F662 Geophysics with Geology BSc Undergraduate 2021
Please note: 2020-21 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Summaries of course-specific changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19 will be provided to applicants during August 2020.
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
|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?|
Geophysics is the application of physical principles to the study of the structure and dynamics of the Earth and increasingly other planets. Geophysics has many practical applications and forms an essential part of the economic exploitation of hydrocarbon and mineral resources. Geophysicists are also involved with assessing and mitigating natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.
The Geophysics with Geology degree shows progression from the first year through to the third year. In the first year, you share the compulsory modules with the other degree courses, but it also includes additional compulsory modules which specialise in Mathematics and Physics. In the second and third years, you deal with material that is specialist, numerically based and at the cutting-edge of geophysical research.
Graduates from this degree have secured employment across the geoscience sector, within the mineral exploration and extraction industries, in petroleum exploration companies, and with environmental and hydro-geological industries. The advanced quantitative skills developed during this course can provide a strong base for securing employment outside geoscience, for example, in finance, insurance and banking.
- Earth Materials
- Understanding Earth Sciences
- Field Studies
- Further Mathematics for Geoscientists
- Fieldwork (Geophysical)
- Geophysical Methods for Geoscientists
- Geophysical Data Applications
- Structural Geology and Tectonics.
Example optional modules:
- Hydrology and Climate
- Igneous and Metamorphic Geochemistry and Petrology
- Sedimentary Environments and Paleoecology
- Modelling Earth Processes
- Up to two modules from another academic department.
- Advanced Geophysics
- Earth Structure and Dynamics.
Example optional modules:
- Petrology, Geochemistry and Global Tectonics
- Earth System and Climate
- Geological Evolution and Petroleum Systems of the British Isles
- Volcanology and Magmatism
- Deformation Processes of the Lithosphere
- 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 2021 entry from September 2020.
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, tutorials and fieldwork. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular area, and identify the main areas for discussion and debate. Practical classes and fieldwork allow you to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills in Geophysics. Tutorials provide opportunities for smaller groups to discuss and debate particular issues or areas, based on the knowledge that you have gained through your lectures and practical classes.
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 that 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. It is expected that you will attend a week-long field course in the Lake District during the Easter vacation.
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 introduce you to, and give you the chance to practice geophysical research methods. You are required to attend a one-week geophysics field course.
This move towards independent learning continues in your final year. You are required to carry out a dissertation. You will be assigned a tutor appropriate to 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 geophysical 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 developed in earlier years is continued through your dissertation. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with who 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 will 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 will 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 available to meet with you 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, there is also 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 Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Economics, and Biology or Psychology. One of these science subjects must be Mathematics or Further Mathematics.
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 Programme 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||£27,350.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£27,350.00 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 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 and EU 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
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 2020.
- 4th in The Complete University Guide 2020.
- 4th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.
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.