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 master's 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 master's in geology with year abroad 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.
This course is based at Waterfront (National Oceanography Centre Southampton) and Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
We don’t have the entry requirements for this course yet. Please check again later.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
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.
Year 1 overview
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.
Year 2 overview
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.
Year 3 overview
You'll spend the year studying at one of our overseas partner institutions. Information about available modules will be provided nearer the time.
Year 4 overview
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.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- classes and tutorials
- individual and group projects
- independent learning (studying on your own)
You’ll be supported by a personal academic tutor and have access to a senior tutor.
John Marshall is the course leader.
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
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £20,970.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fees pay for the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
Find out how to:
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.
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.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000