F643 Geoscience BSc Undergraduate 2020
|Mode of study||Full Time|
|Typical Offers||A Level|
|Please also check Requirements and Admissions.|
|Contextual Offers||You may be eligible for an offer which is one or two grades lower than our standard entry requirements. Find out more.|
|More information||Still have questions?|
The Geoscience course provides you with maximum flexibility in module choices and is suitable if you have a wide-ranging interest across the Earth Science subjects. This means that assuming pre-requisite module criteria are met, all modules are optional, bar the compulsory Level 3 dissertation module. Because of the high degree of flexibility, this degree is not accredited by the Geological Society of London.
After completing this course Geoscience graduates gain employment in the fields of mineral exploration and petroleum geology, engineering geology, environmental and hydrogeology consultancies, GIS companies, geological surveys, as well as securing places on Masters and PhD courses. The numeracy, critical thinking and problem solving skills that you will develop on the course are highly valued in a wide range of non-geoscience careers, including teaching, business management, insurance and accounting, banking and finance.
- Earth Materials
- Understanding Earth Sciences
- Environment and Resources
- Field Studies
- Mathematical Methods in Geosciences
- Further Mathematics for Geoscientists
- Up to two modules from another academic department
- Structural Geology and Tectonics
- Igneous and Metamorphic Geochemistry and Petrology
- Sedimentary Environments and Paleoecology
- Hydrology and Climate
- Geophysical Data Applications
- Geophysical Methods for Geoscientists
- Modelling Earth Processes
- One module from another academic department
- Earth System and Climate
- Earth Structure and Dynamics
- Advanced Geophysics
- Geological Evolution and Petroleum Systems of the British Isles
- Tectonics and Deformation Processes
- Environmental Geochemistry
- Earth Sciences into Schools
- Environmental Management
We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2020 entry from September 2019.
You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.
Course Learning and Teaching
This course is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, practical classes and fieldwork. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area and identify the main areas for discussion and debate. Practical classes and fieldwork allows you to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills in Earth Science. Tutorials then provide the opportunity for smaller groups to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that you have gained through your lectures and independent study outside the courses formal contact hours.
The balance of these types of activities changes over the course of the degree, as you develop your knowledge and your abilities as an independent learner. This is one of the key attributes you will develop (thereby preparing you for work or further study once you have completed the course). In the first year you will typically attend six hours a week of lectures, and 12 hours of practical classes. You are also required to attend six tutorial sessions during the academic year. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge. You may opt to participate in a one-week field trip to the Lake District during the Easter vacation of your first year.
The balance starts to shift in the second year, as you develop your abilities as an independent learner. Lectures still play an important role in supporting you in developing your knowledge and skills, with an average of six hours a week, and you will participate in six, two-hour practical classes per week across the academic year that both introduce you to, and give you the chance to practice geological research methods. There are no compulsory field courses within this degree route, however, they are optional.
This move towards greater emphasis on independent learning continues in the final year. You have the option to carry out a dissertation. You will be assigned a tutor appropriate for your dissertation. Support for your dissertation will take the form of one-to-one tutorial sessions. This provides you with the opportunity to engage with academic issues at the forefront of Earth Science research, in a learning environment that is very much focused on discussion and debate of these issues. This places a premium on preparing effectively for classes. This emphasis on using independent study and research skills that you developed in earlier years is continued through the dissertation that you will undertake. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff you will typically have three or four one-to-one supervisory meetings, you will undertake a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research. At Level 3 you have the option to attend a one-week field trip to Cyprus, and there is the optional module which requires you to attend a field trip to Tenerife.
Throughout the course, you also have access to an academic tutor who will provide you with academic support and guidance. Typically you will meet with your tutor six times a year, in addition to which all members of teaching staff have an open door policy and are available to meet on a ‘drop-in’ basis. The Department also has an exciting programme of weekly one-hour research seminars which you are strongly encouraged to attend, and there is a seminar programme run throughout the year by the student-led Arthur Holmes Society.
Subject requirements, level and grade
A level offer – AAB Including two sciences from Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Economics, and Biology or Psychology.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DDD plus two science A levels from the list above.
IB Diploma score – 36 With 665 in higher level subjects, including two science subjects from the list above.
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
- We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.
- If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses
- If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre
- We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.
Science A levels
Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Information relevant to your country
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£25,800.00 per year|
Please be advised that there is an additional fee of £130 to cover first-year fieldwork. Fieldwork costs for subsequent years are dependent on degree route and modules chosen.
