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Lou_
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#701
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#701
Aww no.

I'm going to be doing geoscience at uni which I think is like geology.

I've never done physics before at all and have only done maths up tl standard grade (GCSE) level.

Will I struggle?
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matchu
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#702
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#702
I did maths to GCSE and I don't think I even took physics that far? Can't remember.

I doubt you'll struggle though, it's more practical maths. Easier to learn because it's for a system rather than doing maths for the sake of maths.
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sparkly_tiara
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#703
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#703
(Original post by Lou_)
Aww no.

I'm going to be doing geoscience at uni which I think is like geology.

I've never done physics before at all and have only done maths up tl standard grade (GCSE) level.

Will I struggle?
Which uni are you going to?

At Southampton, if you don't have maths at AS or above, they make you take a maths course to bring you up to speed. I mean, how strong is your maths? If you struggled at GCSE to pass then i don't think it would be a good degree!
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Lou_
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#704
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#704
Well I'm not particulary good at maths lol... I do find it hard. I got a 1/2 at standard grade (GCSE level).
Is it like the maths in chemistry? Like applying numbers.

I'm going to St Andrews hopefully!

What years are you both in?
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bikerx23
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#705
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#705
(Original post by Lou_)
Well I'm not particulary good at maths lol... I do find it hard. I got a 1/2 at standard grade (GCSE level).
Is it like the maths in chemistry? Like applying numbers.

I'm going to St Andrews hopefully!

What years are you both in?
I just finished my degree and my mathematical ability is taudry, so it is possible

If you're concerned contact your uni and ask them what sort of thing you are expected to know, that way you can acquaint yourself with it before you start proper (might as well preserve your liver before you try to destroy it!).
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Maya
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#706
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#706
Hi,
I am currently doing a physics and maths degree and have always wanted to do a geophysics Phd after. I was wondering if this was realistic considering i haven't done geology at all (I have read lots and lots of books though)?

Thanks
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trm90
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#707
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#707
Maya, I'm not a geophysics student yet, but I'm sure you can do something related to it. A lot of physicists decide to switch to a more geophysics related degree, whether it's undergraduate or postgraduate. Most of the physics is applied, and there's a lot of it.

The amount of geology you need to know is mainly geologic processes (plate tectonics and every margin involved, volcanology, structural geology [which has a lot of geophysics in it], seismology [definitely need to understand this], geothermics, sedimentary processes, weathering and finally metamorphic processes).

Your PhD will probably end up including loads more of the physics and maths rather than the geologic processes. Some processes are kind of complicated, and there's loads of minerals to get familiar with. :p: Anyway, as I said above, your decision is apparently common so I think you'll manage.
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Maya
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#708
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#708
Thanks trm90 That was a really helpful post!
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TotalImmortal
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#709
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#709
Does anyone here know what the employment prospects are like for Geology undergrad degrees?

Also do most graduates enter employment related to their actual degree or do most enter careers completely un-related?
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bikerx23
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#710
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#710
It depends on the university you attend.

Generally geology is underappreciated as a degree topic - I would say compared to other subjects at the same university peoples lack of understanding that a geology degree is highly technical and scientific will result in them underestimating what you have received from your education.

Regardless of that, you can still get a very good job - I have a great one in a science related field, but about as many people (atleast who I went to uni with) went into city-type careers.

Also - a very high proportion tend to go into further study, which clearly shows the inspiration the subject has on people to increase their understanding.
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trm90
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#711
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#711
(Original post by bikerx23)
Also - a very high proportion tend to go into further study, which clearly shows the inspiration the subject has on people to increase their understanding.
I completely agree here.

The past few months I have been meeting, greeting and reading up about many undergraduate geologists loving their degrees. A lot of the universities I've been to have proclaimed that at least 40% of their geology students will continue to do a postgraduate degree!

I think one of the best things about geology is the mere fact that:
  1. It's broad, but allows you to specialise.
  2. It's a healthy mix between memorisation and logic.
  3. It's also a healthy mix of every natural science out there.
  4. You can easily branch off into geophysics, geochemistry, oceanography, planetary science, even meteorology...
  5. Not only does it have excellent research prospects, it has excellent employment prospects.

Number 5 is my favourite reason. I'm incredibly excited about doing any earth science related degree for the mere fact that there is so much flexibility in what I want to do afterwards.

e.g.

Do I feel like spending more time in the real world industry, pursuing the high salaries? Then I could work as an engineering geophysicist. Or, on the other hand, I find crust and mantle processes to be fascinating and I'm interested in their geothermal properties, so I think I'll do a research degree in something related to that.

I mean, with other natural scientists, they may have flexibility with job prospects and definitely flexible postgrad prospects, but when it comes to getting an actual 'job', you can't just "be" a physicist. If you "be" a chemist, it's most likely a chemist working as R+D in a soap industry. If it's biology you can't "be" a biologist.

I don't understand why there aren't any people doing geology related degrees nowadays. I find it SO SO SO frustrating that in my class of 135 people, I am the only person with aspirations of doing a degree that is even mildly related to earth science. I read in the Times guide that applications for earth science degrees are dropping. I still don't understand. You get to go on breathtaking fieldwork trips, apply as much science as you want in any area of discipline, flexibility, amazing job and research prospects. Sigh, the more I talk about geology, the more excited I am about doing it next year (Although I'm doing geophysics, and maybe meteorology with oceanography, I'm still going to learn a lot of it either way!)

edit: By the way, is this society up and running? I'd love to join this as well, haha.
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TotalImmortal
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#712
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#712
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I have a few options that I can study, mainly English, Geog, Geol or Chemistry after one more year. I'm leaning towards Geology at the moment.

For some reason post-grad has never really appealed to me as an option, I've always thought I'd prefer employment soon after graduating.
Would a straight-Geology degree from a top-10 uni present good oppurtunities for a related career?

Generally geology is underappreciated as a degree topic - I would say compared to other subjects at the same university peoples lack of understanding that a geology degree is highly technical and scientific will result in them underestimating what you have received from your education.
I thought this might be the case. Many people have asked me what I want to study at university, after I mention Geology they seem to think it's a simple subject all about staring at rocks.
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bikerx23
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#713
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#713
Definitely would - if you got a good degree you could get places both in geological companies, at other scientific firms (what I've done), accountancy, city jobs.etc. - all that sorta thing.

If you have any more specific thoughs feel free to ask too .
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MatchDancer
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#714
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#714
I'm thinking of reading geophysics at uni, guess it's like geology, hense I'm here. For most unis there are about 4 or 5 people, which is just shameful. I had been going to go off to study maths but then I decided it was to 'empty' - that's not really the right word, but I wanted a way to make it applicable and I loved the physical geography I had done during GCSE, although didn't take it for A level cause of my silly columns, so decided to apply for geophysics. What're people's opinions of what they have found so far? I don't want to go off and look for oil, that sounds quite boring, but hoping there are other opportunities when you've studied geophysics which I'm sure they are.

Why isn't the soc on the soc list, or am I just a bit stupid not being able to find it?
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MatchDancer
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#715
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#715
(Original post by Maya)
Hi,
I am currently doing a physics and maths degree and have always wanted to do a geophysics Phd after. I was wondering if this was realistic considering i haven't done geology at all (I have read lots and lots of books though)?

Thanks
I heard that it's actually quite uncommon to go straight into geophysics, many more people have done first degrees in either geology or physics. Apparently a geophysics degree is just a physics degree with enough geology to apply the physics so I think you'll be fine
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trm90
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#716
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#716
Hey Match,

You're doing geophysics for the exact same reason as I am, the application of physics and maths to dynamic physical processes. I too am not incredibly fond of oil exploration either.

