Bachelor of Science in Geology

Courses and Study Australian courses Bachelor of Science in Geology

Geology is the study of the composition, structure, physical properties, history and the processes that shape the Earth's components.

Townsville; Cairns
Start dates
February, July
3 years full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus
English, Maths B, Chemistry

Career opportunities

Geologists are sought after across a range of careers and are employed by companies, including the resources sector, to investigate such issues as:

  • The stability of building sites
  • The location of clean water supplies
  • The location of valuable natural resources such as iron, coal, gas, oil, uranium and precious metals
  • The threat to communities at risk from geologic natural hazards.

Other career paths include working for government departments, international agencies and mining companies. With further qualifications, graduates can work as secondary school teachers.

Graduates are eligible to join the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, Environment Institute of Australia, Geological Society of Australia, the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Society of Economic Geologists, International Association of Geochemistry and the Associations of Applied Geochemists.

Course highlights

With a tropical climate, diverse natural environments and world-class geological research centres, JCU offers a perfect setting for your geology studies. You will gain unrivalled career-ready skills through:

  • Practical involvement in current geological research projects through JCU’s on-campus Economic Geology Research Unit (EGRU)
  • Field trips to diverse Queensland locations sporting spectacular rocks and minerals
  • Practical facilitation skills in economic geology knowledge transfer between public sector researchers, industry professionals and companies.

Course overview

On the strength of its multi-disciplinary nature, geology builds a strong foundation for any science career.

With JCU’s Bachelor of Science (Geology) course, you combine geology with subjects from other science disciplines to widen your skills, enhance your long-term career aspirations or pursue a personal interest area.

You will be able to concentrate solely on geology and have more vocationally orientated training if you take our Bachelor of Geology degree.

Joint degree options

Joint degrees give students expertise in a complementary discipline in reduced time and can enhance their career prospects. At JCU, the Bachelor of Science degree can be combined as a joint degree in:

How to apply

Check the QTAC information and apply by clicking on the relevant link below depending on where you wish to study.

Take note of the QTAC code for this course in the location you've chosen because you'll need to enter it as part of your QTAC application.

Townsville (316061) - Apply now
Cairns (326061) - Apply now


All students in the course will study these three core subjects in their first year.

SC1101:03 Science: Nature, Knowledge and Understanding

SC1102:03 Modelling Natural Systems

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

All students must choose a Major to study in detail (see subject list below). You have the option of focussing on another key study area by taking a Second Major, or broadening your scientific knowledge by selecting science subjects from many disciplines. For the rules about the full course structure, please visit the Bachelor of Science handbook page.

Geology Major

Administration and Availability Information



Major Code


Available in

Bachelor of Engineering – Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering with Honours – Bachelor of Science

Credit point value

30 credit points

Other details


Core Subjects

Level 1

EA1110:03 Evolution of the Earth

EV1005:03 Environmental Processes and Global Change

Level 2

EA2220:03 Earth Materials

EV2502:03 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

EA2900:03 Introductory Field Geology

Level 3

EA3510:03 Geological Mapping

EA3511:03 Advanced Geological Mapping


Select 3 credit points of specified EA level 2 subjects

EA2110:03 Introduction to Sedimentology

EA2300:03 Crustal Processes


Select 6 credit points of specified EA level 3 subjects

EA3100:03 Earth Dynamics

EA3200:03 Deformation, Metamorphism and Hydrothermal Fluids

EA3400:03 Ore Genesis

EA3650:03 Sedimentary Environments and Energy Resources

EA3800:03 Earth and Environmental Geochemistry

Pathway into course

On successful completion of the Diploma of Higher Education you may be eligible to continue into this degree, and you may be able to receive some credit for successfully completed subjects.

Students are encouraged to undertake the Tertiary Access Course if they have not studied recently and/or want assistance making the transition to University studies.

The Bachelor of Science – General also gives you a pathway into our other Science majors.

Get prepared - Bridging subjects

Bridging subjects are designed to fill any gaps in your knowledge. We offer maths and chemistry bridging subjects that can be studied on-campus in Cairns and Townsville. You may need to enrol in a bridging subject if you have not achieved the grade of ‘Sound Achievement or better’ in Queensland Year 12 maths or chemistry.


Bachelor of Science

Course code


Professional accreditation status

The Physics major for the Bachelor of Science is accredited by the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). Graduates are automatically eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Physics.

The Chemistry major for this course is accredited by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). Graduates are immediately eligible for non-corporate membership of RACI and, with an additional three years’ experience in chemistry, may register as a Chartered Chemist with Corporate Membership of RACI.

