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Bachelor in Geology

  • academic year
    2019-2020
Bachelor in Geology

This formation is taught in french.

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  • Programme title
    Bachelor in Geology
  • Programme mnemonic
    BA-GEOL
  • Programme organised by
    • Faculty of Sciences
  • Degree type
    Bachelors
  • Tier
    1th cycle
  • Field and branch of study
    Sciences and technics/Sciences
  • Schedule type
    Daytime
  • Languages of instruction
    french
  • Theoretical programme duration
    3 years
  • Campus
    Solbosch
  • Category / Topic
    Sciences and technics - Sciences
  • Jury President
    Steeve BONNEVILLE
  • Jury Secretary
    Sandra ARNDT

Details

General information

Degree type

Bacheliers

Theoretical programme duration

3 years

Learning language(s)

french

Schedule type

Daytime

Campus

Solbosch

Category(ies) - Topic(s)

Sciences and technics - Sciences

Organising faculty(s) and university(ies)
Infor-études

Succeed in your studies

ULB offers a number of activities and resources that can help you develop a successful strategy before or during your studies.

You can make the transition to higher education easier by attending preparatory courses, summer classes, and information and orientation sessions, even before you start your studies at ULB.

During your studies, many people at ULB are there specifically to help you succeed: support staff in each faculty, (inter-)faculty guidance counsellors, tutors, and experts in academic methodology.

Presentation

Fulfill your ambitions by gaining a training in an extremely diverse range of fields, including

  • Management and use of the sub-soil environments (water, raw materials, fossil fuels).

  • Global environmental management (climate change, protection of water resources, natural risks – volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides …).

  • Geological mapping.

In addition to the basic courses in physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology, geology courses are taught in the first block and are accompanied by practical training based on the recognition of rocks and fossils. These achievements are complemented with a one-day field trip, which links the materials learned in the laboratory with the observations from outcrops throughout geological time. This first year programme makes students more aware of spatio-temporal scales encountered in geology; it shows them also that the present-day is a key to the study of the past. It also provides a first glimpse of the overall functioning of our planet, since the formation of the solar system to the way it is now perturbed by human activities. The blocks 2 and 3 of the Bachelor programme seek to strengthen the theoreticql geology courses and modeling, practical training together with their illustration in the field. Studies of field mapping, sedimentology, hydrology, geophysics ... show how geological analysis is diverse and based on a qualitative analysis on which are grafted, from the field observations, many measurements (compass, gamma-ray, resistivity ...) in order to quantify the processes taking place. Near the end of the bachelor programme, a field training of a 15-day period enable the students to make a geological map of the region themselves. This allows them to develop or utilize the knowledge acquired earlier and constitutes their first major personal work. Several practical training sessions under the supervision of a teaching assistant are then devoted to the establishment of the report of the field training course and to the completion of the geological map from the data collected. More theoretical courses such as mineralogy, igneous/metamorphic/sedimentary petrology, volcanology, metallurgy, and thermodynamic modeling of processes at the sediment/water and hydrosphere/biosphere/atmosphere interfaces, allow the students to integrate field data (drawing a geological map) in global contexts. This pedagogy in the acquisition of knowledge familiarizes the students with the uniqueness of the geological processes that operate at the local scale, but far beyond.

The training of geologists is versatile in nature. It is based on combined teaching of several subjects such as geology, chemistry and biology. The student will be able to develop skills in all sub-disciplines of geological sciences, particularly in petrography and mineralogy, paleontology, geobiology and biogeochemistry, sedimentology and (paleo)climatology, geophysics, volcanology and oceanography.

Through these themes, geologists trained at ULB will be apt to work in all regions of the globe. They are quickly hired in Belgium, but also in regions as diverse as Africa, Australia or New Caledonia.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at ULB maintains close ties with the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences of Belgium, the Royal Museum of Central Africa and the Royal Observatory of Belgium, as well as with a number of European institutions in the framework of the Erasmus-Socrates programme.

