Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

MEarthSci Earth Sciences

UCAS code: F640

Duration: 5 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: GeoSciences

College: Science and Engineering

Accreditation
Study abroad
Placements

Introducing MEarthSci Earth Sciences

Do you want to:

  • learn more about how our planet works?
  • help protect the planet?
  • tackle the greatest challenges facing society and the natural world?
  • find out how we can live sustainably on it?

This degree is for you.

Why Earth sciences?

The world needs Earth scientists now more than ever before.

For example, we need them to:

  • help us address the climate crisis
  • adapt to environmental changes
  • secure the energy and materials society needs
  • live more safely and sustainably on our dynamic Earth

With our Earth Sciences (MEarthSci) degree, you will:

  • study our Earth's past to forecast and safeguard its future
  • learn about the structure and composition of the Earth
  • develop a deep understanding of the many processes that shape the Earth and life on it
  • learn how these processes interact and depend on each other

Our degree will help you play a valuable role in our transition to a fair and sustainable society.

Making a difference starts here. Are you ready?

What will I learn?

Our Earth Sciences (MEarthSci) is a new cutting-edge degree that prepares you for advanced careers in the Earth sciences and beyond.

It carefully balances data science, programming, and computing skills with traditional field and laboratory skills, along with a knowledge of Earth sciences.

We will train you in the skills needed to answer the important questions in the Earth sciences, including:

  • How can we mitigate the effects of global change?
  • What tools can we use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere?
  • Why is our planet able to sustain life?
  • How does the Earth's interior work, and how do these processes affect the surface?
  • How can we sustainably manage the Earth's resources to meet our energy, mineral, and water needs?
  • How can we improve our understanding of natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes to reduce their risk and save lives?

We embrace a hands-on approach to learning, so you can develop in-demand practical skills. Many of your activities simulate those that professionals perform in the real world.

You will also learn sought-after computational analysis and quantitative skills.

For example, you will gain experience in:

  • acquiring, analysing, assessing and presenting a wide range of data
  • computing skills including programming and use of specialist software
  • computer modelling and mapping
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Demand is growing for these data skills across a range of employment sectors.

You will learn from leading national and international Earth scientists across a diverse range of fields. We help ensure your degree has real-world relevance and make you highly sought after by employers.

Our links provide you with valuable networking and potential employment opportunities. You will be able to meet and interact with professionals from various sectors throughout your studies. This will provide you with opportunities to gain insights into real working environments, where Earth scientists make real contributions to our everyday lives.

This degree offers you flexibility in your studies. You'll be able to build your degree around topics you are curious or passionate about. Our staff can also help you design an interdisciplinary curriculum by choosing option courses from other disciplines.

Open to a world of possibilities

We are one of the largest and most successful groupings of Earth and environmental scientists and geographers in the UK. Many of them are world experts in their field. Our staff will incorporate the latest research in your teaching, and share our discoveries with you.

Join us as our planet and humanity face some of the biggest challenges we have ever known.

  • We have pioneered research proving human-caused greenhouse gasses are warming our planet, which helped underpin the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • We are working with major space agencies to monitor the environment using satellite data.
  • We are 16th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022.
  • We are in the world's top 50 and the UK's top 10 universities for natural sciences, environmental sciences, geology, geophysics, earth and marine sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022).
  • Learn from Earth scientists at the forefront of their fields. We are delivering world-leading research in a range of areas.
  • Enjoy access to a world of experience with our research and industry networks.
  • Get advice and guidance with our dedicated Careers Service.

Life changing field trips

Field trips are at the heart of this programme.

We know that getting out in the world is essential for understanding how it works.

We will take you beyond the classroom so that you can apply your learning to real-life situations.

Our field courses and day excursions are hard work and fun. Often they will provide some of your most memorable moments. You will have many opportunities to get your hands dirty!

For example, you could be:

  • photographing rugged coastlines and cliffs with airborne drones
  • visiting worksites to meet Earth science professionals and find out what they do
  • hunting for fossils and chatting with your professor about their work on the latest Jurassic World film
  • surrounded by Scotland’s glorious mountains, gathering evidence to unravel its unique geological history

What are the benefits of field trips?

Our hands-on approach to learning helps build your confidence and practical experience. It also gives you valuable field skills prized by employers.

