Geology BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

Bookings for our 2024 Open Days are now open. Book now

UCAS code
F600
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC
Full entry requirements
Accredited
Yes

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 and providing the critical expertise required for a low carbon future. For example, in the Net Zero transition, geologists are key to securing the critical metals that underpin technological solutions for projects that will deliver clean energy, water and sustainable food supplies. From resource exploration to civil engineering, natural hazard mitigation, energy security and fundamental scientific research, geologists are in high demand across multiple sectors of the modern economy. The ever-increasing need to de-carbonise our economy and live more sustainably on our planet means that demand for geologists is only going to grow in 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 collision of continents, the emergence of life, and the erosive power 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 the Earth and how it functions as a geologically active planet. Throughout your course, you’ll visit a range of classic geological locations on day trips and residential field classes, in the UK and beyond. You'll develop skills in observation, analysis and independent working that will serve you well 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 experience across the breadth of geological sciences, from industry to public health charities government
  • 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.

Accreditation

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 broad multidisciplinary degree that covers a wide spectrum of geological topics, from fundamental scientific theories, such as plate tectonics, to solving critical environmental problems. By the end of your second year, you’ll have a solid foundation of geological knowledge and skills, understanding how the Earth functions as a geologically active and habitable planet.

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. This project gives you a chance to work independently, combining and applying the knowledge and skills you have learned during lectures, practical classes, and field trips in your first two years. In the third year you’ll also study optional modules that allow you to focus on the aspects of the subject that interest you the most.

Fieldwork will be integral to your course, with opportunities to explore renowned geological locations in the UK and internationally.

Please note: field trip destinations specified below are typical examples but may be subject to change.

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

Year 1

First year builds a solid foundation of geoscience knowledge and skills, introducing the Earth as a geologically active habitable planet. You’ll develop an understanding of the large-scale tectonic and surface processes, such as magmatism, glacial cycles, and mountain building that shape the Earth’s surface and interior.

We’ll look in detail at what the Earth is made of and the cycle of geological activity that creates and erodes the rocks that form the Earth’s crust. We will also explore the environmental and biological history of the Earth, examining the evidence for the emergence and development of life and the evolution of the surface environment. Additionally, we will focus on the role of professional geoscientists in contemporary society, exploring the many ways that geoscientific knowledge underpins much of the infrastructure on which society depends.

The course has a strong practical focus, which allows you to get hands-on with specimens in the lab and to study Earth materials in the field, reinforcing learning from lectures and giving that wider perspective that is unique to the geosciences. Alongside core modules, you’ll develop transferable skills, such as collecting, recording and interpreting scientific data, and professional reporting both through written work and training in the use of professional tools such as Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Teamwork is an area where geoscience graduates really excel, a skill from both classroom activities and field working. This first year of the degree is shared with the Environmental Geoscience degree, giving you flexibility in choice between programmes.

Compulsory modules

Solid Planet – 20 credits

The ability to identity and characterise the rocks, minerals, and sedimentary deposits that form the Earth are fundamental skills for any professional geoscientist. In this module, you'll develop the core skills of describing and identifying key Earth materials at a range of spatial scales, from the macro-scale structures seen in rock outcrops to the micro-scale features visible under the microscope. During practical work in the laboratory, you'll be taught how to recognise common igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock types, and the key features that provide evidence for their origins in different environments. In addition to learning about the physical and chemical properties of Earth materials, you'll also gain an understanding of the important magmatic and metamorphic processes that occur during the rock cycle to create geological deposits.

Earth Surface Processes – 20 credits

Our planet’s surface is highly dynamic in time and space. This module will introduce the complicated process interactions that have sculpted Earth’s topography. Topics covered include sediment production by weathering and biochemical or chemical precipitation; icehouse and greenhouse periods and their role on changing sea-level and coastlines; the origin of landforms and landscapes (geomorphology), including: erosion, denudation and deposition, the transport and deposition of sediment in all environments, earthquakes and Earth surface motions, volcanic eruptions and movement of volcanic ejecta, and the cryosphere and isostatic responses. The disciplines of geomorphology and geology are intimately related, and the controls and links between continental sediment production and erosion and deposition in basins will be introduced.

Dynamic Planet – 20 credits

The Earth is the most geologically active planet in our solar system and its surface is constantly being reshaped by plate tectonics. This history of global change is recorded in the complex layers of rocks that form the Earth’s continental crust. In this module, you'll learn how to use geological observations to reconstruct the tectonic and environmental history of our planet throughout its 4.5-billion-year history. You'll learn the fundamental concepts and techniques used by geoscientists to study the Earth in 4D (space and time) and decipher the history of the construction and destruction of continental landmasses by plate tectonics. There will be a particular focus on the formation of the British Isles, which have been assembled by successive continental collisions over the last 600 million years. You'll also discover how geoscientists use the rock record to investigate our planet’s environmental and biological history. This includes key evidence for Earth’s long-term habitability, such as the emergence and diversification of life and the history of atmospheric oxygen.

Living Earth – 20 credits

The origin of life on Earth remains a mystery, but clearly the evolution of life on Earth and the influence of the biosphere on geological processes, have moulded the planet we live on. The fossil record is key to understanding the evolution of plant and animal life, and their interactions, including fundamental environmental changes, such as atmosphere and ocean chemistry. This module will cover big science questions, such as: where did life begin on Earth? What are the processes and chemical ingredients that allowed life to emerge on our planet? How has the carbon-cycle controlled Earth’s climate? What is the current and future interactions and impact of humans on the biosphere? To introduce environmental science field skills, there will be an environmental data collection field trip to sample and analyse river water.

Skills for Geoscientists – 20 credits

Develop essential skills in the collection, analysis and evaluation of earth science data. This module will be tutorial-based, with an emphasis on field and writing skills. The seminars in week 1 will form the basis of your first written assignment on a cutting-edge research topic. There is an introductory two-day field class in the Yorkshire Dales, followed by a longer residential field class to the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast during the Easter period. This module will also introduce contemporary societal issues, such as the energy transition and the sustainable use of resources.

Optional modules

You’ll choose from the following optional modules. Or you may choose to combine optional modules with discovery modules.

Discovery modules give you the chance to expand your learning, broadening your knowledge and giving you that competitive edge in the jobs market.

Please note: The modules listed below are indicative of typical options.

  • Natural Hazards – 10 credits
  • Vertebrate Evolution – 10 credits
  • Foundation Chemistry – 10 credits
  • Foundation Mathematics – 10 credits
  • Foundation Physics – 10 credits
  • Atmosphere – 10 credits

Year 2

Second year will deepen your understanding from first year foundations and move 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.

Field study becomes more prominent, studying sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, ore deposits and geological structures in a variety of locations. In parallel, we continue to develop professional and transferable skills in preparation for the final year dissertation.

Compulsory modules

Petrology and Geochemistry – 20 credits

This module will explore the magmatic and metamorphic processes that govern the formation of the rocks and minerals that comprise the majority of Earth’s solid interior. You’ll gain an advanced understanding of the mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of key igneous and metamorphic rock types formed in different tectonic environments, from diagnostic suites of minerals to the abundances of trace elements and isotopes. Topics include the structure of minerals and the approaches used to study them; the effects of pressure, temperature and composition on the stability of mineral assemblages; the formation and crystallisation of magmas; metamorphic processes and reactions; and the interpretation of chemical and isotopic data to reveal the origin of rocks from different metamorphic and magmatic settings. This knowledge on the genesis of different igneous and metamorphic rock types will be appllied during a residential field class in Snowdonia.

Palaeoenvironmental Analysis – 20 credits

Explore the use of sedimentological, geochemical and palaeontological principles in the analysis of sedimentary environments and the evolutionary history of life. You'll develop knowledge, skills and understanding of how complex sedimentary successions arise in response to a range of both intrinsic processes and external controls such as sea-level and climatic change, and tectonic basin development. The module will include a critical examination of recent and ongoing research into the dynamics of sedimentary processes, their recognition in the ancient rock record, and their environmental application.

Additionally, this module also covers the nature of the carbon sink in the deep ocean and the use of the fossil record to assess the impact of global scale geohazards, such as asteroid impacts and volcanic events. A residential field class on the Isle of Man brings together the lecture and practical material and allows students to develop skills in sedimentary logging, sedimentary architectural analysis, relating complex 3D and 4D relationships in space and time, and distinguishing between intrinsic versus external controls on the sedimentary record, including Quaternary glacial records

Investigating the shallow subsurface – 20 credits

Learn fundamental concepts, models and principles related to processes in the shallow subsurface and the use of geological and geophysical knowledge and data to investigate them. The material covered is relevant to a large variety of career paths for geoscientists. The taught component of the module will contain a mix of engineering geology, soil science, hydrology and shallow surface geophysics, covering both theory and practice. Throughout the module, a topical case study/studies will link the different aspects of the syllabus and inform on how a geologist can apply their fundamental knowledge to become involved in the energy, hydrogeology, environmental geology and geotechnical and civil engineering sectors.

Advanced Skills for Geologists – 20 credits

Gain the specialist training necessary to successfully plan, execute and write-up an independent site investigation project. This module aims to provide you with a core set of transferable computing and analytical skills, giving you a competitive skillset, ready for subsequent careers and to facilitate your transition from Higher Education to the workplace.

Recognising that proficiency in computer programming is becoming increasingly necessary and valuable for processing and visualising large/complex datasets. This module aims to provide a broad and solid foundation in this skill. You'll learn the basic computer programming skills required to analyse and plot data sets, beyond what can be done with Excel. Programming experience in the aspects of the Python language necessary for data manipulation and visualisation is developed through the course of the module.

Global Tectonics – 20 credits

Discover the origin and characteristics of deformation in the Earth and the link to common tectonic environments. You’ll gain an understanding of the geophysical characteristics of different deformational processes, and the techniques by which these are quantified and interpreted in the context of global tectonics. You'll also learn how to record, describe, quantify and interpret deformation structures at a variety of scales and to synthesize data in order to develop a geological and tectonic history of an area.

Sedimentary Basins and Resources – 10 credits

Sedimentary Basins archive the entire fossil and palaeoenvironmental record of the planet. This module will provide skills and training in (i) the main methods and techniques used to investigate sedimentary basins, (ii) developing an understanding of the tectonic and structural evolution of such basins, (iii) acquiring knowledge of the mechanisms of infilling of basins by sedimentary successions and (iv) gaining an awareness of how the geological accumulations within such basins serve to provide important geo-energy resources.

Resources from Rocks and Minerals – 10 credits

The extraction and use of geological deposits underpins many sectors of our economy and way of life, from the development of the built environment to consumer electronics. Furthermore, many key net-zero technologies are strongly reliant on metals extracted from so-called critical mineral deposits. The module will introduce you to the processes involved in the formation of economic geological deposits, such as aggregates and ores, as well as the economic, political, and societal aspects of their exploitation. You’ll gain skills in the characterising of hard-rock resources and develop an understanding of the exploitation cycle, from deposit identification to post-extraction remediation. You’ll be introduced the scientific and economic drivers of the global industrial framework and provided with both the scientific background and transferable skills to enhance your employability as a geoscience graduate.

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.

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

Compulsory modules

Independent Field Project – 40 credits

This module encompasses the independent mapping fieldwork and/or research and subsequent write-up for the final year dissertation. In the summer before your final year, you’ll spend a nominal 4-week period engaged in independent fieldwork or, in certain circumstances on a desk-top study in small groups with limited staff supervision. The data gathered during the fieldwork/research period is interpreted and integrated with literature research to produce a professional standard field-report and map in the first semester of year 3.

