BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

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Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

Geology is the study of the earth: the nature and origin of materials that make up our planet and the natural and energy resources it provides. It explores the processes that shape the earth (e.g. climate change, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides). Geology addresses fundamental questions regarding the structure, age and evolution of the earth, its controlling processes and the history of life. Geology impacts profoundly on many aspects of life and society.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Geology. Topics include sedimentology, palaeobiology, geochemistry, mineralogy, petrology, geophysics, structural geology, tectonics, earth evolution, earth resources and applied geology. Teaching and learning is through linked lectures, seminars, practical and field classes, with opportunities also for online learning.

First Year

  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective module

Second Year

  • Geology (includes a residential field course in the west of Ireland)
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Geology (includes residential field courses in Ireland and England)
  • Elective modules

Work Placements & Research Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to take a work placement module and/or a research project module during Third Year or during the following summer vacation.

Fourth Year

The year begins with a field-mapping research project, with follow-up research and report completion during the remainder of fourth year. There is a 10-day residential field course, usually held in Spain.

Geology as a Minor Subject

Geology can be combined with either Archaeology or Geography as a Minor subject, with most of your study being in your Archaeology or Geography Major subject through DN700 Social Sciences. Depending on your interests, you may elect to study from the following range of themes: Geology and Society; Landforms, Sediments and Life; Field Skills; Geochemistry; Earth Materials; Solid Earth Evolution. To select Geology as a Minor, select DN700 Social Sciences, choose the Two Subject Combination, then select either Archaeology or Geography with Minor subject – and pick Geology.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Geology graduates work in areas essential to understanding and protecting the environment, in industries using natural resources and developing infrastructure in roles such as geological surveyors, petroleum and mineral exploration and production geologists, mine geologists, hydrogeologists, oceanographers, geochemists, environmental consultants and engineering and structural geologists.

Graduate programmes include the UCD MSc in Subsurface Characterisation and Geomodelling. Graduates of this MSc course will be equipped with the skills and scientific understanding for a variety of applied geoscience careers. In addition, several UK universities offer MSc courses, in Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology, Oceanography and Mineral Exploration.

Other Entry Routes

“I chose Geology in UCD because I sought hands-on learning, both in the classroom and in the field, about the science of the planet we call home. I have found some of this learning to be challenging in some respects but highly rewarding and enjoyable. I have had the pleasure to hike and investigate the rocks all over Ireland, trying to dissect the relationships and complexities of the landscape beneath our feet. The modules I have been able to take in Geology in UCD have varied incredibly from studying fossils and ancient life, crystals and minerals, to understanding the structure and geometries of our planet, I believe that this degree provides an incredibly well rounded and practical education in Earth Sciences.”

Stephen Akien, Student

Contact Information

Sarah Procter
UCD School of Earth Sciences
Belfield, Dublin 4


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