The tuition fees shown for home and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.
The tuition fees shown for overseas students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
"Durham offered more than just a degree. It opened doors to opportunities which have proved invaluable in becoming a more rounded person. From the Durham University-led BP summer internship to taking a year out to work for the Environment Agency, I honed skills that I’d picked up in lectures and gained vital industry context." Rosie, 2017, ESRI UK
Earth Scientists perform critical roles in every society worldwide. Earth Scientists locate and manage the natural resources we need to support our energy needs, to develop new technology and progress as a society. They protect the planet from humankind's excesses, and they protect humankind from natural disasters. The UK and indeed the world needs Earth Scientists more than ever and a degree from Durham University will ensure that you are able to maximise this opportunity, develop a successful career in geoscience, and play an important part in society.
Our degrees offer the perfect start to a huge range of careers in the Earth and Environmental Sciences. Our graduates go on to secure employment within environmental management, engineering geology, hydrology and hydrogeology, natural resource exploration and management (oil, gas, minerals), GIS, and governmental environmental agencies.
Durham Earth Science degrees are also widely recognised as an excellent general degree qualification by a broad range of employers. Our graduates excel in quantitative analysis, problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, data synthesis, hypothesis testing, and in dealing with uncertainty. Many of our graduates have successful careers as professionals in the financial services, insurance, data analysis, accounting, management, business, and education sectors.
Of those students that left in 2017:
- 95% are in employment or further study
Of those in employment:
- 90% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £20,000
(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2016/17 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:www.hesa.ac.uk/support/definitions/destinations)
The exposure to both academic and industry circles during my time at Durham was invaluable, which was greatly helped by the CeREES Geo-Energy Scholarship Programme offered by the department of Earth Sciences. The department of Earth Sciences is a highly regarded department both in terms of research and the calibre of teaching.1
BP has enjoyed a productive relationship with Durham's Department of Earth Sciences, recruiting many geologists and geophysicists over the years and working collaboratively on a number of research projects. In recent years the establishment of CeREES has seen the quantity and quality of applicants increase. The 'industry-savy' aspects of the programme equip graduate students with a wider and deeper grasp of the challenges and opportunities the energy industry affords, adding value that clearly manifests itself in the students' applications and at interview. With the recent establishment of the Durham Energy Institute I look forward to this trend strengthening. In our current intake I've been particularly pleased to see a Durham undergraduate competing successfully against those with MScs and PhDs from other leading universities.
All but one of our degree courses are accredited by our professional body (The Geological Society of London - GSL), demonstrating that our undergraduate courses cover the range of skills expected of a trained geoscientist at this level. The Geoscience degree course (F643) is not accredited and provides a more flexible route for students who are unable to carry out the amount of fieldwork required by the GSL for accreditation.
Open days and visits
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Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place: www.durham.ac.uk/opendays
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Overseas Visit Schedule
Earth Science draws upon elements of physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and physical geography. You will study the present state of the Earth to develop an understanding of the geological past. You will look at climate change, the formation of the oceans, mass extinctions, the nature of rocks and minerals, and the structure and chemistry of the Earth. Earth Science embraces the entire planet from the surface to the core and also contributes to our understanding of other planets in our solar system and beyond.
The Department is very proud of its high-quality teaching, underpinned by internationally renowned research. We are based in a purpose-built, modern building with state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research. We welcome hard-working, motivated applicants and take pride in our graduates, who go on to a wide range of highly successful careers in the Earth Sciences, both in industry and research.
- World Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2019.
- 5th in The Complete University Guide 2019.
- 7th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
The Department has premises on the Mountjoy Site very close to the University’s IT facilities and Bill Bryson Library. We have excellent equipment including: extensive computing facilities (including multimedia PCs and UNIX workstations); microscopes; TV/microscope projection facilities; four lecture/practical laboratories with comprehensive A/V facilities; extensive state-of-the-art geochemical research laboratories; a micropaleontology laboratory; a geophysics seismic research facility; extensive rock sample and thin section teaching and research collections. Our Department is designated as a mainstream centre for teaching and research covering the broad spectrum of Earth Sciences. We are a friendly, social and informal community of about 80 staff and 300 students, more than 70 of whom are working for MSc and PhD degrees. In the recent HEFCE teaching quality review, the Department was graded Excellent.