Earth Science BSc
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.
The flexibility of our Honours programme will enable you to choose options focused towards a range of potential careers while maintaining a very firm grounding in the core aspects of Earth Science including professional-level field skills.
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 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 other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.
Years 3 and 4
If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) 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. You will participate in several residential field classes and undertake two independent projects. You will also tailor your degree to include additional areas of particular interest chosen from a wide range of optional courses, many of which are focused on applied aspects of Earth Science.
Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Legal statements: Disclaimer.
Special Glasgow feature
You will undertake two independent Honours projects: a field-based geological mapping project and a laboratory-based research project. The latter involves the use of analytical facilities within the School (such as our state-of-the-art electron microscopes) and can lead to a genuine contribution to science.
Our international links
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. Our students have studied in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, California
and Europe. See Study abroad.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2018
- Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
- Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
- Other mandatory requirements: Minimum of one relevant science subject required. We expect that students will pass the practical assessment of A-level sciences.
- Standard academic entry requirements: S5 entry requirement = AAAA or AAABB.
- Minimum academic entry requirements: S5 minimum requirement = ABBB. S5 & S6 cumulative requirement = AAAAAB
- Other mandatory requirements: Minimum of two science subjects, one of which is relevant to the programme applied for.
We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants, from AABB at S5/S6, based upon completion of a pre-entry programme. For pre-entry programme eligibility and adjusted grade requirements, see Access Glasgow.
- Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points.
- Minimum academic entry requirements: 34 points.
- Other mandatory requirements: Three HL subjects at 6,6,5. Applicants must have a minimum of two science subjects one of which is relevant to programme applied for. While HL6 is preferred for both science subjects, SL6 may be considered for ONE.
Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: Science European Requirements [pdf]
Accepted Science subjects
Accepted Science subjects:
- Computing Science
- Engineering Science
- Environmental Science
- Human Biology
- Lifeskills Mathematics
- Mathematics of Mechanics
Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.
No prior knowledge is required, and Earth Science can be studied with many other first-year subjects.
Advanced Entry or Faster Route
Applicants who attain exceptional grades may be considered for Advanced Entry (commence their degree at year 2) or Faster Route (additional classes enabling them to condense a 4 year Honours degree into three years). The availability of Advanced Entry or Faster Route will vary by science subject and thus reduce the flexibility that a student has in selecting optional subjects.
Applicants who are interested in Advanced Entry or Faster Route should apply for year 2 (Y2) on their UCAS application. In the event that the specific subject is unavailable or their application is unsuccessful they will automatically be considered for year 1 entry without having to submit a separate UCAS application.
Indicative Grades for an applicant to be considered for Advanced Entry or Faster Route are:
- A-levels: A*AA at one sitting.
- Advanced Highers: AAA at one sitting.
- International Baccalaureate: 38 Points.
In all cases the mandatory requirements specified must also be met. All applicants should use the standard UCAS code but apply for Y2 entry.
Applicants may be invited for interview.
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*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
- IGCSE: English language: B minimum
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
- School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study
- BALEAP guide to accredited courses
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures 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:
- UK Border Agency Tier 4 English Language requirements
- UKBA list of approved English language tests [pdf]
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 see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.
Our recent Earth Science graduates are employed by organisations including:
- BAM Nuttall Ltd
- BG Group
- Iberdrola Engineering and Construction
- Mason & Evans Partnership Ltd
- Maersk Oil
Fees and funding
How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.
We offer a wide range of scholarships to our undergraduates, including both home/EU and international students. The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That’s why we’ve invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.
College of Science and Engineering Deans' Award
The College of Science and Engineering is offering six scholarships worth £10,000 each towards tuition fees for academically excellent students wishing to study an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught programme within the College’s programme portfolio.more information
RUK Access Bursary 2017 Entry
The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2017-18 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annumore information
RUK Excellence Scholarship 2017
The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent).more information
University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award
In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation or Pre-masters course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a one off tuition fee discount of £3,000more information
The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database
How to apply
The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year.
The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.
- 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or applying to Oxford or Cambridge
- 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
- 30 June: international (non-EU) students.
Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.
UCAS tariff points
The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.
How soon will I receive a decision?
We will usually respond before the end of March.
If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.
If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.
Will I be interviewed?
An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.
Is deferred entry available?
For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.
Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:
- The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
- The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.
We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.
Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.