For example, you will:

  • identify, record and map rocks and structures
  • learn to read a landscape, and understand the complexities of a region's geological history
  • practice model building and testing, and the handling of uncertainty
  • learn how to safely and independently work in remote areas

We have built relationships, and work with a wide network of Earth science professionals in various sectors. We will arrange for you to meet and interact with them at their work sites during our trips. This provides you with opportunities to gain insights into real working environments, where Earth scientists make significant contributions to our everyday lives.

In addition:

  • Your training leads to the opportunity to conduct your own independent research project. An experienced academic will supervise and support you through your work.

  • Field experiences help deepen your sense of community within your cohort. You will engage in a dynamic learning experience through peer learning where knowledge, ideas, and discoveries thrive.

  • Working on multidisciplinary problems prepares you for the real world, where collaborative solutions are crucial to solving local and global challenges.

Our trips also enable you to experience working with different types of field equipment. We have a range of tools and modern high-tech equipment to obtain and interpret field measurements. We want to equip you with a wide variety of in-demand practical skills by using as many types of field equipment as possible.

You will become familiar with using a range of tools and equipment, such as:

  • Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles (UAV) - also called 'drones'
  • digital mapping tools
  • geophysical instruments to acquire electrical resistivity and magnetic data
  • geophysical instruments to conduct seismic surveys

The locations and experiences of each trip will vary. We want to enrich you with a broad understanding of how the world works.

Our goal is to minimise our carbon footprint while providing you with the best training opportunities.

Our compulsory field trips or field courses are free, including travel and accommodation. To ensure our degrees are accessible and inclusive, we offer alternative learning experiences where necessary.

Want to know more?

You can find more information about field trips within our courses by accessing them through the 'Programme Structure' link.

You can also access our blog posts and videos about fieldwork experiences on the School of GeoSciences website.

What is it really like to study with us?

No one knows what it is like to study here better than the students themselves.

Our students are sharing their experiences - from studying to living in Edinburgh and everything in between.

Get social with us:

Edinburgh is your ideal base

Edinburgh is ranked 2nd in the UK and 12th in the world in the QS Best Student Cities 2022. Our vibrant capital is an irresistible blend of history and modern city life.

Edinburgh is not only a fantastic city to live in; it's also the perfect location to study the Earth and environmental sciences. Did you know that Edinburgh is the 'birthplace' of modern geology and Earth sciences?

An ancient volcano known as 'Arthur's Seat' forms part of a magnificent park in the middle of our city. And superb geological locations are right on our doorstep, providing you with world-class outdoor training grounds. Many of these sites are of scientific importance. For example, the world-famous "Hutton's Unconformity" at Siccar Point is just a short trip away.

We will help you make the most of our local surroundings throughout your studies.

Immerse yourself among rugged coastlines, misty mountains, forest glens and sparkling freshwater lochs.

It is no surprise we are regularly voted one of the most desirable places to live in the world!

Accreditation

We will apply for accreditation of this new programme with the Geological Society of London in 2022. We expect it to be completed by the start of the academic year 2023/24.

The exciting nature of Earth sciences means you will have a diverse learning experience during your years with us.

What (and how) you learn will depend on the courses you take, and the nature of the topics explored.

Your programme begins with a broad grounding of topics across Earth sciences and the environment.

You will:

  • build on this foundation while exploring new and varied topics in the following years
  • develop your increasing independence and confidence as you progress through your studies

You can find details for compulsory and option courses through the 'Programme Structure' link.

MEarthSci

The information on this page is for our 5-year Earth Sciences (MEarthSci) degree.

It follows the 4-year BSc Earth Sciences degree until the end of Year 4. The degree then requires you to take an extra year of study. You will complete an additional independent research project in Year 5.

Study pathways

Most of the courses in your first and second years are shared with our range of Earth science and environment degrees.

This gives you the flexibility to switch between degrees as you discover the subjects you like best.

You will then specialise in the subjects of your choice in later years.

Second year entry option

You have the opportunity to shorten the length of your studies by one full year.

This option may be for you if you know exactly what you want to do and are ready to study your chosen field right away. You can also fast track your career by graduating earlier.

During your first year, you will have fewer course options and flexibility.

But, you can:

  • graduate with a BSc in three years, or
  • graduate with an integrated masters (MEarthSci) in four years, or
  • graduate with a BSc, followed by a separate one-year postgraduate degree within four years

In your first year through this route, you will:

  • join the cohort of students entering their second year of study (Year 2)
  • take the same number of courses as your Year 2 peers. So there is no extra increase in your study workload
  • have fewer option courses than your Year 2 peers. Instead, you will need to complete the compulsory courses of Year 1 and Year 2 within your first year

Please note: You must be suitably qualified if you want to shorten your studies. Make sure you view the entry requirements under 'Second Year Entry' below.

