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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    Hey guys,

    I've got an offer to study Geology at Southampton.

    I'd really want to know what the department is like; the lecturers, the teaching, course structure. Just some first hand insight.

    I'm struggling to choose between Royal Holloway and Southampton and hope your opinion could help me.

    I also applied for geology at Soton.Im not really sure what RH is like, but i went for soton because of the department. Having the NOC seems like such a great asset (lots of machines and gizmos, alongside some of the best Earth scientists in the UK stationed there).I was also quite impressed by the size of the course over other universities such as UCL. Another thing which struck me was the friendliness of the faculty, some of the professors seemed genuinely passionate to lecture (although that is a generalisation) rather than those who seemingly prioritised their research over lecturing. Academics isn't all of the story. I also chose soton because of the nightlife (which i have heard its cheap and studenty), and the societies that the uni has to offer (mountaineering).

    I guess it is all up to how it feels - Best of luck.

    I've just completed my first year semester two exams in BSc Geology at Southampton - literally 3 days ago.

    First of all the staff are outstanding, genuinely. As stated they truly are passionate about their area of study. Some you'll get to know well, Like Ian Harding (the greatest, friendliest man you'll meet in you first year). He genuinely tries to get to know everyone in the year and is a funny guy to be around. Andy Barker is a senior lecturer you'll see for metamorphic petrology in semester one and for most of Dynamic earth semester two. Again a great guy, welcoming, friendly and tries to get to know you personally. There are some who are still quite young as lecturers, its obvious they know their area and are great one to one or in small groups. As a whole class not so much, they are still finding their way and lecture style. They're great, just not as strong as they could be.

    The content is varied with a wide range of specific areas within subjects. Oceanic bio-geochemistry for instance will lap over your chemistry and math based knowledge at A-level and intertwine it with oceanography to give you an insight as to how to calculate chemical species flux into the oceans, how they're derived, they're distribution, how they interact with organisms at a molecular level and they're ultimate deposition.

    Earth materials will introduce you to crystallography, chemical species within minerals, the environmental conditions of synthesis and deposition, weathering and breakdown of all three rock types. The Practicals are great, of which there is alot of. You look at hand and mineral specimens under the microscope, as well as rock characteristics to give you insight into the depositional environments.

    Again, like the guy above. I cant comment on Holloway. But I'm very happy here.

    I will strongly advise you find the discontinued S276 Open University textbooks (three in total) and convert that shizzie to memory before you even start; regardless of which uni you go to. Thats what I did last summer and the pressure released when things start to pile up (particularity around exam time) because I had prior knowledge was a god send. Without it I would not have achieved the 72%, first class average I have in semester one.

    Good luck in your decision, all the best

    A little late, but RH is kind of just vaguely known as one of the "other" london unis, while Soton as NOC, which immediately sets it apart as a world class instuition for marine sciences (including marine geology and geophysics). In general, you have excellent facilities for field and labwork at SOES/NOC, and the former in particular is quite important if you want to be a geologist (if you just want to do any old degree then work in business by all means go RH since you're closer to the City for interviews and internships tho :P )
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