School of Earth and Environment

Geological Sciences (International) MGeol, BSc

(Full time) 2019 start


Key facts

  • UCAS code: F601
  • Start date: September 2019
  • Duration/Mode: 4 years full time
  • Typical A level offer: A*AA
    (specific subjects required)
  • UK/EU fees: To be confirmed
  • International fees: To be confirmed
  • Study abroad option: Yes
  • Work placement option: No
  • Course terms and conditions

The Geological Sciences MGeol, BSc is a four-year Integrated Masters degree with a year spent in Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA, experiencing geological settings that don’t exist in the UK.

It offers a broad and deep education in the geological processes that govern the evolution of the Earth’s surface and interior. You’ll study all the essential earth science disciplines: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic origins of rocks and minerals; the evolution of life on earth; plate tectonics and the structural deformation of rocks; earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and other natural hazards; geological mapping and fieldwork; and use of geological natural resources. Specialist “pathways” allow you to develop interests in petroleum, minerals and the environment.

You’ll apply your knowledge in the real world through hands-on learning and national and international field trips.

You’ll have access to outstanding facilities and be taught by staff at the cutting edge of research worldwide.

The year abroad

A year in the Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the USA can add real value to your degree, broadening your academic horizons and demonstrating a high degree of independence – attributes highly valued by prospective employers.

Your Year Abroad is fully integrated into your course, so it counts towards your final degree classification, and you take only Masters-level modules during your fourth and final year.

Leeds offers you the best-developed International Geoscience Year Abroad programme in the UK - we were the first university in the UK to introduce the fully integrated international study year abroad and we have many years’ experience of working with internationally renowned institutions in North America and Australasia. Where we led, others have followed.

A top ranked university for Earth Sciences

Leeds is 3rd in the UK and in the Top 20 in the World for Earth Sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).

If you study in our School of Earth and Environment you’ll join one of the largest and most vibrant schools in the country. We are one of the only universities that has brought together the complete range of geoscience and environmental disciplines under one banner.

Excellent relationships with industry

We attract industry sponsorship and maintain excellent relationships with major companies in the sector, such as BP and GETECH. Their developing commercial requirements inform and influence the development of our course content.

Enhancing your experience

We want to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. The School has an officer dedicated to Student experience.


This course has been accredited by The Geological Society of London, the recognised professional body for geoscientists.

An accredited degree is the first step to becoming a Chartered Geologist, an increasingly important professional qualification.

The Geological Society - accredited degree programme
Accredited by the Geological Society

Alumni profile

I studied a wide range of subjects at Leeds which has given me a very solid geological knowledge base. This has helped me endlessly in my job as you never know when you will need to call upon it.Lisa Hart, MGeol Geological SciencesRead more


Course terms and conditions

Course content

Each year of the course includes a combination of compulsory core modules and optional modules which allow you to follow your areas of interest.

Specialist “pathways”, supported by close links with industrial partners, ensure that the education we deliver prepares you for employment in a range of geoscience careers. The first year programme is common to all our geology degrees, so there is no need to specify your intended pathway until later. From year 2 you select optional modules to follow one of four “pathways” designed to help you to acquire skills in particular areas of geology:

The Geology Pathway provides a broad geological base and if you continue on this pathway throughout your degree you can choose freely from a wide range of modules.

The Petroleum Pathway provides focused education in exploration geophysics, sedimentology, structural geology, and hydrocarbon resource geology. It is recommended for students intending to pursue a career in the hydrocarbons industry.

The Environmental Pathway provides education in aspects of environmental geology. It is recommended for students intending to pursue a career in environmental and engineering geology, or those considering working for a geoconsultancy company. You might choose modules that study the hydrological cycle, natural hazards, and waste management.

The Minerals Pathway focuses on aspects of geology relevant to ore position, mineral exploration and resource development. It is an ideal route for students considering a career in minerals exploration or mining geology.