Switching degrees

Our Earth science and environment degrees provide opportunities to switch between degrees in your early years. However, some later courses may not be available if you have not taken the necessary pre-requisite courses. You should discuss your interests with your Personal Tutor to ensure that these options are still available to you.

Option courses

One of the most exciting things about a Scottish undergraduate degree is option courses. You have the opportunity to take a significant number of courses outside your degree in Years 1 and 2, and in some later years.

You can choose courses related to your degree. Or you can try something completely different and new to you.

Changes to teaching and learning

We are committed to offering high-quality education to all our students. However, please be advised that there may be changes to course options and delivery. All decisions are made to ensure we can provide the highest standards for your educational experience.

Although we endeavour to provide a wide range of optional courses to choose from, these can be subject to change or cancellation at short notice. Places on optional courses can be limited due to course capacity and timetabling constraints. It may not be possible to guarantee every offer holder their top choice of optional courses.

Changes to field trips

Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including due to Covid-19. Where necessary, fieldwork will be relocated, rescheduled or alternative arrangements provided. Decisions will be made to safeguard the health and safety of our students, staff and community - and to ensure the highest standards of educational experience.

Accessibility on field trips

We are committed to making our degree as accessible and inclusive as possible. In the event that you cannot attend all trips or only some of them, we will provide alternatives with comparable learning outcomes.

Advice and guidance

We want to help you make the most of your studies with us.

We will assign you with a Personal Tutor for the duration of your degree. They will be a member of our teaching staff who provides you with individual academic guidance and support. They will assist you in mapping out a path through your studies. You will be able to discuss your course choices, degree options and get careers advice.

You can also seek help from your Personal Tutor and Student Support Team to take advantage of our University's extensive network of student-support services.

My time in Edinburgh has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I've ever had. When I chose to study here, I had decided to take a risk. Now I know that risk had paid off. I have never been more grateful to have met wonderful and interesting people. The numerous opportunities helped me see the world with a new perspective as a budding geologist. I feel very privileged to have been exposed to such a rapidly-evolving field of study and if I could, I would do it all again.

Maryam Helmi, BSc Geology

Year 1

Your programme begins with a broad grounding of topics across Earth sciences and the environment.

You will:

  • be introduced to the geosphere around us - how it affects us, and how we use it responsibly
  • learn to use important tools to interact with scientific data and build confidence in your data skills
  • develop a strong sense of purpose and a first idea of what you might want to do as an Earth science graduate

Approximately half of your courses will be in Earth science and environment on the BSc programme. Most of your compulsory subjects will be the same across our Earth sciences and environment degrees. The other half will be your chosen option courses.

Year 2

You will learn about the Earth's building blocks, their properties and how they form our planet.

We will also:

  • expand your data analysis and computational skills
  • teach you about the materials and rocks that make up the geosphere
  • introduce you to geophysics to learn how we image the Earth
  • take a field course to start building your skills in geological fieldwork.

As in Year 1, you will have significant flexibility in your option course choices.

Second year entry

If you have direct entry to Year 2, you will take a specially tailored set of courses in the first semester. But you will join the standard programme in the second semester.

Year 3

You will begin to:

  • map the bigger picture
  • integrate your knowledge
  • apply your skills
  • discover the frontiers of our knowledge about the Earth

We will complete your basic training, so you can start integrating your knowledge in a range of areas. For example, topics can include tectonics, sediment fluxes, the co-evolution of life and rock processes.

During this year, you can further your knowledge and skills in one of three ways:

  • advance your practical field skills in Earth sciences, or
  • practice subsurface investigation for sustainable energy, or
  • take an outside option course in line with the curriculum

In addition, you will gain expertise in specific topics through your option course choices.

Year 4

You will integrate the skills and knowledge you have learned during your studies. We will guide you to become an independent, expert Earth scientist.

We can help you design the year around your personal goals, allowing you to become a specialist in the field of your choice.

Your year will cover three main areas:

1. Your independent research project

This is an independent, original piece of research in your chosen specialist field. Your project can be inspired by your area of interest, aided by our world-class facilities and top scientists.

We will support you with individual supervision from an academic with experience in your chosen subject area.

2. Integrating your learning

You will advance from principles to practice to become an expert Earth scientist.

