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Are you thinking of studying Geology?|
Geology is the study of the physical structure and substance of the Earth, giving an insight into the history of the Earth going all the way back to the formation of the solar system, and into the processes that are acting upon it even today.
It’s a subject that is surprisingly relevant and important for a wide range of exciting careers, from the oil industry to earthquake safety. Geologists and other geoscientists are in demand; there is a shortage of their particular skills. Studying geology also sets you on a path that enables you to make a difference through your career, whether in combatting the effects of climate change, maximising water supplies or mitigating the impact of flooding.
Geology is a more focused subject than some related subjects like Geography and Environmental Science, but it still covers a broad range of subjects. Aside from picking up specific skills like research skills and mapping, you might expect to cover:
As far as A-levels are concerned, Geography is absolutely essential. Many universities will also require you to take one or two of Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology. Geology isn’t compulsory, though, as only a minority of schools teach it. As this list shows, a scientific mindset is required. Many university courses incorporate modules such as ‘Mathematics for Science Students’ or ‘Physics for Earth Scientists’ – so while it’s not a problem if you don’t want to take these subjects at A-level, you won’t be able to avoid them entirely.
Geology is a practical, analytical subject that suits people who are keen to acquire knowledge through research and deduction. You’ll need to have a high tolerance for getting outside in the cold and the mud, too, as field trips are a vital component of studying Geology.
Geology graduates gain lots of solid scientific skills and abilities, both in fieldwork and in laboratory experiments. These will include skills in data collection, analysis and interpretation, as well as how data is processed and presented. You’ll gain presentation and report-writing skills, as well as the standard skills in academic writing, self-motivation and time management that can be expected of almost all graduates.
Fieldwork is a vital part of any Geology degree, so not only will you get to travel, you’ll have to – so prospective geologists should budget accordingly. Most British universities keep field trips within the UK for the first couple of years, and then in your third or fourth year, you can choose whether you want to go abroad or not.
There is a range of possible destinations – Leicester, for instance, takes students to Spain, Sicily or Tenerife, whereas both Southampton and Exeter opt for Cyprus, which lies on the southern margin of the Anatolian Plate, where it is in collision with the African plate – something that makes it highly interesting to geologists. Special projects might take you even further afield: a group of geology students from Swansea, for instance, recently carried out a project on the Colorado Plateau.
As there is a shortage of qualified geologists, Geology graduates stand a good chance of entering professions directly related to their degree, which can range from the groundwater industry to oil, gas and petroleum companies to the construction industry. Environmental engineering and geological surveying are among the roles to which Geology graduates are particularly suited. You might be employed by anyone from BP to the British Geological Survey. Geologists also stand a good chance of gaining employment overseas, if travelling appeals to you.
If you’re considering study Geology, you might find these other subjects are also of interest:
Geology has a lot to recommend it for a prospective university student, particularly at the moment with its healthy career prospects. For those who enjoy travel, getting outdoors regardless of the weather and close, analytical assessment of data, Geology not only provides that for three or four years of your degree, but also offers you the potential to carry on using much the same skills and enjoying much the same perks for a viable long-term career – which is not something that can be said of very many university subjects.
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Oxford Royale Academy is a part of Oxford Programs Limited, a company registered in England as company number 6045196. Registered office: 14 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4EF. The company contracts with institutions including Oxford University for the use of their facilities and also contracts with tutors from those institutions but does not operate under the aegis of Oxford University.