Amanda Hughes

BSc (Hons) Geology with Geography

Amanda Hughes

The campus has so many industry-standard facilities, a lot of which are available 24 hours, and everything is really accessible, with lovely people to help if you need it.

When I was young, my dad studied Geology at the Open University, so the house was always full of rock samples and microscopes. I was fascinated by these strange-looking stones and was constantly bothering him to let me look at them. In the end he had to hide them from me! They made me wonder about how the world around me worked and kick-started a passion for volcanoes that I still have today.

The field trips are definitely one of the highlights of the course. It’s a brilliant way to put what you learn in lectures into practice, and they’re also great fun. I’ve been to Ireland, the Lake District, the Outer Hebrides and I’ve even walked through lava tubes in Tenerife. My favourite was a trip to Ullapool in the second year to practise geological mapping techniques. It was hard work – but great to learn new skills that I went on to use in my final year dissertation.

My proudest moment was winning a National Student Award from the Institute of Quarrying for my research in 2019. There were only ten winners from across the UK so it was a big achievement. The fact that I was nominated by my personal tutor for my passion for geology and potential to have a successful career in the industry, made all the hard work – 40 days identifying rocks in the wind and rain of the Lake District – worthwhile.

I thought I couldn’t love geology any more than I did, but I’ve learned so much at Edge Hill, I’m incredibly grateful and just want to thank all the Geography and Geology department – all the lecturers are amazing. I’ve learnt what area of geology I’m really interested in and that I want a career in volcanology. I’ve also discovered that I’m far more capable than I thought. I’m planning to study for a Masters in Volcanology and, hopefully, go on to a PhD. The best thing is, I now have a living room full of rock samples that are just for me!