A combination of teaching and excursions will help you further integrate your knowledge and skills.

You will also meet Earth science practitioners at their workplace and learn about their jobs first-hand.

3. Your future pathway

You can further your knowledge and skills in one of two ways:

  • Your coursework can focus on specialised aspects of your degree. Our School offers tailored pathways for you to learn at the cutting-edge of various Earth science disciplines.
  • You can expand your learning through coursework in another discipline. You can take advanced courses in other disciplines from across the University. For example, you could choose economics, engineering, law or other sciences.

Year 5

You will become an independent professional capable of critical analysis and understanding of the Earth system at a high level.

A significant focus will be on conducting your own advanced research project on a topic you choose with your supervisor. You will receive individual supervision from an academic with experience in your chosen subject area.

You will produce a professional report or scientific paper depending on your project. Previous students have often had their work published.

The project provides a valuable opportunity for you to work with a partner.

For example: * industry * government organisations * non-government organisations (NGOs)

You could also join one of our own world-leading research groups.

You will also enhance your advanced skills and knowledge through: * research training * interdisciplinary fieldwork

In addition, you will have an option course choice to explore areas you are interested in beyond your degree.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2022/23)

Our facilities

You will have access to the University's facilities across all University sites.

For example:

  • laboratories
  • libraries
  • study spaces (some study spaces are open 24 hours)
  • computing facilities
  • social spaces
  • leisure facilities

Depending on the option courses you choose, you may also study at various campus locations in Edinburgh.

King's Buildings campus

Most teaching occurs within the School of GeoSciences, located at the University's King's Buildings campus. The King's Buildings (KB) is the main campus of the College of Science and Engineering.

The King's Buildings campus is around 15 minutes from central Edinburgh. It is easily accessible by bus. You can also cycle (10 minutes) or walk (25 minutes) from the central area.

The School of GeoSciences houses a wide range of cutting-edge facilities and services. We also host several collaborative centres of research excellence.

You will learn through a combination of traditional methods, including lectures, tutorials and practicals in our state-of-the-art theatres and classrooms.

We embrace a hands-on approach to learning, so you will also have plenty of access to our specialist research facilities, laboratories, supercomputers and field equipment. And yes, we have drones!

You will:

  • have access to a range of high-tech facilities, letting you analyse various types of samples

  • collect some of these samples during field excursions and for your independent research project

  • conduct field measurements using various techniques used in Earth and environmental sciences

  • have access to digital field equipment and UAV unoccupied aerial vehicles (drones) to conduct measurements using various techniques

We also have advanced computing facilities.

You will be able to:

  • perform advanced geographic information systems (GIS) analysis

  • run cutting-edge meteorological and geophysical computer models

  • make the most out of digital field mapping tools

You will become familiar with many of these facilities and techniques while studying here.

You will also be given a dedicated undergraduate student learning space during your honours years. You can use this space for your independent work, to study with others and socialise with your peers.

College of Science and Engineering

The College and University's central units provide many essential services at the King's Buildings campus.

For example:

  • library and study facilities

  • catering outlets and shops

  • our Careers Service

You can find out more about King's Buildings campus on the College of Science and Engineering website:

The Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA) runs several facilities at the King's Buildings campus, for example:

  • KB House has extensive sports and exercise facilities.
  • KB Advice Place provides a range of information for students.

A cluster of science and technology companies are also located on the campus. Many of these companies are spin-out companies based on College research. There are also start-ups which have located here to build close ties with the College.

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the School of GeoSciences and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Discover our city's landmarks, our campuses, accommodation and get video tours - all in one place.

Take a virtual tour of the School of GeoSciences

Placements

There are no compulsory placements or internships as part of this degree. But you will have ample opportunities to gain professional experience.

For example:

  • We can help you with self-arranged internships or summer work placements.
  • Your research projects in Years 4 and 5 provide the opportunity to collaborate with an external partner.

Study abroad

There are exciting opportunities to study abroad as part of the University's exchange programmes.

Many of our students spend their third year in Europe or further afield. A year abroad can give you invaluable academic and life skills.

In addition to University-wide exchanges, the School of GeoSciences has several subject-specific exchanges. We have partner universities in:

How will I learn?

The exciting nature of Earth sciences means you will have a unique learning experience throughout your years with us.

You will learn from a wide range of experienced academics at the forefront of their field. Our research-led, industry-informed teaching incorporates the latest developments in your field. By sharing our discoveries with you, we keep your degree up-to-date, diverse, and exciting.

