Geology

Join world-leading experts working on some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century, including natural hazards, water resources, and mineral and hydrocarbon exploration.

Excellent reputation

Geology at Bristol is ranked 4th in the UK and 21st in the world (QS World University Rankings by subject 2021).

Student satisfaction

MSci Geology has a 100% overall student satisfaction rate, and 100% of students said their course was intellectually stimulating (NSS 2020).

Hands-on learning

The whole Earth is our laboratory, and fieldwork is an integral part of our teaching. An exciting programme of field trips is included in your tuition fee.

Geology at Bristol

Geology is the study of the solid Earth, the materials of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change. Join a world-renowned research community and learn from experts working to understand issues of global importance, from living with volcanic and seismic hazards, to understanding environmental change and our impact on it, to sustainably procuring the resources that we need for our society.

We have large geology collections available to students and you will gain practical experience with over 40 days of fieldwork in the UK and overseas, the cost of which is included in your tuition fee. We carefully choose field locations to be directly relevant to your studies, and you’ll develop a strong set of scientific and transferable skills by putting theory into action.

You may also be interested in other earth sciences subjects at Bristol, including Geophysics, Environmental Geoscience, and Palaeontology and Evolution.

Earth scientists will, no doubt, play a vital role in the future as the transition to green energy becomes even more important. Studying geology will equip you with the tools and skills needed to make a positive difference to this planet.

Demi, BSc Geology

Career prospects

Geology graduates from Bristol travel the world, working in fields as diverse as natural resources, meteorology, the nuclear industry and geotechnical services, as well as in areas such as journalism and management.

Some graduates go on to further study or careers in scientific media, finance and teaching. The teamwork, problem-solving and quantitative skills acquired by our graduates are highly valued by academic institutions as well as by industry and employers in other sectors.

Our courses are accredited by the Geological Society of London, providing additional assurance on the external recognition of your degree.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

During the course we focus on developing your enthusiasm for earth sciences and giving you the skills and knowledge to meet the scientific challenges of the future.

Our courses are delivered through lectures, laboratory-based practicals and organised field trips. In addition, small-group tutorials help you to develop essential skills. You will be expected to develop independent learning skills and to self-assess your progress with the aid of feedback from teaching staff.

An enjoyment of the outdoors is an advantage as we spend a considerable amount of time completing field assignments. We work in many parts of the UK, and everyone will undertake at least one overseas field course.

On our Study Abroad degree, you can spend your third year studying at one of our prestigious partner universities overseas. Current locations include Canada, the US, Iceland and New Zealand. Find out more at Global Opportunities.

There is flexibility to transfer between geology and environmental geoscience courses at the end of the first year, and between BSc, MSci and Study Abroad options.

First-class facilities

Our state-of-the-art facilities include the Earth Science Collection, which contains more than 100,000 specimens of historical and scientific importance.

Geology

Geology is the study of the solid Earth, the materials of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change. It is vital for the understanding and amelioration of natural hazards, water resource management and mineral and hydrocarbon exploration.

During the course we focus on developing your enthusiasm for earth sciences and giving you the skills and knowledge to meet the scientific challenges of the future.

Why study Geology at Bristol?

Join a world-renowned research community and learn from experts working to understand issues of global importance, from living with volcanic and seismic hazards, to understanding environmental change and our impact on it, to sustainably procuring the resources that we need for our society. 

Our courses are accredited by the Geological Society of London, providing additional assurance on the external recognition of your degree.

We have large geology collections available to students and you will gain practical experience with over 40 days of fieldwork in the UK and overseas, the cost of which is included in your tuition fee. Field locations are carefully chosen to be directly relevant to your studies and you’ll develop a strong set of scientific and transferable skills by putting theory into action.

There is flexibility to transfer between geology and environmental geoscience at the end of the first year, and between BSc, MSci and Year Abroad options.

See the School of Earth Sciences on film.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Geology is a subject that people with a broad interest in science will find rewarding. If you are naturally curious about the planet that you inhabit and don't want to narrow your studies down to one science, you will do particularly well.

An enjoyment of the outdoors is an advantage as we spend a considerable amount of time completing field assignments. We work in many parts of the UK, and everyone will undertake at least one overseas field course.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Our courses are delivered through lectures, laboratory-based practicals and organised field trips. In addition, small-group tutorials help you to develop key skills.

You will be expected to develop independent learning skills and to self-assess your progress with the aid of feedback from teaching staff. A range of assessment methods is used; some units are assessed by exams, some by coursework and some by a combination of the two.

What are my career prospects?

Geology graduates from Bristol travel the world, working in fields as diverse as natural resources, meteorology, the nuclear industry and geotechnical services, as well as in areas such as journalism and management.

Some graduates go on to further study or careers in scientific media, finance and teaching. The teamwork, problem-solving and quantitative skills acquired by our graduates are highly valued by academic institutions as well as by industry and employers in other sectors. 

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Hear from Earth Sciences alumni about what they're doing now.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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