UCL Earth Sciences

Natural Sciences Degree







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The Earth Sciences are concerned with the study of the Earth, its origin, structure, composition and history. A wide range of ideas from many scientific disciplines including chemistry, physics and biology are integrated and applied to complex problems including the environment in which we live, the history of life itself, and the nature of the processed which shape the planet.

There are two streams offered by the Earth Sciences Department:

Earth and Environment Modules

Geophysical Sciences Modules

Earth Sciences


In addition to an academic understanding of Earth structure, history and mechanisms, geoscientists work to provide solutions for problems in water supply, energy supply and conservation, construction and pollution control. 

Earth and Environment Stream

Aims

The Earth and Environment stream is concerned with geological evolution of the Earth's crust and evolution of life as observed from the fossil record since the formation of our planet 4.5 billion years ago to the present day. It will introduce topics including the geological and geophysical evidence for plate tectonics, the construction and understanding of geological maps, polarising light microscopy, petrology and mineralogy, palaeontology and the evolution of life, structural geology and the mechanical properties of rocks and the principles of stratigraphy and geochronology.

Objectives

Students who complete this stream will understand:

  • The defining characteristics of rocks and minerals and how they are described and categorised
  • The variation in composition of the Earth's crust from the deep oceans to the highest mountains
  • The dynamic evolution of the Earth's crust and lithosphere through plate tectonics
  • The history of life on Earth through the fossil record and interactions of life forms with the atmosphere and hydrosphere
  • The processes and products of volcanism, plutonism, metamorphism and the deposition of sediments both in modern environments and as observed in the geological record

Modules

Continue to Natural Sciences: Earth and Environment Modules

Geophysical Sciences Stream

Aims

This stream will provide a full image of Earth and the other planets in terms of their magnetic, gravitational, seismic and thermal signatures. Topics including geophysical techniques and instrumentation, data collection and analysis, structural geology and the mechanical properties of rocks, the geophysical evidence for plate tectonics and the physics of planetary interiors, oceans, ice sheets and atmospheres will be introduced.

This stream will provide a full image of Earth and the other planets in terms of their magnetic, gravitational, seismic and thermal signatures. Topics including geophysical techniques and instrumentation, data collection and analysis, structural geology and the mechanical properties of rocks, the geophysical evidence for plate tectonics and the physics of planetary interiors, oceans, ice sheets and atmospheres will be introduced.

Objectives

Students who complete this stream will understand the:physical properties and mechanical behaviour of rock and icedefining characteristics of rocks and minerals and how they are described and categoriseddeep structure and physical properties of the Earth and other planetsdistribution, mechanism, causes and effects of earthquakesphysical behaviour of geofluids; water magma, lava and hydrocarbonsmechanics, application and interpretation of geophysical instrumentation and datadynamic evolution of the Earth's crust and lithosphere through plate tectonics

Students who complete this stream will understand the:

  • physical properties and mechanical behaviour of rock and ice
  • defining characteristics of rocks and minerals and how they are described and categorised
  • deep structure and physical properties of the Earth and other planets
  • distribution, mechanism, causes and effects of earthquakes
  • physical behaviour of geofluids; water magma, lava and hydrocarbons
  • mechanics, application and interpretation of geophysical instrumentation and data
  • dynamic evolution of the Earth's crust and lithosphere through plate tectonics

Modules

Continue to Natural Sciences: Geophysical Sciences Modules