Earth Science is the study of the Earth, its structure, composition, history and resources. It is concerned with the interactions of the Earth’s deep geology with surface processes, climates and natural and anthropogenic changes.
Throughout the programme you will gain a rigorous understanding of the Earth, the way it works, its properties and materials, its history, evolution and environment, and the interaction between the planet and its inhabitants.
Initially you will study the major themes of Earth Science. There are two courses in first year, covering plate tectonics, the structure of the Earth, earthquakes, volcanoes, how rocks deform, evolution of life, environmental issues, geotechnology, and exploration for oil, gas, coal and minerals.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
You will undertake four courses in the second year, building your knowledge of
- the solid Earth
- palaeobiology, and the use of fossils to reconstruct environments and climates in the past
- the surface of the Earth in the past and the present day
- the structure of the Earth, geological maps, and Earth exploration.
You will also study one or two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you successfully complete the courses in first and second years you can progress to Honours (third and fourth years).
At Honours you will study a number of core courses covering stratigraphy, petrology and geochemistry, sedimentary rocks, isotope geology, tectonic geomorphology, structural geology, geological maps, geophysics, and major earth processes, and participate in a number of residential field classes.
These are supplemented by a wide range of optional courses focusing on applied aspects of Earth Science.
At Honours level you will undertake two independent projects; one field-based geological mapping project and one laboratory-based research project. The latter involves the use of analytical facilities within the school such as state-of-the-art electron microscopes.
Our intensive fieldwork at every stage of the programme will equip you with professional-level field skills over a variety of locations. We are fortunate at Glasgow in our proximity to many world-famous geological sites, from the outstanding geology of the Scottish Highlands to superb rock exposures on the west coast and ancient volcanoes of the Hebrides.
Our industrial contacts sponsor field courses and participate directly in the teaching of some courses.
Travelling and overseas work are major features of a geoscience career and we encourage our students to take advantage of the University’s extensive exchange programmes to study abroad. In recent years our students have studied in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, California and Europe.
Our recent Earth Science graduates are employed by organisations including:
- Shell Exploration & Production, UK
- Moultrie Geology, Australia
- ATH Resources, UK
- WA Fairhurst & Partners, UK
- Anglo American plc, UK
No prior knowledge is required, and Earth Science can be studied with many other first-year subjects.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including two science subjects) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB (including two science subjects) at their first sitting WILL receive an offer from the University. This offer may be conditional (on second sitting results) or unconditional, depending on how many applications are received from students who have attained these grades.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, MAY be made to applicants who achieved between ABBB and AABB (including two science subjects) at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
Applicants who receive an offer conditional on second sitting results will be required to study Advanced Highers in relevant subjects as an integral part of their conditional offer.
A-levels: AAB, preferably with two science subjects
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
If you have exceptional A-level or Advanced Higher grades it's possible to gain exemption from Year 1 study and enter directly into Year 2 or follow a faster route advanced entry programme, both of which allow you to complete your degree in one year less than usual. See: Advanced entry
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.