Course type

Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7)


Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

English, Maths B and Chemistry for all majors except:

General major (English only)

Physics major (English, Maths B, Chemistry and Physics, or (in lieu of Physics) Maths C)

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

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

Additional selection requirements

Queensland OP 6 (or equivalent) or better is required for entry in the advanced majors.

Special admission requirements

JCU students who have completed the first year of any major in the BSc (including the General Major) with a GPA greater than 5.5 (excluding MA1020 and CH1020) may apply to undertake an advanced major for which they have met the level one requirements. Approval will be subject to quota limits on each advanced major.

Post-admission requirements

Some majors require attendance at block mode or limited attendance subjects on either the Townsville or Cairns campus. Students may be required to attend block mode classes at a campus other than that at which they are enrolled, at their own expense.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

72 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules

A minimum of 15 credit points of science subjects must be taken at level 1.

A maximum of 30 credit points may be taken at level 1.

A minimum of 15 credit points of science subjects must be taken at level 2.

A minimum of 18 credit points of science subjects must be taken at level 3 or higher.

Students may seek permission to enrol in one or more level 5 subjects.

Preparatory subjects (MA1020 and CH1020) are available only under the General major and cannot be credited towards other majors in the course.

Not more than a total of 12 credit points may be credited from subjects from other Colleges.

Unless otherwise approved by the Dean of College, a student for the Bachelor of Science degree shall obtain a major from subjects listed in the course structure. Only subjects passed at a grade of P (Pass) or higher can be counted towards a major.

Additional completion requirements

Students enrolled in an advanced major in the BSc must attain a course GPA of 5.5 in order to graduate with that advanced major. A student who completes an advanced major with a GPA of less than 5.5 over their whole course will be eligible to graduate with the equivalent standard major.

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 Science at James Cook University will be able to:

  • Integrate and apply a coherent body of theoretical and technical knowledge, including underlying concepts and principles, in one or more science disciplines

  • Critically appraise the role and relevance of science in society, particularly in creating sustainable futures in the tropics, worldwide

  • Demonstrate broad understanding of the methods of science, including the creative processes involved in developing scientific knowledge, and its contestable and testable nature

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

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

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

  • Convey scientific 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 scientific knowledge and skills with initiative and well-developed judgement

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

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


Course available at



See Table A (SCIENCE/ADVANCED SCIENCE MAJORS) for availability of majors at each campus


See Table A (SCIENCE/ADVANCED SCIENCE MAJORS) for availability of majors at each campus


Expected time to complete

3 years full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

10 years

Maximum leave of absence

3 years


Course progression requisites

Must successfully complete 12 credit points of level 1 science subjects before attempting any level 2 science subject

Must successfully complete 18 credit points of level 1 and 2 science subjects before attempting any level 3 science subject

Must successfully complete 12 credit points of level 3 science subjects before attempting any level 5 science subject

Students undertaking the advanced majors must maintain an annual GPA of 5.5 to remain in that major. Failure to so do will result in a transfer to the equivalent standard major.

Students enrolled in an advanced major in the BSc must attain a course GPA of 5.5 in order to graduate with that advanced major. A student who completes an advanced major with a GPA of less than 5.5 over their whole course will be eligible to graduate with the equivalent standard major.

Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Professional accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade

3 credit points

One PC grade only may be awarded with approval of College or Division examiners meeting, to allow a student to graduate, and that PC grade must not contribute to a major.

Supplementary exam for final subject

Not applicable

Advanced Standing


Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Advanced Standing and Articulation policy associated procedures.

Maximum allowed

48 credit points


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


Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 20 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed the course of study prescribed for the degree.

Other restrictions

A maximum of 6 credit points of advanced standing may be granted at level 3.

A maximum of 12 credit points of advanced standing may be granted for subjects outside the Science Schedule of Subjects.

Advanced Standing will not be granted for preparatory subjects completed under the other courses.

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

All majors except the General major may appear on the testamur.

Exit with lesser award

Students who exit the course prior to completion, and have completed 24 credit points of approved subjects may be eligible to receive the award of Diploma of Higher Education (Science).

Course articulation

Not applicable


Honours availability

Available as a separate one year (end on) course.


Application for entry to the Honours program is by approval of the College Dean.

Normally a minimum overall GPA of 5.0 (i.e. credit average) is required across the bachelor degree, with credits or better in the discipline specific areas.

Quota restrictions on the number of honours places available may apply from time to time as determined by the College Dean.


The Bachelor of Science (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. Please refer to the Bachelor of Science (Honours) Handbook for eligibility information.

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.