Geology is the study of the origin, evolution, composition and structure of the earth. It draws upon all basic sciences. This subject was first taught at Makerere University in the College of Natural Sciences in 1968. It was a component in the Department of Geography but later became a fully-fledged Department in 1969 with Prof. Robert Macdonald as it’s founding Head of Department.
The first batch of BSc Geology students graduated in 1970 in pure geology, which was the only, course being taught at the time. A postgraduate diploma in pure and applied geology intended to qualify the degree holders as professional geologists was commenced in March 1973, however, it ran for only one year.
In 1979, the Department under UNESCO assistance introduced applied geology courses that were taught along with those of pure geology. To date the Department has introduced more programmes such as, Geological Resource Management (GRM) which was later phased out; Master of Science in Geology (MSc) and PhD done by research work.
Since the academic year 2009/2010, the Department has been running the BSc programme in Petroleum Geosciences and Production which currently attracts government sponsorship for several students. From the academic year, 2012/2013 a new MSc programme in Petroleum Geosciences came on board.
Currently the department welcomes students from across the region who can specialise in Geosciences disciplines of choice. Deliberate Departmental efforts together with vibrant student organisations attract support from local and international institutions for specialised software, library and laboratory materials and facilities, hands-on trainings, fieldwork, research, internship and employment; these include academic and government institutions, geological, mining, water, oil and gas companies as well as service organisations.
The Department of Geology & Petroleum Studies has recently applied to coordinate a regional centre of excellence for oil and gas and is striving to do the same for the other geosciences disciplines in line with her mission which is to;
Create and impart knowledge in both pure and applied geology to society through training, research and extension services for sustainable development.