How much experience do you need for Geophysics/Earth Sciences? Watch

Chlorophile
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Up until fairly recently, I've been fairly convinced that I would do a degree in Engineering and I've done as many relevant extra-curricular activities and lectures as I can relevant to this field. However, I'm starting to feel that engineering isn't the field for me for a number of reasons.

I've been looking at a range of scientific disciplines and Earth Sciences seems really, really interesting. Geography, especially the physical side, was one of my favourite subjects at GCSE and I've always been fascinated by the planet. Earth Science specifically really interests me because it's both specialised and multidisciplinary; it combines elements from all the sciences, mathematics and geography.

However, as a result of this fairly late decision I haven't been able to do an awful lot to demonstrate my interest in Earth Sciences and I doubt I'm going to be able to do much over the next year (I'm currently in year 12). I've read a lot about Earth Sciences and I've attended several lectures on the subject, but apart from that all of my experience is with engineering. I know that my A Levels are fine to get into Earth Sciences (Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry and German), but I'm just concerned that my lack of experience with Earth Sciences is going to put me at a huge disadvantage compared to other applicants, especially since I'm going to be applying to competitive universities such as Oxford/Cambridge and Imperial.

Obviously, the issue is that since I've had no practical experience with Earth Sciences, there's no way of me knowing for certain that I'll enjoy it. I could apply for natural science courses, but the problem here is that the only natural science course I really find interesting is Cambridge's course, and obviously I can't rely on the fragile hope of getting into there.

Is it even worth me trying to get into Earth Sciences or is it too risky?
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GeoSeal
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You'll have very little problem. I'm currently a MSci Geology first year at Imperial (our department is awesome). Your subjects are pretty much perfect, as numeracy is highly valued, especially for Geophysics.

In terms of experience, all I had was my A-Level field trip and two days "independent field trips" over the summer holiday, where I basically went to interesting geological locations and looked for fossils with a mate. Formal work experience and placements are very hard to find for anything below year 2 (sometimes even year 3 and 4) of a degree, so don't stress too much about that.

Make sure your personal statement reflects your enthusiasm, get the grades and I'm sure you'll have no problem.

Also, I prefer to think that Geography has some aspects of Geology in, rather than the other way round
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nic-nac
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You should be fine, just try and relate your experience, which shouldn't be too hard. I study marine environmental science and half of my first year is shared with those studying geology and geological engineering, so there's a lot of cross-over.
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martynsteel
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Up until fairly recently, I've been fairly convinced that I would do a degree in Engineering and I've done as many relevant extra-curricular activities and lectures as I can relevant to this field. However, I'm starting to feel that engineering isn't the field for me for a number of reasons.

I've been looking at a range of scientific disciplines and Earth Sciences seems really, really interesting. Geography, especially the physical side, was one of my favourite subjects at GCSE and I've always been fascinated by the planet. Earth Science specifically really interests me because it's both specialised and multidisciplinary; it combines elements from all the sciences, mathematics and geography.

However, as a result of this fairly late decision I haven't been able to do an awful lot to demonstrate my interest in Earth Sciences and I doubt I'm going to be able to do much over the next year (I'm currently in year 12). I've read a lot about Earth Sciences and I've attended several lectures on the subject, but apart from that all of my experience is with engineering. I know that my A Levels are fine to get into Earth Sciences (Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry and German), but I'm just concerned that my lack of experience with Earth Sciences is going to put me at a huge disadvantage compared to other applicants, especially since I'm going to be applying to competitive universities such as Oxford/Cambridge and Imperial.

Obviously, the issue is that since I've had no practical experience with Earth Sciences, there's no way of me knowing for certain that I'll enjoy it. I could apply for natural science courses, but the problem here is that the only natural science course I really find interesting is Cambridge's course, and obviously I can't rely on the fragile hope of getting into there.

Is it even worth me trying to get into Earth Sciences or is it too risky?
No need to worry, I decided to swap to Geology 6 days before I handed in my personal statement, and I didn't even tell my parents I'd swapped until they asked haha! I had literally no experience of Geology apart from the extended project I decided to do to support my application.

But now I'm doing BSc Geology [with Geophysics] (hoping to swap to MSci) at University of Leicester and I did get offers from all the universities I applied to, so there is hope!
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2^1/2
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No prior experience is required! In fact the tutors at Oxford prefer you haven't done it before, as there are several misconceptions that can occur if it's not taught well. They are looking for a good understanding of maths and science tied to an interest of geology and the Earth, reading books is a great way to demonstrate that (make sure you put them in your PS!)

In short you're fine, good luck with the application.

If you will enjoy it is difficult to say, but if the books are interesting and you like the idea of studying maths and science applied to geological problems (Rocks, Oceans, Seismic, Volcanoes, etc.) then I'd imagine you will!
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EarthSci App
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#6
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What are typical interview questions for Earth Sciences at Oxford? Their website just says "comment on geological specimens and perform some simple calculations"... not very helpful. If anyone has experience regarding this please share!
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