Geology BSc

Year of entry

2025 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students on a field trip at the coast

Geologists are at the forefront of tackling modern global challenges across all sectors of the economy, from resource exploration to civil engineering, natural hazard mitigation, energy security, and research. For example, in the Net Zero transition, geologists are key to securing the critical metals that underpin technological solutions, and projects that will deliver clean energy, water and sustainable food supplies. This means demand for geologists is only going to grow into the future.

Our Geology BSc will equip you with a deep understanding of the Earth system, learning how the landscape was sculpted over hundreds of millions of years by the clash of continents, the rise of life, and the grinding of ice sheets. By applying that knowledge to Earth resources, or hazards like volcanism, earthquakes and climate change, you’ll learn how to tackle crucial geological problems.

At Leeds, fieldwork is an integral part of developing your knowledge and understanding of Earth materials, processes and history. Throughout your course, you’ll visit a range of classic geological locations on day trips and residential field classes, building skills in observation, analysis and independence that will serve you in any chosen career.

You’ll be taught by academics with a wealth of expertise across the broad spectrum of geoscience disciplines. Once you graduate, you’ll be a skilled geologist ready to help solve the key challenges that face humankind and secure the future of our planet.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Our globally-renowned research that tackles complex global challenges such as climate change, energy security and natural hazard management feeds directly into your course and shapes what you learn at Leeds with the latest thinking
  • Experience expert teaching delivered by a programme team made up of leading specialists with extensive industry experience from across the breadth of this field.
  • Access excellent specialist facilities, featuring extensive lab spaces — including our Earth Visualisation Lab — and computer clusters fully equipped with the latest technology to support your learning.
  • Put theory into practice by undertaking fieldwork activities where you’ll advance your research skills and gain hands-on experience highly valued by employers in industry.
  • Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate with our exciting study abroad programmes and work placement opportunities.
  • Join one of our societies, such as ROCSOC or SusSoc, where you can meet like-minded people at events such as comedy and film nights, trips and through sports. You could even be elected as a member of the committee, which is a great opportunity to develop your management and leadership skills.

View this video on Bilibili.


Accredited by the Geological Society

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

This programme is accredited by the Geological Society.

This accredited BSc is the first step to becoming a Chartered Geologist, an increasingly important professional qualification – especially in the geotechnical and engineering geology sectors.

Course details

We offer a degree that covers a broad basis in geological topics across the discipline to provide you with a solid foundation of geological knowledge by the end of the second year. You’ll undertake a geology dissertation in your final year that typically centres around a field project carried out between your second and third year and brings together your classroom learning and field skills. You’ll also study optional modules that allow you to focus on particular aspects such as Engineering Geology, ore deposits, chemical cycles in the Earth, structural geology, the energy transition or volcanology.

Fieldwork will also be integral to your course, with opportunities to explore many different environments first-hand.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

Year 1

First year builds a solid foundation of geological knowledge and skills, introducing the Earth as a planet. Concepts of geological time, and big picture understanding of the tectonic processes that drive magmatism, mountain building and shape the Earth’s surface and interior are all introduced.

We’ll look in detail at what the Earth is made of and how the surface is created, weathered, deposited as new rocks, and ultimately recycled. The history of life on Earth as preserved through the fossil record is also explored, alongside how we can use that record to understand past environments. We also explore the role of geology and professional geologists in society today, exploring the many ways that geological professionals underpin much of the infrastructure on which society depends.

The course has a strong practical focus, which allows you to get hands-on with specimens to illustrate lecture topics and seeing rocks in the field to reinforce learning and give that wider geological perspective that is unique to the subject. Alongside core geological modules you’ll develop transferable skills, such as collecting information, recording and interpreting data scientifically, and professional reporting both through writing but also through training in the use of professional tools such as Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Teamwork is an area where geoscience graduates really excel, driven through classroom activities and field working.

Year 2

The second year of the degree course deepens the understanding from first year foundations and moves towards understanding the “why” and the "how” of Geology – why the Earth behaves as it does, and how geologists use that understanding in professional contexts. These can be as diverse as understanding where a magma originates in the Earth, understanding the environmental conditions 200 million years ago, deciding how to best design a piece of built infrastructure to respect the strength and properties of the subsurface, or how to locate resources below ground using mapping skills, borehole data and geophysical methods. Reading the landscape, especially regarding surficial deposits, is something developed in second year. Field study becomes more prominent, studying sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, ore deposits and geological structures. In parallel we continue to develop professional and transferable skills in preparation for the final year dissertation.

Year 3

You’ll undertake a field-based dissertation that includes 4 weeks of independent field study and the production of a detailed report, a geological map and cross-section. This independent work is highly valued by employers. It’s not just about demonstrating geological skills and knowledge, but also transferable communication, presentation and data analysis skills. The dissertation allows you to bring together all that you have learnt in your first two years and shows your transition to being an independent professional.

The optional modules in your final year is where you can really develop your specialisms further with up to 4 options. Optional modules could include volcanology, geochemical cycles, engineering geology, structural geology, sedimentology, ore deposits, strategic energy issues, and an educational placement module for those considering educational careers.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either undertake a one-year work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.


Ask any of our students and they will tell you that taking part in fieldwork is one of the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of the course. We offer a range of increasingly sustainable fieldwork opportunities, giving you the chance to study a fascinating subject in contrasting environments away from the University.

It’s integrated with lectures and module coursework, giving you the opportunity to:

  • Practice the skills you have learnt in class in real-life situations.
  • Gain first-hand experience of collecting and analysing data.
  • Build valuable individual research skills – vital for your final year research project.
  • Develop professional skills sought after by employers like project planning, communication and teamwork.
  • Get to know your lecturers and fellow students even better.