The types of learning styles depend on the courses you choose and the nature of the topics explored.

For example, you could be:

  • discussing the evolution of life in a lecture
  • studying fossil earthquakes in hand specimens
  • using microscopes to measure the changing chemistry of crystals leading up to the eruption of a volcano
  • programming a code to plot scientific data
  • solving a set of problems with your peers
  • presenting your findings on a website, in a talk or in an essay
  • meeting Earth science professionals at their workplace

Teaching can be through a mix of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • practical classes
  • laboratory work
  • workshops
  • field trips and field courses
  • project work

You will also: * design and execute your own research dissertation project in Year 4 * conduct an advanced, extensive research project in Year 5

You can find more information about teaching methods for individual courses by accessing them through the 'Programme Structure' link.

Technical training

This degree has a hands-on approach to develop you with a range of specialist and transferable skills.

We will carefully balance:

  • data science
  • programming and computing simulations
  • use of specialist computer programmes
  • laboratory experience in a range of analytical techniques
  • observational and analytical skills in different field settings
  • geographical information systems (GIS)

You will have access to our wide range of specialist research facilities, laboratories and field equipment.

We also have cutting-edge computational facilities. They enable you to visualise and explore the scientific data created in your advanced projects.

Your training will prepare you to play a vital role in our transition into a more sustainable future.

How will you support me?

We will assign you with a Personal Tutor for the duration of your degree. They will be a member of our teaching staff who provides you with individual academic guidance and support. They will assist you in mapping out a path through your studies.

For your honours dissertation project and advanced project, you will also receive individual supervision and guidance from an academic with experience in your chosen subject area.

We also have Student Support Coordinators for additional pastoral support and to take advantage of our University's extensive network of student-support services.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a variety of ways. The types of assessment depend on the courses you choose and the nature of the topics explored.

Assessment can be through a mix of:

  • written or practical exams, including multiple-choice exercises
  • laboratory reports and field project reports
  • practical evaluation in the field or field notebooks
  • coursework such as essays
  • posters
  • individual or group projects and presentations

You may also be evaluated in computer programming exercises. Some senior honours courses and projects in Earth sciences and environment involve computational modelling elements.

We will also assess your: * presentation and scientific writing skills for your independent research project in Year 4 * advanced research project in Year 5. Your format may be a professional report or scientific paper, depending on your project.

You can find more information about assessment methods for individual courses by accessing them through the 'Programme Structure' link.

Join the next generation of Earth scientists leading the way in building a sustainable future for all.

By studying the Earth sciences, you can play a vital role in humanity's most ambitious plan for a better world.

This degree prepares you for an advanced career wherever you choose to go and allows you to make a real impact.

We ranked 4th in the UK for career prospects in the Guardian Subject Rankings in 2020 and 2021.

Our courses are tailored so you can directly convey the applied knowledge necessary to get you started in the industry. So, many of your learning activities simulate those that professionals perform in the real world.

Where do our graduates find employment?

Graduates of our previous geology degree were highly sought-after in various sectors. The vast majority moved straight into degree-related employment.

By studying this degree, a range of career opportunities are open to you.

For example, you could work in:

  • energy (including renewables)
  • natural resources
  • land and water management
  • risk and hazard management
  • environmental planning and regulation
  • environmental consultancy
  • sustainability consultancy
  • science communication and education

The skills you develop with us are also highly transferable. You can work in other sectors such as:

  • the financial sector
  • information technology
  • engineering
  • business
  • consultancy
  • government or civil service positions
  • industrial management and administration

A sustainable future

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action to address the significant global challenges of our generation.

There are seventeen overarching goals with a timeline set to 2030. Nearly all countries in the world have committed to this plan, with societies rapidly adjusting to meet these goals.

They address challenges such as:

  • climate change
  • environment
  • water
  • food inequality
  • protecting our planet
  • sustainable growth and energy supplies

Earth sciences are at the heart of these efforts.

With this degree, you can work in fields that directly contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

You can work in the energy transition and climate change mitigation sectors.

For example:

  • safe and efficient underground storage of CO2 (such as carbon capture and storage)
  • hydrogen and energy storage
  • harvesting geothermal energy
  • contributing to the circular economy
  • sustainable management of groundwater You could also use your skills in areas such as:
  • remediation of contaminated sites
  • geotechnical sector
  • geological hazard and risk management
  • urban geology for densely populated areas

Play a vital role in the climate crisis

As a world-leading University, we are driving efforts to mitigate climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy.

