Environmental Geoscience is the study of the Earth system, particularly the interaction of geology with surface processes and environments and associated natural and anthropogenic changes. Environmental Geoscience focuses on the study of past and future climate, water resources, landscape evolution, environmental and natural hazards.
You will use your understanding of the Earth system to solve real world socio-environmental problems. Previous graduates have gone on to be employed in environmental consultancies, governmental organisations, charities and engineering.
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 many day field trips as well residential courses on the Isle of Mull and in Southern Spain
- We deliver a series of specialised courses that will uniquely prepare you for a range of careers in environmental monitoring and management, geotechnical engineering and environmental hazards
- 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
- You can be part of GUESS – the University’s Earth Science Society
- 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
- EARTH SCIENCE & THE ENVIRONMENT 1X:PLANET EARTH
- EARTH SCIENCE & THE ENVIRONMENT 1Y:TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
In years 1 and 2, 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.
- EARTH SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT 2A - GEOLOGY, GEOCHEMISTRY AND GEOPHYSICS
- EARTH SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT 2B - EVOLUTION, ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND EXPLORATION
You will undertake two courses in the second year. The first course builds your knowledge of the solid Earth, focusing on key geological, geochemical and geophysical processes, and in particular the relationship between the deep Earth and crustal and surface processes. The second course develops your understanding of the evolution of Earth life and environments, changing climate and biogeochemical cycles, Earth exploration, and resource management.
You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2 to pursue your interests and ensure maximum flexibility; see Flexible degrees.
- LANDSCAPE DYNAMICS
- ENVIRONMENTAL AQUEOUS GEOCHEMISTRY
- QUATERNARY GEOSCIENCE
- INDEPENDENT ENVIRONMENTAL GEOSCIENCE DISSERTATION
- CLIMATES: PAST AND FUTURE
- GEO-ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURES
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, involving mapping and data analyses, to develop your skills in project management.
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.
You can take Environmental Geoscience as an MSci degree, which is particularly suited to those interested in further study. The MSci includes an additional year, centred on an extensive independent research project, involving mapping and data analyses to develop your skills in project management.
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.
for entry in 2021
Summary of entry requirements for Environmental Geoscience (Earth Science)
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: National 5 Maths at grade B and two Higher Science subjects.
SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)
- AABB – BBBB
- Additional requirements: National 5 Maths at grade B and two Higher Science subjects. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.
A-level Standard Entry Requirements
- BBB – BCC
- Additional requirements: A-level Science subject.
IB Standard Entry Requirements
- 38 (6,6,6 HL) – 34 (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
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 as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
- IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
- 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:
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 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:
- 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 graduates are employed by organisations including Atkins, BAM Nuttall Ltd, BAM Ritchies, Equinor Hywind, Mason Evans, Scottish Environment, RSPB, Scottish Water and SEPA.
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:
Fees and funding
How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.
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 ten 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.
Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2020 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.
RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry
The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.
RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020
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).
James McCune Smith Scholarship
The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to both current and new applicants to the University.
The Ronald and Rita McAulay Scholarship
Mr Ronald McAulay, alumnus of the University (MA 1965), and his wife Rita wish to establish a Scholarship to support students who are Hong Kong nationals wishing to take up an undergraduate course of study at the University of Glasgow.
The McAulays would like to establish a scholarship which encourages Hong Kong residents to achieve an international education, therefore the award will cover course tuition fees and a living cost stipend.
The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Science and Engineering)
The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.
All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.
The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.
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 £3,000
The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2020. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Residential Services section on the website.
We are also offering four scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £5,000 per year stipend toward living costs per year of study.
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).
International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.
- 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also 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
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.
- Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college
- Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468
- Apply at commonapp.org (international students)
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.
Environmental Geoscience students satisfied
Subject league tables
7th in UK: Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide [Geography & Environmental Science]