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Earth Science, BSc (Hons)

University of Portsmouth, the United Kingdom

University of Portsmouth

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The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
BSc (Hons)Full-time, Sandwich3 - 4 yearsSeptemberfind outfind out

About Earth Science, BSc (Hons) - at University of Portsmouth


Earth science is critical for understanding how our planet works, and how we can use its resources responsibly to ensure a sustainable future. It underpins current efforts to move to greener energy, understand and tackle the impacts of climate change, predict and plan against natural hazards, and to build safe, sustainable and resilient cities.

On this Earth science degree course, you'll follow one of three pathways at the end of your first year:

  • Geology
  • Engineering geology
  • Environmental geology

These pathways will provide you with the skills for a career across the diverse Earth science space, either by direct entry to the workplace or by taking one of our applied Earth science Master's degrees.

The UK government has pledged to train the next generation of miners, geologists and engineers in the UK’s new Critical Minerals Strategy (, and lists a number of Earth science related roles in its Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List in this field (DavidsonMorris). Roles in this sector are expected to increase given that Earth scientists will be at the forefront of the energy transition and ensuring human interaction with the natural environment and its resources is sustainable.

Course Highlights

  • Boost your professional experience by doing a work placement
  • Conduct experiments in our Earth science labs, stocked with industry-standard Leica polarising microscopes, laser ablation geochemistry and electron microscopes
  • Examine rocks, minerals and fossils from our extensive collection
  • Develop essential skills on our fantastic field trips to world-class geological locations such as Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands, Cyprus and France, and explore local south coast geology on field trips to the Isle of Wight and the Jurassic Coast in Dorset
  • Receive financial and placement support through our industrial bursary scheme on the Engineering Geology pathway

Careers and opportunities

Careers in geology, engineering geology and environmental geology are particularly buoyant at present with demand being driven by large infrastructure projects (HS2), offshore wind projects, and nuclear power station construction. This means geologists are in high demand – in 2020, the role of geologist was added to the UK shortage occupation list.

Graduates from this course will be equipped with the skills and understanding to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the planet, such as finding and extracting natural resources, planning safe and responsible building projects, understanding past and future climate change, predicting natural hazards, and helping develop resilient cities and infrastructure.

Graduates would be equipped to seek employment in the following sectors: energy and resource exploration, geothermal, environmental monitoring and management, geotechnical engineering, engineering geology, natural hazard mitigation, teaching, or further academic research.

Graduates could progress onto Master’s level study, postgraduate teaching qualification, work towards Chartered Geologist status, or enter graduate-level employment in the sectors noted above. Our graduates would enter the job market as graduate geologists, engineering geologists, environmental geologists, mining geologists, and geotechnical engineers.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • mining geologist
  • well-site geologist
  • geotechnical engineer
  • geographical information system (GIS) mapper 
  • offshore geophysicist
  • engineering geologist
  • mineral exploration geologist
  • geo-environmental engineer
  • contaminated land technician
  • teacher

Organisations our graduates have gone on to work in include:

  • GEA
  • Gardline
  • Global Map Aid
  • National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
  • Land Referencing Services (LRS)
  • Hydrock
  • Ordnance Survey
  • Aggregate Industries UK
  • Leap Environmental
  • Hummingbird Resources

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Notes about fees for this course

Entry requirements

112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science subject (Applied Science, Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics).

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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