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 Study Applied Geology at Otago

Applied Geology looks at how geological issues affect the lives of human beings.

Applied Geologists deal with problems that have a major impact on human populations. They need a broad education based in the real world, so they can work with engineers, planners, and environmental managers as they look for solutions to these issues.

Many problems have major financial implications, so a thorough awareness of sound commercial practice is important.

People working in this field are concerned with naturally-occurring geological hazards, including earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and land erosion. They also address environmental problems, like waste disposal and groundwater contamination, and how to manage and access natural resources, such as groundwater, petroleum, coal, and minerals.

Apply for the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours (BAppSc(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Science (PGCertAppSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science (PGDipAppSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Why study Applied Geology?

It’s challenging! Geological problems are notoriously difficult to solve and organisations around the world are looking for people with an innovative approach.

You’ll combine a thorough grounding in theoretical and practical geology with technical and commercial skills. You get to study a subject that uses the world as a laboratory. New Zealand is a great place to study earth processes because it is an extremely active geological place, with frequent earthquakes, erupting volcanoes, and actively rising mountains.

Background required

Students from a range of backgrounds are welcome to study for Otago’s BAppSc in Applied Geology. A reasonable high school science and mathematics background is recommended. No prior knowledge of geology is required as this is taught in the compulsory courses.

Career opportunities

With a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) in Applied Geology from Otago, you’ll be well placed to work in any number of branches of applied geology around the world.

You might:

  • Be involved in the mining industry looking for new mineral deposits, making sure that existing mines operate efficiently, or ensuring that mines have no adverse effects on the downstream environment
  • Work with waste management engineers and local authorities, designing landfill sites so that groundwater is not polluted, or helping to improve historic sites
  • Work for a government research organisation, assisting with geological problems, or developing new approaches to find more resources.

This could mean researching and monitoring active volcanoes, faults with high earthquake risk, or landslides that threaten centres of population.

These roles might be as part of a large organisation, or equally, you could work for a consultancy firm. There’s plenty of variety, and opportunities for travel.

Can I combine my Applied Geology study with other subjects?

A minor or second major is compulsory for the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc).

Your first-year course is very flexible and you can select papers that keep your options open for second year – for example, you can tailor a course that will also cover the prerequisites for most of the other BAppSc subject majors, or you could carry on with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Energy Management or Energy Science and Technology, Mathematics, or Physics.

The minor or second major you choose will tailor your studies to match your own particular strengths and passions, but also match demand from industry, for the skill-sets most needed.

What is the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc)?

The strength of the Applied Science programme is its outward focus – developing market-ready graduates with wide-ranging skills and practical experience in the workplace The Applied Science programme is a three-year undergraduate degree with open entry at 100 level.

An honours stream is offered to those students who achieve an appropriate academic standard in their second year.

Every Applied Science degree has a compulsory minor or second major, in a subject area that’s directly relevant and will deliver complementary skills. The programme encourages real-world business awareness, enabling you to apply what you have learnt to any organisation you work for.

How will I study?

As well as learning theory in lectures, you’ll gain hands-on experience in practical classes, and computer labs.

Geology papers at Otago are also famous for their many field trips, giving you the opportunity to explore the Otago region and all its fascinating landforms, learn vital research skills, as well as getting to know your classmates and lecturers.

What will I study?

The required papers at 100-level are EAOS 111 Earth and Ocean Science, GEOL 112 Dynamic Earth: A New Zealand Perspective, and MATH 160 Mathematics 1.

From second year onwards, you’ll study a wide variety of geology papers, covering topics like minerals and rocks, geological hazards, and environmental issues.

What will I learn?

You’ll gain a thorough and practical understanding of Earth processes, and how to apply this knowledge to human-related issues such as mineral deposits, slope stability, or environmental problems.

You’ll also learn the skills you’ll need in the workforce, like field observations, geological mapping, and using remote sensing technologies.

Qualifications

Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.

*It is a requirement that every Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) normally includes an approved minor subject or an approved second major subject. Usually such a minor or second major subject must be selected from the approved combinations of major subjects with minor or second major subjects. Some exceptions may apply. For details see:

Full list of available approved minor and second major subject areas

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) majoring in Applied Geology

Level Papers Points
100-level

EAOS 111 Earth and Ocean Science

GEOL 112  Dynamic Earth: A New Zealand Perspective

One of
MATH 151  General Mathematics
MATH 160  Mathematics 1
MATH 170  Mathematics 2
COMO 101  Modelling and Computation
STAT 110  Statistical Methods
STAT 115  Introduction to Biostatistics

18

18

18   

200-level

GEOL 251  Minerals and Rocks

GEOL 252  Field Studies and New Zealand Geology

One of GEOL 221, GEOL 261, GEOL 262, GEOL 263, GEOL 264, GEOL 265, GEOL 272, GEOL 273, GEOL 274, GEOL 275, GEOL 276

One of GEOL 221, GEOL 261, GEOL 262, GEOL 263, GEOL 264, GEOL 265, GEOL 272, GEOL 273, GEOL 274, GEOL 275, GEOL 276, EMAN 204, GEOG 282, GEOG 283, GEOG 284, GEOG 288, GEOG 289, GEOG 298, OCEN 201, PHSI 243, SURV 208

18

18

18

 

18

300-level

GEOL 302  Independent Field Studies  or  GEOL 303  Accelerated Independent Project

GEOL 344  Advanced Field Studies

GEOL 353  Tectonics

At least one of GEOL 321, GEOL 341, GEOL 361, GEOL 362, GEOL 363, GEOL 364, GEOL 365, GEOL 372, GEOL 373, GEOL 374, GEOL 375, GEOL 376, CHEM 304, GEOG 388, GEOG 389, GEOG 390, GEOG 394, GEOG 395, GEOG 398, OCEN 323

18

18

18

18 

Plus

162 further points, including either requirements for an approved minor or approved second major subject or other approved papers.

