Could you develop the skills needed to tackle climate change, understand global catastrophes and solve declining energy sources while understanding how the earth is formed?

On this professionally accredited BSc (Hons) Geology degree course, you’ll examine the complex formation of our planet and how it has changed through time. You’ll study rocks, minerals and fossils as well as geological map work. You'll spend plenty of time out of the classroom in the field using the latest techniques.

With the skills to become a professional geologist, you’ll be set for a career in areas such as mining, the petroleum industry, geotechnical engineering and teaching.

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • Develop skills to become a professional geologist, on a course that’s accredited by the Geological Society of London
  • Go on field trips to locations such as the Bristol Channel, Isle of Wight, Northwest Scotland, the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, Brittany in France and Cyprus
  • Learn hands-on in our freshly refurbished petrology lab with binocular and polarizing microscopes
  • Have access to modern petrology and palaeontology teaching laboratories stocked with many hand specimens and thin sections of rocks, minerals and fossils
  • Tailor your studies to focus on areas of geology that interest you most and support your career ambitions
  • Undertake a final year project in a location of your choice, in the UK or overseas

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles to build your links in the industry.

What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules

Engineering Geology and Geohazards – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll develop a fundamental understanding of different engineering geology and geohazard problems. 

How the Earth Works – 20 credits - This module introduces you to theories on the origin of the Solar System and the Earth, and the distribution of elements in them.

Mineralogy and Petrology – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the principles of mineralogy such as classification, physical, optical and crystallographic properties. 

Quantitative Methods – 20 credits - This module introduces you to data analysis and develops the basic mathematics and IT skills (including an introduction to programming) required for the geo- and environmental science programmes.

Science for Earth Systems – 20 credits - A topic-based approach to this module develops your understanding of chemistry and physics as applied to the scientific study of the Earth and its interconnected systems.

Sedimentology and Palaeontology – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll be introduced to sedimentological and palaeontological principles and processes through a mixture of lectures and practical workshops where you’ll describe and classify sedimentary rocks and key fossil groups.

Year 2

Core modules

Advanced Geological Field Techniques – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll develop and plan an independent field-based project.

Petrology – 20 credits - This module develops your understanding of the nature and origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks. 

Professional Skills for Geoscientists – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll develop various vocational and transferable professional skills in communication, interpersonal and team skills.

Sedimentary Processes and Facies Analysis – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the procedures of rigorously logging, describing and interpreting sedimentary successions using a lithofacies approach. 

Spatial Data Analysis – 20 credits - This module develops your understanding of spatial analysis methods using remote sensing and geographical information systems (GIS).

Structural Geology – 20 credits - This module will explore how rocks deform, why they deform and what can can be learnt from their deformational record.

Year 3

Core modules

Geodynamics – 20 credits - Exploring topics at the forefront of geological science, this module develops your understanding of the tectonic processes and the geodynamics of the Earth’s lithosphere.

Geology Project – 40 credits - In this module, you’ll conduct an independent field-based project using a systematic programme of field data collection and analysis.

Optional modules

Analytical Methods for Earth Sciences – 20 credits - This module develops your understanding of modern analytical methods used in Earth sciences, from project design and the choice of laboratory techniques, to data collection, evaluation and interpretation.

Applied Sedimentology and Petroleum Geology – 20 credits - This module develops your understanding of the influences of tectonics and climate on the development of sedimentary basins. 

Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits - The module will introduce you to the role and expectations of a teacher.

Mineral Resources & Exploration – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll examine the mineral industry and the role of geologists in finding and extracting metalliferous (minerals containing metal) and industrial mineral resources.

Oceans, Climates and Environments – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll gain a critical understanding of climate and environmental change in deep time. You’ll learn how to use geochemical, sedimentological and palaeontological proxies in palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.

Quarternary Geology & Geomorphology – 20 credits - In this module you'll consider the Quaternary period, with respect to engineering geology including aspects of glacial and periglacial ground models, problematic soils and ground conditions, as well as soil and rock slope failures.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • laboratory reports
  • oral and poster presentations
  • reports on field-based projects
  • computer-based assessment

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Careers and opportunities

With this degree you could go on to work in the extractive minerals industry, mining, oil and gas sectors, geological engineering or do further study at Master's or PhD level. You'll also have transferable communication and IT skills suitable for a career in business, commerce or education.

What can you do with a Geology degree?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • mining geologist
  • well-site geologist
  • geotechnical engineer
  • teacher

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

You can also join the Portsmouth Geology Alumni Group to get careers advice from former students.

BSc (Hons), BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

104-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from a single Science subject, or 64 points from 2 Science subjects (Applied Science, Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics).

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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