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Exploration and Resource Geology (BSc)

Entry year


Cardiff is one of the few universities that run undergraduate courses specifically in Exploration and Resource Geology which has evolved from the long mining tradition in South Wales.

Book an Open Day

This course is available in Clearing and Adjustment for 2019 entry. Call us on +44 (0)33 3241 2800 to discuss your opportunities or view all of our vacancies.

Course overview

Globally there is an ever-increasing need for oil, gas, metals and construction materials in a world where resources are finite. Even renewable technologies depend on minerals, metals and other resources.

An exploration geologist needs a broad range of skills including an aptitude for fieldwork, good IT skills and the ability to make key decisions from limited information. These are the traits we aim to develop in our students through this applied degree programme.

This BSc degree will give you a solid grounding in the fundamentals of geology. You will learn about the processes that lead to the formation of a natural resource, be it a hydrocarbon or a metalliferous deposit. We will focus on understanding the Earth’s natural resources and apply this to discovering and managing them. Between years two and three you will be able to apply your knowledge and skills in depth during either an industrial placement or an applied geological mapping project.

Distinctive features

This BSc degree will provide you with the opportunity to learn in a School which has a strong research focus with sophisticated analytical equipment routinely used on site.

Research active staff are involved in programme design and delivery and there are a variety of modules on offer based on academic research as well as applied studies including placement opportunities.

This programme involves a common first term allowing you to experience aspects of Earth sciences and geography before finally deciding upon which honours degree course you wish to pursue.

The generic nature of the course will provide you with professional skills appropriate for a range of career pathways or advanced training options.

We currently offer two overseas fieldtrips on each programme with travel and accommodation costs covered by your tuition fees

The School has links with local consultancy companies and exploration companies worldwide and we have a thriving Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) chapter that links us to this international society and lets us attract specialist visiting lecturers and arrange field visits to working quarries and mines such as in Ireland and Scandanavia

Accreditations

UCAS codeF621
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 150 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 740 applications.

Entry requirements

BBB, including two sciences (from Chemistry, Physics, Biology,Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Applied Science, Environmental Studies, Archaeology, Computing, ICT, Physical Education (PE), Psychology, and Sports Science) and, where applicable, a pass in the practical element of the science A level. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted.   

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DDM - DMM in one of the following subjects: Applied Science, Sports and Exercise Science, Health Science, Animal Science, ICT.

30 points, including two sciences at HL from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Applied Science, Environmental Studies, Archaeology, Computing, ICT, Psychology, Physical Education (PE), and Sports Science.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences admissions criteria pages.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You will require GCSE Maths at grade B or grade 6 and GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit
£20,950None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

Specialist equipment for working in the field and any other equipment appropriate for your degree will be provided by the School.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

This is a three-year full-time degree. Years one and two contain compulsory modules and there are some options in year three.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

 All of our Earth and ocean science degree programmes share a common first semester. This is designed to give you a sound foundation in Earth sciences upon which to build. In total you will earn 120 credits for the year, through a mixture of 10-credit and 20-credit modules.

At the end of your first semester you will decide whether to continue with your original degree choice or choose another of our Earth science degrees.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Planet EarthEA120110 credits
Earth Surface ProcessesEA120220 credits
Dangerous EarthEA120310 credits
Geographical Information SystemsEA120410 credits
Earth Science Field SkillsEA120520 credits
Georesources and EnergyEA120810 credits
Earth MaterialsEA120920 credits
Geological Maps and StructuresEA121010 credits
History of LifeEA121110 credits

Year two

You take a suite of modules aimed at providing the basic tools for understanding exploration geology and for fieldwork. In total you will earn 120 credits for the year, through a mixture of 10-credit and 20-credit modules.

Extensive field training during this year currently includes residential trips to Dorset, Cornwall and Spain. During these trips you will learn a wide range of practical skills that are an essential training for exploration geologists.

In your summer between years two and three you are encouraged to undertake an industrial placement project with an exploration company in the UK or overseas. Alternatively, you can complete an exploration project or geological mapping topic under our academic supervision.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Exploration Case StudiesEA220120 credits
Field MappingEA220320 credits
Solid EarthEA220420 credits
Geological ResourcesEA220510 credits
GeophysicsEA220610 credits
Structural GeologyEA220710 credits
Sedimentology and StratigraphyEA220820 credits
Geoscience Data AnalysisEA220910 credits

Year three

In your third year, you will write up a research report on your placement or mapping project. You will also follow core modules in both mineral and hydrocarbon resources, visit ore deposits in North Wales and take part in an overseas field course - currently to Cyprus.