This independent work is highly valued by employers. It’s not just about demonstrating geological skills and knowledge, but also transferable skills in communication, presentation and data analysis. The dissertation allows you to bring together all that you have learnt in your first two years and shows your transition towards an independent professional scientist.

Frontiers in Geological Sciences – 20 credits

Gain an overview of significant contemporary theories and debates in the geosciences, while developing skills in data analysis, visualisation, integration and interpretation. In seminar style discussions, you’ll learn to present, debate and critique competing scientific theories. During group work, you’ll explore a particular topic in depth. This will involve collecting your own observations on samples, processing data and working to produce a joint assignment that outlines the key scientific theories and models relevant to the topic.

Geological Field Class – 10 credits

Undertake geological fieldwork, usually on the island of Cyprus, to develop an integrated understand and synthesis of a complex geological terrain. Topics encountered include: investigating the dynamics of an uplifted section of the oceanic crust (an ophiolite complex), from the formation, cooling and alteration of the oceanic crust to unroofing and post-emplacement processes; and the Mesozoic to Cenozoic evolution of sedimentary environments from deep marine to continental. Aspects of applied and Quaternary geosciences will also be incorporated.

Optional modules

You’ll choose from the following optional modules.

Please note: The modules listed below are indicative of typical options.

Past Global Environmental Systems – 10 credits

Earth’s surface environments have changed drastically with time and have both directly influenced – and been influenced by – biological evolution. This module will explore a range of approaches to generate information about past environments, before examining a series of case studies across the broad span of Earth history. This will enable you to understand the interacting factors that have controlled the Earth's climate and other environmental variables, both at times of crisis and during background states that were fundamentally different to today. The module will also include some direct experience of running an Earth system model and interpreting the results in the light of other evidence.

Environmental Geomorphology and Sedimentology – 10 credits

The rapidly expanding field of environmental geomorphology and sedimentology will be addressed in this module. You’ll also explore the functioning and dynamics of contemporary landscape and sediment systems and question how these systems respond to a range of both natural and anthropogenically-induced perturbations. The module also covers research-led topics on how sedimentological and stratigraphic principles are key to contemporary societal issues, such as microplastic pollution and carbon storage.

Engineering Geology – 10 credits

Engineering Geology is the largest employment field for professional geoscientists and is a subject that bridges the fields of geology, engineering, geomorphology, structural geology, geophysics, geomechanics and geochemistry. The module considers all the above, but the most important role of an engineering geologist is identifying potential hazards and adverse geological conditions through the studying of landforms and ground processes. You’ll learn the role of an engineering geologist through both taught material and practical exercises and understand their importance in mitigating the potential hazards of ground-structure interaction.

Volcanic Processes – 10 credits

Through a combination of lectures, practical classes and private study, you’ll: become familiar with the various types of volcanic eruptions and their products; understand the physical controls on eruptive processes and the transport and deposition of eruption products; be aware of volcano monitoring and hazard assessment techniques; have an understanding of the impact of volcanic activity on climate; and be aware of the issues related to communication of scientific results in the context of hazard and risk assessment.

Groundwater – 10 credits

Developing and protecting groundwater resources are critical for many communities around the globe. In this module you will learn how groundwater fits into the hydrological cycle and the key methods and concepts used by hydrogeologists to evaluate, extract, and safeguard groundwater resources. You will learn fundamental knowledge related to the characterisation of groundwater resources, such as the key features of rocks and soils that determine whether they are hydraulically conductive, the estimation of subsurface flow regimes, the chemical evolution of natural groundwaters, and the interpretation of hydrogeological maps. This module will also explore issues around from groundwater extraction, such as artificial recharge technologies, vulnerability to pollution, and the sustainable management of groundwater resources.

