Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

Are you interested in geology and environmental issues? Are you concerned about the natural environment of our planet? Perhaps you work, or want to work, in the environmental or civil engineering industries. This course allows you to combine your studies and consider issues such as pollution, water resources, planning and waste disposal. As well as attending the course at Birkbeck in central London, you can also study by distance learning via our online learning environment, so you can access course materials and recordings of lectures wherever you are in the world ' and whenever it suits you.

We are one of the few departments that meets the Geological Society's recommendation of a minimum of 100 days of fieldwork in a BSc programme. This is a commitment that many full'time courses do not match and, at present, we are the only part'time geology programme that does.

Each year, students attend a major residential field course of 10'14 days. They also attend numerous one'day and weekend field trips and are encouraged to undertake a substantial amount of independent field research.

Field courses are designed to complement the lecture programme and laboratory'based practical classes. In the field, students have the opportunity to cement their theoretical understanding of geology with practical experience. At the same time, they develop the skills they need to pursue independent research. We regularly update our field itineraries to keep up with changes in our curriculum. Currently, we take students to the Isle of Skye (Year 1), North'West Scotland (Year 2), and Cyprus and Spain (Years 3 and 4).

Course Modules

In Years 1 and 2, you will share compulsory modules with the BSc Geology. Once these are completed, you choose from a range of option modules that concentrate on specific environmental aspects. You may also choose modules in other subjects offered by Birkbeck to complement your geological studies or to broaden your scientific background and skills. You will also complete an environmental project.

Year 1 compulsory modules:

• Assessed Field Techniques 1

• Earth History

• Foundations of Mineralogy

• Introduction to Geochemistry

• Introduction to Geology

• Invertebrate Palaeontology

Year 2 compulsory modules:

• Assessed Field Techniques 2

• Geophysics

• Igneous Petrology

• Metamorphic Petrology

• Principles of Sedimentology

• Structural Geology I

Years 3 and 4 core/compulsory modules:

• Assessed Field Techniques 3

• Assessed Field Techniques 4

• Geological Hazards

• Project BSc Environmental Geology

Years 3 and 4 option modules:

• Chemical Evolution of the Earth

• Chemistry and Pollution of Water, Soil and Air

• Earth's Resources and Raw Materials

• Exploration Geophysics

• Forensic Geology

• Global Tectonics

• Introduction to Astrobiology

• Magmatic Processes

• Palaeoecology

• Petroleum Geology

• Scientific Computing and Data Modelling

• Structural Geology II

• Tectonic Geomorphology

• Vertebrate Palaeontology

• Volcanism in the Solar System

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
4 years
Part Time
Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons) £2,050 Home Fees
4 years
Part Time
Bachelor of Science (with Honours) - BSc (Hons) £3,000 Overseas Fees