You will meet visiting guest lecturers and learn to design a professional exploration project.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Exploration and Resource Geology FieldcourseEA311110 credits
Petroleum Geology and Basin AnalysisEA311920 credits
Ores and Ore GenesisEA312420 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Volcanic and Magmatic ProcessesEA310110 credits
Exploration and Resource Geology ProjectEA311230 credits
Exploration Placement ProjectEA311330 credits
Water ResourcesEA311710 credits
Advanced Sedimentology and StratigraphyEA311810 credits
Engineering GeologyEA312310 credits
Structural TechniquesEA313110 credits
Environmental LawEA313410 credits
Hazards and RiskEA313910 credits
Applied MineralogyEA314410 credits
Isotope GeoscienceEA321410 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The School of Earth and Ocean Sciences has an excellent tradition of teaching, delivered by lecturers who are at the cutting edge of international research. In addition the School is able to maintain a friendly and informal approach brought about by staff-student interactions during fieldwork.

The modular course structure enables the School to offer an exciting and relevant spectrum of vocational degree courses. These cover a wide range of modern geosciences from traditional geology to the more industry-focused exploration and resource geology, through to the equally applied environmental geoscience and water-borne marine geography.

The first semester is common to all degree programmes and you then confirm your chosen course in January of your first year. This offers you a chance to sample university teaching styles before committing to a particular degree or pathway.

Teaching in the School is conducted by a variety of methods:

  • formal lectures
  • laboratory practicals
  • IT practicals
  • fieldwork.

Formal lectures and practical classes have an emphasis on students taking ownership of their own learning programme and ‘learning how to learn’.

Fieldwork is a vital format for understanding the Earth sciences and all students go on  one residential field trip during Year 1 and two residential trips during each of Years 2 and 3 as well as numerous specialist day trips.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

38%

Guided independent study

62%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

42%

Guided independent study

58%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

41%

Guided independent study

59%

Placements

0%

How will I be supported?

All students are assigned a personal tutor who will hold timetabled tutorials: fortnightly in year one and monthly during other years. Your tutor will be a specialist in your degree programme and will advise you on both academic and pastoral matters.

You will have a nominated supervisor for your major final year project.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are available through the Learning Central ‘Personal Development Planning’ module.

Where facilities exist your lectures will be videoed for you to further study in your own time.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Modern exploration geology has a heavy focus on GIS prospectivity evaluation, so there is space for professionals that are essentially desk bound. For disabled students we can offer a 3D modelling project instead of field mapping.

FEEDBACK

You will receive written feedback for written coursework assignments and oral feedback for assessed presentations

How will I be assessed?

Modules will be assessed to test knowledge and understanding through:

  • practical assignments
  • essay assignments
  • Geological reports, technical data representation, geological map interpretation
  • oral presentations
  • dissertation
  • formal examinations

 

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

59%

Practical exams

28%

Coursework

13%

Year 2

Written exams

44%

Practical exams

17%

Coursework

39%

Year 3

Written exams

40%

Practical exams

8%

Coursework

52%

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  •  understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of Exploration and Resource Geology
  • critically evaluate knowledge of the core principles of Exploration and Resource Geology including basic themes such as igneous, metamorphic, structural and sedimentary geology, petrology, geochemistry and geophysics and therefore processes that concentrate ores, oil and industrial minerals
  • show a systematic knowledge of terminology, nomenclature and classification of earth materials, structures and resources

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • originality and creativity in research, frame a cogent argument, orally and in writing and solve problems
  • The ability to use knowledge and scientific evidence-based methods in the assessment and solution of challenges in the field of exploration and resource geology

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in a variety of ways, especially using spatial data representation methods and GIS
  •  an appropriate level of practical and technical skills in the recognition and description of rocks, ore deposits
  • the ability to go out into the field and explore for natural resources using all the techniques listed above, including geological mapping

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Communication ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral and written means
  • The ability to work effectively in a team and as an individual
  • Effective time management and organisational skills

Careers and placements

Career prospects

Based on responses from the 2016-17 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey 90% of Earth science graduates were in employment or engaged in further study within six months of graduation, with others taking time out to travel.

Employers included local government and companies and organisations such as Gemcom Software, SRK Exploration, Kuwait Oil Company and Anglo American.

Typical career destinations for graduates in Exploration Geology include engineering geologist, geological consultant, exploration geologist, field geologist, mineralogist, mineral exploration, geological consultant, field mapping, oil geologist, mining software analyst, geophysical surveying and the water industry.

Jobs

  • Engineering Geologist
  • Geological Consultant
  • Field Mapping
  • Oil Geologist
  • Mining Software Analyst
  • Geophysical Surveying
  • Water Industry

Placements

No

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Friday 5 July

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