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Summary of courses for prospective students

Students at the front square

Students who wish to study Geology apply to the Science degree (TR071) and then select Geology as their specialist subject only during the third and fourth years (called the Junior Sophister and Senior Sophister years, respectively). There are opportunities for students to spend part of their Sophister course abroad; we have formal agreements with Uppsala (Sweden) and Clermont-Ferrand (France), but other locations are also possible. During the first two years (known as the Junior Freshman and Senior Freshman years) students select appropriate modules from biology, chemistry, geography, geology, mathematics, and physics. Geology must be one of the modules in Senior Freshman (second year) if you wish to specialise in Geology. Most modules are of 5 or 10 credits in size and a total value of 60 credits is taken in one year. Click here to see an overview of the degree TR071

Visiting Students

Spend a Semester or Year studying Geology at Trinity. Further information for Visiting Students can be found at:

The undergraduate programme in Geology

In September 2009 Trinity moved to a system of two teaching terms of 12 weeks duration, each with a designated study week within them, followed by a term of revision and examinations. Every module is given a credit value that links to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), a system that has been designed to permit easy transfer of students throughout universities in Europe with recognisable currency. This system is also intended as being of value to employers thus permitting mobility of labour. The system is based not on the amount of class contact but on total student workload. One credit is equal to approximately 25 hours of projected student input which covers class contact, reading, assignments, revision and examinations. Teaching is delivered in modules, mostly of 5 or 10 credit weighting, where 1 credit corresponds to 25 hours of work by a student, including private study time as well as time spent in lectures and practical classes. One year of study amounts to 60 credits. The first year to fourth year modules which lead to a degree in geology are listed in the table on the page below. The term in which modules occur is indicated in the module description.

Many of our modules, particularly the freshman modules, are taken by students whose main interest is in other areas such as biology or physics but for whom some knowledge of the planet is a valuable part of their education. These students are just as welcome as those who continue to study geology for the whole four years.

Some other courses that are taught by staff in geology but which are not part of this overall structure, e.g. Geology for engineers, are detailed on the website or in the appropriate course booklet.

The Department of Geology offers a friendly and stimulating working environment where students are treated as individuals and our overarching aim is that each student has the opportunity to develop themselves to their full potential. In the senior sophister year in particular, many of the modules are research led and deal with problems and data sets that are currently the subject of staff research. Research interests of members of staff and current events are housed on the regularly updated departmental website.

BA (Mod) Geology - Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this programme a student should be able to:

  • identify, formulate, analyse and suggest reasoned solutions to geological
  • identify earth materials and interpret three and four dimensional distributions of
    these materials from incomplete data sets
  • apply scientific procedure to solving problems
  • critically assess previously produced geological data sets and interpretations
  • work effectively as an individual, in teams and in multidisciplinary settings
  • communicate effectively with both the geological community and with society at
  • update their knowledge and undertake further study with a high degree of

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Last updated 23 January 2015