University of St Andrews

Environmental Earth Sciences BSc (Hons)

University of St Andrews
In St Andrews

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Important information

Typology Bachelor's degree
Location St andrews (Scotland)
Duration 4 Years
  • Bachelor's degree
  • St andrews (Scotland)
  • Duration:
    4 Years

Environmental Earth Sciences focuses on understanding the processes that influence Earth’s surface environments and how those are modified by both natural and anthropogenic factors. The programme considers how the oceans, atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere interact to drive environmental change over a range of time scales from early Earth history to the modern era and addresses the main challenges facing society from climate change to environmental degradation.

The degree utilises aspects of geology, chemistry, physics, and biology and provides hands-on training in cutting-edge techniques central to field and lab-based studies in environmental and geobiological sciences.

Facilities (1)
Where and when



St Andrews (Fife)
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University Of St Andrews, KY16 9AJ


On request

To take into account

· What are the objectives of this course?

The BSc (Hons) in Environmental Earth Sciences is a four-year course run by the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. During your degree, you will be able to take advantage of hands-on field and laboratory-based research projects that investigate topics as varied as the isotopic signals preserved in ancient rocks to recent sediments and what they record about conditions at the time of their formation, to the impact of volcanoes on climate. In first year, you will be introduced to the main concepts of Earth system science, including Earth structure and Earth history, the evolution of life and the Earth’s biosphere, as well as contemporary processes that shape the planet’s surface and impact the living envelope. In second year, modules provide additional and deeper study into climatology, mineralogy, sedimentary systems, earth surface processes, palaeontology, geophysics and geochemistry. Alongside Environmental Earth Sciences, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two.

· Who is it intended for?

Several Honours-level modules feature lectures and laboratories run by industry professionals, providing hands-on experience with industrial problem solving. In addition, the BSc in Earth and Environmental Sciences is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences. Recent employers of BSc Environmental Earth Science graduates include: BHP Billiton BP Shell Fugro Geotechnics Ltd Scottish Environmental Protection Agency Norsk Hydro British Geological Survey Scottish Natural Heritage. The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills

· Requirements

SQA Highers AAAB, including at least two sciences from the following: Biology or Human Biology Chemistry Geography Geology Mathematics Physics. GCE A-Levels AAB, including at least one of the following subjects: Biology or Human Biology Chemistry Geography Geology Mathematics Physics.

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Course rating
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Reviews on this course

5.0 07/03/2018
What I would highlight: I love to study in this unique university, as it has a beautiful picturesque setting with plenty of extra-curricular activities avalable in the univerity itself.
What could be improved: -
Would you recommend this course?: Yes
Did this opinion help you? Yes (0)
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What you'll learn on the course

Climate Change
Climate ChangeBiogeochemical
Dynamic Earth
Planet Earth

Course programme


In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Environmental Earth Sciences alongside modules in at least one other subject.

In first year, you must complete two compulsory modules, and in second year, you must complete three compulsory modules.

1st Year

Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their first year:

  • Planet Earth: provides a foundation into the study of Earth through a study of key elements of the planet and environmental sciences.
  • Earth Resources and Environment: builds on the understanding of planet Earth gained in the Planet Earth module, with an underlying theme of the Earth's resources and environment.
2nd Year

Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year:

  • Dynamic Earth: The Earth System: reflects an up-to-date approach to understanding of the behaviour of the solid Earth and its interaction with the atmosphere and biosphere and beyond.
  • Dynamic Earth: Magma, Minerals and Metamorphism: focuses on the geology and geochemistry of the solid Earth and high temperature processes in the Earth's interior.
  • Dynamic Earth: Earth Surface Processes: focuses on the low temperature processes that occur in the outer envelopes of the Earth, including land-atmosphere interactions, glacial processes, tectonic geomorphology, geomicrobiology and oceanography.

If you decide to take Earth and Environmental Sciences in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules in hydrology, geodynamics and geophysics.

Honours modules involve key skills training and the opportunity to get first-hand experience of new research discoveries and advances in Earth Sciences.

Here is a sample of Honours modules that have been offered in previous years:

  • Petroleum Exploration and Geophysics
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Global Climate Change
  • Geochemistry
  • Processes and Product in Sedimentary Systems
  • Water in the Environment
  • Advanced Geochemistry.

In your final year, you will undertake an independent research dissertation involving field and laboratory analyses and research presentations.

The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above.

Additional information

Overseas Fee £22,350

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