Why should you study this degree?
You may have developed an interest in the natural world by studying geography at A level, and found that your interests lie with physical rather than human geography. Alternatively you may have a strong desire to understand the diversity of the Earth's surface environment. In either case, if you wish to study the ways in which natural processes interact to modify the Earth's surface and create distinctive landscapes, but without the focus on the very long-term evolution of the Earth offered by a geology degree, then this is the course for you. The unique range of skills that you will develop during this degree opens up a wide range of career options in the geotechnical and resource exploration industries, environmental monitoring, surveying and planning. These skills have also made past graduates attractive to employers in IT, management, teaching, marketing and banking.
We have a varied assessment schedule and provide detailed feedback on all your work so you can continually improve your performance. Individual modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and end-of-year exams, or by 100 per cent coursework. You’ll demonstrate your abilities and skills with our wide range of styles of coursework including the production of scientific reports, portfolios of practical work, your own geological maps, sets of original field notes, computerised assessments, and presentations. Independent project work forms a major component of the assessment strategy in the final year.
Plymouth is recognised by the government as one of the UK's top universities for teaching excellence. Earth sciences students benefit from LABplus, an innovative open access laboratory facility, and the development of an interactive, immersive theatre and state-of-the-art computer suite for the visualisation of Earth sciences imagery and data. In addition, you have access to a range of laboratory spaces and field equipment that can be used for independent project work.
You will also benefit from Plymouth University’s facilities which include improvements and expansion of library facilities, and a 24/7 resource centre.
Our teaching staff are closely linked with Earth science industries, with many engaged in consultancy activities for mining, petroleum, and engineering/geotechnical companies, and in association with geo-environmental agencies, such as Natural England and the Dorset/East Devon World Heritage Site. This ensures your learning experience will be focused towards the needs of industry and society, and gives you access to the latest industry-standard geological software. Our involvement in national and international Earth science committees and editorial boards of international scientific journals ensures we are involved in setting the agenda for the development of our science.
Academic and personal support
You will be allocated a personal tutor when you begin your course, giving you academic and personal support throughout your first two years. The role is taken over by your project advisor during the final year, since they will develop a strong working relationship with you during your independent project work. You’ll meet weekly with your personal tutor as part of a small group during your first year and in one-to-one sessions during your second year. You will be asked to maintain a Personal Development Profile throughout your studies, helping you to reflect on your progress and document your growing portfolio of skills. University support services such as healthcare facilities, a counselling service, a chaplaincy, student funding unit and child care provision are also available.
This BSc (Hons) Physical Geography and Geology degree has been formally accredited by the Geological Society of London, the world's oldest and most prestigious national learned society for geology.