Geophysics

Geophysics degrees at Bristol are delivered by some of the best academic and applied geophysicists in the world. You will study the fundamentals of geology and physics that underpin exploration for natural resources, monitor natural hazards and the deformation of the crust, and investigate the inaccessible interior of the earth.

You will develop a high level of the analytical and numerical skills so valued in industry, research and policy making. Classes are small; the school has a collegiate atmosphere with a student to staff ratio of 8:1 and all students are known and valued members of the community.

Why study Geophysics at Bristol?

Earth sciences at Bristol enjoys a 93 percent student satisfaction rate (National Student Survey 2016) and ranked joint second in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Our geophysics degrees are diverse and draw upon the School of Earth Science's expertise in related geological fields, particularly volcanology, environment and deep Earth petrology. Teaching is research-led and takes place in a dynamic, intellectually stimulating environment. We expect students to develop independent learning skills and to self-assess their progress with the aid of feedback provided by teaching staff.

Our students also enjoy a wide range of fieldwork opportunities. Geophysics degrees are accredited by The Geological Society of London.

The school is exceptionally close knit, with students making lasting friendships across and between year groups. Free fieldwork is important and much enjoyed by all students and staff who participate.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Geophysics will be a perfect degree for you if you enjoy planetary science, the earth system, computing and computers, remote sensing and the outdoors. You will need to be a capable mathematician and physicist and to have a broad interest in physical science.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching is delivered through a mixture of lectures, laboratory-based practicals and organised field classes.

Small-group tutorials are held every fortnight; these develop your key skills. You will prepare work beforehand and complete problem sets for your tutor who will advise and monitor your progress throughout your time with us.

A range of assessment methods is used; some units are assessed on coursework only, some on exams only and others through a mixture of the two. Students are also required to deliver oral and poster presentations. Exams are scheduled twice a year in January and in May and June.

What are my career prospects?

As a geophysics graduate you will be well equipped to go into the hydrocarbon, mineral resources, mining, environmental geophysics and energy industries. Your skills will be well suited to the extraction, servicing and remediation aspects of these areas. Many of our graduates go on to master's degrees and into research and academia following completion of a PhD.

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

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