Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Subject area: Earth Sciences

Why choose Earth Sciences at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked in the UK's top 25 universities for Earth and marine sciences in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.

  • You will join a community of the largest group of Earth scientists in Europe. This not only feeds into what we teach but will also provide you with a broad programme of study in your final year and a greater choice of topics for your independent research dissertation.

  • We have a large range of specialist facilities that will be relevant to your programme, including geophysics field equipment, airborne drone imaging, geochemistry laboratories and high-performance computing.

  • Edinburgh is the birthplace of Earth sciences as a scientific subject. A legacy which continues to this day through world leading research, teaching and the communication of science.

  • You will have the opportunity to take part in fieldwork trips around Europe throughout your programme.

Study abroad

The most challenging part of my programme is probably field work. It is non-stop work but you learn so much and it's great to use the information from the classroom in real-life situations.

Kyle Laing BSc (Hons) Geology & Physical Geography graduate
Kyle Laing BSc (Hons) Geology & Physical Geography graduate

Introducing Earth Sciences

Studying Earth sciences at Edinburgh offers you an opportunity to study all aspects of the Earth, from formation, planetary accretion and evolution of life through to present-day surface and environmental processes and the impact of global climate change.

The Earth sciences embrace many of the natural and physical science subjects, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and geography, to understand the Earth and its development through time. Our programmes all have a strong practical element where your observational, analytical and quantitative skills are developed, including computer modelling and programming.

Fieldwork is central to all our programmes and is an important part of building a sense of community during your studies. Destinations may include local iconic landmarks, such as geologist James Hutton's unconformity at Siccar Point in East Berwickshire, and locations abroad, such as Jamaica, Spain, Iceland and Cyprus.

Year 2 entry

Suitably qualified students may opt to apply for direct entry to Year 2 in the majority of our Earth Sciences programmes. In this case, content flexibility is reduced, but the length of your study is the same as a comparable degree in the rest of the UK