General Information

The Department is principally a centre of learning, where everyone (from First-Year undergraduate to Head of Department) aims to further their knowledge and understanding of the geosciences. It is also important to make the most of any opportunities to acquire and develop skills to take with you into the job market. In addition, there are many facilities and activities within College that you will be able to benefit from outside scheduled classes. 

Undergraduate students are allowed in the Department between the hours of 8 am to 7 pm. This is a UCL Health & Safety requirement.

2.1 Department and its History

Welcome to the Department of Earth Sciences. You have joined a vibrant community and we are sure that you will enjoy and profit from your time here. We hope that you will participate fully in the life of the Department and contribute to its well-being and character.

There are many useful sources of general information. The Earth Sciences website is at The Study Here pages at have information on the Department’s undergraduate degree programmes, a link to this handbook and links to Alumni and Careers. See also the password-protected website My Department - Information for Current Students at sciences/mydepartment/students for information concerning your day-to-day activities. The Moodle page Earth Sciences Careers and Resources gives many useful links, all in one place.

The Department of Earth Sciences at UCL lies in the heart of London on the Bloomsbury campus, and is ranked second in the Guardian University League Tables for 2017. Geology has been taught at UCL since it opened in 1828, with the first Professor of Geology, Thomas Webster, appointed in 1841. The department has grown and flourished, becoming the Department of Geological Sciences in in the early 1980s and more recently the Department of Earth Sciences, reflecting developments in the science and the wide range of interests and expertise of staff within the department.

Our research spans a diverse range of activities including: crustal processes, Earth and planetary evolution, mineral physics, palaeobiology and palaeoclimatology, polar observation and modelling, environmental geochemistry, sedimentology, hydrogeology and natural hazards.

2.2 Explanation of the relationship between department and faculty

Earth Sciences is part of the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, which consists of eight departments and the Natural Sciences degree programme which is run by Faculty. The departments are:

Key staff members within the department and faculty

There are over forty members of staff, of whom about half are directly involved in undergraduate teaching. Contact emails, room numbers and internal telephone numbers are given in ES People .
Key contacts are:

Head of Department: Prof.Lars Stixrude

Prof. Stixrude has ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the Department and its management. Leisa Clemente is his Personal Assistant, and if the need arises, an appointment can be made through her on 020 3108 6338 from outside UCL, or ext. 56338 from inside UCL. Her email address is

Undergraduate Tutor: Dr William Burgess

Dr Burgess has overall academic and pastoral responsibility for Earth Sciences undergraduates. Appointments can be made via email on

Academic Administrator: Susie Rizvi

Susie supports the Departmental Tutors, both undergraduate and postgraduate, and also the Exams Officer. She can be found on the ground floor of the Kathleen Lonsdale Building, room G12 and can also be contacted by email on

The Faculty Administration Manager: Mrs Stefanie Anyadi

Mrs Anyadi may be consulted, by appointment, in the Faculty Office, situated on the 1st Floor of the South Wing. She can be contacted by telephone 020 7679 2879 or by email to

The correct address for the department:

Department of Earth Sciences

University College London

Gower Street

London WC1E 6BT

2.3 Key Dates

Term dates, exam/assessment period, core activities (Centrally Provided):

UCL Term Dates: 2017/18

First Term Monday 25 September 2017 – Friday 15 December 2017
Second Term Monday 08 January 2018 – Friday 23 March 2018
Third Term Monday 23 April 2018 – Friday 08 June 2018

For those departments that operate them, Reading Weeks are the weeks beginning Monday 06 November 2017 (Term 1, Week 7), and Monday 12 February 2018 (Term 2, Week 6).

Christmas College Closure Close 5.30pm Friday 22 December 2017
Open 9.00am Tuesday 02 January 2018
Easter College Closure Close 5.30pm Wednesday 28 March 2018
Open 9.00am Thursday 05 April 2018
Bank Holidays Closed - Monday 07 May 2018
Closed - Monday 28 May 2018
Closed - Monday 27 August 2018


Final Verification for Student term 2 module choices

Student confirmation: Wednesday 06 December 2017

Department confirmation to SRS: Friday 15 December 2017

UCL Examination Periods 2017/18

Examination Period: Wednesday 25 April – Friday 08 June 2018

Late Summer Assessment Period: Monday 20 August – Friday 07 September 2018

Examinations are normally taken in the Summer Term, although a few may take place outside this time. A timetable for each student will be available by the Easter vacation, and students should remember to take their candidate identifier to each exam. General UCL information can be accessed from the UCL Current Students pages: Examinations and Awards. This includes dates, conduct, procedures concerning deferred examinations and extenuating circumstances. Advice may also be sought from the Examinations Liaison Officer, Susie Rizvi.

Submission dates for coursework, departmental tests, presentations etc. are available on the relevant Moodle page.

Department- and faculty-level events and key dates

All students should check to ensure that they do not have departmental or College commitments before making arrangements for absence from UCL. In particular, a number of modules have compulsory fieldwork during the vacation. If the dates are not yet available on the fieldwork schedule on the intranet, please contact the appropriate module organiser or Fieldwork Co-ordinator.

Students are expected to submit coursework for the sight of the External Examiners at the end of Term 3, and may also have additional training or UCL events to attend after the end of examinations and prior to the term officially ending.

2.4 Communication and Information

UCL will communicate with students via:

  • UCL student email – Students should check their UCL email regularly.
  • UCL Moodle – UCL's online learning space, used by module organisers, programme leaders, departments and faculties to provide essential information in addition to learning resources.
  • myUCL – A weekly term-time e-newsletter to all students (undergraduate and postgraduate) at UCL, which covers key internal announcements, events and opportunities.
  • UCL Instagram – UCL’s official Instagram channel, featuring news, events, competitions and images from across the UCL community.
  • @ucl Twitter channel – Sharing highlights of life at UCL from across UCL’s diverse community

Contact details for our members of staff are available on our People pages. If in an emergency you need to phone another member of staff in the department, the internal extensions can be found here. The last 4 numbers form the final 4 digits of the number if calling from outside.

You may also wish to speak to a member of staff personally. Contact with staff is best made by e-mail in the first instance, booking an appointment if necessary.

2.5 Information on UCL Alumni activities and key contacts

UCL Alumni Community

The UCL Alumni Online Community is a global network of more than 200,000 former students of UCL. Alumni can take advantage of a wide range of benefits, services and discounts – on campus, across the UK and globally – including the Alumni Card, access to thousands of e-journals and library services and a free UCL-branded email service. The UCL Alumni Online Community also posts information about events and reunions happening around the world and other ways to get involved, including the UCL Connect professional development series.

Further information:

All our Earth Sciences Alumni are invited to join us on Facebook (UCL Earth Sciences Alumni), LinkedIn (UCL Earth Sciences Alumni) and Twitter (@ES_UCL).

22.  Data protection

How UCL uses student information, for what purposes, and the steps taken to safeguard this information; Where to find information security, intellectual property and email policies; Information on how to enquire or make a related complaint

How UCL uses student data

UCL uses student information for a range of purposes connected with their studies, health and safety. UCL takes the protection of student information very seriously and complies with the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1988. Information about students will only be shared within UCL when necessary. UCL may also be required by law to share information with some external agencies for a variety of purposes, such as the Students’ Union, the Higher Education Statistics Agency and UK Visas and Immigration. After students leave UCL their data is retained in the permanent archives.

Further information: