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Questions about Geology courses.

Hey everyone,I have a few questions about Geology at uni I hope someone can answer.

I'm a year 12 student and after much research I've decided I want to do Geology at University instead of Medicine.I was wondering if the weeks in hospitals and charity shop experience would still be worth mentioning in my personal statement for Geology.I'll hopefully be doing the Nuffield placement in the summer time and that might be relevant since Geology is so scientific.Does anyone know if Unis want any specific type of work experience for Geology?It's very specific so it's hard to find.

Also if I wanted to to a PhD in Geology would I need a Msc degree?Can't I just do a bachelors or undergraduate masters?

Thanks.
Hey everyone,I have a few questions about Geology at uni I hope someone can answer.

I'm a year 12 student and after much research I've decided I want to do Geology at University instead of Medicine.I was wondering if the weeks in hospitals and charity shop experience would still be worth mentioning in my personal statement for Geology.I'll hopefully be doing the Nuffield placement in the summer time and that might be relevant since Geology is so scientific.Does anyone know if Unis want any specific type of work experience for Geology?It's very specific so it's hard to find.

Also how competitive is Geology in general,and compared to medicine?The Bristol and Imperial courses have caught my attention.
Reply 2
Original post by Triumph_Turtle
Hey everyone,I have a few questions about Geology at uni I hope someone can answer.

I'm a year 12 student and after much research I've decided I want to do Geology at University instead of Medicine.I was wondering if the weeks in hospitals and charity shop experience would still be worth mentioning in my personal statement for Geology.I'll hopefully be doing the Nuffield placement in the summer time and that might be relevant since Geology is so scientific.Does anyone know if Unis want any specific type of work experience for Geology?It's very specific so it's hard to find.

Also if I wanted to to a PhD in Geology would I need a Msc degree?Can't I just do a bachelors or undergraduate masters?

Thanks.


Universities don't seem to be too fussed about work experience for geology, and not many people will have it. They will want to see that you have an interest in the outdoors and the world around us though, so if you do have an fieldwork experience it's worth a mention. They will also want to see a strong scientific background.

For a PhD an undergraduate masters (MSci) is usually the best route. MSc courses are better for people who want to go into work.


Original post by Triumph_Turtle

Also how competitive is Geology in general,and compared to medicine?The Bristol and Imperial courses have caught my attention.


It's not very competitive compared to medicine, which I am sure you know is an extremely competitive course.

I'm at Imperial if you want to ask any more questions :smile:.
(edited 10 years ago)
Original post by Zottula

I'm at Imperial if you want to ask any more questions :smile:.

Sweet:biggrin:.Sorry about the double post,I'm just getting used to this site.Are you studying Geology?what year are you in?If you don't mind me asking what were your A-levels and GCSE grades like?

I asked about the competitiveness since a few universities seem to have entry requirements even higher than medicine for their Geology with a year abroad courses,which I found a bit weird.

Also If you are doing geology how are you finding it,is there much maths/computer science involved?Does Imperial give you work experience/let you meet employers?

I hope you don't mind I have lots of questions:smile:
(edited 10 years ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Triumph_Turtle
Sweet:biggrin:.Sorry about the double post,I'm just getting used to this site.Are you studying Geology?what year are you in?If you don't mind me asking what were your A-levels and GCSE grades like?

I asked about the competitiveness since a few universities seem to have entry requirements even higher than medicine for their Geology with a year abroad courses,which I found a bit weird.

Also If you are doing geology how are you finding it,is there much maths/computer science involved?Does Imperial give you work experience/let you meet employers?

I hope you don't mind I have lots of questions:smile:


I'm studying Earth Science, which is essentially Geology. I'm in my final year. My GCSEs were ok - A/A* grades.

Yes top universities like Imperial will ask for high grades, often higher than medicine. However, it is still not as competitive. There will be fewer people applying per place, and if you have the grades there is a fairly high chance of an offer. Plus there are still plenty of universities offering geology which much lower requirements. Whereas with medicine you need not only top grades, but good scores in any extra tests (e.g. BMAT), outstanding personal statement and interview performance plus good work experience (I'm not an expert on medicine admissions though!).

Yes there is a lot of maths involved, although exactly how much depends on which modules you end up studying. Some people manage to avoid doing too much by carefully selecting certain modules and avoiding others. It goes without saying that those on the geophysics path will have the most maths/physics though.

There's a bit of computer science. In first year you will learn a programming language (I'm assuming they're still teaching Python). Later on you will have a graphics and statistics module which is computer based, and the statistics will draw on your programming knowledge. After that the geologists don't really seem to do much in the way of computers, whereas the geophysics students have some pretty heavy projects that involve plenty of programming.

