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Bachelor of Geology

Townsville, Cairns
1st year only available in Cairns
February, July
3 years full-time
Part-time available
Attendance mode
Entry Requirements
OP 16 | Assumed knowledge: English, Maths B. Recommended study: at least one of Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Geography, Maths C or Physics
ATAR 59.4 | Assumed knowledge: English (Units 3/4,C), Mathematical Methods (Units 3/4,C). Recommended: At least one of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Geography, Specialists Mathematics or Physics (Units 3/4,C)
Rank 66
CNS: 326311
TSV: 316311
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Benefit from specialist geological knowledge and study the only Bachelor of Geology degree in Australia.

Build an in-depth understanding of geoscience with a focus on exploration and mining. Learn about global economic geology and participate in current geological research projects through JCU’s on-campus Economic Geology Research Centre.

Consolidate theoretical learning with frequent field trips and on-site practice. JCU’s unique location and close links with exploration/mining, allied engineering industries and conservation organisations allow unique access to fascinating locations.

Become a leading geoscientist. Strong industry connections ensure you are job-ready upon graduation. JCU Geology graduates are innovative, world-renowned problem-solvers working all over the world.
Additional information

About JCU's Bachelor of Geology

Do you love marine science, chemistry, mathematics, or agricultural science? Do you dream of being a palaeontologist, oceanographer, engineer, geologist, or more? Study a JCU Bachelor of Geology with the leaders in experiential learning. Experience unrivalled natural environments accessing and studying landscapes from the vast savannahs to marine sediments.

A Geology Degree with Hands-On Learning

Throughout your degree, study dedicated core courses designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the geosciences field. Experience has no substitute – have the opportunity to go on field trips gathering real data for real-life experiments.

Through hands-on experience, develop a holistic view of all the industries, cultures, and public concerns that come together in this field. Learn how to find solutions to the dangers of extracting resources in communities. You will critically review regulations and ethics and understand the complex environment

Develop your passion for preserving our planet for future generations, while gaining a practical understanding of earth’s resources. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with others on research projects, building your teamwork and communication skills. By the time you finish your degree, you will be ready to work in ground-breaking fields like the renewable energy sector.

A Career of Innovation

A solid foundation in the basics is essential in any field, and you want to be on the cutting edge of your chosen profession. Prepare for jobs of the future with a world-class education in Australia’s only Bachelor of Geology degree from JCU.

As you earn your geoscience degree, access lecturers who are passionate about research and finding innovative solutions to challenging questions. Network with industry professionals and public sector figures and have the opportunity to make global professional connections and learn from the best.

With regular field trips to mining and engineering sites and the opportunity to take part in geological research projects, experience Earth's most diverse landscapes. Access the vast Australian Outback to find innovative solutions to create natural resources or the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park analysing marine sediment.

With access to the latest research, learn to organise and interpret data to generate geoscience solutions with initiative and expert judgement. You will also learn how to clearly argue your findings through oral and written communication. This combination of knowledge and skills will make you a sought-after professional in the field of geoscience.

Your Geoscience Degree Will Get You Ready for the Jobs of the Future

You want an education that expands your horizons and equips you to contribute to the sustainable advancement of the modern world. Your geology degree from JCU is the right choice to put you on a career path that makes a difference - for you, and for the planet.

Join highly-esteemed graduates of JCU's geology program working at home and abroad in coal, gas, and oil exploration or hard rock mining. Or, follow your passions to work in renewable energies, mine site remediation, environmental assessment, geochemistry or geotechnical fields.

Graduates work for private corporations, government departments, in education or go on to further research. Whatever you choose to do, you will benefit from JCU's connections in a wide variety of geology-related fields, including our highly-reputable palaeontology field.

You're Ready to Begin Your Geology Degree

You have the passion and drive; all you need is the theory and practice. Your geoscience degree at JCU will position you to become a leader in the sciences and will equip you with the skills to create a sustainable future for our world.
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View the Handbook for a detailed overview of available subjects.


The Bachelor of Geology (Honours) degree is available for high-achieving students. It consists of extra study and the development of a personal research project and thesis. An Honours degree is usually essential for entry to research higher degrees. Refer to the Bachelor of Geology (Honours) Handbook for eligibility information.

Career Opportunities

Equip yourself with internationally-recognised training learning from lecturers who integrate their well-above-world standards* research into the classroom.

JCU Geology graduates are uniquely skilled with strong connections to industry and extensive experience undertaking fieldwork.

