get a specific bursary.
Get in touch for advice about student money matters.
Scholarships and grants
You may be able to get a scholarship or grant that's linked to your chosen subject area.
We award scholarships and grants for travel, academic excellence, or to students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Support during your course
The Student Services Centre offers support and advice on money to students. You may be able to access our Student Support fund and other sources of financial support during your course.
Funding for international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
The University offers a friendly, diverse and welcoming home for you while you study. You'll work, live and socialise with students from more than 130 countries.
Clubs, societies and facilities
Our campuses have:
cafes and restaurants
a post office
Our sports facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, a gym with 140 fitness stations, squash courts, a bouldering wall, outdoor pitches and much more. There are over 80 sports clubs you could join, and activity classes including yoga and spin.
We have an internationally known theatre, concert hall, art gallery and cinema showing everything from mainstream blockbusters to international arthouse classics. You could perform at a gig, concert or show, take part in an exhibition or join a writers’ workshop. Find out more about arts and culture at Southampton.
Whatever your passion or community, you can find like-minded people at one of the Students’ Union clubs and societies. There are more than 200 to join, and social activities in every hall of residence.
Support while you study
We aim to help you deal with any problems you might come across, so you can make the most of your time at university. We offer support with:
mental health, learning difficulties and disability
money and accommodation
computers and IT
How to apply
When you apply use:
UCAS Course Code: F603
UCAS Institution Code: S27
What happens after you apply
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- predicted grades
- academic achievements
- personal statement
- academic reference
We aim to respond to you within 2 to 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.