What’s it like studying Geology?

Lily Hamlet

‘Geology? Is that like rocks and dinosaurs?’

Many people don’t really know what Geology is when I tell them what I study. Usually, I say ‘It’s like Physical Geography but harder, more scientific and more fun’. I had never studied it before coming to university and most people don’t, but I knew I enjoyed science, geography, and had an interest in climate change.

I did lots of research into various Geology and Earth Sciences courses before deciding what I wanted to study. The modules sounded fun to be but were really hard to understand what I would actually be learning so open days and ‘Unibuddy’ is how I really decided on my course.

Echinoids in Understanding Earth Sciences L1

Why Durham?

Other than being one of the highest ranked in the country to study Earth Sciences, the department at Durham has so much to offer. I was attracted to the flexibility of the course and the small class size, which makes things so much more accessible than at other universities. The way it works at Durham is that you can start on either the four year ‘Earth Sciences’ program and specialise, or start on the course of either Geology, Geophysics or Environmental Geoscience. The small department means that you can easily swap between these programs when you get to university and realise what interests you.

Sedimentary rock in Level 2 practical

Durham is, of course, also a great place to live and has a lovely community feel with the college system.

Field trips – from microscopes in the lab to frozen toes in the field!

The best thing about the course other than the friends I have made are the field trips! They seem daunting at first, especially when your friends on other courses get a sleep in and you have to wake up really early to get on a coach somewhere, but I think they are worth it for the experiences you get.

I went to Assynt, Scotland earlier this year and it was one of the most beautiful places I have been to in my life. The work is long and hard but I found it is so much more rewarding than just sitting in the library doing work.

Subject Society

I am the ball Chair of the AHGS (Arthur Holmes Geological Society) which means I am currently organising the ball with one of my friends. This has been such a valuable experience, learning how to work with a venue to plan an event and set things up with the student union. I would really recommend getting involved with your subject society as you get to know people on your course better as well as building a relationship with your lecturers.

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Lily Hamlet

I’m Lily, a second year Geology student at Collingwood College. I love being on a course with a small cohort - it means I know nearly everyone and we are all really close. Outside of class, I am Collingwood tennis captain and I also get involved in netball, art and drama at college. Durham is such a lovely place to live and I am so lucky to call it my home.

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