MGeol/BSc Engineering Geology and Geotechnics

(MGeol available from 2014)


This programme is taught at the Penryn Campus near Falmouth.

Programme overview

This programme provides additional emphasis on geological engineering skills and is best suited to students who intend to work in the Engineering Geology or Geotechnical sectors. Transfer between BSc and MGeol programmes may be possible up to the beginning of the third year, depending on academic performance and student numbers.



All our Geology programmes have a common first and second year to give you a thorough grounding in the major principles of Geology before your specialist modules in the third year. First-year modules give you a foundation in geology, together with an overview of earth system science and the fundamentals of mineralogy, stratigraphy, geological maps, palaeontology and surveying. Modules in mathematics and chemistry provide the basis for more advanced geological and engineering modules in Years 2 and 3. Field work skills, critical for all geologists, are developed both locally and nationally.

In year two, core geological skills are developed in sedimentology, igneous and metamorphic geology and structural geology and include a substantial amount of laboratory-based practical work. You will develop your skills in geological data collection and analysis during field classes in the UK.

In the summer vacation you will undertake a four-week project that involves the collection and analysis of geological or related data. This can be done through a company placement, group project or individual project. The cost of this work varies according to the project chosen – students may be paid for a company placement, whereas if you choose a project you may have to pay for elements such as travel and subsistence.  

In year three, you’ll study specialist advanced modules that relate to your choice of degree. You will report on your vacation project and also carry out a research project focusing on an area of special interest. The applied field geology module takes the form of a residential field class in southern Spain and provides a practical synthesis of many of the modules covered in Years 2 and 3.

If you are studying the MGeol programme, available from 2014, you will undertake an Applied Research Project that runs throughout the year and select from a range of modules relevant to employment in engineering geology or geotechnics. You also participate in an overseas field class.


Our BSc degrees are accredited by the The Geological Society. Accreditation is pending for the MGeol degree. An accredited degree will reduce the amount of experience required for applications for Chartered Geologist (CGeol) and Chartered Scientist (CSci). Accredited status provides added assurance to prospective students that a department's teaching is of the highest quality, and has been approved by an independent body of academics and industrialists.

I decided to study at Exeter University because the CSM (Camborne School of Mines) is located here on the Cornwall campus. The way of life here is very relaxed and the lectures are brilliant. I especially enjoy the field work aspect of my course, but the whole experience has been very enjoyable. I’ve met people from all walks of life and I’ve had a lot of fun.

Adam Chapman

BSc Engineering Geology and Geotechnics

Studying Geology in Cornwall gave me the opportunity to pursue a fantastic career in a great student environment. The positive reputation of the University of Exeter and indeed the Camborne School of Mines was immediately obvious, with great support from all staff. Lecturers are accessible on all levels from tutorial meetings to careers advice.

The social life at Camborne School of Mines is second to none. There is an average of 22 students per year on the geology courses creating a very close-knit friendly atmosphere. Annual events including black tie dinners, sporting events and field trips are just some of the activities which are organised by the student society and individuals alike.

The versatility of the courses at CSM makes job hunting much easier. Companies, large and small, recognise the talent that is produced at CSM and make themselves known at several career events. The help offered by the experienced staff adds to the simplicity of applying for jobs. The courses offer not only the scientific theory of geology but also apply it to all aspects of engineering, mining and quarrying and environmental management. This opens a large career window.

I am currently working for an engineering surveying company based in Redruth, Cornwall, working all over the South West. I have friends from my course under taking masters courses (including at CSM) and working in Australia and all around the world.

Sam Hughes
Recent Geology graduate