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Geology field camp in Scotland

Geology field camp in Scotland

Dates for 2022 TBD

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers a 5-week residential field geology programme in Scotland during the summer. Times vary but typically will be held through June and early July.

Scotland is an outstanding natural laboratory in which to study Earth science and learn the techniques of geological field work. It is the birthplace of geology and you will be able to walk in the footsteps of the founders of our science!

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews invites you to the ‘birthplace of geology’.  The School is proud of its commitment to a tradition of delivering in-depth field training capitalising on a rich geological heritage and diversity that, for Scotland’s size, is greater than almost anywhere else on Earth.  Within hours from St Andrews you can examine Archaean continental crust, igneous rocks that record the birth of the Atlantic Ocean, sedimentary rocks that represent the erosion of ancient mountains and metamorphic rocks archiving the processes of orogeny.

Why map in Scotland and at the University of St Andrews?

In this course you will study the famous sites that led to the discovery of geological time, underpinned concepts of modern structural geology and provided the basis for understanding the rock-record of geodynamics.  The School of Earth and Environmental Science is recognised internationally for its excellence in geological field training.  All teaching staff are experienced, research-active geoscientists committed to ensuring your education is world-class.  Upon completion, you will have mapped outstanding geology, gained self-confidence in your ability to make key observations and honed your critical thinking, all within a context of meeting new friends, experiencing new cultures and a learning environment created by friendly staff.

What to expect

Geology Field Camp in Scotland is challenging and highly rewarding. Conducted over 5 weeks of residential fieldwork, it focusses on geological mapping that integrates igneous, metamorphic, structural, stratigraphic, and palaeontological concepts of field geology.

You will work on sedimentary rocks exposed along the coast of Fife, the classic localities of Buchan and Barrovian metamorphism in Angus, Aberdeenshire and along the Moray Firth, map the iconic Moine Thrust system and foreland rocks of the Scottish Highlands that span Archaean to early Palaeozoic in age, and study the igneous and metamorphic rocks of the islands of Mull and Iona in the Inner Hebrides.  By the time you return home, you will have become a confident field geologist capable of conducting independent field work in complex geological terranes.

Field training is led by School staff with decades of experience in fieldwork and the exploration industry worldwide.  The course builds upon a series of short introductory lectures with class size typically 20-30, and a staff:student ratio of c. 1:10 is maintained.

Accommodation is in student halls of residence when in St Andrews and in Youth Hotels whilst in the field; all have internet, showers and cooking facilities, and most have clothes washers. You do your own cooking as groups.

Fees for the course is GBP £5,000 and includes:

  • all accommodation and food for the duration of the course
  • all transport costs during the course, including to and from airports (this does not include travel costs between your home country and Scotland)
  • materials required for mapping projects
  • admittance to sites of interest and scheduled extracurricular activities

group of students sitting in rocks


To apply

Applications will open early 2022




Further information

Essential information (PDF)
Welcome to Geology Field Camp in Scotland (PDF)
Terms and conditions (PDF)