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Home > Courses > Undergraduate > Environmental Geoscience with a Year in Industry
More in this section Earth Sciences

Environmental Geoscience with a Year in Industry MSci

UCAS code F644
Year of entry 2018
Course Length
5 years full time
Department Earth Sciences »

The knowledge and skills of environmental geoscientists puts them in a prime position to help overcome some of the world’s most pressing concerns, including overpopulation and global industrialisation. This versatile five-year programme will equip you with acute problem-solving skills and a profound understanding of humanity’s relationship with our physical world.

Study Environmental Geoscience with a Year in Industry at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll graduate with the knowledge and skillset that will  make you a highly employable candidate to employers in a variety of fields. You’ll also benefit from the valuable workplace experience and professional connections you’ll make during your year in industry, taking them on into the workplace when you graduate.

The Department of Earth Sciences is one of the most prestigious in the country, and is consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016). Our renowned research culture means that teaching is closely linked to our research strengths, and you’ll contribute your own findings during your final year individual research project.

Environmental Geoscience gives you the opportunity to participate in fieldwork opportunities in the UK and overseas where you will develop your scientific understanding and hands-on experience of environmental, ecological and health issues.

This programme is ideal for those who wish to progress into postgraduate study or a scientific or technical career and is also recommended for those who wish to undertake a broader and deeper study of the subject.

  • Graduate with a Masters degree from a department consistently ranked among the UK’s top 10 (The Complete University Guide and The Guardian 2016)
  • 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).
  • Enjoy extensive fieldwork opportunities in the UK and Europe.
  • Gain invaluable career experience and valuable contacts during your year in industry.
  • Gain a practical skillset geared towards a career in Earth Sciences and other related fields.

Core modules

Year 1

Global Tectonics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the evolution of major features of current and past tectonic activity of the Earth. You will look at the current understanding of the Earth’s interior, considering its importance for both the kinematic and tectonic evolution of the planet. You will also explore how plate boundaries have formed, the dynamic processes involved, the types of data used to investigate these regions both onshore and offshore, and the importance of these processes to society. 

Introductory Sedimentology

In this module you will develop an understanding of the surface processes and the mechanisms of weathering, transport and deposition. You will look at the classification of sediments and sedimentary rocks, and consider depositional facies analysis and interpretation of the paleoenvironment. You will also examine the use and interpretation of sedimentary logs, triangular diagrams, vector scales and granylometric data in analysing sedimentary rocks.

Environmental Issues with Maths

In this module you will develop an understanding of the fundamentals of environmental geology, including the connection between ecology and geology, the rates of geological processes, and the structure of the Earth. You will look at natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanism, tsunamis, landslides and flooding. You will also consider the origin and usage of water and energy resources and examine the geological tools available to study climate change. You will learn how to manipulate algebraic equations and expressions, gaining familiarity with several types of charts, diagrams, and projections commonly used in geological sciences, such as log-log plots and stereonets. 

Igneous and Metamorphic Geology 1

In this module you will develop an understanding of crystallography, rock-forming minerals, their occurrence and textures in igneous and metamorphic rocks. You will look at igneous and metamorphic geology, volcanic and plutonic rocks, mineral identification, crystallisation, silicates, metamorphic rocks and textures. You will also examine the origin of chemical variation in volcanic rocks, metamorphic rocks and textures, and ore minerals. 

Physics and Chemistry of Earth

In this module you will develop an understanding of basic concepts in chemistry and physics and how to apply these to geological processes. You will look at atoms and atomic structure, the periodic table of elements, reactions, equations, geochemical analysis, the composition of the earth, interpretation of phase diagrams, solubility of minerals, weathering and the hydrological cycle. You will also consider Newton’s Laws, kinematics, circular motion, planetary orbits, gravity, magnetism, electricity, resistivity, stress, strain, seismicity, isostasy, radioactivity, and geochronology.

Earth Structures

In this module you will develop an understanding of the principles of structural geology and the interpretation of geological maps. You will look at large scale geological structures and learn how to recognise them on geological maps. You will consider how to interpret maps, recognise outcrop patterns, geological structures and geological relationships on maps, and how to draw cross sections. You will also examine smaller scale structures in hand specimen and outcrop, and analyse structural data in order to understand larger scale structural relationships.

Introductory Palaeontology

In this module you will develop an understanding of palaeobiology and palaeoecology. You will look at the the diagnostic characters of the major groups of fossils in the laboratory and field, and compare and contrast examples from the main categories of fossils, learning to differentiate between them. You will also examine the diversity of fossils and see how this can be applied in both stratigraphy and palaeoenvironmental analysis. 

Scientific and Geological Field Skills

In this module you develop an understanding of the skills required to practice geology in the field, carrying out a series of activities in South Devon and Pembrokeshire. You will learn to describe and interpret the origin of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks and how to prepare a geological map and cross-section using standard symbols. You will examine stereographic projections, sedimentary logging, the construction of stratigraphic columns for the identification of rocks, and the analysis of structural features using sterenets. 

Year 2

Stratigraphy and History of Life

In this module you will develop an understanding of the key events in the history of life and their environmental impact using the fossil and sedimentary record. You will analyse fossil assemblages using stratigraphic principles such as absolute dating, lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy. You will consider how to interpret sedimentary rocks, and examine the importance of fossil assemblages in the interpretation of events in earth history. 