Our research is internationally renowned in the areas of carbon capture and storage, as well as negative emissions (also known as greenhouse gas removals). We are working within the UK and across the world on the delivery of net-zero emissions targets to meet the UN Paris Agreement.

Read some of our stories:

Data innovation

A key feature of our programme is a strong focus on developing your skills around the generation and analysis of scientific data, aided by a wide range of computational techniques. Demand is growing for these data skills across a range of employment sectors.

Along with your subject-specific skills, you will develop valuable transferable skills.

For example:

  • advanced computing and data skills
  • the ability to think in 3D and 4D
  • model building from limited datasets
  • the capability to integrate spatial and temporal information
  • understanding processes on a range of scales.
  • extrapolating hypotheses based on small data sets
  • extracting key information from complex sets of observations
  • assessing large data sets and pattern recognition in complex data
  • dealing with complex systems and uncertainties

Networks

By studying with us, you'll join one of the largest and most successful groupings of Earth and environmental scientists in the UK.

This means you will have access to our wide range of research and industry networks. We have excellent relationships with many organisations and external practitionerse. These range from local communities to government, industry, and academia.

Together, we help ensure this degree enables you to develop the competencies most prized by employers. Our links also provide you with valuable networking and potential employment opportunities. You will be able to meet and interact with professionals from various sectors throughout your studies. This will provide you with opportunities to gain insights into real working environments, where Earth scientists make real contributions to our everyday lives.

All of this ensures your degree has real-world relevance.

In a world where we are to radically reduce emissions and progress towards a low carbon economy, geology aids the transition to developing climate solutions. Through my studies, I have gained significant geological expertise, with exposure to industry. The unique combinations of topics, an array of learning styles, and the use of planet Earth as a natural laboratory together hold an irresistible appeal.

Bethan Payne, BSc Geology

Careers Service

We support you to recognise the wealth of possibilities ahead.

Our award-winning Careers Service plays an essential part in your wider student experience. We also support you after graduation.

We provide:

  • tailored advice
  • individual guidance
  • internships and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
  • access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network

We invest in your future beyond the end of your degree. Studying here is about laying the foundations for your future success. Whatever shape that takes.

Further study

Our programmes also prepare you for competitive entry into relevant postgraduate degree programmes. A significant proportion of our students progress to further postgraduate study and research.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB - BBBB by end of S5 or AABB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB - BBB.
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL - 30 points with 555 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: BBB.
  • IB: 30 points with 555 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: two of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, or Physics at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. National 5s: English at C and Mathematics at A. If you achieved a B in Mathematics, please contact the College of Science and Engineering Admissions Office via the Enquiries link below.
  • A Levels: two of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, or Physics at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4 and Mathematics at A or 7. If you achieved a B or 6 in Mathematics, please contact the College of Science and Engineering Admissions Office via the Enquiries link below.
  • IB: HL: two of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics (Analysis and approaches only) or Physics at 5. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics (Analysis and approaches only) at 5 (if not at HL). If you do not have Mathematics please contact the College of Science and Engineering Admissions Office via the Enquiries link below.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

For direct entry to second year the standard requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: Highers at AABBB to include three of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics or Physics. Plus Advanced Highers at BB to include Biology, Chemistry*, Geography, Mathematics* or Physics* (*include at least one). Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics.
  • A Levels: ABB in one set of exams to include three of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Mathematics* or Physics* (* include at least one).
  • IB: 32 points with 555 at HL to include three of Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics (Analysis and approaches only), or Physics at 5.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

SQA, GCSE and IB

For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MEarthSci Earth Sciences

Additional costs

The School of GeoSciences does not charge extra fees for compulsory field trips or field courses.

This degree involves a significant element of field study. We are proud to be able to support you as you learn practical and highly-prized skills.

Costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence on compulsory field trips are covered by the programme, thanks to the continued support of our generous alumni community.

However:

  • you are responsible for any incidental/personal expenses
  • excursions as part of optional courses entail extra fees, which vary depending on the nature of the field trip

Dissertation costs

There may be some costs associated with your dissertation research project and your advanced research project, including field costs.

You can design your dissertation project to minimise costs. The School of GeoSciences also provides a £200 allowance for using facilities to support your dissertation project in Year 4, and again for your advanced research project in Year 5.

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: GeoSciences

College: Science and Engineering