Graduates pursue careers in various areas including hard-rock mining and fossil fuel exploration, mineral processing, environmental assessment or mine site remediation. Join the demand in contributing to green energy production and sourcing essential sustainable materials.

You could find employment as a geoscientist, environmental geologist, management consultant, palaeontologist, teacher, or academic. Alternatively, go on to study the Bachelor of Geology (Honours).

*Excellence in Research Awards 2018

Note the course QTAC code for the location you've chosen. You'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.

Townsville (316311) - Apply now
Cairns (326311) - Apply now

OP Score/Rank is indicative only. Entry scores will be finalised in the major offer round.

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Bachelor of Geology

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)


Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Assumed Knowledge: English (4,SA); Maths B (4,SA)

Recommended: At least one of Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science,  Geography, Maths C or Physics

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Additional course requirements

Applicants who have not completed high school intermediate level Mathematics B (or equivalent) must select MA1020: Preparatory Mathematics as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor of Geology.

Applicants who have not completed high school Chemistry (or equivalent) must select CH1020: Preparatory Chemistry as part of their study plan to successfully complete the Bachelor Geology.

Students should undertake the above subject/s in intensive mode where available and be aware that restrictions may apply to electives if they wish to complete in the normal three (3) year time frame. These subjects typically start earlier than the standard course commencement date. Contact JCU on 1800 246 446 for more information.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

72 credit points as per course structure

Course learning outcomes

The graduates of James Cook University are prepared and equipped to create a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide.

JCU graduates are committed to lifelong learning, intellectual development, and to the display of exemplary personal, professional and ethical standards. They have a sense of their place in the tropics and are charged with professional, community, and environmental responsibility. JCU graduates appreciate the need to embrace and be acquainted with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia. They are committed to reconciliation, diversity and sustainability. They exhibit a willingness to lead and to contribute to the intellectual, environmental, cultural, economic and social challenges of regional, national, and international communities of the tropics.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Geology at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a coherent body of theoretical and technical knowledge of science with depth in the underlying concepts and principles in the discipline of Geology

  • Critically appraise the role and relevance of science in society generally, and geology in particular, for the creation of sustainable futures in the tropics, and worldwide

  • Demonstrate broad understanding of the methods of geoscience, including problem-oriented approaches, data analysis and interpretation, industry/community engagement and partnerships, interdisciplinary collaboration, and systems and futures thinking

  • Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information from a range of sources

  • Plan and conduct reliable, evidence-based laboratory and/or field experiments and field work, by selecting and applying methods, techniques and tools as appropriate to one or more disciplines

  • Organise, analyse and interpret geological and scientific data using mathematical, statistical and technological skills

  • Convey ideas, arguments and conclusions clearly and coherently through well-developed written and oral communication skills and a variety of media

  • Identify, analyse and generate solutions to unpredictable or complex problems by applying geological knowledge and skills with initiative and well-developed judgement

  • Critically review regulatory requirements, ethical principles and cultural frameworks, to work effectively, responsibly and safely in diverse contexts and interdisciplinary teams

  • Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage their professional learning needs and performance, autonomously and in collaboration with others.

Course Structure


Level 1

EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth

EV1005:03 Environmental Processes and Global Change

CH1001:03 Chemistry: A Central Science or CH1011:03 Chemistry for the Natural Sciences

SC1102:03 Modelling Natural Systems or SC1109:03 Modelling Natural Systems-Advanced

Level 2

EA2110:03 Introduction to Sedimentology

EA2220:03 Minerals and Magmas

EA2510:03 Earth Resources, Exploration and Environment

EA2900:03 Introductory Field Geology

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

SC2202:03 Quantitative Methods in Science or SC2209:03 Quantitative Methods in Science-Advanced

Level 3

EA3120:03 The Fossil Record: Dinosaurs and Vertebrates Through Time

EA3130:03 Advanced Petrology

EA3210:03 Structural Geology and Tectonics

EA3400:03 Ore Genesis

EA3510:03 Geological Mapping

EA3650:03 Sedimentary Environments and Energy Resources

EA3800:03 Earth and Environmental Geochemistry


Select a recommended minor from Table A or select another Science or Inter-Disciplinary minor from Table B


Applicants who have not completed high school intermediate level Mathematics B (or equivalent) must select MA1020: Preparatory Mathematics to successfully complete the Bachelor of Geology.

MA1020:03 Preparatory Mathematics or any Level 1, 2 or 3 of Science subject

Applicants who have not completed high school Chemistry (or equivalent) must select CH1020 Preparatory Chemistry to successfully complete the Bachelor of Geology.

