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F641 - Earth Science

Earth Science

BSc Honours

  • UCAS code: F641
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020

If you are interested in studying the processes that have shaped the structure and development of the Earth, this three-year BSc degree is for you.

Fees (per year)

  • UK/EU: £9250
  • International: £22800

Entry requirements

  • A Level: ABB-BBB
  • IB: 32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

Earth science covers everything from the formation of rocks and minerals to the impact of human activity on the environment.

You'll study the Earth at the molecular, micro and macro-scale, from the chemistry of a single element to the processes that shape the continents.

Your key areas of study include:

  • geology
  • geochemistry
  • geomicrobiology

Understanding how these areas interact and combine to create the complexity of the Earth system is what makes Earth science a fascinating area to study.

The practical skills you develop in geomatics – the fourth element of the degree – allow you to collect and analyse data about the world. This prepares you for diverse and in-demand careers.

Regular field days and residential field courses allow you to experience the Earth in action. You'll develop practical skills and network with Earth science 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.

READ MORE

Students examining a rock face

Quality and ranking

4th in the UK – The Guardian University Guide 2020 (in the Earth and Marine Sciences category)

Modules and learning

Modules

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 insufficient 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.

The first year introduces you to the key concepts of geology, remote sensing, GIS and geochemistry. The lectures, practical classes and field days combine to provide a foundation from which you can develop your skills.

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.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Environment and Land Resources 10
Environment and Land use Field Course 10
Academic and Professional Skills 20
Earth Systems Science 10
Earth Surface Materials 20
Introduction to the Sedimentary Record 10
Geology and GIS Field Course 10
Geographic Information Systems 10
Principles of Remote Sensing 10
Optional Modules Credits
Fundamentals of Surveying I 10
Introductory Oceanography 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 in the field.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Academic and Professional Skills 2 20
Rock Materials: the petrology of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks 10
Structural Geology 10
Global Element Cycling 10
Geological Resources 10
Geomicrobiology 10
Geological Field Mapping 20
Research Methods in Environmental Pollution 20
Optional Modules Credits
Pollution of Air, Water & Soil 10
Geographic Information Systems: Theory and Application 10
Applied Remote Sensing and Image Processing 10

You are ready to explore advanced aspects of Earth science, taking advantage of our world-leading research. Specialist topics such as geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry will present new insights and opportunities.

Stage 3 also has an international residential field course that consolidates your learning with practical experience at an advanced level.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Soils in Terrestrial Ecosystems 10
Biogeochemistry 20
Engineering Geology 10
Earth Science Dissertation 30
Optional Modules Credits
Environmental Impact Assessment 20
GNSS for Geoscientists and Engineers 10
International Field Course 20
Advanced GIS Fieldcourse 20
Geohazards and Deformation of the Earth 10
Career Development for final year students 20
Creativity and Market Research in Science and Engineering 10

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

Teaching is delivered through lectures and practicals in:

  • microscopy
  • rock and mineral identification
  • geological mapping
  • geochemistry

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Coursework

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Practical sessions

  • Projects

Skills and experience

Practical skills

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.

Research skills

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.

Otto, Earth Science student

Opportunities

Study abroad

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. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

This earth science degree is also available with a year's work placement, as a four-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.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment

Facilities

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.

Support

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.

Your future

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 on this course.

You will be able to enter the global geology industry with potential careers in:

  • mining
  • oil
  • engineering
  • 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
  • enterprise

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

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Careers support

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.

Visit our Careers Service website

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. 

Find out more about the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

A Level

ABB-BBB

International Baccalaureate

32 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

PARTNERS

The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

Visit the PARTNERS website

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. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

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)

UK Students

£9250

International Students

£22800

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.

Read more about fees and funding

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.

Read more about fees and funding

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:

Scholarships

Find out more about:

Open days and events

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.

Visit our International pages

Get in touch

By Phone

Contact us on +44 (0) 191 208 3333. We're open 9.00 to 17.00 every week day except Wednesday (10.00 to 17.00).

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