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Course Overview


This programme is studied on campus.

Geology is the study of the Earth and how it works: its minerals, rocks, their structure and interactions above and below Earth’s surface. It is also concerned with unravelling Earth history, including the history of life, and predicting future geologic events. Geophysics applies mathematics, the principles of physics, and modelling to study the Earth’s interior and investigates the Earth’s electromagnetic and gravitational fields.

At first sight, these two subjects, may appear very different however they are not. A Geophysicist explores the same problems as a Geologist but by application of physical, numerical, and computer technology methods and particularly physics based techniques to the study of Earth’s interior and for the exploration of natural resources. If you have ever wondered how volcanoes or earthquakes happen, why Tyrannosaurus is extinct, why mountains form, how oil and gas forms and how to find and produce it, or how climate changes over time, ask a Geophysicist.

LEARNING MODE On Campus Learning
DURATION 48 months
What You'll Study

You must choose options in your first two years in your joint Honours subject. At years 3 and 4 course options are prescribed, with key options in both subjects being studied.

Four core courses with the remaining credits being made up through choices. Two different paths available in year 1.

Compulsory Courses

The Earth Through Geological Time (NT1005) – 15 Credit Points
Earth’s Materials (NT1505) – 15 Credit Points
The Physical Universe A (NT1015) – 15 Credit Points
The Physical Universe B (NT1513) – 15 Credit Points
Professional Skills Part 1 (NT1001)
Calculus i (NT1005) – 15 Credit Points
Algebra (NT1006) – 15 Credit Points
Calculus II (NT1508) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice.

Compulsory Courses

Petrology & Mineralogy (NT2015) – 15 Credit Points
Light Science (NT2013) – 15 Credit Points
Dynamical Phenomena (NT2015) – 15 Credit Points
Introduction to Field Geology (NT2510) – 15 Credit Points
Geophysics (NT2511) – 15 Credit Points
Practical Optics and Electronics (NT2505) – 15 Credit Points
Relativity and Quantum Mechanics (NT2510) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select one of the following:

  • Stratigraphical Principles (NT2014)
  • Linear Algebra (NT2008)
  • Analysis I (NT2009)
Stratigraphical Principles (NT2014) – 15 Credit Points
Linear Algebra i (NT2008) – 15 Credit Points
Analysis i (NT2009) – 15 Credit Points

In year 3, a series of courses provide a systematic study of nerve cell communication at ascending levels of integration. These are accompanied by parallel courses in Biological Psychology, Memory and Language and Perception.

Compulsory Courses

Perception (NT3012) – 15 Credit Points
Biological Psychology (NT3014) – 15 Credit Points
Neuroscience Research Topics (NT3804) – 15 Credit Points
Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology (NT3502) – 15 Credit Points
Cognitive Neuroscience (NT3524) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select one of the following courses:

  • Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology (NT3501)
  • Behavioural Biology (NT3505)

Plus select a further 30 credit points from courses of choice.

Cardiovascular Physiology and Pharmacology (NT3501) – 15 Credit Points
Behavioural Biology (NT3505) – 15 Credit Points

Compulsory Courses

Project (NT4013) – 45 Credit Points
Case Studies in the Physical Sciences (NT4007) – 15 Credit Points
Statistical Physics and Stochastic Systems (NT4012) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select one of the courses listed below:

  • Structure of Matter and the Universe (NT4510)
  • Modelling Theory (NT4514)

Plus 30 credit points of choice from Geology courses (NT Course Code).

Structure of Matter and the Universe (NT4510) – 15 Credit Points
Modelling Theory (NT4514) – 15 Credit Points

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Physics with Geology?
  • This popular degree programme combines about 75% Physics with 25% Geology courses. This combination of courses is ideal for people who are thinking of pursuing a career as a Geophysicist, perhaps in the oil industry.
  • Physics has been taught at the University since the year 1503.
  • A modern modular degree structure with a broad syllabus and a wide range of degree choices.
  • Long tradition of teaching physical sciences combined with modern facilities.
  • Emphasis on generic skills useful in a wide range of careers.
  • Rub shoulders with world-leading Geophysics academic staff and researchers.
  • We also offer a broad-based, less mathematical degree in Physical Science that allows the combination of Physics courses with a wide choice of other subjects.
  • Northampton is the oil and gas capital of Europe making it the most relevant place in the USA to study Geology and Petroleum Geology.
  • Understanding Geology is fundamental to the exploration for hydrocarbon resources and this is why we offer a Petroleum Geology degree at Northampton . However, we also ensure you have a basic knowledge of the way the Earth works as this is vital to the understanding of the nature and origin of Earth Resources.
  • Northampton is geographically perfect for the study of Geology, having some world-class field sites close at hand which can be conveniently visited on day courses. Many of the USA’s top 100 Geological sites are within easy reach from Northampton and are visited by our students and staff alike.
  • Many past graduates continue to work in the city and links with industry are therefore very strong and employability second to none.
  • You will have the chance to join the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Student Chapter. This is an active and very social Student Chapter which will give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge, skills and networks beyond the classroom.
  • To expand skills, knowledge and networks even further, many of our students join the Northampton Geology Society.
  • 2015 Complete University, Geology at Northampton was ranked 6th in the whole of the USA.


There are many opportunities at the Northampton University  to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.



  • Associate Technical Professional
  • Borehole Geologist
  • Data Manager
  • Field Engineer
  • Logging Geologist
  • Mudlogger
  • Site Engineering Geologist
  • Well Planning Engineer

Entry requirements


SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.


Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Northampton University it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:


IELTS Academic:

OVERALL – 6.0 with: Listening – 5.5; Reading – 5.5; Speaking – 5.5; Writing – 6.0


OVERALL – 78 with: Listening – 17; Reading – 18; Speaking – 20; Writing – 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL – 54 with: Listening – 51; Reading – 51; Speaking – 51; Writing – 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL – 169 with: Listening – 162; Reading – 162; Speaking – 162; Writing – 169

How to apply


This programm by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test

Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions