About the Major
Geology concerns the study of the structure, materials, processes and history of the Earth, and the Solid Earth in particular. As the Earth is a dynamic, ever changing environment, Geologists are needed in many areas of work, from understanding and modelling these dynamic changes, to applied geosciences serving the geotechnical profession in infrastructure resources and development; Natural Resource sourcing, development and management; and Natural Hazards and Environmental management. As modern society relies on all aspects of Earths materials and environments, Geologists use their knowledge to enrich our understanding of Earth processes and resources in order to improve the quality of human life. The University of Hong Kong is the only tertiary institution in Hong Kong to offer an undergraduate programme in Geology. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a professional career as a geologist or for postgraduate studies in the geosciences.
The Geology disciplinary core curriculum provides comprehensive training in the core geosciences subdisciplines including physical geology, historical geology, mineralogy, petrology, sedimentology, geochemistry, geophysics, structural geology, plate tectonics and applied field techniques and mapping. Elective courses are offered in specialised areas such as mineral resources, hydrogeology, and engineering geology. Throughout the curriculum there is an emphasis on experiential learning through fieldwork, laboratory studies, industrial training, and research-based activities. All students in the programme have the opportunity to attend 3-4 overseas field camps to apply their geological skills, learn about the geology of other countries, explore Earths’ geological history and to produce professional level geological maps and reports. Overseas field camps are variably held in the USA, Cyprus, Australia, Mainland China and Taiwan, with plans for future camps to other destinations, including Japan and the Philippines in development.
The Geology Major (Accredited Pathway) is accredited by the Geological Society of London, the UK body which grants the professional qualification Chartered Geologist. Students completing a specific set of geology courses will receive an accredited degree which provides an accelerated route to achieving the Chartered Geologist qualification. The professional qualification Chartered Geologist is recognised internationally and in Hong Kong chartered geologists are regarded as professionally equivalent to chartered engineers.
- Geological knowledge is vital for the construction of infrastructure development, including airports, buildings, tunnels, bridges, dams, ports, power stations, reclamations and landfills, and for dealing with natural hazards such as earthquakes and landslides. Currently, geologists are in demand worldwide to facilitate development projects and ensure essential supplies of water, oil, minerals and raw materials;
- Graduates are trained to fill a variety of positions, or to undertake further specialised training programmes either in universities or through government/industry initiatives. They are competent to work in the mining industry, hydrogeology, environmental geology and the management of natural hazards;
- Given the demands imposed by large-scale construction projects and the pressures for better environmental management, the need for geologists is likely to continue. In recent years, a number of our graduates have been employed by resource development and mining companies in Canada, Brazil, Australia and Mainland China;
- There is a strong demand for geologists in the local geotechnical profession. Major geotechnical projects involving site formation works, foundation construction, and tunnelling and slope safety management all require people with a strong geological backgrounds.
Ho Lam SHEK
2021 BSc graduate (major in Geology (Intensive))
"Geology is an integrated discipline of science. The well-structured curriculum at HKU allows me to explore our planet progressively by examining rocks, minerals, magma, water, fossils and many more. Participating in field trips, including both Hong Kong and overseas, I have gained a regional view on how geology has been shaping the Earth and experienced how geologists collect first-hand data in the field. The intensive geology major also acquires me in-depth and all-rounded knowledge, which I can apply on my supervised research project. I am truly grateful to have received my undergraduate education from HKU together with all passionate professors, supportive administrative staff, and talented schoolmates.”