The Geological Sciences BSc offers a broad and deep education in the geological processes that govern the evolution of the Earth's surface and interior.
You'll study all the essential earth science disciplines: the sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic origins of rocks and minerals; the evolution of life on earth; plate tectonics and the structural deformation of rocks; earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and other natural hazards; geological mapping and fieldwork; and the use of geological natural resources. Specialist 'pathways' allow you to develop interests in petroleum, minerals and the environment.
There's a strong emphasis on applying your knowledge in the real world through practical hands-on learning and field trips, in national and international destinations.
You'll be taught by staff at the cutting edge of research worldwide and you'll have access to outstanding facilities.
You can convert your 3-year degree into a 4-year degree by spending an additional year on an industrial placement or overseas, before returning to Leeds to complete your final year of study. Read "Study abroad and work placements".
We also offer an Integrated Masters (combining bachelor and Masters level study), where you spend a year studying abroad at a partner university and return to Leeds to study Masters-level modules in your final year. Read Geological Sciences (International) MGeol, BSc.
Leeds is 3rd in the UK and in the Top 20 in the World for Earth Sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).
If you study in our School of Earth and Environment you'll join one of the largest and most vibrant schools in the country. We are one of the few universities that has brought together the complete range of geoscience and environmental disciplines under one banner.
We attract industry sponsorship and maintain excellent relationships with major companies in the sector, such as BP and GETECH. Their developing commercial requirements inform and influence the development of our course content.
We want to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. The School has an officer dedicated to Student experience.
This course has been accredited by The Geological Society of London, the recognised professional body for geoscientists.
An accredited degree is the first step to becoming a Chartered Geologist, an increasingly important professional qualification.
Each year of the course includes a combination of compulsory core modules and optional modules which allow you to follow your areas of interest.
Specialist 'pathways', supported by close links with industrial partners, ensure that the education we deliver prepares you for employment in a range of geoscience careers. The first year programme is common to all our geology degrees, so there is no need to specify your intended pathway until later. From year 2 you select optional modules to follow one of four 'pathways' designed to help you to acquire skills in particular areas of geology:
The Geology Pathway provides a broad geological base and if you continue on this pathway throughout your degree you can choose freely from a wide range of modules.
The Petroleum Pathway provides focused education in exploration geophysics, sedimentology, structural geology, and hydrocarbon resource geology. It is recommended for students intending to pursue a career in the hydrocarbons industry.
The Environmental Pathway provides education in aspects of environmental geology. It is recommended for students intending to pursue a career in environmental and engineering geology, or those considering working for a geoconsultancy company. You might choose modules that study the hydrological cycle, natural hazards, and waste management.
The Minerals Pathway focuses on aspects of geology relevant to ore position, mineral exploration and resource development. It is an ideal route for students considering a career in minerals exploration or mining geology.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: AAB , including two from biology, chemistry, geology, geography or environmental studies (not both), mathematics, physics.
Offers exclude general studies. You don't need to have a qualification in geology to study this course, as we start from first principles.
GCSE: English and Mathematics at grade C or above. Or an appropriate English language and Mathematics qualification.
Geology graduates are highly regarded by employers for their skills in teamwork, problem solving, IT and data handling and manipulation.
Studying Geology at Leeds opens the door to a wide range of careers. The solid scientific basis of your course and the fieldwork involved gives your degree a high value in a number of employment sectors. Oil and mineral industries are the traditional employers for geologists, but you'll also find career opportunities in new and expanding areas of engineering and environmental protection. The transferable skills that you acquire throughout your degree will help you in many employment sectors.
Your employment prospects can be further enhanced by an MSc degree, and we offer a number of related, vocational MSc degrees in Leeds, with industry sponsored scholarships and other funds available, including funding only available to Leeds graduates.
Read more about our Alumni Success Stories.
We recognise that employability is an increasingly important consideration for prospective undergraduates. With this in mind, pathways through our Geological Sciences degree enable you to focus your studies towards a favoured aspect of the discipline, helping you to maximise your chances of employment in major geoscience sectors. All years of study include a strong emphasis on applying your knowledge in the real world through practical hands-on learning and field trips, with a mix of national and international destinations.
The School of Earth and Environment is committed to enhancing employability and offers a range of initiatives to ensure our students receive the highest level of support throughout their studies. Read about careers and employability on the School website.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
'I would certainly recommend Leeds for Geology ... It is highly regarded, and is a good course in a friendly department.' Read more Myron Thomas, Geological Sciences BSc
Study abroad and work placements
You can convert your 3-year degree into a 4-year study abroad degree by spending an additional year overseas, before returning to Leeds to complete your final year of study. You don't apply directly to this course, instead you can register your interest with us once you've enrolled on the 3-year degree.
To be eligible for Study Abroad you'll need to maintain a good average in your assessments in years 1 and 2 and, for some destinations, you may have to show you have the necessary language skills. Read more about eligibility on the Study Abroad website.
The Study Abroad Office and the School provide guidance to help you set up a study place at one of the University's partner institutions from around the world. Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
You may also be interested in our integrated Masters, which includes a year studying in Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA. Read Geological Sciences (International) MGeol, BSc.
You can convert your 3-year degree into a 4-year industrial degree by spending an additional year on an industrial placement, before returning to Leeds to complete your final year of study. This allows you to gain valuable hands-on experience, and earn a salary, before you complete the final year of your degree.
You can choose this option in advance, by applying directly to Geological Sciences (Industrial) BSc. You can also start on this degree and register your interest in this exciting opportunity after you begin.
The School has strong connections with industry and will help you through the search, application and interview process. You may end up working in or near Leeds, near your home, or perhaps overseas. The School will provide guidance and assistance throughout the process and will support you during your placement, liaising with your employer to ensure that your work is of value to your academic development.
Students who choose the Year in Industry option frequently receive attractive offers of employment when they graduate. The employability benefits include opportunities to:
Read more about Year in Industry on the School website.
Fieldwork will be an essential element of your degree, and is one of the most enjoyable and sociable parts of the course for students and staff alike. The Geology programme at Leeds includes a variety of field course destinations in the UK and abroad. The Leeds degree includes residential field trips in every year, during which you will learn basic field and geological mapping skills, study sedimentary metamorphic and structural processes, and investigate natural resource, hazard and geo-environmental issues. Your field training culminates in a six week independent mapping project in a location chosen from areas such as the Isle of Skye, the Peak District, the Cornish coast, the Alps, the Pyrenees, the West Coast of Ireland, and Greece.
Because we recognise the value of field experience the school heavily subsidises or covers the transport and accommodation costs for all compulsory taught fieldcourses and many optional field trips, we also contribute to the cost of your independent mapping project.
'The practical field skills I gained while studying at Leeds have proved essential while conducting independent research in my current role.' Read more Tim Wrighton, BSc Geological Sciences
Related coursesGeophysical Sciences BSc
Geography and Geology BSc
Geological Sciences (Industrial) BSc
Geological Sciences (International) MGeol, BSc