Fieldwork is an important part of this course. It deepens your understanding of the subject and brings it to life in an exciting way. During the three-year course, you will attend at least four residential field courses to destinations in the UK and abroad. You will learn how to problem-solve in the field and practice key field techniques. Fieldwork is also an important social aspect to being a geologist where strong friendships are built and students get to know their lecturers.
This week-long fieldtrip takes place around Easter in your first year. You will explore Cretaceous and Jurassic shallow marine sediments in Dorset and visit the mineralised granites of Cornwall. This course will also enable you to describe and interpret large-scale geological structures such as folds and faults and you will be taught how to map these features around the picturesque Lulworth Cove.
In addition to the South West England trip, you will also make a number of day trips to places such as Folkestone and the South Downs to learn about the local geology around Kingston.
Early on in your second year, you will be taken on your second residential field course to Pembrokeshire in South Wales. Here you will get to study tectonics (the processes affecting the structure of the Earth's crust) and sedimentary rocks. You will learn about the Variscan Event – a mountain building event that happened more than 300 million years ago and that resulted in the formation of mountains similar to the present-day Himalayas!
Around Easter time in your second year, you will visit the Betic Mountains along the Mediterranean coast of SE Spain. This two week-long residential fieldtrip is based in the coastal town of Mojacar and you will have the opportunity to learn about the incredible range of geological phenomena that have led to the formation of this active mountain belt. This course will also provide you with excellent training for field mapping.
Between the second and third year of your degree, you will conduct a 28-day long field mapping exercise. You are free to map anywhere in the world. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore new and exciting parts of the world with your fellow geology students and many students come to regard this as the highlight of the Geology BSc(Hons) degree. It is an opportunity to put all your field skills into practice and it is highly valued by all employers. A member of staff will pay you a visit in the field to provide help and guidance.
The final fieldtrip takes place in November of your third year. This grand finale of a trip looks at the fascinating, if rather complex, geological evolution of the Eastern Mediterranean during the last 100 million years. You will explore the magmatic evolution of Earth's oceans in the Troodos Mountains – an area that represents a fragment of the former Tethys Ocean now largely lost to the actions of plate tectonics. You will learn how to 'read' the sedimentary record to unravel what has happened to this small island following the dramatic emplacement of this fragment of former ocean crust. In addition to this, you will get to learn how these geological events led to the formation of economically important deposits across the island.