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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 Hazel Beaumont
Key fact:
Tailor this degree to your interests with options including geographic information systems (GIS) in geology, Quaternary geology, geotechnical hazards, fluvial and coastal geomorphology.

Page last updated 1 August 2019


Why study geology?

Geologists have a significant role to play in addressing many of the challenges facing society. For example, as geologists we contribute to the building of bridges, tunnels and their associated hazards; understanding of aquifer systems and hydrocarbon reservoirs; and the development of new forms of electricity. These industries are currently growing and are in need of well-trained geologists.

Studying geology gives you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in these fields. It also helps you develop analytical, critical thinking and communication skills, qualities sought after by employers across a wide range of industries.

Why UWE Bristol?

BSc(Hons) Geology will equip you with a solid understanding of the subject, with a focus on applying it across various geological industries.

Study modules addressing hydrogeology, structural geology, sedimentology, volcanics, geophysics, geotechnics and geological hazards. Develop valuable skills in the laboratory, microscope work, field skills, geological mapping and computer-based spatial analysis, along with report writing and presentation skills.

Tailor the course to your interests with options including geographic information systems (GIS), applied sedimentology, tectonic landforms and processes, and coastal and fluvial geomorphology.

Apply theoretical and field data in our well-equipped laboratories. Conduct assignments based on real-world issues and broaden your experience through local and international field trips.

Gain vital professional experience on a work placement and graduate ready to take your place in the industry.

Where can it take me?

You'll graduate ready for many of the typical areas of work for geologists.

Pursue a career in geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, environmental consultancy, hydrogeology, oil and gas industries, quarrying and mining. Alternatively, get involved in finance, education and research.

Accreditations and partnerships:



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

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

Year two

You will study:

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

Plus, one optional module from:

  • Understanding River Dynamics
  • Understanding Coastal Dynamics
  • Tectonic processes and landforms.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two.

You'll complete a placement learning module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Final Year Project
  • Hydrogeology 2
  • Geotechnical Hazards
  • Structural Geology and Geophysics.

Or if a sandwich year has been completed:

  • Placement
  • Independent Project (Geology).

Plus, one optional module from:

  • GIS and Remote Sensing Applications
  • Applied Sedimentology.

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 achieve consistently high scores on the National Student Survey and provide a friendly environment for learning. They're active researchers or industrial consultants and stay aware of advances in the field.

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

Learn through a blend of lectures, seminars, small group work, laboratory classes, fieldwork and workshops.

Attend presentations from visiting professionals to learn about industry challenges and decide which area to go into. Develop key analytical, communication and business skills that will help you succeed in the workplace.

Receive mentoring from more advanced students through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year

Socialise and network

Meet students from Civil Engineering and Physical and Human Geography in our thriving Geography Society.


Modules are assessed through a combination of exams, essays, projects, presentations and field exercises.

You'll complete most coursework individually but there are some group assignments. Exams take place at the middle and end of each year.

Support is available if you have difficulties with numeracy, IT, literacy and study skills.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by The Geological Society.


Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

If you choose the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two.

Past students in geology have worked with researchers at UWE Bristol to develop our understanding of the coastal sections of Portishead, Somerset and with a ground investigation company Land Science Ltd. Other students in the department have had placements involving recycling in Chile, ecological management in Australia and transport management in the UK. 

Read William Flay's placement story.

You'll get help to find your placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.


Field trips are an important part of this course and include day and residential visits, directly linked to your modules. The fieldtrips below may be subject to change.

Year one

Two week-long residential fieldtrips within the UK, studying geological skills (Dartmoor) and geological mapping (Pembrokeshire). Various other day trips throughout the year.

Year two

Short trips will improve your field and research skills.  

Two week-long fieldtrips, one in the UK (The Lizard) and one international (Almeria, south Spain), for developing geological mapping and research skills.

Final year

Various day trips and short residential fieldtrips trying out applied geological skills as practiced in the world of work.

You'll study a range of environmental, social and economic issues at the expedition destination.

Study facilities

Learn in modern, well-equipped facilities, including our Natural Environment Laboratories.

Reconstruct past sedimentary and volcanic environments, test water quality and soil mechanics in our earth science and environmental change labs.

Study and collaborate on group assignments in our dedicated Project Room.

Conduct spatial enquiry and analyse data using industry-standard geographic information system (Arc GIS) and statistical software in our computer labs. Also learn how to use specific geological software such as Sterenoet.

This mix of traditional and highly creative learning environments enables you to learn essential knowledge and real-world skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

Studying geology leads to a range of career options. As a graduate, you could go into engineering geology, environmental consultancy, hydrogeology, oil and gas industries or quarrying and mining; or continue to further your education with a masters or PhD.

You may choose to use your skills and knowledge in logistics, business management or finance.

You could also teach geography or geology at secondary school level; this course is a good foundation for a postgraduate teaching qualification. 

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


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) Fee13000
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1625
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) Fee13000
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year13000
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1625
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1625
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year11375
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 year160

Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.


We are pleased to confirm that our New students webpages are now available for students starting this course in September 2019. Here you can find links to useful information about registering, course start dates, arriving on campus what to expect before and when you arrive.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your Preparing to Study information is available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above 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; Archaeology; Biology; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Science; Geography; ICT; Maths; Physical Education (PE); Physics; Psychology; Science (Applied); Sports Science; Statistics. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff.
  • 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 15 Level 3 credits at merit in Science and Maths.
  • Baccalaureate IB: To include one of the following at Higher level: Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Geography; Mathematics; Physics.

Entry requirements

We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.

If you receive an offer for this course, you may be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day in February or March. These are a great opportunity to find out what it's really like to study here. You'll experience taster lectures or workshops, meet your course tutors, current students and other offer holders.

Read more about entry requirements.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from us will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.

If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that we will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.

To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies here, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A-levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


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