Undergraduate

BSc Earth Science

From climate change to clean water, geohazards to green energy: sustainability is at the core of this degree. And at Hull, you get a world of opportunities to learn first-hand on field trips. So by the time you graduate, you’ll be ready to tackle Earth’s biggest challenges.

Key information

Study mode

Full-time

Course length

3 years

Typical offer

120 points

A Level grades: BBB

UCAS code

F600

Choose an option

Start date

Course overview

Understanding how the Earth works, the forces that shape it and how we can use its resources in a sustainable way is crucial to the future of our planet.

Hull has an excellent reputation for teaching Earth Sciences. We’re #1 in the UK for overall satisfaction on this degree, according to the National Student Survey 2020.¹

From day one, you’ll be trained to become a sustainably-minded geoscientist. This is the first Earth Sciences programme in the UK to launch a Sustainability Award. Your learning is grounded in helping to secure the future of our planet.

Learning by doing is an important part of the course. Whether you’re getting your hands dirty in the labs, or treading the soil in Spain, Cyprus or the Isle of Skye. And the best bit is, all your core field trip costs are included in your tuition fees.

You’ll be highly sought after by employers. It’s no coincidence that 94% of our students go on to employment or further study 15 months after graduating.²

Once you graduate, you’ll be qualified to pursue geological careers in environmental consulting, remediation, renewable energies, exploration geology, surveying and engineering.

Or you can put the transferable practical, research and numerical skills you’ll develop to good use in a wholly different way: teaching, finance, data analysis, and more.

And because your degree is accredited by the Geological Society, you’ll be on a fast-track route to becoming a Chartered Geologist.

Our academics are ranked #3 in the UK for research impact.³

As we speak, they’re out studying the latest solutions to climate change, geological hazards, mass extinctions and volcanism. And they bring all this knowledge back to you through research-led teaching.

How will you help to protect the Earth? Start your training today.

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session

Geography, Earth Science and Environmental Science

geography-geology-environmental-science-subject-session

Six reasons to study Earth Sciences at Hull

  1. Number 1 in UK for student satisfaction with 100% score¹
  2. First UK Earth Science programme with Sustainability Award 
  3. Hands-on field trips to places like Spain, Iceland, Cyprus and the Isle of Skye 
  4. Learn from experts ranked #3 in the UK for research impact³
  5. Accredited by the Geological Society of London 
  6. 94% graduate employability rating²

What you'll study

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

First year modules

The first year of BSc Earth Science provides you with the core skills and knowledge required to become a geologist. No prior geological experience is required for entry onto this degree.

  • Compulsory

    Earth's Interior: Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

    Gain the key skill needs to accurately describe and identify geological materials. In addition, you’ll learn about the natural processes that control the formation of geological materials.

    Planet Earth

    A look at the planet we live on and its constituent systems and processes: oceans, atmosphere, biosphere and tectonics.

    Earth's Surface: Sedimentary Rocks and Fossils

    Learn the principles surrounding the formation of sedimentary rocks and the fossils held within them. You'll consider how geologists describe and use them through a series of lectures, practicals and field work.

    Earth in 3D: Maps and Structures

    Gain knowledge and experience of geological field work. We focus on understanding the 3D nature of geological structures, how to analyse them, record them and report on them.

    Understanding the Earth

    Develop fundamental skills in geological data gathering and analysis, in areas such as GIS, statistics and geophysics through a combination of lectures, practicals and field work.

    Analysing Earth’s Basins

    ​Sedimentary basins are the 'tape recorder' of past climate, sea-level and environmental change. Explore topics such as basin formation and structural development. 

Second year modules

Modules continue the core practical training, expanding geological skills and knowledge and focusing on either crustal systems or surface systems. Theory and knowledge modules focus on Earth history and the operation of the Earth system.

  • Core

    Geoscience Field Course

    This module gives you the opportunity to test your structural, sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic theoretical learning in a series of field tasks in Southern Spain.

  • Compulsory

    Igneous and Metamorphic Geology

    You’ll explore how igneous and metamorphic rocks form and learn how to interpret their histories using geochemistry, alongside your own field and lab-based project work.

    Geohazards

    Explore what constitutes a geohazard, and the specifics of a range of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, flooding, and climate-related hazards.​

    Geographical Information Systems

    Develop your understanding of the principles and processes behind GIS, the nature and use of spatial data and the application of GIS on this practical module.

    Sedimentology

    This module teaches you the skills you need to study sedimentary rocks, which record the history of planet Earth and contain the fossils that reveal the history of life. 

    Earth Evolution

    Earth is an integrated system. Tectonics, life and climate evolve together and the Earth system passes changes from one component to another in complex and diverse connections.

Year abroad modules

You spend Year 3 studying abroad at a partner university of your choice. During this year, you will follow a programme of study that will be agreed between yourself and the department prior to your departure. You will take all assessments set by the host university while you are overseas, for which marks will be awarded and a final transcript released.

Final year modules

This final year of study is dominated by the Mapping Project, which enables you to really get to grips with the geology of a single region. Optional modules enable you to receive advanced training in a set of topics within Earth sciences. You also utilise the skills you have developed over the course of your degree to plan and complete a dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor who has specialist knowledge in your area of interest.

  • Core

    Geological Mapping Dissertation

    You’ll compile a geological map and research dissertation, supported by your dissertation supervisor. You’ll be expected to complete 28 days of independent geological mapping.

  • Compulsory

    Advanced Geological Field Study

    Currently based in Cyprus, this module challenges you to integrate a wide variety of analytical skills and develop a detailed understanding of the region's geological history, evolution and structure.

  • Optional

    Earth Resources

    Gain skills and understanding in Earth resource geology. This includes mineralisation, prospecting, extraction and remediation, and the developing fields of carbon capture and sequestration, geothermal energy and “new metals”.

    Rivers and their Management

    A practical look at how we manage rivers, both in terms of the water they carry and their influence of a changing landscape.

    Geotechnologies: Advanced GIS

    Develop your geospatial analysis and modelling skills with GIS. This will provide you with key expertise when you enter the geographic job market.

    Teaching Project

    This module provides you with real world teaching experience and allows you to conduct a project with a school into an aspect of teaching and learning in your subject. 

    Palaeoenvironments

    ​This module will take you on a journey through the current Ice Age, which spans the last 2.6 million years. 

    Volcanoes and their Hazards

    Explore the key themes and current research-led understanding of volcanological processes and hazards, volcanic monitoring and management of volcanic crises around the world.

    Extinction

    Investigate and discuss questions on prehistoric, historical and contemporary extinctions, from genetic, evolutionary, ecological, paleoecological, geographical and geological perspectives.

    Environmental Impact Assessment and Monitoring

    Examine the need for and context of field-based environmental monitoring strategies for both habitats and species. By taking part in fieldwork and research, you'll monitor a range of species, habitats and environmental factors. Choose from mammals, birds, herpetofauna, insects, terrestrial vegetation, freshwater monitoring and monitoring of marine communities.

    Professional Consultancy Project

    Work with an external host organisation on a research project designed to be useful to them, while being supervised by university tutors. 

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

How you'll study

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Overall workload

312 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

888 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

8%
92%
  • Examination

    Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

288 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

912 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

7%
93%
  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

1,200 hours

Placement Placement hours typically include time spent on a work placement, studying abroad, or field trips.

Indicative assessment proportions

100%
  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Overall workload

180 hours

Scheduled study Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions.

1,020 hours

Independent study Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently.

Indicative assessment proportions

12%
88%
  • Practical

    Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

  • Coursework

    Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Almeria field trip
Elliott, Te’Jay and Tino Geology

Our field trip to Almeria in Spain

Watch video

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades BBB

  • BTEC grades DDM

  • Points required 120

Work out your estimated points

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

Points can be from any qualifications on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications
  • Applicants should have one of the following A levels at Grade C or above: Geography, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Environmental Science, Maths or Physics (or have merit or above from BTEC in Applied Science). Applicants taking the reformed A-level must also Pass the practical element. Please note the reformed subjects only apply to Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Alternative qualifications

  • IB Diploma: 30 points including 5 in one HL Science subject (Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Maths or Physics.)
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass Access to HE Diploma in a suitable science based programme with 23 credits at merit.

Worried you don’t quite meet our entry requirements?

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it’s not just about the grades – we’ll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

If you have any questions, our admissions team will be happy to help.

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

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Take a tour of the facilities

Take a 360-degree at our flume lab where you'll gain skills to help you understand how geological systems work.

Fees and funding

UK

£9,250 per year*

EU/International

£17,550 per year

International applicants may need to pay a tuition fee deposit before the start of the course. Visit our tuition fee deposit page for more information.

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

The fees shown are for 2021 entry. The fees for 2022 have not yet been confirmed and may increase.

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,488 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of our website.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Environmental Consulting
  • Remediation
  • Renewable Energies
  • Exploration Geology
  • Surveying
  • Engineering.

An Earth Science degree helps you develop transferable skills in research, data analysis and communication, which employers in a range of other areas value.

Open Day at University of Hull

Ready to apply?

You can apply for this course through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

¹ National Student Survey (NSS) 2020, HEIs only.

² UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2017/18, published by HESA 2020.

³ Geography and environmental science subject area in the Research Excellence Framework, 2014.