Level and type of study programme: Undergraduate – University
Duration: 3 years (6 semesters); total of 180 ECTS
Field of study according to the ISCED classification: (44) Physical sciences
Basic goals and competences:
Graduates of the undergraduate Geology university study programme obtain fundamental knowledge from all areas of geology. They also obtain a solid grounding in basic natural sciences and mathematics. Students obtain basic knowledge from fields connected with geology or required for practical geology work and when interacting with related areas of expertise. Students can use electives to further extend their knowledge in areas of interest, targeting specific narrower areas in geology.
In the framework of their studies, students will discover traditional principles that will be upgraded with the latest discoveries; all this in a modern educational environment and using modern technology. Special attention is paid to practical training, especially field work. By working in groups, undertaking project work and solving problems, students will learn to work in teams, give public talks and do business with customers. Students will be able to test their theoretical knowledge by doing exercises and using it in real-world scenarios; this will help them make an easier transition into practical work after the end of their studies. At the same time, students are expected to learn a sufficient amount of engineering content; this enables them to develop abstract thinking and successfully continue their studies in different second-level programmes.
At the Department, extensive basic research is being done in the fields of sedimentology, palaeontology, tectonics, petrology, mineralogy, geomorphology, Karst geology and other geological areas, all this with the aim of thoroughly understanding the Slovenian environment.
One of the forms of classic geological work, which requires a wide array of expert knowledge, is geological mapping, i.e. making geological maps. Geological maps are produced in groups; in addition to a classic field geologist, the work is also carried out by a sedimentologist, palaeontologist and tectonics expert.
Nowadays, discovering new water sources is a priority. It is also becoming generally acknowledged that water sources are very sensitive open systems, which is why we need constant hydrological controls to protect them.
The use of natural resources – metals, non-metals and for energy – is the greatest contributor to environmental pollution. A natural assumption would be that there are dark times ahead for geologists, who are tasked with finding new natural resources. This is not so. A modern geologist finds that he or she is given new work opportunities in the field of environmental protection. Nowadays, an economic geologist no longer just spends time calculating ore deposits; he or she is also required to monitor and control the impacts of using these deposits on the environment. Nuclear waste is a special branch of environmental protection. It requires a series of complex research, including geological research.
At each moment, we are faced with the danger of natural disasters, earthquakes, landslides and floods. A geologist consults and participates in preventing these accidents as well as in the rehabilitation of affected areas.
With the growing understanding that we live in a beautiful country nestled between the Adriatic, the Alps and the Pannonian Basin, we have also come to be more aware of our natural heritage. It is not enough to simply catalogue this heritage; we must also understand and get to know it better – and geologists are striving to do just that.