Geology (GES1)

Curricular information is subject to change

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

In the BSc Geology programme we are committed to high quality teaching, informed by the research and professional experience of the academic staff.  Our purpose is to produce graduates that are well prepared for direct recruitment into the resources and geotechnical industries; appropriately prepared for further study at MSc level, for direct entry to PhD programmes and employable in business and finance. Our goal is to provide a holistic education that produces Geology graduates with a comprehensive understanding of current thinking across the discipline, and a broad portfolio of technical and communication skills.  We aim to engender in our students an ability to analyse, synthesise, summarise and critically evaluate evidence from a range of sources to formulate and test hypotheses.  Hence we emphasise field-based problem solving and the independent field research project as key components of our students’ education. Our approach is to seamlessly integrate theory and practice with an emphasis on active learning and critical thinking.  In focusing on Geology as a practical subject, our students gain hands-on experience in the field in front of outcrops and in a variety of laboratory settings.  The 4D (spatial and temporal) nature of geological phenomena demands an ability to synthesise a wide variety of data and to make decisions often based on incomplete information.  Moreover our approach has to take account of the large dynamic range over length (nanometres to planetary) and time (microseconds to billions of years) with which our subject deals. We recognise the diverse nature of the subject and the broad range of aptitudes and career destinations of our graduates.  We therefore deploy varied assessment strategies including continuous assessment, oral and poster presentations, group exercises, technical reports and dissertations, and written and practical examinations. 

1 - ability to carry out 4D (three spatial and one temporal dimension) investigations of sedimentary sequences, igneous and metamorphic processes and tectonics
2 - ability to describe and record the properties of geological materials (sediments, rocks, minerals, fossils, ores and hydrocarbon systems), where appropriate to industry standards (due diligence), and to reach informed decisions as to their identity and origins
3 - practical knowledge of a range of minerals, rocks, fossils, structures, landforms etc. in the field, including experience in individual field-based project work, including a thorough training in geological mapping and in fieldwork safety
4 - have the mathematical and statistical skills necessary to understand the quantitative and theoretical aspects of the subject and be competent in performing standard calculations and plotting structural, morphometric, geochemical and geophysical data sets and be familiar with GIS techniques
5 - ability to analyse, synthesise, summarise and critically evaluate evidence from a range of sources to test findings and hypotheses; including critical appraisal of peer-reviewed literature and current research topics
6 - familiarity with a wide range of geochemical and geophysical techniques, including instrumental methods and sampling techniques
7 - ability to visualise geological data in three dimensions, including the construction of cross sections, extraction of 3D orientations from observations on a 2D surface and manipulation of data via stereonets
8 - ability to plan, conduct and deliver an independent research project
9 - ability to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using a range of formats, including scientific articles, technical reports and oral and poster presentations
10 - ability to engage in autonomous learning and in self analysis and be aware of the qualifications, skills, and experience required to maximise career opportunities, including the opportunities provided by professional organisations for continuing professional developme
11 - appreciate the essential contributions of the geosciences to the economic, environmental, geotechnical and cultural needs of society
Students who return failing grades in a trimester amounting to 15 credits, or more, will be identified under the UCD Continuation – Academic Progress policy. Students whose rate of progression and performance over two academic years is deemed unacceptable will be referred to the Governing Board to be reviewed for exclusion from the programme.
Students who fail to progress from the stage of the programme they are registered to for more than two academic years (except where a period of Leave of Absence has been granted for one of those years) will also be contacted under the Continuation – Academic Progress Policy.
As Stages 3 and 4 have the most dynamic components of the programme, and the material studied previously may no longer be relevant, a student who has been away from the programme for a significant period should be required to register again to Stage 3. The upper limit for completion of Stages 3 and 4 should be six years if they choose to do 120 credits with 20 in each year.

Earth Sciences graduates work in organisations essential to understanding and protecting the environment including geological surveys, NGOs, onshore and offshore geotechnical companies, environmental consultancies and insurance firms managing natural disaster risk. They are also employed in companies exploring for, and producing, natural resources as mineral exploration and production geologists, geophysicists, hydrogeologists, environmental geochemists and marine surveyors.

Stage 3

Students must take 10 core modules. Additional modules may be selected from the BSc programme or alternatively, students may select 10 credits from elective modules. Students must take GEOL20200 if not taken in Stage 2.

Stage 4

Students must take all 8 core modules.

Module ID Module Title Trimester Credits
Stage 3 Core Modules
GEOL30010 Applied Palaeontology Autumn 5
GEOL30040 Sedimentary Environments Autumn 5
GEOL30240 Igneous Petrology Autumn 5
GEOL30250 Geological Mapping Autumn 5
GEOL30350 Geological Structures Autumn 5
GEOL30110 Metamorphic Petrology Spring 5
GEOL30320 Geological Fieldwork (Stage 3) Spring 5
GEOL30340 Low Temperature Geochemistry Spring 5
GEOL30380 Geomaterials and Geoenergy Spring 5
GEOL30400 Digital Geology and GIS Spring 5
Stage 3 Core Modules
Stage 3 Options - A)MIN0OF:
Students may take additional modules from the list below. The work placement module GEOL30360 must be taken during the summer vacation preceding the Autumn Trimester of Stage 4.
GEOL20180 Geoscience perspectives on the UN Sustainable Development Goals Autumn 5
GEOL10050 Earth and Humanity Autumn and Spring (separate) 5
GEOL20110 Global Environmental Change Autumn and Spring (separate) 5
GEOL20240 Medical Geology Autumn and Spring (separate) 5
GEOL30360 Work Placement - Geoscience Autumn&Spring&Summer(separate) 5
GEOL30390 Geoscience Research Project Autumn&Spring&Summer(separate) 5
GEOL10040 Earth, Environment and Society Spring 5
GEOL20230 History of life on Earth Spring 5
Stage 3 Options - A)MIN0OF:
Students may take additional modules from the list below. The work placement module GEOL30360 must be taken during the summer vacation preceding the Autumn Trimester of Stage 4.
Stage 4 Core Modules
GEOL40510 Geological Mapping Research 2 Trimester duration (Aut-Spr) 20
GEOL30010 Applied Palaeontology Autumn 5
GEOL40190 Igneous Petrology and Ore Geology Autumn 5
GEOL40460 Advanced Geological Mapping Autumn 5
GEOL40290 Basin Analysis Spring 10
GEOL40470 Geological Fieldwork Spring 5
GEOL40490 Quaternary Geology Spring 5
GEOL40500 Applied Geophysics Spring 5
Stage 4 Core Modules
See the UCD Assessment website for further details

Module Weighting Info  
  Award GPA
Programme Module Weightings Rule Description Description >= <=
BHSCI001 Stage 4 - 70.00%
Stage 3 - 30.00%
Standard Honours Award First Class Honours



Second Class Honours, Grade 1



Second Class Honours, Grade 2






(Google Chrome is recommended when printing this page)