Earth Sciences BSc
Earth Sciences is the study of our home planet. Our flexible programme combines ideas and principles of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Geophysics. We explore how our planet works at depth and at the surface, the biological processes that build diversity and cause extinction, the ocean and atmospheric processes shaping climate, and issues relating to resources, geohazards and climate change.
- UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2020
- London, Bloomsbury
- Two sciences preferred.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- BBB (more about contextual offers)
- Two sciences preferred.
- A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects to preferably include two sciences, with no score lower than 5.
- 32 (more about contextual offers)
- A score of 15 points in three higher level subjects to preferably include two sciences, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction. Science subject units preferred.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the credits in the Level 3 units awarded with Merit. Science subject units preferred.
D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Two sciences preferred
AAB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Two sciences preferred at Advanced Higher
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB. Two science subjects preferred.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
This programme emphasises the holistic nature of the Earth Sciences. It offers the opportunity to specialise within Earth Sciences and, by the appropriate choice of modules, graduate with a degree in Earth Sciences (Palaeobiology) or Earth Sciences (Environment and Policy).
The department has one of the highest staff/student ratios in the country, resulting in small classes. Teaching is delivered by all of our research-active staff guaranteeing up-to-the-minute understanding and providing opportunities to take part in cutting-edge research activities.
We have recently moved into the renovated Kathleen Lonsdale Building with new, world-class facilities include bespoke teaching laboratories, new microscope facilities and student study areas, all in the heart of the department, next to staff offices and research laboratories.
This programme offers up to three months of field classes in the UK and continental Europe and independent field mapping projects in Scotland, Southern France and Spain, with financial support from the department.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
On entry to the programme, you will select a pathway through the subject (General, Palaeobiology, or Environment and Policy). The programme includes many optional modules across Earth Sciences.
Students should normally take at least five half-module credits in UCL Earth Sciences each year. Modules based in other departments may be chosen from those listed for the Environmental Geoscience, Geology and Geophysics degree programmes and the Palaeobiology and Environment and Policy pathways.
The third year has an emphasis on individual initiative and problem-based learning.
Fieldwork provides a unique opportunity to develop independent and team skills and problem-solving abilities.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
From Petrology to Petrogenesis (including Cornwall fieldwork)
History of Life
Surface Processes (including Dorset/Devon fieldwork)
You will select 15 credits of optional modules from Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Geoscience programmes, and the Palaeobiology or Environment and Policy pathways.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Maps, Images and Structures (including Scotland fieldwork)
Structural Geology and Tectonics
You will select 90 credits of optional modules from the Environmental Geoscience, Geology and Geophysics programmes, and the Palaeobiology or Environment and Policy pathways. Options available within the department may include:
Vertebrate Palaeontology and Evolution
Core or compulsory module(s)
All final-year modules are optional.
You will select 120 credits of optional modules from the Environmental Geoscience, Geology and Geophysics programmes and Palaeobiology or Environment and Policy pathways. Options available within the department may include:
Biodiversity and Macroevolutionary Patterns
Crustal Dynamics, Mountain Building and Basin Evolution (fieldwork only)
Earth Resources and Sustainability
Geological/Environmental Mapping Project
Ocean Physics and Climate Change
Geodynamics and Global Tectonics
Metamorphism and Metamorphic Processes
Please note: the modules listed above relate to the General pathway for Earth Sciences. For specialist pathways, please see the department website.
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 sometimes an oral examination.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Earth Sciences BSc.
You will develop both discipline-based and highly sought after analytical skills, together with practical skills such as planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, collecting, recording and analysing data and the ability to undertake field and laboratory research.
All our students are encouraged and helped towards making informed career choices. We have excellent relationships with many employers in diverse aspects of the Earth sciences, and students are actively guided towards achieving their potential at UCL in preparation for their future careers.
In addition to further study, main employment destinations include: exploration and production for mining, oil and engineering companies; groundwater resources management; investigating ground conditions associated with land use, such as planning, construction and waste disposal; geological surveying, and collecting geological information for maps and databases.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2019/20 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2019/20 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2019/20)
- Overseas students
- £26,740 (2019/20)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
Students will be required to pay for transportation to overseas field trips and food. (The department covers accommodation and transport costs in the UK.)
Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.