UCL Earth Sciences

Earth Science Degree

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Earth Sciences MSci & BSc degrees are intended as an entry route for high-level professional employment or postgraduate education. This flexible programme allows you to select from the range of options offered across environmental geoscience, geology and geophysics. You may also graduate with a degree in Earth Sciences (Palaeobiology), or in Earth Sciences (Planetary Science), dependent on your chosen courses.

Earth Sciences


Degree Benefits

  • The programme includes up to three months of field classes in the UK and continental Europe, with financial support from the Department.
  • The opportunity to specialise within Earth Sciences and, by the appropriate choice of courses, graduate with a degree in Earth Sciences (Palaeobiology) or Earth Sciences (Planetary Science).
  • World-leading research in mineral, ice and rock physics, and in geophysical hazards, is undertaken in the department and is used in the development of our courses.
  • World-class facilities include hosting the UK's only NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility, use of the UCL University of London Observatory, and collaboration with the Natural History Museum.

Degree Overview

On entry to the programme, you will select a 'diet', following a route through the subject (e.g. geology, geophysics, palaeobiology, environmental geoscience or planetary science). There is considerable overlap between these diets and opportunities to switch diets particularly in the first year and into the second year of study. The holistic nature of the subject is emphasized. Students should normally take at least four half course credits in the Earth Sciences Department each year. Modules based in other departments may be chosen from those listed for the Geology, Geophysics, Palaeobiology, Environmental Geoscience or Planetary Science degree programmes.

The first and second years provide core skills and knowledge in the subject. The third year provides opportunities for specialisation and diversification, with an emphasis on individual initiative and problem-based learning. Fieldwork provides a unique opportunity to develop independent and team skills and problem-solving abilities.

The first two years of the BSc and MSci programmes will be the same. However, the additional fourth year of the MSci allows for an individual research project and advanced options, providing extra depth and breadth of knowledge. We recommend you apply for an MSci initially, as this keeps more options open.

Your Learning

We use a mixture of lectures, practical classes, field courses, directed reading, problem-orientated learning, private study and tutorials to enable you to gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills demanded by the programme, as well as to develop key transferable skills such as critical analysis, report writing, team working and organisational skills.


You will be assessed by a combination of written examinations, practical examinations, coursework, independent project reports and an oral examination.