The geology degree at Leeds provides a variety of field course destinations.

In year 1, you’ll be introduced to field work during day trips to the Yorkshire Dales followed by residential trips in southern Wales and the Scottish Highlands.

In years 2 and 3, you’ll visit locations across the UK and internationally, working in a variety of landscapes and geological settings. At the end of year 2 you will undertake a substantial period of independent fieldwork, applying your skills to collect data for your final year dissertation.

Our field trips are designed to be as sustainable as possible and balance their carbon footprint with the learning outcomes of the trip.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Geology BSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
The Rock Cycle 20
Field, GIS and Research Skills 20
Earth Through Time 20
Geology and Society 20
3D Earth 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Our Habitable Planet 10

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Petrology and Geochemistry 20
Palaeoenvironmental Analysis 20
Advanced Skills for Geoscientists 10
Applied Geosciences 20
Sedimentary Basins and their Resources 10
Resources from Rocks and Minerals 10
Global Tectonics 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Easter Field Class (Geological Science) 10
Independent Field Projects (GS) 40
Plate Tectonics and Geodynamics 10
Past Global Environmental Systems 10
Mountain Belt Processes 10

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Advanced Sedimentology and its Applications 10
Isotope Geochemistry 10
Earth System Science: Biogeochemical Cycles 10
Engineering Geology 10
Volcanic Processes 10
Groundwater 10
Structural Geology for the Future 10
Ore Deposits and their Exploitation 10
Strategic Energy Issues 10

Learning and teaching

Most modules combine lectures with practicals, workshops or seminars, depending on the subject. These are enhanced with skills classes, fieldtrips and small group academic tutorials. You can expect to study in a variety of settings, from large lecture theatres to computer clusters, seminar rooms, tutorials, laboratories, visualisation suites and out in the field.

We offer research-led teaching across the breadth of our disciplines, from specialists in their field. As Leeds is a research-intensive Russell Group University, you’ll be studying amongst staff who are actively participating in impactful research and who'll incorporate this expertise into their teaching.

You'll have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds, who will be an academic member of staff. You'll have fortnightly academic tutorials with your tutor throughout your first two years, in your tutor group (of typically 5 students), as well as one-to-one meetings twice per semester. In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries. You'll also receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


You'll be assessed through a variety of methods, specifically designed to help students learn, whatever their preferred learning style. We use both coursework and exams, but with a general progression from an emphasis on exams in year one towards an emphasis on coursework in your final year.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB including two from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Economics, Environmental Science, Geology, Geography, Mathematics, Physics and Psychology. If Geography and Geology are taken together, another science is preferred as a third subject.

Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

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 (4) or above, or an appropriate English language and Mathematics qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ): We recognise the value of this qualification and the effort and skills required to undertake it, where an applicant is taking the EPQ this may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. The EPQ taken with A-Levels, for example, could be BBB with an A in the EPQ.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above. Must be in relevant subjects.


DDM in National Extended Diploma/3 National Extended Certificates in two relevant subjects. We will accept a combination of BTECs and A-Levels. Please contact the School's Undergraduate Admissions Team for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M2, M2 including two relevant subjects.

International Baccalaureate

16 points at higher level to include 6,5,5 with at least 5 points in two relevant subjects, one of which must be a Maths or a Science subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

AAABBB/H2H2H2H3H3H3 in two relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AABBB overall with BB in 2 Advanced Highers (AH). For non-AH applicants AABBBB. To include 2 relevant subjects.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: BBC plus a pass in the Access to Leeds scheme.

For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £30,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

Travel, accommodation and subsistence costs (aside from self-catering costs) associated with compulsory field trips are covered by the university. However, you must pay for incidental or personal expenses. The university currently contributes towards the cost of accommodation for independent dissertation fieldwork.

Whilst the school supplies some field equipment and professional tools on arrival, you'll need to cover the cost of clothing and some equipment that’s needed for taking part in field trips, such as waterproofs, boots and a field backpack. A list of equipment you’ll need is available on request.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance for full details on what to include in your application.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

Contact us

School of Earth and Environment Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

Geology graduates are highly regarded by employers for their skills in detailed observations, 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 such as renewable energies. The transferable skills that you acquire throughout your degree will help you in many employment sectors.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.

Our graduates have secured positions including:

  • Project Engineer, Fugro Geoconsulting Ltd
  • Technical Assistant, Heritage Insight Ltd
  • Director, Agates Geoscience Limited
  • Business Development Manager, Alliance Geotechnical Services
  • Mapping Geologist, British Geological Survey
  • Geoscientist, ExxonMobil
  • Geotechnical Engineering, British Waterways
  • Geo-environmental Consultant, WSP
  • Geology and Chemistry Teacher in Further Education, Derby College
  • Engineering Geologist, BAM Ritchies
  • Talent Acquisition Partner, Anglo American Plc.
  • Research fellow, Biogeochemical responses to climate change
  • Petrophysicist, Equinor
  • Technical Director, Green Lithium Mining

Read our alumni profiles to find out more about where our students are working.

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You'll be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

You'll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field
  • Our strong connections with industry mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in a particular company or sector
  • Improve your employability

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you'll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.

With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.

Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:

  • Atkins, Water & Environment Placement
  • Geotechnical Engineering, Engineering Geology placement
  • Leap Environmental, Geo Environmental Placement
  • Harrison Group Environmental, Assistant Geotechnical-Geoenvironmental Engineer
  • Wardell Armstrong Assistant Geologist

During your industrial placement you'll have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.

Find out more about Industrial placements.

Student profile: Charlotte Webb

This course completely changes your mindset and gives you a new insight in how to approach such geo-societal issues, whilst also developing key transferable skills.
Find out more about Charlotte Webb's time at Leeds