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Geophysics, BSc

Geophysics, BSc

Course Overview

Overview

Geophysics is the study of the Earth from the near-surface to the deep interior through the use of quantitative physical methods. On this programme, you study forces such as gravity and magnetism and learn about how these forces act on the Earth’s interior, crust, oceans and the atmosphere.

On this programme, you will learn to combine a deep knowledge of geology and physics and apply practical field-based skills to areas ranging from hydrocarbon exploration to plate tectonics and from environmental services to archaeological excavations.

This unique programme is designed to expose students to the theory and practice of modern geophysics, with an emphasis on cutting edge techniques for understanding the structure, dynamics and composition of the Earth from the near-surface to the deep interior. The content is broad-based and integrative with a strong focus on the quantitative aspects of geophysical data analysis and interpretation.

This programme specifically addresses the recognised need for qualified geophysicists within the hydrocarbons industry, by equipping students with the particular skills for careers in the hydrocarbon, minerals exploration or associated service industries. While traditionally, graduates from the Northampton University  have been attracted to careers in the oil and gas industry, many others have gone on to work in to other diverse areas including mineral exploration, environmental geophysics or associated service industries.

The teaching of physics at Northampton has a long and illustrious history, with notable great physicists such as James Clerk Maxwell and G.P. Thomson counted amongst its former staff.

AT A GLANCE
LEARNING MODE On Campus Learning
DEGREE QUALIFICATION BSc
DURATION 48 months
STUDY MODE Full Time

Compulsory Courses

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

Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

  • NT1006 Algebra
  • NT1028 Programming for Sciences and Engineering

Plus 15 credit points from courses of choice.

Algebra (NT1006) – 15 Credit Points

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

Optional Courses

Select one of the following:

  • NT2014 Stratigraphical Principles
  • NT2010 Probability

Plus one of the following:

  • NT 2510 Mapping and Monitoring the Environment
  • NT 2510 Modern Programming Languages
Stratigraphical Principles (NT2014) – 15 Credit Points
Probability (NT2010) – 15 Credit Points
Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (NT2510) – 15 Credit Points
Modern Programming Languages (NT2510) – 15 Credit Points

Compulsory Courses

Introduction to the Solid State (NT3016) – 15 Credit Points
Energy and Matter (NT3014) – 15 Credit Points
Structural Geology & Tectonics (NT3027) – 15 Credit Points
Interpretation of Seismic Reflection Data (NT3501) – 15 Credit Points
Physics of Waves (NT3513) – 15 Credit Points
Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology (NT3520) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select one of the following:

  • NT3030 Volcanology
  • NT3017 Research and Computing Skills

Plus one of the following:

  • NT3521 Sedimentology
  • NT3512 Electricity and Magnetism
Volcanology (NT3030) – 15 Credit Points
Research and Computing Skills (NT3017) – 15 Credit Points
Sedimentology (NT3521) – 15 Credit Points
Electricity and Magnetism (NT3512) – 15 Credit Points

Compulsory Courses

Statistical Physics and Stochastic Systems (NT4012) – 15 Credit Points
Case Studies in the Physical Sciences (NT4007) – 15 Credit Points
Surface and Subsurface Digital Imaging (NT4529) – 15 Credit Points
Modelling Theory (NT4514) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Plus 15 credit points from courses of choice.

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 Geophysics?
  • Fieldwork is an important element of this degree, we make the best use of our location in Scotland – close to many great areas for fieldwork.
  • Northampton is geographically perfect for the study of Earth Sciences, having some world-class field sites close at hand which can be conveniently visited on day courses. Many of the UK’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 with employability being second to none.
  • Our department of Physics has a long and illustrious history, and former staff include great physicists such as James Clerk Maxwell and G.P. Thomson.
  • We offer a modern, modular degree structure with a broad syllabus and a wide range of degree choices. 
  • We place emphasis on teaching employability and the development of generic skills, useful in a wide range of careers.
  • You will be well equipped to pursue careers across the breadth of Geoscience sub-disciplines.

Careers

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.

 

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.

A LEVELS

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

TOEFL iBT:

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