Geology BSc (Hons)

Fact File

Course Code: CK404

Course Title: Geology

College: Science, Engineering and Food Science


Duration: 4 years

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: BSc (Hons)

NFQ Level: Level 8

Costs: Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees. The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2017/18 the Student Contribution Charge will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee is expected to be €165.

Entry Requirements: Refer to CK404


Geology is the study of the history of the Earth and other planets in our solar system, their chemical and physical composition, and their structure and evolution.

It includes investigations into the nature and composition of the Earth’s outer crust, as well as a study of its deep interior. These studies allow us to understand the formation and occurrence of important natural resources such as coal, oil, gas, groundwater and mineral deposits.

The study of geology allows us to understand natural geohazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. It also allows us to look back in time at terrestrial climate.

Course Details

The BSc Geology course assumes no previous knowledge of the subject, but by taking this course, you will learn something of the processes that have formed this planet – spanning 4,500 million years – and those that allow humans and life, as we know it, to exist on Earth.

Geology is the principal degree taken by students within the Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) stream. Aside from the core modules, fieldwork forms an integral part of all geology courses at UCC. In the summer of Year 3, and before the start of Year 4, you will undertake a major field-based research project in an area of your choice, in Ireland or abroad. In Year 4, you study Geology only, and work towards completing your research project. Several aspects of Geology are treated up to specialised levels.

Year 1
Core modules:

  •  Biology
  •  Chemistry
  •  Earth Science
  •  Environmental Science
  •  Geography
  •  Mathematics
  •  Physics
  •  Geology

A four-day field course to north Antrim takes place in Year 1.

Year 2
Core modules:

  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • Palaeontology
  • Geodynamics
  • Structural
  • Sedimentology.

A field course in southwest Ireland takes place in Year 2.

Year 3
Core modules:

  •  Environmental Geology
  •  Geological Evolution of Britain and Ireland
  •  Metamorphism
  •  Geochemistry
  •  Igneous
  •  Geohazards.

A field course in west Scotland takes place Year 3.

Year 4
Core modules:

  • Geology (students study eight modules)

Students also undertake a field-based research project on an aspect of:

  •  Petroleum Geology
  •  Environmental Geophysics
  •  Economic Geology
  •  Hydrogeology Micropalaeontology.

A field course in Greece takes place in Year 4.

See the Academic Calendar entry for this programme and the Book of Modules for Geology for further details.

Course Practicalities

A hard hat and hand lens will have to be purchased for field trips in Year 1. A geological hammer and compass clinometer will be needed in Year 2 and a high-visibility vest in Year 3. 


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment including essays, assessed practical exercises, field reports, multiple-choice questionnaires, assessed presentations and project work. The range of assessments provides a broad skills base of relevance to future employment.

Further Contact Information

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

T: +353(0)21 490 4650



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