The degree is similar to our Earth Science BSc Honours, but includes a year of advanced study at master's level.
Earth science covers everything from the formation of rocks and minerals to the impact of human activity on the environment.
This degree prepares you for a wide range of possible careers – from geology to geomatics, and from geochemistry to environmental consultant. Whatever you choose, you'll be equipped with relevant skills in:
- experimental science
- scientific investigation
- project management
Your final year research project will deepen your knowledge and enable you to work with internationally leading researchers and professionals.
BSc or MEarthSci?
Our Earth Science degree is offered at two levels:
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Master of Earth Science (MEarthSci)
Our MEarthSci degree includes an additional year of advanced study at master’s level, where you will undertake a research project and work with leading researchers.
Quality and ranking
4th in the UK – The Guardian University Guide 2020 (in the Earth and Marine Sciences category)
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research, and course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, student feedback, or numbers of students interested in an optional module.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
Stage 1 introduces you to the key concepts of geology, remote sensing, GIS and geochemistry.
The residential field course will enable you to put your newly developed skills into practice by exploring geology and modern mining operations in the Lake District.
|Fundamentals of Surveying I||10|
Stage 2 advances your skills and knowledge. You'll be introduced to further complexity in the Earth system and explore the impacts that human activity has on the environment.
The residential field mapping course to the Isle of Arran provides training in how to identify and map geological formations.
|Pollution of Air, Water & Soil||10|
|Geographic Information Systems: Theory and Application||10|
|Applied Remote Sensing and Image Processing||10|
You explore advanced aspects of Earth science, taking advantage of our world-leading research. Specialisms such as geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry will present insights and opportunities.
Stage 3 has an international residential field course that consolidates your learning with practical experience.
|Soils in Terrestrial Ecosystems||10|
|Earth Science Dissertation||30|
In Stage 4, you will select one of five advanced specialisms from: environmental consultancy; geotechnical/engineering geology; petroleum geochemistry; hydrogeology and water management; environmental science.
You will undertake a major research project in your chosen specialism, which will enable you to develop your skills and knowledge to a professional level.
|The Environment Business||10|
|MEarthSci Earth Science Research Project||60|
Teaching and assessment
Teaching is delivered through lectures and practicals in:
- rock and mineral identification
- geological mapping
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
You will develop your hands-on, practical skills with fieldwork opportunities embedded throughout your degree.
You will be equipped with the practical skills that are sought by employers through fieldwork and access to our world-class facilities.
There are lots of opportunities to explore the environment, including:
- frequent field days, reinforcing classroom learning and helping you apply your knowledge to practical contexts
- an annual residential field course, in the UK or abroad
Current field course locations include the Lake District, the Isle of Arran and Sorbas Basin, Spain.
You'll have access to our world-class analytical laboratories, supported by our research expertise in fields such as petroleum geochemistry, biogeochemistry, global imaging systems, remote sensing and environmental impact.
You'll be able to conduct high-quality research, alongside our expert academic staff, to complement the teaching and practical classes delivered during your degree.
Chat to a student
The five-day fieldwork trip applying many of the skills we’d learnt in classes was one of the highlights of my year as I developed a much more in depth understanding of what I’d already learnt.
Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.
You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.
If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year.
This earth science degree is also available with a year's work placement, as a five-year programme.
You'll apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place in Stage 3.
You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
Placements are subject to availability.
Facilities and environment
You will be based on campus at the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and as a student of Earth and Environmental Sciences you'll have access to our world-class facilities and analytical laboratories, including:
- gas chromatography
- gas chromatography mass spectrometry
- high pressure liquid chromatography mass spectrometry
- inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
You will be taught in the new, and unique, teaching space of the Houston Laboratory: part of a £2m redevelopment of Newcastle University’s Drummond Building.
You'll benefit from the Great North Museum on campus. It's home to over 9,000 geological and mineralogical specimens, and the Mining Institute, with one of the world’s most comprehensive collections on mining engineering, is just a short walk away.
As a new student, you'll receive a tablet so you can download online learning resources, helping to make our campus more sustainable.
You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.
Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.
There's also a staff-student committee, to give you an opportunity to have a say in how your degree works.
Earth science graduates are well qualified to enter a wide range of careers and the geoscience industry has a shortage of graduates with the skills taught in this course.
You will be able to enter the global geology industry with potential careers in:
- water supply
- environmental sectors
The emerging alternative energy industry also needs these skills.
You will also develop a portfolio of graduate transferable skills that are highly valued by a wide range of employers outside the earth science sector, and which can open the door to graduate-entry programmes with major employers, such as:
- team working
- data analysis
- data interpretation
Employability at Newcastle
96% of Newcastle University graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating, with 85.5% in graduate-level employment or further study.
Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates. See what they have gone on to achieve and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
Statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation (Destinations of (undergraduate and postgraduate UK domiciled) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).
Make a difference
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ inititiative.
Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme
This degree is approved by DTUS, a Ministry of Defence sponsorship programme for students who wish to join the Royal Navy, British Army, RAF, or Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) as technical officers after graduation.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
Find out more about:
Open days and events
There's no better way to get a feel for Newcastle University than to come and visit our beautiful campus, located in one of the UK's most exciting student cities. The dates are now confirmed for our Undergraduate 2020 Open Days:
• Friday 26 June
• Saturday 27 June
• Saturday 19 September
Each open day is from 9am to 4pm.
Sign up for alerts, and we'll let you know when you can book to attend next Open Day.
You can also meet us at exhibitions across the UK.
Or you can join us for an event at our London Campus.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.