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Course summary

If you have a curiosity about how the Earth works, a love of the outdoors and a desire to tackle complex world issues such as climate change, then this may be the degree for you. Geophysics is the study of physical processes through the use of physics and mathematics, applying them to the Earth. Meteorology uses similar methods and techniques to study:

  • atmospheric dynamics
  • climate change
  • meteorological phenomena
There is a strong connection between geophysics and meteorology. Many of the Earth's processes can affect our atmosphere, climate and weather - including:
  • gravity
  • heat transfer
  • ocean currents
  • volcanic eruptions
As well as being fascinating, the study of geophysics and meteorology are increasingly important to us all. The mounting impacts of global climate change and extreme weather events pose ever more significant challenges for society and the environment. Join us as we explore these critical issues by studying the physical processes of our magnificent planet - from its hot core through to its crust and oceans, atmosphere and beyond. Why Geophysics and meteorology? Geophysics and meteorology have significant impacts on the welfare of society and our world. In fact, exploration geophysics has helped us find the energy sources that have driven many of the social and economic advances over the last century. Now, these techniques are increasingly being used to safeguard our natural environment. For example:
  • gravity surveys can tell us about mass losses from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica
  • these surveys can also identify changes in the water table in regions reliant on groundwater
  • large scale global seismology has helped us to identify areas at risk from earthquakes and tsunami, saving lives
The use of Earth's natural resources is also evolving. You will:
  • learn how the applications for natural resource exploration are shifting into new and innovative technologies
  • understand these technologies, helping ensure the Earth's resources are used and disposed of more sustainably
  • benefit from the research and expertise of our academics, many of whom are at the forefront of this change
What will I learn? You will acquire a thorough grounding in geophysics, allied with an appreciation of atmospheric processes and the techniques which can be used to study them. You will learn to understand our world, so you can help safeguard its future. We will train you in the fundamental physical principles and mathematical techniques of geophysics. You will learn to apply these techniques to diverse fields, for example:
  • monitoring the Earth's changing environment and climate
  • mapping environmental pollution above and below ground
  • measuring rock and soil properties prior to civil engineering work
  • examining the exploration and production of energy and water resources
  • mineral exploration
  • understanding the behaviour of the Earth's deep interior
  • understanding how the Earth and other planets have formed and changed over their lifetime
  • studying the Earth's atmosphere including its structure, thermodynamic processes, rain formation, radiation and air pollution
  • interpreting weather systems and climate processes
Why study in Edinburgh? By studying geophysics and meteorology at the University of Edinburgh, you will:
  • join one of the top-ranked universities in the world
  • become part of an academic community in one of the leading geosciences departments in the UK
  • enjoy access to a world of experience with our research and industry networks
  • learn from leading geophysicists, climate scientists and Earth scientists at the forefront of their fields, undertaking world-leading research in a wide range of areas
By studying this degree, you can play a vital role in our transition into a more sustainable society.

How to apply

You can no longer submit a new application for courses starting in 2022.

If you already have a 2022 application and are in Clearing, you can add this course as a Clearing choice – contact the university or college first to check they have places.

Application codes

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Standard Qualification Requirements

Direct entry to second year is available. Detailed entry requirements, including typical offer levels, and information about other qualifications we accept, are available on the University of Edinburgh’s website. You’ll also find important information on how to apply. You must submit a fully completed UCAS application that includes details of the qualifications you are taking, including full predicted grades for qualifications not yet completed, your personal statement and your reference.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Please click the following link to find out more about minimum qualification requirements for this course

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6.56.5 overall with 5.5 in each component.
TOEFL (iBT)9292 or above with 20 in each section (including Special Home Edition). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
Cambridge English Advanced176 overall with 162 in each component.
Cambridge English Proficiency176 overall with 162 in each component.
Trinity ISEISE II with a distinction in all four components.

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher: SQA National 5 at C; SQA Standard Grade at 3; SQA Intermediate 1 at A; SQA Intermediate 2 at C; GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4; Level 2 Certificate Grade C or IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry). We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests. English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Full details of our English language requirements can be found on our website:

Unistats information

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £1820 Year 1
EU £30400 Year 1
International £30400 Year 1

Additional fee information

Scottish students must apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for payment of their tuition fees. EU On 9th July 2020 the decision was made by the Scottish Government to end free university tuition for European Union (EU) students starting in 2021-22. Funding policy for EU nationals and associated groups starting a course of study in academic year 2022-23 or later will be in line with international fees. Full time international and EU students will pay a fixed annual fee rate for the duration of their programme.
Geophysics and Meteorology at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS