TR062: Geography and Geoscience
Degree awarded: B.A. (Moderatorship)
Degree type: Honours Bachelor Degree
NFQ: Level 8
Awarding Body: Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin.
In the first two years the Geography and Geoscience stream prepares students for taking degrees in either Geography or Geoscience. Students take modules that introduce them to an understanding of how the earth works and how it has been occupied by human groups over time to create geographical patterns. In the final two years students will specialise in either Geography or Geoscience for their degree. See below for more details on the Geography and Geoscience degree programmes.
What is Geoscience?
The geography and geoscience stream is the new entry pathway to the study of Geography, Geology and Earth Science at TCD. This multi-disciplinary programme is designed by leading research scientists in response to critical challenges facing the Earth system and humanity in the 21st century. It will be of interest to people wishing to study the dynamics of our planet, to understand environmental changes past, present and future, and to manage Earth’s resources in an economic and sustainable manner. The programme is delivered via an engaging combination of classroom lectures, seminars, laboratory-based practical classes, and outdoor field work, thereby developing the theoretical understanding and technical expertise needed to address applied, real-world problems such as natural resource management and sea level rise.
The first two years of the programme provide a grounding in geography and geoscience with particular emphasis on physical geography, geology and human-environment interactions. Students will learn about topical issues such as climate change, natural hazards (e.g. volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides), energy, sustainability and natural resources. Introductory modules provide the foundational skills required to understand the science underpinning these issues, and the wider context required to evaluate them. Some of the subjects considered include: the origins and development of our planet; earth structure and composition; circulation in the atmosphere and oceans; the evolution of life on Earth; earth surface processes and environments (e.g. glaciers, rivers and deserts). In addition to learning about the physical, chemical and biological processes responsible for creating and shaping the earth, students will also consider the unique role that humans play in the earth system, including their impacts on the land, air and water, and the grand challenges linked to environmental governance, policy and management.
In years 3 and 4, students have an opportunity to deepen their knowledge in particular subject areas, whilst further developing a portfolio of practical and technical skills (e.g. geochemical analysis, GIS, remote sensing). The programme structure provides for flexibility in module choice whilst retaining coherent curriculum design to ensure graduates are well prepared for entry to the constantly changing job market. Specialist options cover a diverse range of topics, with a student’s choice of module determining whether they graduate with a degree in ‘Geography’ or ‘Geoscience’. In this way, each student may tailor the course to suit their particular interests, whether this be focussing on topics traditionally associated with geography (e.g. geomorphology, globalisation, sustainability) or geology (e.g. volcanology, palaeontology, natural resources), or retaining a broader, multi-disciplinary perspective that spans the critical interface between science and society. In their final year, each student will undertake a significant piece of individual research, typically employing laboratory and / or field work.
Geography and geoscience graduates are in demand to work on many of society’s most important challenges, and can pursue lucrative and personally rewarding careers in industry, academia, research and government. Careers leading directly from the programme include work in: environmental, engineering and geological consultancies; mineral exploration companies; the hydrocarbon industry; environmental planning; overseas development; government geological surveys; teaching and research. Geography and geoscience graduates are also highly valued in more generalised fields of employment due to their rounded educational experience and many transferable skills, their adaptability, and their experience of dealing with complex spatial or multivariate data sets.