You will spend your third year studying abroad at one of partner universities. The marks you receive are translated to Leeds equivalents and count towards your final degree classification.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Ice Age Environments and the Quaternary Evolution of the British Isles 10 credits
  • Computing and Data Analysis 10 credits
  • Geology 1 30 credits
  • Geology 2 30 credits
  • Geology Tutorials 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Natural Hazards 10 credits
  • Vertebrate Evolution 10 credits
  • Introductory Chemistry for Earth and Environmental Scientists 10 credits
  • Gold and Precious Metals 10 credits
  • The Atmosphere of Planet Earth 10 credits
  • Intermediate Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists 10 credits
  • Advanced Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Earth and Environmental Scientists 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Earth, Environmental and Geographical Scientists 10 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Chemistry of the Earth 10 credits
  • Deformation Processes 10 credits
  • Sedimentary Processes 10 credits
  • Research and Career Skills 10 credits
  • Geology Field and Map Skills 20 credits
  • Palaeoecology, Palaeobiology and Evolution 10 credits
  • Mineralogy and Petrology 20 credits
  • Sedimentary Basins and Hydrocarbon Resources 10 credits
  • Introduction to Geophysics 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Intermediate Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists 10 credits
  • Advanced Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists 10 credits
  • Introductory Oceanography 10 credits
  • Contaminated Land Studies: Integrating Business Skills and Science in Consultancy 10 credits
  • Formation Evaluation 10 credits
  • Petroleum Reservoir Engineering 10 credits
  • Gemstones 10 credits
  • Explosive Volcanism: Processes, deposits and resources 10 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Study Year Abroad 120 credits

Year 4

Compulsory modules

  • Geological Sciences Field Project (MGeol) 30 credits
  • MGeol Research Project 50 credits

Optional modules

  • Engineering Geology 15 credits
  • Biogeochemical Cycles of the Earth System 15 credits
  • Isotope Geochemistry 15 credits
  • Easter Field Class - Geological Science (MGeol) 10 credits
  • Environmental Geology in Northern Ireland 10 credits
  • North Sea Reservoir Analogues 10 credits
  • Advanced Sedimentology and its Applications 15 credits
  • Structural Geology 15 credits
  • Volcanic Processes 15 credits
  • Mountain Belt Processes 15 credits
  • Plate Tectonics and Geodynamics (MGeol) 15 credits
  • Petroleum Systems Case Studies 15 credits
  • Past Global Environmental Systems 15 credits
  • Ore Deposits and their Exploitation 15 credits
  • Geology and Mineral Exploration in Northern Ireland (MGeol) 10 credits
For more information on typical modules, read Geological Sciences (International) MGeol, BSc in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Most modules combine lectures with practicals, workshops or seminars, depending on the subject. These are enhanced with skills classes, fieldtrips and small group academic tutorials. You can expect to study in a variety of settings, from large lecture theatres to computer clusters, seminar rooms, tutorials, laboratories, visualisation suites and out in the field. Our state-of-the-art building is in the centre of the campus and provides an ideal working environment, and offers quiet study and coffee areas when you are not in class.

Read more about learning and teaching methods.

As Leeds is a research-intensive Russell Group University, you’ll be studying amongst staff who are at the cutting edge of research world-wide, and who will incorporate this expertise into their teaching.


Our £23.5 million building opened in April 2010 and boasts state-of-the-art facilities for both teaching and research. These include our ground-breaking Earth Visualization Laboratory, all brand-new microscopes and a 3-D suite. Read about facilities in the School of Earth and Environment.


You'll be assessed through a variety of methods, specifically designed to help students learn, whatever their preferred learning style. We use both coursework and exams, but with a general progression from an emphasis on exams in year 1 towards an emphasis on coursework in your final year.

Read more in learning and teaching methods.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: A*AA including two from biology, chemistry, geology, geography or environmental studies (not both), mathematics, physics.

Offers exclude general studies. You don’t need to have a qualification in geology to study this course, as we start from first principles.

GCSE:English and Mathematics at grade C (4) or above, or an equivalent English language and Mathematics qualification.

If you do not achieve the higher grades required for this four-year programme, we guarantee you a place on the BSc programme (provided you achieve the grades required for the BSc). A successful performance during years 1 and 2 will support an application to transfer back to this Integrated Masters programme.