Ore Deposits and their Exploitation – 10 credits

Finding and extracting metals from critical mineral deposits underlies the development of many net-zero technologies. If you’re interested in a career in mineral exploration or mining, this module is designed to support those aspirations. You'll gain expertise in the identification of important ore minerals and gain a wider understanding of the techniques which can be applied to characterise geological materials. In depth studies of some economically important ore deposit type will provide an appropriate background level of knowledge for entry to the minerals industry. You'll explore the relationships between ore deposition and wider geological processes drawing upon information generated by both industry and academia. There will be a particular focus on copper mineralization given the importance of this element to achieving the low carbon transition. A two-day field trip, normally to North Wales, underpins the lecture content and forms the basis for module assessment.

Plate Tectonics and Geodynamics – 10 credits

Build an advanced understanding of current ideas and models relating to plate tectonics, plate movements and mantle dynamics. Topics covered include plate motions on a 3D planet, mantle structure and dynamics, heat flow and generation in the Earth, the construction of oceanic crust, subduction zone dynamics, and magmatic and seismic processes at plate margins.

Earth System Science: Biogeochemical Cycles – 10 credits

Explore the global biogeochemical cycles of the important bioelements, how these cycles have changed over time and how they can be used to understand the Earth System. You’ll see how feedbacks operate within these cycles and how these cycles are closely interconnected. You’ll also develop an understanding of the general principles and science of biogeochemistry in relation to the Earth System and then look in more detail at individual biogeochemical cycles. Alongside, you’ll cover the numerical modelling of biogeochemical cycles through scenario testing to look at how changes to the biogeochemical cycles (past, present and future) affect the Earth System and vice versa.

Earthquakes, Fluids, and Geosolutions – 10 credits

Delve into advanced structural geology to understand tectonic hazards and the generation of green energy. We will explore the nature of faults, earthquakes and deformation on different scales in time and space. You'll learn practical skills in earth observation, quantitative microstructural analyses and modern analysis techniques to determine subsurface geology. This module will equip you with the fundamental knowledge to apply structural geology to the global challenges of the future.

Strategic Energy Issues – 10 credits

Explore a series of current topics regarding the development of energy resources, weighing up information and opinions from a variety of sources. You’ll be expected to prepare reports and make seminar presentations on a series of topics, drawing on your academic background. A key feature of this module is working together in groups from different degree programmes to prepare a multidisciplinary seminar.

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.

Fieldwork

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.

Fieldwork is closely 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.

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

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, where you’ll learn from specialists in their respective fields. 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 small 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.

Assessment

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, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Environmental Science, Statistics, Geology, Computer Science, Geography, and Marine Science. 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.

BTEC

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.

Foundation years

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 science and mathematics qualifications.

You could also study our Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc which is for applicants whose background is less represented at university.

On successful completion of your foundation year, you'll be able to progress onto your chosen course.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, please contact the Admissions Team.

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.

Fees

UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

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.

Faculty of Environment Undergraduate Bursary

UK students eligible for a reduced grade contextual offer will receive a cash bursary worth £1,000 to help with some of the costs of being at university.

International Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to high achieving and particularly deserving international students. There are limited scholarships available.

Applying

Apply to this course and check the deadline for applications through 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 about applying and writing your personal statement.

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 Admissions Policy 2025

Contact us

School of Earth and Environment Undergraduate Admissions

Email: admissions@see.leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

Studying Geology at Leeds opens the door to a wide range of careers. Geology graduates are highly regarded by employers for their skills in detailed observations, teamwork, problem solving, and data handling and manipulation. Many geology graduates go directly into careers that are closely related to their degree. Others take advantage of the wide array of transferable skills to pursue careers in other sectors.

The solid scientific basis of your course and the fieldwork involved gives your degree a high value in a number of employment sectors. In addition to the traditional employers of geologists you’ll also find career opportunities in new and expanding areas, such as renewable energy, geotechnical engineering and environmental consultancy.

University of Leeds students are in the top 5 most targeted by leading 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 their fields.

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: Zoë Cumberpatch

I very much enjoy working for one of the companies at the forefront of the energy transition and contributing towards the company’s purpose of ‘providing energy for people and progress for society'.
Find out more about Zoë Cumberpatch's time at Leeds