BSc Physical Earth Science FF86

Course Overview

Colorado Plateau 2012

The BSc Physical Earth Science degree scheme at Swansea combines physical geography with aspects of geology. The BSc Physical Earth Science course will give you the opportunity to investigate the physical processes that shape our planet and the changes that have affected environments over hundreds of millions of years. The course covers a range of themes of exciting including Understanding and Living with Natural Hazards, Glacial Environments and Processes and Reconstructing Quaternary Environmental Change.

Key Features

With a recent investment of £4.2m in state-of-the-art science laboratories, there are many good reasons to study a Geography degree at Swansea University. We are proud to have consistently high student satisfaction scores, (93% in the National Student Survey, 2017) with 94.6% of our graduates in employment or further study after leaving University (HESA data, 2014/15). The Geography Department has also been recognised for it’s excellence in Geology (12th in the UK overall, Complete University Guide 2017), Geography and Earth Science (Global Rankings of Academic Subjects, 2017) and for it’s research excellence, rated 8th in the UK for Research Impact (REF 2014). 

By joining Swansea Geography, you will also have access to the expertise of many internationally-renowned academics:

Professor Tavi Murray: first woman to be awarded Polar Medal by HM Queen for outstanding service to polar research
Professor Adrian Luckman: global media coverage for his climate change research into the collapse of the Larsen C ice shelf
Professor Peter North: international coverage of his work with NASA into the ‘greening-up’ of the Amazon forest
Professor Siwan Davies: work focuses on establishing why climate has changed dramatically and abruptly in the past 100,000 years through the investigation of volcanic ash deposits trapped in ice sheets

Modules

Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 1 (Level 4)

FHEQ 4 Degree / HECert

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
GEG101Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Earth in Action
GEG102Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Earth's Changing Face
GEG103Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Global environmental change: The human impact
GEL122Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Earth science in the field
Optional Modules
GEG100/GEC100 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC100Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Sgiliau Daearyddol
GEG100Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Geographical skills
AND
GEG106/GEC106 

Choose Exactly 10 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC106Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Cynaladwyedd mewn byd bregus
GEG106Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Sustainability in a fragile world
AND
GEG108P/GEC109 

Choose Exactly 10 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC109Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)10Methodoleg Maes Amgylcheddol
GEG108PSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Geographical Methods: Field Project Practicals & Tutorials (for Physical Geography Students)
AND
GEG111/GEC111 

Choose Exactly 10 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC111Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)10Sgiliau Ysgrifenedig Daearyddol a Chynllunio Datblygiad Personol
GEG111Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)10Geographical Writing Skills and Personal Development Planning
AND
GEL121/GEC121 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC121Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Cyflwyniad i'r Ddaear: Trosolwg daearegol
GEL121Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Introducing Planet Earth: an overview of geology

Year 2 (Level 5)

FHEQ 5 Degree / HEDip

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
GEL203Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Earth history
GEL204Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Geological Record of Past Environments
Optional Modules
GEC259 / GEG259 

Choose Exactly 10 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC259Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Dadansoddi Data
GEG259Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Data Analysis
AND
GEC268 / GEG268 

Choose Exactly 10 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC268Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)10Paratoadau Traethawd Hir
GEG268Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Dissertation Preparation
AND
GEG252 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : This module has been pre-allocated to your module selections after our application process in April. Therefore any selection made here will be overwritten by the Geography Department

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEG252ASemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Geographical Fieldwork skills: Austria
GEG252MSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Geographical Fieldwork skills: Mallorca
GEG252MBSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Geographical Field Work Skills: Malaysian, Borneo
GEG252VSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Geographical Fieldwork skills: Vancouver
AND
GEG264A/GEG264B 

Choose Exactly 20 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEG264ASemester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Environmental Research Methods A
GEG264BSemester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Environmental Research Methods B
AND
GEC266 / GEG266 

Choose Exactly 10 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC266Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Ymdrin â Daearyddiaeth Ffisegol
GEG266Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)10Approaches to Physical Geography
AND

Year 3 (Level 6)

FHEQ 6 Degree / Honours

Students choose 120 credits from the following:

Compulsory Modules

None found.

