BSc Environmental Geoscience

University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences

Program Description

BSc Environmental Geoscience

University of Nottingham - Faculty of Social Sciences


Focusing on environmental and geological issues of societal concern, this course is unique in that it is provided in conjunction with the world-leading British Geological Survey (BGS).

Concerned with how we use natural resources, manage environmental change and ensure resilience to environmental hazards, geoscientists are experts on how we interact with the environment beneath our feet. They work to understand the Earth's processes and provide essential information for solving some of the 21st century's most pressing societal challenges, including managing resources, protecting the environment, and the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Run collaboratively with the world-leading BGS, which advises the UK government on all aspects of geoscience, this course is designed to help grow the next generation of environmental geoscience experts.

You'll get the opportunity to spend time at the BGS in nearby Keyworth, gaining practical experience and working with specialists who are currently conducting vital research on climate change, earth hazards and energy. You will go into the field with geoscientists from the BGS and the University.

"As a society, we need experts that are equipped to understand and deal with issues such as our energy and water resource needs. This course combines the BGS and University's knowledge and resources in order to equip students with the skills they need to meet the environmental geoscience challenges we face today."

Professor Mike Stephenson, Director of Science and Technology, BGS

Benefiting from state-of-the-art facilities, including specialist laboratories dedicated to the physical and chemical analysis of sediments and water, you'll also have opportunities to travel to inspirational destinations in the UK and overseas.

Year one

Designed to ensure you have the key foundation-level knowledge required for more in-depth study in years two and three, the first year of this course includes introductions to geological, atmospheric, oceanic and ecological systems. You'll develop your practical research skills with a four-day intensive residential field course in the Lake District.

Years two and three

You'll undertake core modules in geology and research techniques in your second and third years, as well as prepare a 10,000-word dissertation based on a research topic of your choice.

You will undertake fieldwork (currently in Cyprus), will be able to choose from a range of geoscience modules and can apply to spend a semester of your second year studying abroad.

Key facts

  • This course is run collaboratively with the world-leading British Geological Survey (BGS)
  • We are one of 18 institutions in the UK to have been selected to participate in the Q-Step programme, in recognition of our commitment to developing students' quantitative expertise
  • You can develop your practical skills by immersing yourself in environments of geographical interest
  • We have a range of state-of-the-art facilities for use by our students including research laboratories and resource centres
  • The School of Geography is ranked in the top 50 worldwide for geography in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Entry requirements

A levels: ABB including two science subjects (biology, chemistry, environmental science, environmental studies, geography, geology, maths, physics or closely related subjects), excluding general studies and critical thinking; a pass is required in science practical tests, if assessed separately

GCSEs: GCSE maths, 4 (C) or above

English language requirements

IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in reading, writing, speaking and listening)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK. Successful students can progress onto their chosen degree course without taking IELTS again.


Typical year one modules


  • Careers Skills for Geographers
  • Earth and Environmental Dynamics
  • Foundation Mathematics
  • Geographical Field Course
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • On Earth and Life
  • Physical Landscapes of Britain
  • Tutorial

Typical year two modules


  • Dissertation Preparation
  • Mineralogy and Petrology
  • Research Tutorial
  • Sedimentology and Palaeontology
  • Techniques in Physical Geography


  • Desert Geomorphology
  • Digital Explorers
  • Environmental Change
  • Patterns of Life
  • River Processes and Dynamics

Typical year three modules


  • Dissertation BSc
  • Geological Mapping (Cyprus field course)
  • Geological Hazards and Resources


  • Environmental Informatics and Modelling
  • Geospatial Technologies: Mobile, Augmented and Virtual
  • Global Climate Change
  • Practical River Management and Restoration (Mount St. Helens field course)
  • Quaternary Environments
  • Scale and Diversity in the Canary Islands

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

Study abroad

On this course, you can apply to spend a semester of your second year at one of our partner institutions in locations such as Australia, Canada, Europe, Singapore and the USA. You'll get the opportunity to broaden your horizons and enhance your employability by experiencing another culture and will study similar modules to your counterparts back in Nottingham.

We also offer field trips to locations such as Italy and the USA where you'll get to put your practical skills into practice, studying landscape history and urban geography.


You will have the opportunity to explore post-graduation routes to professional qualifications - such as becoming a Chartered Geologist - and, beyond that, working towards being a Specialist in Land Condition or being on the Register of Ground Engineering Professionals.

As a graduate from the University of Nottingham, you will be highly sought after, and by studying a degree in the School of Geography, you will acquire a broad skill set that will lay the foundations for your chosen career.

Employability is at the heart of our teaching, and we ensure that all of our degrees will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. Our comprehensive careers programme includes one-to-one CV workshops and employer talks from school alumni, as well as career networking events.

Our graduates go on to a wide range of careers. Some enter roles that have a direct correlation to their degree, including conservation and heritage protection and land surveying. Others secure positions that utilise their transferable skills such as management consultancy, PR, marketing and financial roles.

Recent graduates from the School of Geography have gone on to work for organisations such as the British Geological Survey, Capita, Grant Thornton, Historic England, Network Rail, Swiss Re, Teach First, and Tesla Motors.

Average starting salary and career progression

93.4% of undergraduates from the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,500 with the highest being £41,500.*

* Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 12, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
3 years
Full time
9,250 GBP
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
International fees: 18,630 GBP (HEU fees: 9,250 GBP)