Bachelor of Science in Geology

Please do not mistake geology for geography. While geographers study Earth’s surface, geologists delve deeper, in search of underlying structures. The outer 100 kilometres of Earth’s crust harbour various processes that can affect the surface.

Bachelor's Programme
3 year 180 credits
Faculty of Sciences
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About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
Postgraduate studies


Although Geology is not part of the secondary school curriculum, the secondary school subject ‘Geography’ does cover a number of geological topics: how did life on earth come into existence? How did mountains emerge? How does ore formation work? Where does drinking water come from? An answer to any of these questions will lead you to the study of geology.
Geology is often mistaken for or confused with geography. Geographers study Earth’s surface. Geologists, on the other hand, focus on Earth’s structures at greater depth. These depths harbour various processes that may affect the surface. Think for instance of volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. At an even greater depth still, geologists try to penetrate to the very core of our planet. In so doing, they study processes that have occurred millions or even billions of years ago. Geological knowledge has many practical perspectives: a sustainable mining of natural resources (minerals, ores, sand, gravel, ...), the sustainable management of groundwater reserves, understanding and predicting natural disasters, soil conservation and soil decontamination, and many more.

For whom

Being an all-round discipline, geology calls on many auxiliary sciences. Ideally, you possess a sound prior knowledge of mathematics. Having successfully completed a secondary school curriculum containing six hours of maths will serve to your advantage. What is equally important is a comprehensive scientific basic knowledge and interest. You are not afraid to stretch your legs and embark on long and high-paced walks in the open in the context of field work (excursions, work placement, geological sample collections). Daltonism may be a deterrent factor: the identification of minerals, microscopic work, the interpretation of geological maps, ... call for an excellent command of colours and tones. Finally, spatial understanding is a useful asset: three-dimensional insight is a basic quality in geologists. If you are in any way challenged, please let us know as soon as possible. The sooner we know, the better we can look for solutions, so you are able to complete the programme successfully.


  • Bachelor

The first- and second-year curriculum contain basic scientific training in maths, physics, chemistry and biology. In addition to the basic sciences, the first-year curriculum also already comprises a set of typical geology course units, a set which is expanded in the second year. In the third year, you can either opt for the Geology track containing the Bachelor’s project (which takes the form of a work placement at a company or a research institution). A more comprehensive field experience on land or at sea is also a possibility. Or you can opt for the Education track, which allows for direct access into the subsequent Master’s Programme of Teaching. The third-year curriculum also contains a study abroad window at another European university. Conversely, it is also possible to schedule your international experience in the Master’s curriculum.

After completing the Bachelor’s degree, you can either choose the Dutch-taught or the English-taught Master’s programme.

  • Master

The Dutch-taught Master's programme offers a choice of two majors. The Basins and Orogens major contains course units with a focus on sedimentary processes, ocean and climate dynamics, and the evolution of the biosphere. Micropaleontology is a key aspect in all of this. On the other hand, the curriculum also contains petrological and geophysical aspects. Both disciplines contain field work. The Groundwater and Mineral Resources major focuses on the fundamental and applied study of natural resources and groundwater. Its aim is for a sustainable management and protection of these vital resources.

In addition to these majors, the Master’s curriculum also offers a vocational minor, which prepares you for a career in the industry by means of a work placement.

We also offer an English-taught curriculum, which is mainly research-oriented. There is a choice of four majors: In addition to the two majors that are also part of the Dutch-taught curriculum, you have the Geodynamics and Georesources, and the Surface Processes and Paleoenvionments majors to choose from. A more in-depth or comprehensive approach is possible by means of additional electives and the Master’s dissertation.

In addition to the (domain) Master’s programme described above, you can also choose a Master’s Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: educatieve master 120 sp).

Labour Market

There is a real demand for geologists on the (inter)national labour market. With its comprehensive scientific training our study programme offers a wide range of opportunities on the geology-specific labour market, and beyond. A first group of graduates ends up in the environmental sector: the Flemish Decree on Soil Remediation and Soil Protection, and the Flemish Decree on Integrated Water Policy that are in place increasingly call for specific expertise. Other branches of the industry attract Geology graduates as well: offshore wind energy, ore exploration, the dredging sector, groundwater extraction, the construction sector, the geophysical exploration sector, ... . This type of career usually requires extensive stays abroad. A second group of graduates find employment in the research sector, either at universities or other scientific institutions. Lastly, a third group ends up in government service and education Government services may include research on water supply, waste disposal, preliminary investigations at important construction sites, detection of soil contaminants, ... .