CH1020:03 Preparatory Chemistry or any Level 1, 2 or 3 of Science subjects


Select 3 credit points of any Level 1, 2 or 3 of Science subjects

TABLE A (Recommended Minors)

Type of Minor

Single; Mandatory

Credit points in minor

12 credit points




Chemistry for Geology



Earth Surface Processes




Spatial Science



TABLE B (Science or Inter-Disciplinary Minors)

Type of Minor

Single; Mandatory

Credit points in minor

12 credit points




Advanced Chemistry



Advanced Mathematics



Advanced Physics









Marine & Environmental Science and Sensors






Physical Geography







Inter-Disciplinary Minors



Please refer to list for details of all minors available for selection

Course Structure – Articulation

Note: This course structure is only available to students who have entered under the articulation agreement between James Cook University and the China University of Geoscience. Students who enter under this agreement are eligible for credit against the subjects marked with an asterisk (*).


Level 1

EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth*

EV1005:03 Environmental Processes and Global Change*

CH1001:03 Chemistry: A Central Science*

SC1102:03 Modelling Natural Systems*

Level 2

EA2006:03 Hydrology

EA2007:03 Soil Properties and Processes for Management

EA2220:03 Minerals and Magmas*

EA2510:03 Earth Resources, Exploration and Environment

EA2900:03 Introductory Field Geology

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

SC2202:03 Quantitative Methods in Science

Level 3

EA3210:03 Structural Geology and Tectonics

EA3120:03 The Fossil Record: Dinosaurs and Vertebrates Through Time

EA3130:03 Advanced Petrology

EA3400:03 Ore Genesis

EA3510:03 Geological Mapping

EA3650:03 Sedimentary Environments and Energy Resources

EA3800:03 Earth and Environmental Geochemistry

EA3008:03 Advanced Hydrology or EV2401:03 Australian Landscape processes and Evolution

EA5026:06 Special Studies

EA5521:06 Minor Research Dissertation


Select 3 credit points from List 1

List 1

CP1804:03 Programming II

CS2005:03 Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering

EA2404:03 From Icehouse to Greenhouse

EA3640:03 Advanced Environmental and Marine Geoscience Technologies and Applications

EV3502:03 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

EV3506:03 Remote Sensing





Only first year is available in Cairns.

Mid year entry is not available for students who require an additional preparatory maths subject.




Expected time to complete

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

9 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years


Course progression requisites


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Professional accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

Not applicable

Supplementary exam for final subject

A student who has failed the final subject towards the award and who gained 40% or more of the marks for that subject may be granted a supplementary examination in that subject. However if that subject is required for accreditation, then the criteria specified by that accreditation will apply.



Students may apply for a credit transfer for previous tertiary study or informal and non-formal learning in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure.

Maximum allowed

48 credit points, except for students with a bachelor degree in a science discipline other than geology or earth sciences, who are eligible for up to 24 credit points of credit.


Credit will be granted only for studies completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.


Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 19 years after the date of the examination upon which the credit is based if, by then, the student has not completed the course of study prescribed for the degree.

Other restrictions

A maximum of 9 credit points of credit may be granted at level 3.

Credit will not be granted for MA1020 or CH1020 or PH1001.

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors.

Exit with lesser award

Students who have completed 24 credit points of their course award requirements, and withdraw from or fail to meet the requirements for progression in the later years, may be eligible for the award of Diploma of Tertiary Studies.

Course articulation

Not applicable


Honours availability

Available as a separate graduate entry course.


Students must satisfy the School requirements relating to the standard of academic achievement necessary to proceed to the honours degree.

Annual Tuition Fee: $9,527. (Estimate only)

Student Services and Amenities fee is payable per subject up to a maximum amount per year.

A variety of Scholarships are available to suit different student types.

An OP or ATAR is the score required for entry into most undergraduate courses. If you are not a Year 12 school leaver or do not have an OP or ATAR, you can be assigned an equivalent rank score. Ranks are calculated from previous study that you might have completed, either secondary, tertiary or vocational, or previous paid employment experience.

JCU offers pathway courses to help you move into a degree. Pathway courses provide you with an individualised study plan and specialised support as you transition to university.

Contact us to find about more.

Experience has no substitute

Gain valuable hands-on experience with a JCU Geology degree. Benefit from putting theory into practice in locations unlike any other.

What is Geology?