University Of Cape Town Geology

University Of Cape Town Geology

University Of Cape Town Geology, Geology is the study of the Earth – how it works and especially its 4.5 billion-year history.  Geologists study some of society’s most important problems, such as energy, water, and mineral resources; the environment; climate change; and natural hazards like landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, and floods.  There is currently a global shortage of well-trained geoscientists and the demand is growing.  If you like science, care about the Earth, are fascinated by the natural world, and like working outdoors, consider geology.

Geologists work in a variety of settings.  These include: natural resource companies, environmental consulting companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities.  Many geologists do field work at least part of the time. Others spend their time in laboratories, classrooms or offices.  All geologists prepare reports, do calculations and use computers.

Although a BSc degree is required for entry level employment, many geologists earn MSc and/or PhD degrees.  The advanced degrees provide a higher level of training, often in a specialty area such as paleontology, mineralogy, petrology, hydrology, economic geology or volcanology.  Advanced degrees will often qualify the geologist for supervisory positions, research assignments or teaching positions at the university level.  These are some of the most sought after jobs in the field of geology.

Contact us to learn more about majoring in geology and career opportunities in the geosciences.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Rocks are the records of events that took place at the time they formed.  They are books.  They have a different vocabulary, a different alphabet, but you learn how to read them.


Degree Programs in Geology

Geology offers a professional scientific career for men and women who are interested in discovering and developing the Earth’s resources.  It is a wealth-generating occupation essential to the economies of modern nations.  Geology is a multi- faceted science, offering a wide variety of employment opportunities, working environments and the chance to visit unusual places.  The Department of Geological Sciences offers a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum in the Geological Sciences including an honours program.  At the postgraduate level the Department offers a Master of Science in Geology (by thesis) and PhD program.

For current details about application to UCT for the Bachelors degree program in the science faculty, see the Science Faculty Handbooks for more detailed information.

BSc and BSc Honours

Our BSc degree includes three years of coursework in geology as well as companion fields.  It is common for our majors to double-major in Oceanography, Chemistry or Geography (EGS).  The major includes a field course which runs during vacations and weekends during the 2nd and 3rd year.  Admittance to the BSc program requires adequate preparation in matric for maths and physical science.  See the UCT Handbook for the most up-to-date requirements.

We typically accept 16-19 students to the Honours year, a combination of our own BSc graduates and students with qualifying backgrounds from other universities.  The Honours degree can be taken on one of three tracks: General Geology, Geochemistry, or Petroleum Geology.  The Honours year incorporates rigorous modules and a research thesis which accounts for 25% of the year.  See our Postgraduates page for MSc and PhD degree information along with current student projects.

MSc and PhD

The department normally has between 10 and 20 full time postgraduate students in Masters and PhD projects.  These degrees are entirely by thesis.  Our postgraduates are supported by NRF bursaries, industry partners, and by demonstrating for undergraduate courses and working as research assistants.  If you are interested in postgraduate studies in the department, visit our academic staff pages and contact potential supervisors in your area of interest.

Course Offerings

Information on any of the courses offered in the Department of Geological Sciences can be obtained from the Departmental Secretary:

Department of Geological Sciences
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
Rondebosch 7701
South Africa
Tel: +27 21 650-2931
Fax: +27 21 650-3783