Fieldwork is an adventure! It is also a vital skill for many Earth Scientists and we run one of the most highly regarded undergraduate field programmes in the UK. Our experts have led expeditions all over the world to study mountains, deserts, caves, volcanoes, rift valleys, faults, and fossils, and we will train you to become an expert observer and interpreter of the Earth.
We aim to equip you with the skills to be a professional geoscientist, to be able to explore, observe, and interpret, and to create new knowledge about our planet, about the resources it holds, and about our impact on it. Our field programme is compatible with the demands of chartered status, the professional qualification awarded by the Geological Society of London.
In Level 1 you will gain a firm knowledge of how to observe and interpret the Earth in the field through a series of local day trips and a residential field trip to the Lake District. Learning is enhanced through classroom-based practical activities.
Level 2 focuses on geological mapping, geophysical surveying, or environmental fieldwork, depending on which degree course you are following. Residential trips to Assynt, Spain, Northumbria, Yorkshire, or the Lake District develop your technical field skills and are supported by classroom-based learning. These activities prepare you for Level 3 dissertations and give you the knowledge to undertake fieldwork at a professional level.
In Level 3 we offer module-based residential field trips to Cyprus to study global-scale geological processes and environmental issues, and to Tenerife to study volcanology. F600 Geology students complete 6 weeks independent geological mapping in the UK or abroad during the summer of their 2nd year. This is written up into a dissertation during the 3rd year.
In Level 4 (MSci Earth Sciences course) we offer an optional residential trip to the western US (Nevada and California) that allows students to bring together all of their knowledge and to discuss big questions in Earth Sciences. Students have the opportunity to stay on after the trip if they like.
I absolutely loved my time studying geology at Durham and can wholeheartedly recommend it! The field trips were a particular highlight - they were in some awesome places and you also get to know everyone on your course really well, which makes lectures back in Durham much more fun. Some of my best friends now are my course mates from Durham.