The MGeol (Hons) in Earth Sciences is a five-year Integrated Masters course run by the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The MGeol degree is designed to give you advanced experience prior to undertaking full-time employment or PhD research.
During your degree, you will be able to take advantage of hands-on field and laboratory-based research projects that investigate how Earth’s surface became oxygenated, planetary formation, and how the composition of the oceans and atmosphere have changed through time and their influence on the regulation of climate.
Alongside Earth Sciences, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised.
As you advance in your degree, you are given more flexibility to choose your focus of study, whether that be in geological mapping, geochemistry, global biogeochemical cycles or climatology.
MGeol students have the chance to undertake a formal industrial placement with a company that would provide hands-on training as well as the option to take part in a self-organised and planned geological expedition during their degree. In both instances, these would be arranged in consultation with the course and module coordinators.
All students have the opportunity to obtain fieldwork skills via numerous day and multi-week-long field trips associated with individual modules, as well as up to four weeks of fieldwork associated with their independent research projects.
Examples of the field trips that are part of the MGeol in Earth Sciences include:
- five-day “Highland Fling” to renowned geological sites in the Scottish Highlands during first-year studies
- six days exploring the varying sources of iron, nitrate and phosphate level in river systems in Yorkshire and their impact on pH and invertebrate life
- six days of geological mapping in central Spain examining the polyphase Hercynian and Alpine orogenic belts during second-year studies
- six days in Rio Tinto investigating the geochemistry and geobiology of acid mine drainage in southern Spain
- twelve days of mapping the iconic Moine Thrust system and Caledonian igneous complexes in the Scottish Highlands during third-year studies
- a two-week transect of the Alpine orogenic belt through northern Italy and central Switzerland during fourth-year studies.
The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.
Find out more about studying Earth Sciences at St Andrews.