Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

BSc Geophysics and Meteorology

UCAS code: FFP8

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: GeoSciences

College: Science and Engineering

Accreditation
Study abroad

Introducing BSc Geophysics and Meteorology

Geophysics and meteorology are of great economic and environmental importance. Geophysics combines physics and mathematics in the study of the Earth’s internal structure while meteorology applies similar methods and techniques to study atmospheric dynamics, climate change and meteorological phenomena. The programme includes two individual projects and an international field course.

Our geophysics and meteorology programmes are unique in the UK. The University has one of the largest groupings of geophysicists and climate scientists in Europe, offering unrivalled courses that cover practical applications of physics and mathematics in the geosciences.

Accreditation

This programme is accredited by the Royal Meteorological Society.

This programme introduces you to fascinating subjects of great economic and environmental importance. Geophysics uses physics and mathematics to study the Earth's internal structure and dynamics.

Meteorology applies the same methods and techniques to the study of atmospheric dynamics, climate change and meteorological phenomena. You will study courses in mathematics, physics and meteorology.

Year 1

You will study a common first year introducing you to the foundations of physics, geophysics, mathematics and earth dynamics on which the rest of your programme will be based.

Year 2

You will take more advanced maths and physics courses, two meteorology courses and a specialist geophysics course. In addition, you will choose an option course from a wide selection in the Schools of Physics & Astronomy, GeoSciences or elsewhere.

Year 3

Your specialist geophysics courses will continue and you will study elements of climate and thermodynamics with the choice of option courses in earth sciences. You will also participate in a meteorology residential field course, run jointly with two other universities.

Year 4

You will continue your specialised studies with a focus on atmospheric physics and dynamics, and will take part in a geophysics field course along with students from universities in France and Germany.

You will complete independent geophysics and/or meteorological project work for your honours dissertation. Option courses will be available from the School of GeoSciences and elsewhere.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2018/19)

Our facilities

In Year 1, many of your lectures will be taught in the Central Area close to the city centre. Practicals and other teaching take place within the School of GeoSciences, located at the University's King's Buildings campus.

You can access the University's libraries and IT facilities, and the School's laboratories provide personal workspace with computing and microscope facilities during your honours years.

The School houses a wide range of cutting-edge facilities and services and is involved in a number of collaborative centres of research excellence. As part of your programme, you will have access to this range of high-tech facilities enabling chemical and physical analysis of various types of samples. Some of these samples will be collected by you during field excursions, which are a central component of our programmes. During these excursions, you will also conduct field measurements using various techniques used in ecological, atmospheric and earth sciences.

In addition to these analytical facilities, there are excellent computing facilities including geographic information systems (GIS), meteorological and geophysical computer models. You will become familiar with many of these facilities and techniques while studying here.

Research and Teaching Facilities

Field trips

Due to the continued support of our generous Alumni community, all travel and accommodation costs associated with compulsory field trips will be waived from 2019. Earth Science, Ecological & Environmental Sciences and Geography degrees all involve a significant element of field study and we are pleased to be able to support our students as they learn practical and highly prized skills.

Find more information about field trips on the GeoSciences website.

Field trips

Study abroad

You will have opportunities to study abroad through the Erasmus programme and/or the University's international exchange programme. Exchanges are typically taken in Year 3.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and tutorials, group work, practicals and fieldwork, self-directed learning and project work. In your honours years, you will devote more time to self-directed study and will receive individual supervision for final-year project work.

You will have access to the University's specialist research facilities and laboratories for analysing rocks, minerals and fluids and measuring the physical properties of rocks.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be both formative and summative, with a combination of practical work, essays, oral and written examinations, independent project work, field reports and notebooks, depending on the course.

You will also be assessed on computer programming exercises, and in the final year of all our programmes there are elements of assessed presentation and scientific writing skills. Most senior honours courses and projects will also involve modelling elements.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2018/19)

Our graduates have successfully entered challenging and rewarding careers in areas such as oil or mineral prospecting, numerical weather forecasting and industrial management and administration.

You will be able to consider careers as a geophysicist in the oil, mining or nuclear industries or apply your skills to other disciplines such as engineering, finance, business, consultancy or a variety of governmental or civil service positions, including positions at the Meteorological Office. The numerical and analytical skills you will gain, including the ability to interpret complex systems, are prized by potential employers.

Alternatively you may go on to study for a research degree.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA - ABBB by end of S5. If you haven’t achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB in one set of exams.
  • IB: 37 points with 555 at HL - 32 points with 555 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Higher: Mathematics at grade A and Physics.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at grade A and Physics.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) and Physics.

Additional requirements

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AAA to include Mathematics and Physics, and one of Biology, Chemistry or Geography.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one set of exams to include Mathematics at A* and Physics, and one of Biology, Chemistry, Geography or Geology.
  • IB: 38 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 666 at HL to include Mathematics (from 2021, Mathematics: Analysis and approaches only) and Physics, plus one of Biology, Chemistry or Geography.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C

  • SQA Standard Grade 3

  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A

  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C

  • GCSE Grade C or 4

  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C

  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section

  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component

  • PTE Academic: Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language requirements

(Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Geophysics and Meteorology

Additional costs

None.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: GeoSciences

College: Science and Engineering