UCL Earth Sciences

Earth Science International Degree

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This four-year programme allows students to follow any of the MSci programmes offered by UCL Earth Sciences, with the additional opportunity to spend year three studying at an approved university in Australia, New Zealand, continental Europe or North America. 

Prospectus: MSci UCAS Code F605

Earth Sciences International


Degree Benefits

  • You will have the opportunity to specialise in Geology, Environmental Geoscience, Palaeobiology, Planetary Science or Geophysics and broaden your horizons by spending the third year of study abroad.
  • The programme includes up to three months of field classes in the UK and continental Europe, with financial support from the Department.
  • 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

You will initially follow the first two years of the Earth Sciences degree programme in a chosen specialty: Geology, Environmental Geoscience, Palaeobiology, Planetary Science or Geophysics but with an alternative option of a foreign language if you intending to study in a non English speaking country. Fieldwork provides a unique opportunity to develop independent and team skills and problem-solving abilities.

Your third year is spent abroad, and you will return to UCL for your final year. The final title of the degree awarded will reflect the 'flavour' of the courses taken, for example 'MSci Geology (International Programme)'.

The number of places available for direct entry onto the International programme is limited and, therefore, competitive. Eligibility to continue will be assessed in both the first and second years of study. Students failing to maintain the required standard will be transferred to the corresponding normal MSci or BSc programme.

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.

Year 3 Study Abroad Options

 There are three options:

  • Departmental Exchanges: UCL Earth Sciences has direct agreements with Michigan University. 
  • International Office Exchanges: Toronto University, University of Western Australia (Perth), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York State) & Caltech are open to UCL students from different departments by competition; application for CalTech is highly competitive. Copenhagen is also a possibility for those who can comprehend instruction in Danish. Your options.
  • Erasmus partners in Europe: (for MSci International programmes, study is for the full year). Instruction is in the local language. Current exchanges are to: Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland and Romania. Please note that the final decision on a acceptance rests with the host institution. Exchange Agreements.

Information for currents students only: Study Abroad Approval Forms will be available to collect from November 2013. Completed forms must be submitted no later than Friday 29 November 2013. How to Apply

How will I finance my studies?

  • Students on International Office & Departmental Exchanges (full year):• Pay one third of UCL tuition fee • Pay  no fee at host institution • UCL bursaries may be available, e.g., toward travel costs • Student loans can still be taken out
  • Students studying a full year on ERASMUS programmes: • Pay NO tuition fee at UCL. • Pay no tuition fee at host institution – maybe enrollment fee of about €200. • Receive ERASMUS mobility grant: typically €250 per month (variable). • UCL bursaries may be available, e.g., toward travel costs. • Student loans can still be taken out.

For more up-to-date details, especially the finances section please refer to the UCL Study Abroad Guide or contact our departmental coordinator Prof Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni.