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

GG99 BSc (Hons) Geophysics and Geology (3 years)

Our BSc Geophysics and Geology course will give you an in-depth understanding of the geological processes that have shaped the Earth over the past four billion years, and how physical principles can be applied to study processes operating in, on and around our planet.

Apply nowThis course has places available in Clearing.

Introducing your degree

We will give you access to fantastic facilities including Europe's largest Earth and marine sciences library, cutting-edge labs and teaching equipment as well as learning from leading academics in their field. You will graduate with the field-based research skills to support careers at the cutting edge of geology and geophysics.

All of our geoscience degree 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.

Photo of Sam Oakley
I was sold by the professionalism of NOCS and the relaxed and open nature of Highfield campus. There was a very welcoming atmosphere here on the open day and that’s continued to be present for 3 years since.
Sam Oakley, BSc Geophysical Sciences
Joe in Seisemic processing lab

Geophysics is one of our primary methods for investigating and understanding the Earth, including such topics as plate tectonics and earthquakes, and exploration to discover what is under the Earth’s surface. There are a host of different applications and career directions from archaeology and engineering to hazard assessment and sustainable use of resources.

Ocean and Earth Science (OES) 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.

Ocean and Earth Science is housed in the prestigious National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS), which opened in 1995 housing the University of Southampton department and part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)’s National Oceanography Centre. NOCS is one of the world’s largest centres devoted to research, teaching and technology development in ocean and Earth science.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

Programme Structure

The programme is offered as a full-time course. The BSc programme normally lasts for three years. The key content of the programme is delivered within the compulsory modules, while options in each year allow you to control specialisation. Transfer to the MSci programme is possible up to the end of year 2.

At Southampton the programme is divided into individual study modules for each Part.  Each study module is accredited as being worth a certain number of ECTS points (ECTS = European Credit Transfer Scheme). Normally up to 60 hours comprises contact teaching (lectures, practicals, tutorials, etc.), and the remainder of the time is for your own independent study.  You need to acquire 60 ECTS at each level. Most modules are generally assessed at the end of each semester, but some are assessed entirely by coursework throughout the duration of the module. Information about pre and co-requisites is included in individual module profiles.

Study is undertaken in three parts for the BSc, each part corresponding to one year of full-time study.  At Southampton the programme is delivered in a semester pattern, each semester having 12 weeks for teaching and learning and 2-3 weeks for examinations.

Part 1

In Part 1 you will learn the basics of Earth Science, alongside developing Maths skills significantly beyond A-level. You will gain an overview of how the Earth works as a system, including the interactions between the solid Earth and the oceans and atmosphere. You will learn about the minerals which are the basic constituent parts of rocks, their chemical compositions, and how to identify them both in hand specimens and using a microscope. You will start to learn how to interpret geological maps, and understand geological processes within a plate tectonic framework. In addition you will start to build field skills with both geological and geophysical field courses. You will also start to learn technical software (such as Geographic Information Systems) and programming skills, which will continue throughout the degree. The modules in Part I are designed so that they are accessible to students who have not studied Geology A-level, but will still stretch those who have.

Part 2

Part 2 builds on the material from Part I, and gives you a grounding in all the skills that you need to be effective as a Geophysicist. You will start to understand the controls on how rocks deform, and methods for quantitative analysis of field deformation data. You will see how we can use geophysical exploration for a range of targets, including engineering onshore. You will develop the understanding of how igneous rocks form, and how rocks can be metamorphosed at high temperatures and pressures. You will see how we can use principles from chemistry to investigate processes within the Earth, and how we can use chemical isotopes to date those processes. You will also start to learn about the way that materials can be transported and deposited to form sedimentary rocks. Your technical skills will be enhanced by regular use of GIS and by further developing your programming skills to analyse large geophysical datasets. Your field skills will be developed by two courses which will include independent mapping of small regions.

Part 3

During Part 3 there is a focus on synthesising the material from the previous years. You will study the long-term evolution of the Earth, and how it has become and remained a suitable place for life. You will engage with the core observations that sit behind ideas such as plate tectonics, working with current research data during guided exercises exploring how to analyse it, and see how an Earth scientist must combine different types of data in order to make progress. You will develop your knowledge and ability to apply geophysical exploration methods, and look at the Physics and Maths that allow us to understand the large-scale structure of the Earth. You will gain experience using geophysical equipment in the field by designing your own surveys to investigate the near-surface geology of a region. In addition you will carry out an independent research project that allows you to develop in-depth skills in a scientific area of your own interests.

Why study at Southampton?

  • With an interdisciplinary focus, we draw on expertise from a wide variety of disciplines from across the University
  • We have strong links with a range of geophysical companies across all key discipline areas, which has resulted in many students securing summer internships and later employment
  • Our degree programmes will enable you to study a mix of quantative and descriptive disciplines that are highly sought by employers
  • Our degrees ensure you get valuable, career relevant fieldwork expertise
  • Based at our unique Waterfront Campus, the world-leading research institute, National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS)

Typical entry requirements

GCSEs:
Typical GCSE entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Geophysics and Geology
QualificationGrade
GCSEMinimum of 5.
A Levels:
Typical A Levels entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Geophysics and Geology
QualificationGrade
GCE A-levelABB including Maths and at least one other ‘preferred’ subject.
IB:
Typical IB entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Geophysics and Geology
QualificationGrade
International Baccalaureate32 points including HL Maths.
Selection process:

The University’s Admissions Policy applies equally to all programmes of study. The following are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed below will also be acceptable.

The Faculty welcomes applications from school leavers, graduates and mature students. To be admitted to this programme you must be able to satisfy the requirements of the University of Southampton.

 

All places are conditional on satisfactory evidence of academic achievement.

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

Typical course content

Please note that where a list of options has been given, this is an indicative list and we cannot guarantee to offer every option each year.

Year 1

Compulsory
SOES1002Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1008Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1001Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1014Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
MATH1009Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
MATH1008Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
Optional

Two of the following modules must be taken. If you have not taken A-level Chemistry we recommend SOES1005; if you have not taken A-level Physics we recommend SOES1012 or SOES1004. SOES1004 is a prerequisite for SOES2010 in year 2.

GEOG1002Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1004Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1005Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES1012Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15

Year 2

Compulsory
SOES2038Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2039Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
30
SOES2037Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2018Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2004Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2013Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
Optional

One module should be chosen from the recommended list below. However, students may be able to choose this option from the approved list, provided the timetable allows and you have the correct pre-requisites. We recommend MATH2015 as an option if you have marks over 60% in MATH1008 and MATH1009. SOES2003 is recommended if you want to take SOES3002 in year 3.

SOES2024Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2003Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
MATH2015Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES2010Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15

Year 3

Compulsory
SOES6004Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES6037Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3021Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3032Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3006Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3050Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
30
Optional

ONE module must be chosen from the recommended list below. The options at this level enable you to gain experience at the leading edge of the subject, and will help to support employment or education directions beyond the degree. For SOES3020 there is a fieldtrip to Tenerife and you will be asked to pay towards some of the costs, which in previous years has been approximately £300

SOES3014Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3041Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3042Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3008Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3010Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3015Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3002Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3029Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15
SOES3020Credit[?]
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
15

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).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Geophysics and GeologyBSc2019Full time£9,250£20,970
View the full list of course fees

Funding

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 www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

You will develop core knowledge and understanding, subject specific skills and general and transferable, graduate key skills via compulsory module and specialised option module lectures, tutor and student -led tutorials, student-led seminars and presentations, essay and report writing, effective use of the internet, guided independent study, group study and your own research. Experimental, research, experimental design, data processing and interpretive/analytical skills are further developed through laboratory and practical classes and fieldwork (including boatwork).

Study Locations

Waterfront Campus

NOCS (National Oceanography Centre Southampton)

Ocean and Earth Sciences is based at the world-renowed National Oceano...Find out more

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