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About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Geography and Environmental Management
Three years full-time; four years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Dr Chris Spencer
Key fact:
You will develop a strong understanding of geology with core themes in hydrogeology, geotechnics and geological hazards, applied in real-world scenarios and with options to suit your interests, including GIS in geology, Quaternary geology, geotechnical hazards, fluvial and coastal geomorphology.

Page last updated 4 July 2017


Why study BSc(Hons) Geology?

Geology has a significant role to play in addressing many of the challenges facing society today. This has led to growing industries dedicated to geotechnics, hazards and civil engineering. Through developing the right skills and knowledge in this field, you will be able to play a vital role in these industries. You will also develop analytical and communication skills, which are sought after by employers across a wide range of industries.

Why study our course?

BSc(Hons) Geology will equip you with a solid understanding of the subject, with a focus on applying it across a range of industries. As you progress, you will study modules addressing key geological themes: hydrogeology, geotechnics and geological hazards. You can tailor the course to your interests, with options including GIS, Quaternary geology, and coastal and fluvial geomorphology. Alongside this, you will develop valuable skills in laboratory and microscope work, field skills, geological mapping and computer-based spatial analysis, along with report writing and presentation skills.

Real world experience

You will apply theoretical and field data in our well-equipped laboratories. You will conduct assignments based on real-world issues and broaden your experience through local and international field trips. There will also be an opportunity to apply your learning and develop vital professional skills on a work placement in your preferred area of expertise.

Where it can take you

On graduation, you will be prepared for many of the typical areas of work for geologists. Studying geology can also lead to a wide range of other careers. On graduation, you can pursue opportunities ranging from geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, environmental consultancy, hydrogeology, oil and gas industries, quarrying and mining, to finance, education and research.



Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Earth Science
  • Earth Materials
  • Living Earth
  • Geological Field Skills
  • Geological Maps
  • Stratigraphy of the British Isles.

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Research in Geology
  • Hydrogeology 1
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • Geotechnics
  • Sedimentary Environments and Palaeoecology.

In addition, you will study one optional module from the list below:

  • Understanding River Dynamics
  • Understanding Coastal Dynamics
  • Climate Change: Tracing the Record.

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Final Year Project
  • Hydrogeology 2
  • Geotechnical Hazards
  • Structural Geology and Geophysics
  • Independent Project (Geology)*.

In addition, you will study one optional module from the list below OR none if a Study Year Abroad (SYA) or Placement year has been completed:

  • GIS and Remote Sensing Applications
  • Applied Sedimentology.

*Compulsory module for those undertaking a placement.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Our lecturing staff consistently achieve high scores in the National Student Survey and provide a friendly, enabling environment for learning. As active researchers or industrial consultants they teach at the cutting-edge of this discipline.

You will learn through a blend of activities, including lectures, seminars, small group work, laboratory classes, fieldwork and workshops.

Through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme, you will be able to receive mentoring and support from second year students to enhance your learning experience in your first year.

Find out more about our Department's approach to learning and teaching.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


You will be assessed through a combination of examinations, essays, projects, presentations and field exercises. Most coursework is undertaken individually, but you will also be required to undertake group assignments.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

The department has a strong track record in providing accredited courses. We are currently applying for accreditation for this course from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and The Geological Society.


Students who complete a work placement are more likely to graduate with a better degree and obtain higher quality work on graduation. So, as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, a placement will make you highly employable on graduation.

You will be prepared for a placement during your second year. Many of our students choose this option, going on to work placements, which include recycling in Chile, ecological management in Australia and transport management in the UK. 


Field trips are integral to this course and modules include residential or non-residential field trips.

In Year one, you will spend a week studying a range of key geological field skills in the UK.

In Year two, you will develop your field and research skills with a focus on geological mapping. You will also enhance your analytical thinking and presentation skills during a week in an overseas location.

In Year three, there will be an opportunity to spend two weeks on an advanced geographic expedition to an exotic location. (Recent destinations include Iceland, China and Kenya.)

Hear students talk about studying Iceland's diverse geography on an advanced geographic expedition.

Study facilities

You will have the chance to experiment and test your theories in our dedicated geology, earth science and geotechnics, environmental change and specialist computer laboratories.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn from industry

To help you decide which career to go into and learn about industry challenges, there are opportunities to attend presentations from visiting professionals.

Socialise and campaign

You can meet students in similar subject areas of Civil Engineering, and Physical and Human Geography in our thriving Geography Society.

Showcase your work

Our final year students regularly showcase the results of their Independent Study research to friends and family, the public and potential employers at the annual degree show.


Careers / Further study

Studying geology leads to a wide range of career options. On graduation, there are opportunities in engineering geology, environmental consultancy, hydrogeology, oil and gas industries, quarrying and mining, for the government and in research.

You may choose to use your skills and knowledge in logistics, business management or finance. And if you are interested in teaching geography or geology at secondary school level, this course will offer you a good foundation for a postgraduate teaching qualification. 

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service will help you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links

Prospects - What can I do with my geology degree

Guardian - What to do with a degree in environmental science/physical geography


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Full time course with placement year

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12250
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1531
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year10719
Offshore-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year150

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those you could reasonably expect to incur during your studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Further information about fees and funding.


Students starting this course in September 2017 should follow this link to view their joining instructions.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your joining instructions are available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages about your Registration and Enrolment. If you have not received the email please contact our Applicant Experience Team by email at admissions@uwe.ac.uk so we may check that we have the correct address.

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: You must have a minimum of two A-Levels, including one of the following: Geology; Biology; Chemistry; Environmental Science; Geography; Maths; Physics. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff.
  • Relevant subjects: Geography, Environmental Studies, Land and Environment
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: One of the following: Aeronautical Engineering; Applied Science; Construction and the Built Environment; Countryside Management; Electrical Electronic Engineering; Engineering; Environmental Sustainability; Information Technology; Manufacturing Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; or Pharmaceutical Science.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 Level 3 credits at merit including Science and Maths.
  • Baccalaureate IB: To include one of the following at Higher level: Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Geography; Mathematics; Physics.

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from students without the conventional entrance requirements but who do have substantial relevant work or other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable success on the course.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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