Regional Geology

In this module you will develop an understanding of the geological evolution of the British Isles, interpreting regional geological history from geological maps. You will learn to describe rock specimens, and examine how palaeoenvironments can be reconstructed using case studies. You will also consider the application of stratigraphic techniques and use evidence from several different fields of geology to evaluate competing hypotheses for geological evolution.

Geohazards

In this module you will develop an understanding of the hazards associated with geological activity, their causes, and approaches to risk management. You will look at volcanoes, earthquakes, and radon, and the hazards associated with the exploitation of geological resources and associated anthropogenic activity, including asbestos, the mining industry, and contaminated land. You will examine a variety of geological and geochemical data, and learn to interpret and analyse these in order to make scientifically justified decisions as to the level of risk.

Geochemistry

In this module you will develop an understanding of advanced chemical concepts relevant to the Earth Sciences. You will focus on isotope geochemistry and consider techniques that are directly applicable in most geological contexts. You will attend practical classes and conduct a small project involving the analysis and interpretation of a real geochemical dataset.

Year 3

Advanced Concepts and Techniques in Geology
GIS and Remote Sensing
Environmental Geoscience Report
Methods of Environmental Investigation

Year 4

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 5

Individual Environmental Geoscience Project

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

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Sedimentary Basin Analysis

 

Igenous and Metamorphic Geology

 

Applied Geophysics

 

Computational Earth Sciences

 

Structural Analysis and Remote Sensing

 

Advance Scientific and Geological Field Skills

 

Geological Field Skills for Environmental Students

 

Year 3

Marine Geology

 

Advanced Topics in Sedimentology

 

Aqueous Geology

 

Volcanology

 

Advanced Techniques in Tectonic and Structural Interpretation

 

Mineral Resources

 

Advanced Palaeontology

 

Year 5

Research Proposal

 

Water Quality - Diagnosis and Management

 

Air Pollution - Monitoring, Impacts and Management

 

Modern Climate Change

 

Oceans and Atmospheres

 

Contaminated Land Case Study

 

Environment Inorganic Analysis

 

Advanced Igneous Petrogenesis

 

Seismic Processing and Interpretation

 

Geodynamics and Plate Tectonics

 

Interpretation of Structural Settings

 

Coal Geology

 

Reservoir Characterisation

 

Terrestrial Palaeoecology

 

Palaeoclimates

 

Environmental Field Investigations

 

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take sixteen course units at the rate of four per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are elective, thereby offering flexibility and choice. Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examination in varying proportions, depending on the course units you choose to take. The first year is foundational and marks do not count towards your final degree. The second, third and final year marks do count, with more importance being given to the final year marks in order to reward progress and achievement.

Study time

Proportions of study time will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

You will spend 37% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 63% in guided independent study.

Year 2

You will spend 50% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 50% in guided independent study.

Year 3

You will spend 31% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 69% in guided independent study.

Year 4

You will spend 100% of your time on placement.

Year 5

You will spend 25% of your study time in scheduled learning and teaching activities, and 75% in guided independent study.

Assessment

Proportions of assessment types will vary depending on modules taken, but typically:

Year 1

Written exams account for 65% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 35% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 2

Written exams account for 43% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 57% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 3

Written exams account for 32% of the total assessment for this year of study, 8% will be assessed through practical exams, and 60% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 4

Practical exams account for 20% of the total assessment for this year of study, and 80% will be assessed through coursework.

Year 5

Written exams account for 21% of the total assessment for this year of study, 10% will be assessed through practical exams, and 69% will be assessed through coursework.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

ABB including a Science subject.
How we assess your application:  predicted grades lower than our typical offers are considered.  Read more about what we look for here.

  • Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required.

  • Socio-economic factors which may have impacted an applicant’s education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.

Required/preferred subjects

Acceptable Science subjects: Mathematics, Physics, Geology, Chemistry, Geography, Biology, Computer Science.

At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level, including a 5 at Higher Level in an acceptable Science subject, with a minimum of 32 points overall.

BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a Science subject. Substantial Maths content is required.

BTEC National Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus one A-level grade B in an acceptable Science subject.

BTEC National Extended Certificate

Distinction plus two A-levels grades BB including one A-level in an acceptable 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

ABB including an acceptable Science subject.

Scottish Highers

AABBB including an acceptable Science subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate

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

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass in a relevant subject with at least 15 level 3 credits in Science units at Distinction and the remaining level 3 credits at Merit.

Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
requirements

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. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Environmental Geosciences with a Year in Industry at Royal Holloway, University of London is an ideal pathway towards postgraduate study or a scientific or technical career. This thorough five-year programme will see you graduate with an integrated Masters degree in Environmental Geosciences and acquire hands-on knowledge and experience during your year in industry.

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 gone on to careers in many fields including petroleum geology and geotechnical engineering.

  • Gain invaluable experience and make professional connections during your year in industry.
  • Graduate with a desirable Masters degree
  • Jobs fairs, skills workshops and visits from industry representatives provide students with excellent career opportunities.

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

International students tuition fee per year**: £18,900

The fee for the Year in Industry will be 20% of the tuition fee for that academic year.

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 about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year, and is shown for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates starting their degrees in 2018 is controlled by Government regulations, and details are not yet known. The UK Government has also announced that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.

**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our  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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