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Digital Geosciences BSc

New Course for 2017 - Programme Under Development
UCAS code F640
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 3 years full time
Department Earth Sciences »

Earth scientists delve into the earliest history of our planet and look to the future to better understand threats such as natural disaster and climate change. To do so we need to harness the most sophisticated tools at our disposal.

BSc Digital Geosciences at Royal Holloway, University of London is a specialist programme and one of very few of its kind, designed to focus on the increasingly digital-centric scope of geological work. You’ll gain a unique skillset of computational, data acquisition and data analysis abilities that are highly sought-after in a range of industries.

Join a department consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016), and work in world-leading labs for geochemical analysis, sedimentology and palaeontology. You’ll also enjoy extensive fieldwork opportunities in the UK and overseas, and become a part of a friendly, community-focussed department with an excellent staff-to-student ratio.

You’ll be taught by expert academics involved with cutting-edge research, 94% of which is rated world-leading or internationally excellent by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 – ranking us no.2 in the UK. 

BSc Digital Geosciences is a groundbreaking programme geared towards securing graduates a career in the Earth Sciences and a range of other sectors where these skills are heavily in demand.

  • A groundbreaking degree programme focussed on the digital aspects of geological work.
  • Benefit from a pioneering research culture, with 94% of Department of Earth Sciences research ranked world-leading or internationally excellent – no.2 in the UK.
  • Join a department consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016).
  • Gain transferrable career skills including computer modelling, data acquisition and data analysis skills.
  • Enjoy extensive fieldwork opportunities in the UK and Europe. 

Core modules

On this degree programme you will:

  • Study the interaction of physical, chemical and biological processes relating to the Earth as a dynamic system through time (crust-mantle processes, surface processes, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere).
  • Examine geological materials (minerals, rocks, fluids) and the use of geological maps to represent three-dimensional spatial variations and their interpretation in a temporal framework.
  • Consider the application of Earth Sciences and its social and political role to resource exploitation (hydrocarbons, minerals, water), civil and environmental engineering (construction, waste disposal) and environmental hazards (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides). 
  • Use open source programming language to analyse digital geological data, create computer-based models of geological processes and generate and modify your own digital geological field maps.
  • Learn about managing a research project, including identification of milestones, time and resource management and feasibility demonstration. You can use these skills later in your professional life in academia or industry.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

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Teaching and learning is conducted primarily by means of practical classes. Lectures are used to introduce material and provide a context for private study, while tutorials supplement and reinforce knowledge and understanding. Computational and laboratory project work carried out as individuals or in teams represent valuable opportunities for students to develop in-depth knowledge of specialist areas and help bring the syllabus to life.

Assessment is through a mix of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the chosen course units. Coursework can include literature research reports, fieldwork and laboratory exercises and reports, computer-based research projects, oral presentations and independent dissertations. 

In the final year you will carry out an independent computational research project and write a research report with individual guidance from your tutor. In year 2 you’ll prepare a project proposal which will help to guide you through the independent project in year 3. 

The first year is foundational, and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second and final-year marks do count, with the final year marks being more heavily weighted in order to reward progress and achievement.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels ABB-BBB
Required/preferred subjects

Required subject: one of Mathematics, Physics, Geology, Computer Science, Computing, Chemistry, Further Mathematics or Statistics.

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • The educational context in which academic achievements have been gained.
  • Whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken

At least five GCSE passes at grade A*-C including English and Mathematics.

All applications will be subject to a selection interview, providing that minimum academic requirements are met.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level, including 5 in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science or Chemistry, with a minimum of 32 points overall. 
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a Science subject with substantial Mathematics content. 
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject plus 1 A level grade B from Mathematics, Physics, Geology, Computer Science, Computing, Chemistry, Further Mathematics or Statistics
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction plus A levels grade BB, including one of Mathematics, Physics, Geology, Computer Science, Computing, Chemistry, Further Mathematics or Statistics
Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.

Scottish Advanced Highers AB including a Mathematical subject, in combination with Highers at the published level
Scottish Highers AABBB at Higher, in combination with Advanced Highers at the published level.
Irish Leaving Certificate H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including H3 in one Science subject.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit with a minimum of 15 level 3 credits in Science modules at Distinction level. .

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language

IELTS 6.5 overall and minimum of 5.5 in each subscore.  For equivalencies please see here

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. Royal Holloway offers an International Foundation Programme and pre-sessional English language courses, allowing students to further develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

BSc Digital Geosciences at Royal Holloway, University of London is a new degree programme that is structured to prepare graduates for careers in the Earth Sciences and a variety of related sectors. You'll develop a broad skillset including computer modelling, data acquisition and data analysis skills, attractive to employers in the resources sector, environmental organisations and many other fields.

Our students benefit from one-to-one advice from a Careers Consultant, and industry representatives regularly visit the Department to provide careers opportunities and advice.

  • 90% of graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • Programme structure geared towards providing graduates with a robust transferrable digital skillset.
  • Jobs fairs, skills workshops and visits from industry representatives provide students with excellent career opportunities. 
  • Graduate with a degree accredited by the Geological Society.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

Other essential costs***: TBC

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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