The BSc in Geology is a four-year course run by the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and provides students with a combination of academic skills and vocational training. During your degree, you will be able to take advantage of hands-on field and laboratory-based research projects that investigate topics as varied as the origin of continental crust, to planetary origin and differentiation, to causes and consequences of Earth system functioning during pivotal periods of Earth history.
In first year, you will be introduced to the main concepts of Geology, such as Earth structure and Earth history, including the origin of the planet and Earth’s biosphere.
In second year, modules provide additional and deeper study into mineralogy, sedimentary systems, palaeontology, geophysics and geochemistry.
At Honours level, there is a shift from broad-themed modules to more specialised ones that introduce students to a wide variety of exciting new research trends and findings. Modules involve the opportunity to get first-hand experience of new research discoveries and advances in Geology by staff in an integrated lecture-lab-field forum.
Advanced topics available at Honours level include (but are not limited to) GIS (geographic information systems) for earth science, petroleum exploration and geophysics, and structural geology and tectonics.
The School is home to an array of state-of-the-art analytical facilities supported by full-time technicians. These allow for the detailed characterisation of natural and synthetic materials, culturing of micro and macro organisms in extreme environments, and geological and geophysical field deployment. These facilities enable addressing questions from fundamental field geology to assessing anthropological versus natural processes in driving climate change. Find out more about research facilities.
Geology at St Andrews provides outstanding field-based training. Students have the opportunity to take numerous day-to multi-week-long field trips associated with individual modules, as well as up to four weeks of fieldwork associated with their independent research projects.
Examples of field trips that are part of the BSc Environmental Earth Sciences degree include:
- First year: the five-day “Highland Fling” to renowned geological sites in the Scottish Highlands.
- Second year: six days of geological mapping in central Spain, examining multiple phases of continental collision and mountain building.
- Third year: twelve days of mapping the iconic Moine Thrust system and Caledonian igneous complexes in the Scottish Highlands.
- Fourth year: a two-week transect of the Alpine orogenic belt through northern Italy and central Switzerland.
Well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course. Find out more about direct entry to second year for Geology.
It is possible for students to take a five-year Integrated Masters course in Earth Sciences, allowing you to graduate with a Master of Geology. Find out more about the Integrated Masters degree.
Find out more about studying Earth and Environmental Sciences at St Andrews or vistit the Earth and Environmental Sciences School website.