162
Total   360

Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours (BAppSc(Hons)) in Applied Geology

Papers

Master of Applied Science (MAppSc) in Applied Geology

Papers

Either

  • GEOL 401 Current Topics and Advanced Methods in Geoscience

  • Six further 400-level GEOL papers

  • Three further approved papers at 400-level

  • APPS 597 Supervised Independent Study

or

  • GEOL 402  Advanced Research Methods in Geoscience 1

  • GEOL 403  Advanced Research Methods in Geoscience 2

  • Six further 400-level GEOL papers

  • Three further approved papers at 400-level

  • APPS 597 Supervised Independent Study

Minor subject requirements

Applied Geology as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level

EAOS 111  Earth and Ocean Science

GEOL 112  Dynamic Earth: A New Zealand Perspective

18

18

200-level

GEOL 251  Minerals and Rocks

GEOL 252  Field Studies and New Zealand Geology

18

18

300-level GEOL 302  Independent Field Studies, or GEOL 344  Advanced Field Studies, or GEOL 353  Tectonics

18

Total   90

Papers

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
EAOS121 2021 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2021
GEOL112 2021 Dynamic Earth: A New Zealand Perspective 18 points Second Semester
GEOL221 2021 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2021
GEOL251 2021 Minerals and Rocks 18 points First Semester
GEOL252 2021 Field Studies and New Zealand Geology 18 points First Semester
GEOL261 2021 Geophysics of the Earth 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL262 2021 Geochemistry 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL263 2021 Fossils, Strata and Hydrocarbon Basins 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL264 2021 Igneous Petrology and Volcanology 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL265 2021 Natural Hazards of New Zealand and Beyond 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL272 2021 Evolution of New Zealand Biota 18 points First Semester
GEOL273 2021 Sedimentary Processes and Materials 18 points Second Semester
GEOL274 2021 Metamorphism and Metamorphic Mineralisation 18 points Second Semester
GEOL275 2021 Rock Deformation 18 points Second Semester
GEOL276 2021 Geological Resources for a Sustainable New Zealand 18 points First Semester
GEOL302 2021 Independent Project 18 points Full Year
GEOL304 2021 Accelerated Independent Project 18 points First Semester, Second Semester
GEOL321 2021 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2021
GEOL341 2021 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2021
GEOL344 2021 Advanced Field Studies 18 points First Semester
GEOL353 2021 Tectonics 18 points First Semester
GEOL361 2021 Geophysics of the Earth 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL362 2021 Geochemistry 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL363 2021 Fossils, Strata and Hydrocarbon Basins 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL364 2021 Igneous Petrology and Volcanology 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL365 2021 Natural Hazards of New Zealand and Beyond 18 points Not offered, expected to be offered in 2022
GEOL372 2021 Evolution of New Zealand Biota 18 points First Semester
GEOL373 2021 Sedimentary Processes and Materials 18 points Second Semester
GEOL374 2021 Metamorphism and Metamorphic Mineralisation 18 points Second Semester
GEOL375 2021 Rock Deformation 18 points Second Semester
GEOL376 2021 Geological Resources for a Sustainable New Zealand 18 points First Semester
GEOL401 2021 Current Topics and Advanced Methods in Geoscience 20 points Full Year
GEOL402 2021 Advanced Research Methods in Geoscience 1 10 points Second Semester
GEOL403 2021 Advanced Research Methods in Geoscience 2 10 points First Semester
GEOL450 2021 Special Topic 1 10 points Not offered in 2021
GEOL451 2021 Special Topic 2 10 points Not offered in 2021
GEOL461 2021 Advanced Topics in Geophysics 1 10 points First Semester
GEOL462 2021 Advanced Topics in Geochemistry 10 points First Semester
GEOL463 2021 Advanced Topics in Paleobiology and Evolution 10 points First Semester
GEOL464 2021 Advanced Topics in Igneous Processes 10 points First Semester
GEOL465 2021 Advanced Topics in Structural Geology 10 points First Semester
GEOL471 2021 Advanced Topics in Geophysics 2 10 points Second Semester
GEOL472 2021 Advanced Topics in Environmental Geochemistry 10 points Second Semester
GEOL473 2021 Advanced Topics in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 10 points Second Semester
GEOL474 2021 Advanced Topics in Metamorphism and Mineralisation 10 points Second Semester
GEOL475 2021 Advanced Topics in Rock Deformation 10 points Second Semester
GEOL480 2021 Research Project 40 points Full Year, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period
GEOL490 2021 Dissertation 60 points Full Year, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period
GEOL495 2021 Master's Thesis Preparation 40 points Full Year, 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period

Key information for future students

Contact us

Associate Professor Andrew Gorman
Department of Geology
Tel +64 3 479 7519
Email andrew.gorman@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/geology
Web otago.ac.nz/sciences/applied-science