Alternative qualifications

  • BTEC: D*D*D in Extended Diploma/3 Subsidiary Diplomas in two relevant subjects. We will accept a combination of BTECs and A-Levels. Please contact the School's Undergraduate Admissions Team for more information.
  • Cambridge Pre-U: D2, D3, D3 including two relevant subjects.
  • International Baccalaureate: 35 points overall, with 19 points at higher level to include 6 points in two relevant subjects.
  • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate): A1A1AAAA/H1H1H2H2H2H2 in two relevant subjects.
  • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers: AAABB overall with AA in 2 Advanced Highers (AH). For non-AH applicants AAAAAA. To include 2 relevant subjects.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Access to Leeds Entry Requirements for this course: AAB


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Earth and Environment Undergraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Environment Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

While the School heavily subsidises or covers the cost of all compulsory taught fieldcourses, you may have to supplement these trips depending on the destination you choose. There will however always be a free option for you to select. You may incur some costs for some optional fieldtrip modules. Full details are available on request.

Scholarships and financial support

The School of Earth and Environment offer a range of scholarships for Home, EU and International students.

Scholarships for 2019 entry are to be confirmed.

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

MGeol graduates are highly regarded by employers for their teamwork, problem solving, IT and data handling and manipulation skills, as well as for the breadth of experience that they have acquired as part of their year studying abroad. The majority of our graduates go on to successful careers in industry or with government bodies, or pursue PhD research as the first step on a career in academia.

Your employment prospects can be further enhanced by an MSc degree, and we offer a number of vocational MSc degrees in Leeds, with industry sponsored scholarships and other funds available, including funding only available to Leeds graduates.

Our graduates enjoy rewarding career opportunities within the UK and around the world in the petroleum and mining industries, civil engineering or environmental consultancy. Our strong research tradition means that our graduates are also found working as researchers in government organizations and universities around the world.

Read more about our Alumni Success Stories.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

We recognise that employability is an increasingly important consideration for prospective undergraduates. With this in mind, pathways through our Geological Sciences degree enable you to focus your studies towards a favoured aspect of the discipline, helping you to maximise your chances of employment in major geoscience sectors. All years of study include a strong emphasis on applying your knowledge in the real world through practical hands-on learning and field trips, with a mix of national and international destinations.

The School of Earth and Environment is committed to enhancing employability and offers a range of initiatives to ensure our students receive the highest level of support throughout their studies. Read about careers and employability on the School website.

Alumni profile

The year abroad helped me appreciate the breadth and depth of study at Leeds and gave me a great grounding for my career.Read moreRuth Fain, MGeol Geological Sciences

Placement opportunities

Your year abroad

The School of Earth and Environment at Leeds was the first Department in the UK to offer integrated degrees with a year in North America and we extended the scope of this highly successful programme by offering additional partner institutions in worldwide. Spending a year abroad is not only an adventure, it is a chance to add real value to your degree by experiencing geological settings that simply don’t exist within the UK.

Exchange Universities for Geological Sciences (International) MGeol, BSc programme currently include:



New Zealand


Academic staff members and the University’s Study Abroad Office will offer you their guidance and help as you prepare for your year abroad. You also retain the option to change to the three-year BSc Geological Sciences programme at any stage during your first two years of study should you decide not to pursue this option.

The Year in Industry option is not normally compatible with the integrated Masters programme, although you may switch to this option during your first two years.

A Year in Industry is a Pass/Fail year that does not count towards your final degree classification, although it offers you valuable hands-on experience with the added benefit of earning a salary while you learn. You will be accepted onto this scheme if your performance during your first two years of study is maintained at a suitable level. After your Year in Industry, you will return to campus to complete your degree.

You will take responsibility for setting up a suitable work placement with an aligned company (in the UK or overseas), with support from the School. Both your personal tutor and our dedicated work placement advisers can offer guidance about the Industrial option to help you decide if this is what you want to do. This is excellent experience that will be of great value to you in the graduate employment market.

Direct applications to the Industrial Placement programme can be made to F634 BSc Geological Sciences (Industrial) or you may give this option further consideration after you start your degree at Leeds.

Alumni profile

By going to America I was able to visit some amazing geology and scenery - crater lakes, volcanoes, hot springs in the snow, and Yellowstone.Read moreRuth Fain, MGeol Geological Sciences
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