Our research assistants will give individual guidance to small groups of students.

You have at your disposal:

  • a specialized departmental library.

  • a microscopy room

  • a computer room

  • research materials for the supervised practical training (XRD, electronic microscopy …).

Our Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences has developed Erasmus-Socrates programmes with a number of European institutions. These programmes give you the possibility to spend four or eight months at a foreign university.

Many “visiting” professors teach in our bachelor programme and bring their expertise in their respective fields, both in the form of lectures, practical training and field trips. For over 10 years, a close ongoing collaboration has emerged in the field of geology between the Universities of Namur, Mons, Lille and various scientific institutes (Royal Observatory of Belgium in Uccle, Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren, Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels ..). These partnerships also apply to the Master programme and students have especially the opportunity to conduct their Master’s thesis in these institutions that they have discovered during their study of the bachelor’s degree.

Access conditions

Programme

The program consists of 1/3 of lectures on theory and modeling, 1/3 of practical training in the laboratory and 1/3 of fieldwork. It will allow one to study the major phenomena related to geology, from plate tectonics to interactions between geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. The techniques implemented cover all tools of the geologist, such as geological mapping, field sampling and laboratory analysis or global modeling of the functioning of our planet. An important component of the curriculum is also dedicated to geo-materials in its microscopic as well as macroscopic organization.

The lectures are accompanied by practical work conducted in the laboratory. They will help acquire specialized training in modern analytical methods in areas such as geochemistry, optical and electron microscopy, crystallography, petrography of the rocks and computer modeling.

After his/her BA, if he/she wishes to move towards other MA, the student can orient himself/herself in areas such as geophysics, coastal planning, environmental management and hydrogeology. The student can also be directed towards research in volcanology, oceanography and environmental geochemistry.

What's next ?

Prospects

If you go on to do a Master in Geology, you will be able to work in a wide range of sectors, some of which you would never have thought of going into:

  • Geological and mining exploration, often abroad, for companies or official bodies.

  • Oil sector, in a laboratory or working on the ground.

  • Hydrology, research into and development of water resources.

  • Research and teaching.

  • Monitoring of seismic and volcanic zones.

  • Management of radioactive waste storage.

  • Renewable energies (geothermal).

  • Other openings in related fields: geotechnics (civil engineering), resource planning and development, combating pollution.

Thanks to the analytical side of the programme, other fields will be open to you, including construction materials, glass and ceramics, monument restoration, waste water treatment, occupational illnesses caused by minerals.

You can also go into research in the following areas: volcanology, oceanography, environmental geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology. At the end of your study, and if you decide to opt for other master’s courses, you could specialise in areas such as environmental management.

Very diverse both in the academic and applied fields. In the academic field, education (academic or not), researcher in national and international scientific institutions in all types of areas (paleontology, seismology, modeling, planetary science, volcanology, natural hazards, experimentation of materials, weathering of stones and monuments, polluted sites ...) and in applied georesources (hydrology, fossil fuels, renewable energy, metallurgy, gemology ...), extractive resources of geomaterials (gravels, sands, limestones, marbles, pozzolans ...), environment (remediation, pollution of soil, groundwater, aerosols, carbon sequestration,..), geotechnology (study of the foundation for dam constructions, transportation routes, building various constructions ..)

The geologists are very versatile, from their 'first' job as cartographer till that of modeling of past and present biogeochemical cycles through a multitude of trades such as prospector of gold, diamond… Geologists have a crucial place in crude oil exploration; they are also geochemist analyzing gases from the Earth, or biogeochemist searching biosignature for exobiology purpose .... This versatility leads to puridisciplinarity with, for example, physicists for processing and interpreting seismic profiles, with biologists for searching for traces of life, with bioengineers and agronomists for making better usage of the soils, with chemists for characterizing the atmospheres of the past or soil and groundwater pollution ....