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Geology with a Year in Industry BSc

UCAS code F603
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 4 years full time
Department Earth Sciences »

Geology holds the key to some of our most profound questions, from the origins of our planet to the root of countless physical processes and even the optimum conditions for life itself.

Study Geology with a Year in Industry at Royal Holloway, University of London and develop your understanding of the physical Earth and the dynamic processes that alter and change our environment.  

This flexible programme includes a year in industry, during which you’ll gain experience in an industrial workplace and build valuable connections to take with you into your future career.

You’ll study in a dynamic department which is consistently rated among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016). Our renowned research culture means that our teaching is informed by leading research, providing you with cutting-edge knowledge and active industry links.

The Department of Earth Sciences has a supportive, friendly and community-focussed approach and this is reflected in the consistently high satisfaction scores from our students. Participating in exciting fieldwork opportunities in the UK and overseas will develop your scientific understanding and practical hands-on experience.

Study this rewarding programme and you’ll be well equipped with a diverse transferrable skillset to make you a highly employable prospect in a range of industries. Our alumni have secured jobs in petroleum geology, geotechnical engineering and other related sectors, so let your passion for Geology lead you towards a fulfilling career. 

  • Spend a year in industry and gain vital career experience while establishing valuable industry connections.
  • 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. (Research Excellence Framework, 2014).
  •  Graduate with a Geology degree from a department consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016).
  • Enjoy extensive fieldwork opportunities in the UK and Europe.
  • Gain a practical skillset geared towards a career in Earth Sciences and other related fields.

Core modules

Year 1

Global Tectonics

Introductory Sedimentology

Igneous and Metamorphic Geology

Physics and Chemistry of Earth

Earth Structures

Introductory Palaeontology

Geological Field Skills

Year 2

Stratigraphy and the History of Life

Regional Geology

Igneous and Metamorphic Geology


Field Methods in Geology

Year 3

This year will be spent on a work placement. Students are supported by their academic department and the Royal Holloway Careers and Employability Service to find a suitable placement. However, Royal Holloway cannot guarantee that all students who are accepted onto this degree programme will secure a placement, and the ultimate responsibility lies with the student. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme and students will be asked to complete assessed work. The mark for this work will count towards the degree.

Year 4

Advanced Concepts and Techniques in Geology

Independent Field Mapping

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.

Year 1

Environmental Issues

Introduction to Petroleum Geology

Year 2

Sedimentary Basin Analysis


Applied Geophysics

Computational Earth Sciences

Structural Analysis and Remote Sensing

Year 4

Marine Geology

Advanced Topics in Sedimentology

Aqueous Geology


Planetary Geology and Geophysics

Advanced Techniques in Tectonic and Structural Interpretation

Mineral Resources

Advanced Palaeontology

Teaching and learning is mostly by means of practical classes, which comprise 60% of the timetabled study time. Lectures are used to introduce material and provide a context for private study, while tutorials supplement and reinforce knowledge and understanding. Field and laboratory project work carried out as individuals or in teams are valuable opportunities for students to develop in-depth knowledge of specialist areas and help bring the syllabus to life.

Assessment is by a mixture 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, oral presentations and independent dissertations. In the final year you will produce an independent geological map and write a research report with individual guidance from your tutor.

The first year is foundational and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second year, optional year abroad 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: a Science subject (one from Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography).

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 a Science subject (Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography), with a minimum of 32 points overall.

BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a science subject. Substantial Maths content required.

BTEC National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction in a related subject, plus A2 grade B in a science subject.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

Distinction plus A2 grades B, B, one of which must be a science subject.

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 Science subject: Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Geography (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Higher grades as published).

Scottish Highers

AABBB (only acceptable when combined with the required Scottish Advanced Higher grades as published).

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including H3 in one Science subject.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit including minimum of 15 Level 3 credits in Science units at Distinction.


Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

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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.

Studying Geology with a Year in Industry at Royal Holloway will equip you with a diverse skillset to take into your career or further postgraduate study, as well as providing you with invaluable workplace experience and professional connections.

The Department retains excellent industry connections, with representatives regularly visiting the campus to provide careers opportunities for current students. All of our Earth Sciences programmes are accredited by the Geological Society, providing graduates with qualifications recognised and respected by employers in a variety of fields.

Our alumni have secured careers in sectors including environmental consultancy, geoscience and petroleum geology, among others.  

  • Gain invaluable workplace experience and make professional connections during your year in industry.
  • Jobs fairs, skills workshops and visits from industry representatives provide students with excellent career opportunities.
  • 90% of graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.

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***: £120

Costs incurred by students while on a Year in Industry / Business will vary depending on the nature and location of the placement. For further information please contact the Department of Earth Sciences.

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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