Optional Modules
GEG331 / GEC331 

Choose Exactly 30 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC331Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)30Traethawd Estynedig DaearyddiaethYou have not taken the required Pre Requisite modules for this selection
GEG331Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)30Dissertation Report: Geography
AND
GEG332 / GEC332 

Choose Exactly 10 credits from the following Modules:

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEC332Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)10Cefnogaeth Traethawd Hir
GEG332Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)10Dissertation Support: Geography
AND
GEC333  

Choose Exactly 80 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : GEB301 applications for this module will be during teaching block 2 in your 2nd year. If successful your allocation of this module will be added by the Teaching Administration Office directly onto your profile.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEB301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Interdisciplinary Field Course to the Indian Himalayas (Sikkim)
GEC333Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Ffiniau Ymchwil Daearyddol
GEG344Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Glaciology
GEG345Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Humid Tropical Environments and Landscapes
GEG347Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
GEG348Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Plate Tectonics and Global Geophysics
GEG354Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Environmental Modelling
GEG358Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Climate of the last 1000 years
OR
GEG333  

Choose Exactly 80 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : GEB301 applications for this module will be during teaching block 2 in your 2nd year. If successful your allocation of this module will be added by the Teaching Administration Office directly onto your profile.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEB301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Interdisciplinary Field Course to the Indian Himalayas (Sikkim)
GEG333Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Geographical Research Frontiers
GEG344Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Glaciology
GEG345Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Humid Tropical Environments and Landscapes
GEG347Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
GEG348Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Plate Tectonics and Global Geophysics
GEG354Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Environmental Modelling
GEG358Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Climate of the last 1000 years
OR
GEC334 

Choose Exactly 80 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : GEB301 applications for this module will be during teaching block 2 in your 2nd year. If successful your allocation of this module will be added by the Teaching Administration Office directly onto your profile.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEB301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Interdisciplinary Field Course to the Indian Himalayas (Sikkim)
GEC334Semester 1 and 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Lleoliad Gwaith
GEG344Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Glaciology
GEG345Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Humid Tropical Environments and Landscapes
GEG347Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
GEG348Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Plate Tectonics and Global Geophysics
GEG354Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Environmental Modelling
GEG358Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Climate of the last 1000 years
OR
GEG334 

Choose Exactly 80 credits from the following Modules:

NOTE : GEB301 applications for this module will be during teaching block 2 in your 2nd year. If successful your allocation of this module will be added by the Teaching Administration Office directly onto your profile.

Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule NameGuidance
GEB301Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Interdisciplinary Field Course to the Indian Himalayas (Sikkim)
GEG334Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Work Placement
GEG344Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Glaciology
GEG345Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Humid Tropical Environments and Landscapes
GEG347Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Meteorology and Atmospheric Science
GEG348Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Plate Tectonics and Global Geophysics
GEG354Semester 1 (Sep-Jan Taught)20Environmental Modelling
GEG358Semester 2 (Jan - Jun Taught)20Climate of the last 1000 years

Description

The BSc Physical Earth Science degree from Swansea University will provide you with an understanding of the human world, the natural environment, and interactions between them and equip you with the practical, numerical and computational skills that are valued by many employers.

A BSc Physical Earth Science degree will develop your essential transferable skills, such as team working, communication, presentation, problem solving, and analytical skills and prepare you for a rewarding career in a wide range of areas, including:

  • environmental management
  • conservation
  • aid and development agencies
  • local authorities, education
  • computing
  • regional and resource planning and insurance risk assessment
  • prepare you for postgraduate study in Geography or Earth science

Entry Requirements

For 2017 entry onwards:

A levels: grades AAB-BBB or equivalent  to include Geography or a related subject (for example, Sociology or World Development; Geology or Environmental Science; or an additional Science subject)

BTEC: DDD-DDM plus A level  grade B in Geography or a related subject

Scottish Highers: ABBBC to include Grade B in Geography (or a related subject)

Access to HE (Science or Humanities): Pass with Distinction (27-24 Dist to include 3 in Geography or an appropriate subject, plus 15 Merits)

Welsh Baccalaureate: Requirements are as for A levels where you can substitute the same non-subject specific grade for the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core Grade

IB: 34-32 to include 5 in Higher Level Geography

IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English test

All applications will be considered on an individual basis, and we will look at the whole application when deciding whether to make an offer of a place, including: the balance, nature and quality of A-level, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalent); personal statement and referee’s comments.

General Studies and Key Skills qualifications are normally excluded from our offers.

How To Apply

All applications for full-time undergraduate degrees must be made through UCAS. Further information is available on the UCAS website.

For UK applicants, please apply online at www.ucas.ac.uk

For International students, please click here

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2018/19 are as follows:

UK/EU International
BSc (Hons) Full-time £9,000 £17,450

Fees for full time Undergraduate UK/EU students may be increased in subsequent years of study by an inflationary amount determined by Welsh Government.

Fees for full time Undergraduate International students will increase by 3% for each subsequent year of study.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

Level 2 Single Honours:

  • Students choose from a range of overseas fieldcourses, all of which are subsidised but require an additional payment, which varies according to destination, e.g. Austria or Berlin, approximately £250; Vancouver or New York, approximately £900.

Level 2 Joint Honours:

  • Students may attend an international fieldcourse as space allows but pay the full cost of the fieldcourse (e.g. currently £450 for Mallorca).
  • Non-Physical Earth Science students can select GEL204 which includes a Pembrokeshire field weekend at a cost of £65 (for non-PES students).

Teaching and assessment

On the BSc Physical Earth Science course you will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical classes and field classes.

You will be assessed through a variety of methods, including examinations, coursework, practical work, fieldwork and continuous assessment from tutorials. You will also complete a dissertation in Level Three.



Student profiles

"All the lecturers were incredibly helpful and committed to the students. Definitely choose to study at Swansea, not only will you receive a outstanding level of teaching from all lecturers, you will have an incredible experience outside of University exploring everything Swansea has to offer."

Jack Philpott, BSc Physical Geography

Read our student profiles

Facilities

The Geography Department is well-resourced to support research: there are two dedicated computer laboratories: One of 24 computers in conjunction with Library and Information Services (LIS) providing general IT software and programmes dedicated to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing; One of 10 high-performance Linux workstations delivering software tools for advanced GIS and remote sensing applications. 

We have specialist laboratory suites for: stable-isotope ratio analysis; tree ring analysis; extraction and identification of organic compounds; pollen extraction and analysis; rainfall simulation; tephra analysis; soil and sediment characterisation.

In addition, we have recently spent £1.8million on state-of-the-art teaching spaces, including IT facilities, laboratories and flexible teaching spaces.

Find out more about the facilities used by Geography students at Swansea University.
 
 



Careers

Many students choose Geography because of the scope it provides for studying a wide range of current themes and issues, the important insights it offers for understanding our contemporary world, and the opportunity to put this knowledge into practice through fieldwork. However, what many students do not realise before coming to university is that a Geography degree also offers a broad range of employment opportunities, allowing graduates to pursue a flexible and varied career path.

Every year we survey our recent graduates to ascertain their employment status.  The data is more commonly known as the Graduate Destinations Survey and is reported to HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Authority).  Here are some examples of job titles from the recent survey:

  • Multi Site Supervisor (Phase Eight)
  • Data Analyst (PHS Group)
  • Account Manager Support (Handelsbanken)
  • Geographical Data Processor (Western Power Distribution)
  • Catchment Scientist (Welsh Water)
  • Ecologist (Natural England)
  • Associate Financial Consultant (HSO)
  • Marketing Traffic Executive (Bluefrog Ltd)
  • Negotiator (Goadsby)
  • Housing Officer (Cardiff County Council)
  • Lead Specialist (Reuters)
  • Surveyor (St Modwen)
  • Business Development Executive (Jutexpo)

Find out more about employability

Research

We aim to be one of the foremost international centres for research in human and physical geography, and to provide our students with excellent teaching and superb facilities in a friendly atmosphere.

In the latest UK Research Assessment Exercise, 95% of Swansea's research in Geography was judged to be of international quality, and 60% was regarded as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).

We host a large community of postgraduate researchers studying for PhD degrees, and run one-year MRes, MSc and MA courses. Find out more.

Fieldwork

In the second year of the BSc Physical Earth Science course, students take part in an international field course. Students are currently able to choose from 7 destinations:

Dr Kevin Rees talks about Geography at Swansea

Welsh-medium provision for students

The ability to communicate scientific topics through the medium of Welsh is a key skill required by increasing numbers of employers, and Swansea University is perfectly situated to take advantage of this.