Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

Earth science is the study of the world around us. This course introduces you to a range of disciplines, from geophysics to palaeontology, and from volcanology to sedimentology. As well as attending this course at Birkbeck in central London, you can also study by distance learning via our online learning environment, so you can access course materials and recordings of lectures wherever you are in the world ' and whenever it suits you. The earth sciences cover a broad spectrum of research topics. You may have an interest in studying the evolution of life through the millennia, working with the fossil record to chart the development and extinction of species. You may be interested in looking at the dynamics involved in geohazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes. You may want to reconstruct ancient environments with an eye to addressing key environmental issues of our time, such as climate change and coastal erosion. Or you may wish to expand your general knowledge of the sciences, developing your skills of data collection and scientific analysis. Whatever your ambitions, the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences offers a wide range of study options to suit your individual needs, from 2'year Certificate in Higher Education programmes through to PhD research, and many of our programmes are available via distance learning.

Course Modules

ear 1: Compulsory modules: Earth history; foundations of mineralogy; introduction to geochemistry; introduction to geology; invertebrate palaeontology. option module: geology of the solar system. Year 2: Compulsory modules: Geophysics; igneous petrology; metamorphic petrology; principles of sedimentology; structural geology i; option module: astrobiology. Years 3 and 4: Compulsory project (which involves study of databases provided by staff or outside institutions, with the options of collecting new data through laboratory research or fieldwork); option modules include: Advanced palaeontology; chemistry and pollution of water, air and soil; earth's resources and raw materials; geochemical techniques; global tectonics; magmatic processes; palaeoecology; structural geology 2; volcanism in the solar system.

Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees
4 years
Distance Learning
BSc (Hons)
4 years
Part Time
BSc (Hons) £9,750  Academic year. First year overseas fees
4 years
Part Time
BSc (Hons) £6,750  Academic year. First year home fees

Qualifications required:

  • Mature entry
  • GCE A-level EE-AA
  • Interview