Geology (Graduate Certificate)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One to two years part-time

Attendance

One to three evenings a week and/or distance learning, October to June

Geology is an area of active research across a wide range of sub-disciplines. Through our modular course structure and use of web-based material for distance learning, we aim to provide up-to-date reviews of research topics across most aspects of the earth and planetary sciences.

Topics include: Earth system science; major geoscience paradigms; temporal and spatial scales; Earth structure, materials and processes; terminology, nomenclature and classification, and practical knowledge; awareness of and informed concern for Earth science issues.

Highlights

  • Can be used as a qualifying year for MRes or PhD study.
  • Offered as part-time study at Birkbeck or you can study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world (find out more about studying our distance learning courses).
  • An opportunity to take part in field classes to put your skills into practice.
  • The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is housed with the University College London (UCL) Department of Earth Sciences. Together, the two departments form the UCL-Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences. The Research School offers excellent facilities for research in environmental geology and planetary geology, as well as traditional geological and geophysical research.
  • In our joint submission with UCL, Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences at Birkbeck were rated sixth the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), while we achieved 100% for an environment conducive to research of the highest quality.
  • Find out more about our research facilities

Course structure

This is a two-year course and you will need to gain 60 credits. This normally includes four 15-credit modules. Please note that advanced modules are usually taught in alternate years and will not be available every year.

You can choose three 15-credit modules taken from Years 3 and 4 of the BSc Geology degree.

Module groups

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    Certificate of Higher Education in Geology or previous study to that level.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £2050 pa
    Part-time international students: £3000 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Face-to-face lectures are supplemented by material in our online learning environment, where you can access course materials and recordings of lectures.

    You can attend weekend field classes alongside those taking the BSc Geology degree.

    Find out more about our study support and student facilities.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    A combination of reports on field-based projects, laboratory work and written examinations. Some modules include continuous assessment through written work.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates go in to careers in geology, engineering, surveying, industry, or education. Possible professions include engineering geologist, geoscientist, or mudlogger. This degree may also be useful in becoming a higher education lecturer, environmental consultant, seismic interpreter, or wellsite geologist.

    Find out more about these professions.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    We suggest you apply as early as possible.

    Interviews by arrangement.