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Undergraduate Study

MSci Environmental Geoscience

UCAS code F757
Duration 4 years
Entry year 2021

Web: Enquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801

Entry requirements

A level: AAA
IB: 36/666

View full entry requirements

Campus Penryn Campus
Discipline Geology


  • Designed to equip you with an advanced understanding of the geology, chemistry and physics of the Earth and to tackle global environmental challenges
  • • Gain technical experience through more than 60 days of fieldwork, as well as laboratory classes, optional industry placement and a major final-year research project
  • Study in Cornwall at Exeter’s Penryn Campus and gain access to incredible and unique local geoscience on your doorstep
  • Taught at Exeter’s Penryn campus by the Camborne School of Mines, a combined geoscience and mining department with an international reputation for research-inspired teaching
  • Excellent industrial links ensure that the skills gained will be highly valued by employers. Recent partners include: Rio Tinto, British Geological Survey, European Space Agency and CL:AIRE.

2nd in the UK for Earth and Marine Sciences

The Guardian League Table 2021

8th in the UK for Geology

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

8th in the UK for Geology

The Complete University Guide 2021

Study topics covering a range of global environmental challenges

Entry requirements

Qualification Required grades Required subjects
A-Level AAA GCE AL in two science subjects at grade A or AL Geology at grade A. GCSE Maths grade C or 4. GCE AL science includes: Biology/Human Biology*; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths*; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Statistics.
*If more than one of these is taken they would only count as one 'science' but could count as two A-levels towards our general requirements.
IB 36/666 Two sciences HL6
BTEC DDD BTEC Extended Diploma (2016) - Applicants studying one of the following new BTEC Extended Diplomas will be considered without GCE AL requirements: Applied Science, Engineering.
GCSE C or 4 Grade C or 4 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics
Contextual Offer

A-Level: BBB
IB: 30

Specific requirements must still be achieved, therefore where a grade A is required, offers will be ABC or ACC. Find out more about contextual offers.

International equivalences

View EU and international equivalences

NB General Studies is not included in any offer.

Course content

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

During your first year, which is shared with all Geology students, you will gain a solid foundation in geology and the geosciences. You will undertake nine one-day field classes to iconic and beautiful locations across Cornwall and attend a one-week residential field class in Pembrokeshire during early May.

In Year 2 you will build a detailed understanding of the science underpinning the foremost global geo-environmental challenges currently facing humankind. You will also further develop core geoscience and transferable skills ready for a graduate-level career in environmental geoscience. Your training will prepare you for an Independent Research Project (IRP) between Years 2 and 3, where you will carry out a field-based geo-environmental research project or industrial placement.

In Year 3, you will write up your Independent Research Project. Core and optional modules will deepen your knowledge on the interactions between the geology, chemistry, physics, and biology of the Earth’s environment, and how these can in turn be influenced by human activities. A ten-day residential fieldcourse is the highlight of the year, where you will explore an outstanding area of geoscience in Spain, Tenerife or Cyprus.

During year 4 you will undertake a research project on a contemporary topic of your choice, working at the forefront of science in collaboration with one of our world-class research groups. Your final year will also include an overseas field class as well as a module in research frontiers in Earth science that will introduce you to current, internationally-significant research across the geosciences.


Tuition fees for 2021 entry

UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £23,450 per year

Find out more about tuition fees and funding


Our geoscience degree programme provides a wealth of practical experience of working in the field at amazing locations across the UK and abroad.

The first year includes a six-day residential field course in Pembrokeshire along with nine one-day field-classes in Cornwall. The second year includes 34 days of fieldwork, in locations that include Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The third year includes a geological field course in Cyprus or southern Spain.

Fieldwork is assessed through field notebooks, technical reports, and practical field-based assignments.

For more information see our fieldwork pages.

Learning and teaching

Learning on campus

Learning and teaching are delivered through a combination of lectures, ‘hands on’ practical classes, seminars, tutorials, field-based teaching, and independent study. Laboratory practical classes will develop your understanding of a range of geoscience topics and help put theory into practice.

On average you will have 18 teaching hours per week and will need to undertake additional independent study (e.g., directed reading, assignments, and project work). You can expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time.

Our geoscience degrees are also flexible; you can transfer between any of our BSc and MSci geology and geoscience degrees during your first year.

Research-led culture

You will benefit from being taught by experts active in internationally-relevant research. In doing so, you will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field, and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics. You will also be taught by leading industry practitioners.


Assessment methods vary between modules and may include individual or group reports, presentations, practical write-ups and exams. More innovative assessment techniques are also used, and may include the use of websites, posters, social media, videos, science communication, and dragons-den style presentations. You must pass the first year in order to progress to the second year, but your first-year marks do not count towards your final degree classification.


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Your future

Environmental Geoscience graduates will be key to helping the global community deal with a range of environmental problems related to climate, energy, water, air pollution, natural hazards, supply of raw materials, and more.

Geology and geoscience degrees not only prepare you to tackle the world’s biggest environmental challenges, but lead to high employment rates and good salaries, with graduate opportunities in the UK and around the world. The Camborne School of Mines Association and the award-winning University of Exeter Careers Service have the skills and a strong network of alumni to help you find employment.

Employer Visits

We provide regular ‘Pint and Pasty’ employer events throughout term that allow our students to network and meet with potential employers, and learn more about possible career paths.

Career Paths

Our graduates enjoy excellent career opportunities in a range of subjects, including hydrogeology, geophysics, mineral and petroleum exploration, and environment-related industries. Graduates also go on to roles outside of geology, utilising the array of transferable skills they have developed. Recent graduates work in fields as diverse as the UK civil service, Arup Geotechnics, the National Trust, the Ministry of Defence and Geomarine Ltd.

Employer-valued skills this course develops

Career opportunities for geologists are limitless. Our programmes provide essential skills for employment in a modern workplace, including discipline specific skills like Geographical Information Systems (GIS), geological mapping and fieldwork, scientific programming, and use of technical software, in addition to transferable skills such as problem solving, communication, teamwork, leadership, and quantitative data analysis.

In particular, the MSci course provides extra skills development in independent work, research, and oral presentation, which can be applied to both industry and academia.

Geologists from the University of Exeter are recognised as being articulate, resourceful and diligent, and claim great job satisfaction and excellent salaries.

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