Yes there are opportunities to meet employers. You will be exposed to more in your later years. They often visit the department and give talks about the opportunities available for geoscientists, and these talks are then usually followed by food/drinks and an opportunity to network. The college also has several careers fairs throughout the year which are for the whole university.

Overall I am very happy with Imperial.
Original post by Zottula

Overall I am very happy with Imperial.


Thanks.Just to be clear are Msci and Msc degrees regarded to be the same?Say if I went for the MSci then wanted to go into work for a few years before a PhD,would those with a traditional MSc have an advantage over me?
Reply 6
Original post by Triumph_Turtle
Thanks.Just to be clear are Msci and Msc degrees regarded to be the same?Say if I went for the MSci then wanted to go into work for a few years before a PhD,would those with a traditional MSc have an advantage over me?


I've been told that MSci is not as well respected as MSc, but I don't know how much difference that really makes.

If you want to do a phd then a BSc is unlikely to get you noticed. An MSci or MSc with a good grade plus something to show you're actually interested in the topic should hopefully be enough. At least, that's what I'm banking on - I want to do a phd in volcanology and I'm currently doing my MSc in it.
Original post by Manitude
I've been told that MSci is not as well respected as MSc, but I don't know how much difference that really makes.

If you want to do a phd then a BSc is unlikely to get you noticed. An MSci or MSc with a good grade plus something to show you're actually interested in the topic should hopefully be enough. At least, that's what I'm banking on - I want to do a phd in volcanology and I'm currently doing my MSc in it.


Cool.Are you in the same place you did you Bsc?How have you found the subject and everything so far?I hear the field trips are awesome.

As far as MSc goes the one problem is I don't know how I'd afford it,as far as I know you don't get help from the government like with an undergraduate degree and I hear it's very difficult to find any work in the field with just a BSc.
Reply 8
Original post by Triumph_Turtle
Cool.Are you in the same place you did you Bsc?How have you found the subject and everything so far?I hear the field trips are awesome.

As far as MSc goes the one problem is I don't know how I'd afford it,as far as I know you don't get help from the government like with an undergraduate degree and I hear it's very difficult to find any work in the field with just a BSc.


I'm in the same university, yes, but a different department as my undergraduate is in physics.
It's a good masters so far, very interesting in places. There's perhaps not as much volcanism related stuff as I'd hoped and a bit too much human geography which doesn't interest me. I've only been on one field trip so far, to Honister slate mine to look at pepperite. It rained. A lot. I'm going to Mt Etna on sunday though, so that's gonna be awesome. Also going to an ancient landslide in the Yorkshire Dales in a few weeks which is probably going to be less good as I'm not interested in landslides.

MScs don't get student finance from the government. You can get scholarships from the department/faculty/university/external bodies though. They might not be able to pay for everything, but they'll certainly help if you can get them. A lot of people get career development loans from the Co-op of Barclays which are like conventional loans but with slightly lower interest rates and a 13 month period where interest doesn't accumulate and you don't have to pay anything back. I wouldn't recommend it though, as there's no guarantee you'll get a job to pay it back. I'm using my savings and the bank of mum and dad (some of which I'll pay back).

Getting a job with a BSc is possible, but if you want something very 'sciencey' then you need higher degrees. I've been finding that a lot of positions require either very few qualifications (like a research or lab assistant) or a phd, which is a bit difficult for me as I'm between those extremes!
Reply 9
Original post by Triumph_Turtle
Thanks.Just to be clear are Msci and Msc degrees regarded to be the same?Say if I went for the MSci then wanted to go into work for a few years before a PhD,would those with a traditional MSc have an advantage over me?


BSc + MSc seems to be preferred by employers. This is the conclusion I have come to after all of the employer visits we have had.

MSci is good for going on to a PhD though.

Some of the people who have come into the department to talk to us have done an MSci and then an MSc on top. But then plenty have gone straight into work with an MSci.

BSc will be taken by some companies for geoscience roles, but an MSci/MSc gives you a much better chance and more options.
Just out of interest what do you guys think of degrees with work placements or a year abroad?The MSci's with a placement seem to add a year on to the degree,meaning a year of possible wages lost.But then again I don't know how valuable that experience is to employers.Also I'm very interested in the programs with a year abroad but I'm not sure if they convey anything to employers.
Original post by Triumph_Turtle
Just out of interest what do you guys think of degrees with work placements or a year abroad?The MSci's with a placement seem to add a year on to the degree,meaning a year of possible wages lost.But then again I don't know how valuable that experience is to employers.Also I'm very interested in the programs with a year abroad but I'm not sure if they convey anything to employers.


Hi I am having the same issue, how did you get on with the year abroad and your career with a geology degree?

Also did you end up doing BSc or MSci?

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