Why study geochemistry?

While geologists typically focus on the massive forces that create global change, geochemists shrink the world to the molecular level. How does chemistry - from the formation of minerals to molecular interactions in the upper atmosphere - change our landscape, alter our atmosphere and provide us with natural resources?

As a geochemist you will be fascinated by how simple reactions combine into complex pathways that scale up to create dynamic systems at the global scale. Geochemistry can help us to manage our resources (especially oil, gas and coal), understand climate change and control pollution.

Although geochemists may spend a lot of time in the lab trying to reproduce geological and environmental phenomena, some also spend time in the field collecting samples as they analyse the chemistry and biology of an area.

Fieldwork at Barreme

What will I study?

Geochemistry is a multidisciplinary science that integrates the principles of chemistry, physics and biology to study Earth processes and dynamics. You will cover a broad range of topics including plate tectonics, groundwater flow, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, mineralogy, structural geology and geophysics.  

Geochemists are increasingly in demand to study and evaluate geologic hazards, natural resources and environmental issues such as groundwater supply and contamination.

Why should I choose Geochemistry at Manchester?

Our specialist geochemistry degree course covers all major aspects of earth sciences; you will receive advanced training in geological methods and field techniques, supported by courses that focus on the chemical and biochemical process that underlie geological, atmospheric and climatological processes. Although the Geochemistry BSc channels your studies in this specialist area of the earth sciences, we ensure you still receive a broad geoscience education. Your degree is a gateway to postgraduate study and general graduate employment.

The School is open and welcoming, with low staff:student ratios. We have a supportive family atmosphere. We also have a wide range of state-of-the-art analytical and experimental equipment, some of which you may use in project work. The University also has a superb library and an excellent careers service. 

The course is accredited by the Geological Society of London and there is a wide choice of options in Year 3. You will enjoy ample opportunity to put what you have learned in to practice on fieldtrips.

You can extend your studies with an extra year focused on research with our four-year Earth Sciences (MEarthSci) degree.

Find out more about your job prospects - Careers with geology and earth sciences

Staff spotlight

David Polya

David Polya is Professor of Environmental Geochemistry

"I enjoy seeing students develop their skills and confidence during their time at Manchester."

Meet other members of staff

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