However, I have come to understand that any geophysics course you do will, ultimately, comprise of a lot of exploration geophysics. Exploration and applied geophysics is basically the physics of seismology, E-M applications, Self-potential, VES (vertical electric sounding [wikipedia doesn't have anything on this]) and gravity surveys. Geophysics likes to use loads of technology, and you'll find that a lot of the applied mathematics and physics tends to be used on mathematically and physically modelling this technology.

The cooler stuff is geodynamics -- or solid earth geophysics (quantitative plate tectonics)-- , seismology & earthquakes, physical volcanology and structural geophysics.

Anyway you have loads of opportunities, geophysics and geology are strongly linked together so you can end up doing any earth science research of your choice, or you can enter geophysical surveying of potentially hazardous areas if you like.
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geologistuk
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#717
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#717
i have a question, how many people on this thread have done any geology, really just wandering, and if any, how many are already at uni.

by the way, it is pretty uncommon to go into geophysics without doing any kind of geology, and is generally not recommended. if you choose to do a degree in geophysics, it is generally tought alongside geology with geophysics modules later in your degree, correct me if its different at certain unis, but as far as i know it isnt.

be picky about where you choose to go and do you degree, look into it well.

and there is plenty in geophysics not to do with oil, but you'll be hard pushed to find a degree that doesnt focus a lot on it, afterall, the hydrocarbons industry is its main employer.
for example, applying seismology to plate tectonics and volcanic activity.

just thought id pop in anyway, havnt for a while.

Sally xx
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sparkly_tiara
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#718
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#718
I'd say over half the members are geology students at least A2 level or above, with only a few having geology as a hobby!
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davey_boy
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#719
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#719
Right well - there's been a few questions asked recently about Geology, job prospects etc. I may be in a position to shed a bit of light on some of these things, please feel free to message me if you want anything clarifying.

My history:
Started a Physics degree - after passing 1st year exams switched directly into the 2nd year of Earth Sciences at the same university (I found physics to be boring and with very little "application" of waht was being learnt).
Got a MEarth Sci 3 years later - went and started work for BT as a researcher (completely unrelated field, but a good job - a lot of employers just want a good degree from a good university)
After 2 years working for BT decided that industry wasn't for me went back to my original university to do a PhD (it was mere co-incidence that they'd put up the PhD grants by 100% in the 2 years I was away )
Have just finished my PhD in seismology, and am no working as a seismology researcher at said university.

I'd say the following things:
Yes, Geology as a degree isn't regognised as what it is to the general public. When you say Geology people think of rocks - petrology. Many Geology departments and courses cover things well away from rocks. The list is pretty big; Geophysics, Geochemistry, meteorology, vulcanology, oceanography, seismology, cosmochemistry, paelentology, biogeochemistry, planetary formation, mineralogy, etc can all be covered in a Geology degree, and due to the range, people can get very different experiences of a degree from different universities (or even the same university). If you say Earth Sciences (or Earth and Planetary Sciences) rather than Geology, most people will ask "what's that then?". As a result you may have to work a little bit harder than, say, a Physics graduate, to demonstrate you're a scientist if you're looking for a science based general graduate job. Obviously this doesn't apply in the oil industry where they know what Geology means.

As far as specialised jobs for geophysicists away from oil - outside academia there aren't that many in the UK (inside academia you'll need a PhD and there aren't many either). There is a growing jobs market in insurance - determining natural hazards (in the UK mostly weather, away from the UK there may be other hazards such as seismic hazard etc) and the UK is a major world insurer. There are jobs in this in the UK, but if you're willing (or want) to move to America there are a lot more, although you may struggle to get a green card without a PhD.

Anyway I hope this helps people.
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geologistuk
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#720
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#720
(Original post by sparkly_tiara)
I'd say over half the members are geology students at least A2 level or above, with only a few having geology as a hobby!

cool, just wandered!!
personaly on the job from, i really want to go into volcanology, or field geology of some variation. i dont mind sedimentology. its all good!!
xx
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