Planetary Exploration with Astronomy and Astrobiology at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS

Birkbeck, University of London

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of London

Planetary Exploration with Astronomy and Astrobiology

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Course summary

This is an exciting time to study planetary science. New data is being returned by spacecraft throughout the solar system and there is considerable scientific interest in the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. Our BSc Planetary Exploration with Astronomy and Astrobiology offers you a broad introduction to planetary science and exploration, including the geological, astronomical and astrobiological aspects. You will study subjects ranging from astronomy and astrobiology to geophysics and remote sensing. You will develop skills in the manipulation of scientific data and critical assessment of scientific hypotheses and experience actual scientific research during project work. On completion of this planetary exploration degree you will have gained:

  • knowledge of the key principles of planetary exploration and the history of space exploration
  • understanding of the astronomical context of the solar system and how this knowledge has been obtained
  • understanding of the processes involved in the geological evolution of the Earth and the other planets and their moons.
Our teaching philosophy is based around flexibility, allowing you to fit the degree around your lifestyle. We embrace new technology and methods to make our degrees accessible to all and have been running remote as well as on-campus lectures for more than 20 years. This means you can attend classes with our internationally distinguished researchers in our world-class laboratories in London or you can watch live streams/recorded lectures at home using our cutting-edge online teaching platform. You are free to mix both these methods to find the best balance for you. A number of our researchers work on current space missions with access to unique datasets. You will have the chance to work on these data as part of a research project in your final year. We also offer the option to attend field trips where you will gain further practical skills. Highlights
  • We offer you flexible teaching methods, balancing on-campus and online learning.
  • You can take part in an optional field trip to gain further practical experience and skills, including in geological mapping.
  • We are part of the joint UCL-Birkbeck Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences (IEPS) meaning we share laboratories, expertise and events, all open to students for research projects.
  • Birkbeck was ranked in the top 25 universities in the UK for its Earth Systems and Environmental Science research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • We have been offering evening study courses in the subjects of earth and planetary sciences for over 70 years and distance learning for more than 20 years.
Careers and employability A degree in planetary exploration with astronomy and astrobiology can lead to postgraduate study opportunities or careers in the following areas:
  • the developing field of extraterrestrial resources
  • education
  • museum and library work
  • publishing and broadcasting.
You will also gain a set of valuable, transferable attributes, including:
  • high-level oral and written communication skills in English, computer numerical skills and computer graphics skills
  • research skills
  • skills in evaluating and assessing different types of information
We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.


For information about course structure and the modules you will be studying, please visit Birkbeck’s online prospectus.

Assessment method

A combination of coursework and a final-year examination, generally in May or early June.

How to apply

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. We also accept other English language tests.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential. ALTERNATIVE ENTRY ROUTES Students who successfully complete Birkbeck's Certificate of Higher Education in Geology or Planetary Science with Astronomy may be considered for a place on the BSc, with the possibility of exemption from the first-year modules.

Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £6935 Year 1
Northern Ireland £6935 Year 1
Scotland £6935 Year 1
Wales £6935 Year 1
International £13215 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their course. Tuition fees for students continuing on their course in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases.
Planetary Exploration with Astronomy and Astrobiology at Birkbeck, University of London - UCAS