Semester abroad

The School offers two different modules specifically designed for visiting students.

Study Geology in Scotland: a semester of heritage

This module offers non-graduating geology students extensive and diverse training in field geology. You will spend a semester at the University of St Andrews gaining field training experience in some of the classic geological localities in Scotland.

Field Methods in Geology (30 credits)

This module is for non-graduating overseas undergraduate students seeking advanced training in geological field methods. The key skills developed in the module include the ability to:

  • observe and record in great detail a wide variety of geological data from sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks
  • produce geological maps and cross-sections
  • integrate data over a range of time and space scales
  • use and comprehend incomplete datasets.

Much of the field training is based in classic geological sites that have shaped current geological thinking. In previous years, excursions have included:

  • the northwest Highlands and the Moine fold and thrust system
  • the Buchan and Barrovian metamorphic zones
  • the ophiolite and accretionary prism sequences in southern Scotland
  • the Mull Tertiary volcanic centre
  • an eight-day excursion to central Spain focusing specifically on geological mapping skills.

The module is field-based with over 35 days spent on excursions, and is accompanied by introductory lectures, laboratory practicals, and tutorials.

Students receive the same financial benefits as UK or EU students, and all excursions are subsidised to help reduce costs.

The course is continuously assessed through reports, maps, and field notebooks. Advanced methods of data capture include remote geophysics and differential GPS, and GIS is used to analyse the 3D and 4D data sets. The module involves extrapolating the field-based compositional and structural analysis to regional-scale geological histories, and develops science writing skills through the generation of reports.

Incoming study abroad students can find out more about studying at St Andrews on the study abroad web pages.