Undergraduate 

Environmental Geoscience BSc/MSci

A geyser in Iceland

Environmental Geoscience is the study of the interaction between natural and anthropogenic processes and environments. It focuses on working towards a sustainable future by understanding how humans affect, and are affected by, a range of environmental issues including climate change, water resources, pollution and landscape change.

The flexibility of our programmes will enable you to choose your specialist subject after an integrated first and second year which will prepare you for both degrees in Environmental Geoscience and Geology.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Environmental Geoscience BSc (Hons): F600 4 year degree
  • Environmental Geoscience MSci: F601 5 year degree

Why study Environmental Geoscience?

  • Fieldwork is a fundamental part of studying Environmental Geoscience at the University of Glasgow. All students undertake field classes from the first year, with field trips to Holyrood Park (Edinburgh), Fife and Arran in years one and two. In the third and fourth year, there are various residential and day field classes
  • We deliver a series of specialised courses that will uniquely prepare you for a range of careers including environmental monitoring and management, geotechnical engineering and environmental hazards
  • This programme is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Sciences (IES)
  • The School works with the Hunterian Museum, which provides students with world-class samples to work with
  • There are four fully dedicated laboratories equipped with microscopes, maps, hand-specimens, thin-sections and specialised software, available 24 hours a day
  • Travelling and overseas work are major features of a geoscience career and we encourage our students to take advantage of extensive exchange programmes to study abroad. Our students have studied in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, California and Europe; there are over 250 universities to choose from

Watch an overview of the programme from the course leader, Dr John MacDonald:

Programme structure

Years 1 & 2

You will cover fundamental environmental geoscience principles, including the evolution of life, surface processes and environments, the sustainable exploration for resources and energy, climate change, water security and waste and contaminated land management. These principles are supported by the understanding of geological concepts such as plate tectonics, the structure of the Earth, volcanoes, earthquakes, how rocks deform and the evolution of the oceans and continents. You will develop a range of spatial, analytical and computational skills.

You will participate in local field classes in both years, and a residential field class in your second year, where you will develop your practical and problem-solving skills.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2 to pursue your interests and ensure maximum flexibility; 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 past and future climates, hydrogeology, environmental geochemistry, landscape change and Quaternary geoscience, developing spatial and numerical skills in the laboratory and field. You will participate in two residential field classes and many local day field classes, and undertake an independent project in final year where you will develop and answer a research question based on data you have collected. 

Year 5

You can take Environmental Geoscience as an MSci degree, which is particularly suited to those interested in further study and centres on an extensive independent research project.

Course details

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Year 1

Core courses:

You will study the major themes of environmental geoscience, underpinned by key geological principles, using a problem-based approach to learning integrated with topical examples.

You will cover fundamental environmental geoscience principles, including the evolution of life, surface processes and environments, the sustainable exploration for resources and energy, climate change, water security, and waste and contaminated land management. These principles are supported by the understanding of geological concepts such as plate tectonics, the structure of the Earth, volcanoes, earthquakes, how rocks deform, and the evolution of the oceans and continents. You will develop a range of spatial, analytical and computational skills.

You will participate in local field classes in both years, and a residential field class in your second year, where you will develop your practical and problem-solving skills.

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Year 2

Core courses:

  • Earth Science 2A
  • Earth Science 2B

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2 to pursue your interests and ensure maximum flexibility; see Flexible degrees.

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Year 3

Core courses:

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Year 4

Core courses:

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will study a number of core courses covering past and future climates, hydrogeology, environmental geochemistry, landscape change and Quaternary geoscience, developing spatial and numerical skills in the laboratory and field.

You will participate in residential field classes and many local day field classes, as well as undertaking an independent project in your final year where you will develop and answer a research question based on data you have collected.

You will also tailor your degree to include additional areas of interest chosen from a wide range of optional courses, many of which are focused on environmental aspects of physical geography and applied environmental geoscience.

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Year 5

You can take Environmental Geoscience as an MSci degree, which is particularly suited to those interested in further study. It includes an additional year, centred on an extensive independent research project that involves the use of advanced analytical facilities in the school.

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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: Student contract.

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.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2023

Summary of entry requirements for Environmental Geoscience

SQA Higher Entry Requirements

  • BBBB at S5 will be considered. Typically S6 entrants will have AAAB at Higher. B at Advanced Higher is equivalent to A at Higher.
  • Additional requirements: Two Higher Science subjects.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S5 or S6)

  • MD20: BBBB (also other target groups*)
  • MD40: AABB*
  • Additional requirements: Two Higher Science subjects. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • BBB – BCC
  • Additional requirements: A-level Science subject at Grade B.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 36 (6,6,5 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL Science subject.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

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)

  • 6.5 with no sub-test under 6.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ib, my best or athome)

  • 90 with minimum R 20, L 19, S 19, W 23.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

PTE (Academic)

  • 60 with minimum 59 in all sub-tests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

Cambridge English Qualifications

  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE): 176 overall, no subtest less than 169

School Qualifications

  • iGCSE English or ESOL 0522/0500, grade C
  • International Baccalaureate English A SL5 or HL5
  • International Baccalaureate English B SL6 or HL5
  • SQA National 5 English or ESOL, grade B
  • SQA Higher English or ESOL, grade C
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education, English Language grade 4
  • West African Examination Council, Senior Secondary School Certificate, English grade C6

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Undergraduate degree from English speaking country (including Canada if taught in English)
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from English speaking country
  • Undergraduate 2+2 TNE degree taught in English in non-English speaking country
  • Masters degree from English speaking country
  • Masters degree (equivalent on NARIC to UK masters degree) taught in English in non-English speaking country.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

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:

FAQs

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.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


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.


Career prospects

Our recent graduates are employed by a range of organisations in the environmental sector:

  • Atkins
  • BAM Nuttall Ltd
  • BAM Ritchies
  • Equinor Hywind
  • Mason Evans
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Scottish Water.

You can read more about the careers some of our graduates have gone into on our School website:

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

BSc (Hons)

Environmental Geoscience: F600 (4 years)
KIS
Environmental Geoscience/Archaeology: FF64 (4 years)
KIS

MSci

Environmental Geoscience: F601 (5 years)
KIS

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

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.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

SQA applicants who are eligible for our Widening Participation programmes are encouraged to participate in one or more of these programmes, including Summer School, to support your application and the transition to higher education.

International students to Arts, Engineering, Law, Nursing, Science, and Social Sciences can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS. Applications to Dentistry, Education, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine must be made through UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 26 January: all other UK applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international students.

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

How to apply for Advanced Entry

Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.

Apply via UCAS

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