Geophysics at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS

Course summary

If you are curious about how our planet works and want to help solve some of our biggest global challenges, geophysics may be for you. What is geophysics? Geophysics is about understanding the complex interactions between the Earth's systems using physics. We explore everything from the Earth's core to the atmosphere. For example:

  • Studying what causes natural disasters, like earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • By using satellites and drones, we can collect data on how the Earth behaves using a process called remote sensing.
  • Understanding the physics of environmental change to find ways to reduce the harmful impact of human activity.
  • We can also predict human impacts on the rapidly changing climate by understanding how the atmosphere and oceans interact.
It is the interdisciplinarity nature of geophysics that defines much of what we do. It is also why geophysics plays an important role in creating a more sustainable future for everyone. What will I learn? Our Bachelor of Science (BSc) Geophysics will teach you to understand our world, so you can help protect its future. You will study the properties and forces, that act on planetary or inter-planetary scales. For example:
  • the microscopic properties of minerals
  • large scale forces such as gravity and magnetism
  • the inner workings of the Earth
We will train you in 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 before civil engineering work
  • carbon capture, energy storage and management of water resources
  • technological innovations to sustainably explore and manage the Earth's resources for society's needs
  • understanding the behaviour of the Earth's deep interior
  • understanding how the Earth and other planets have formed and changed over their lifetime
By studying this degree, you will learn from our wide range of experienced academics across a range of Earth science disciplines. Our research-led, industry-informed teaching makes your degree relevant to the world and helps make you highly employable We have a hands on approach to learning, so you can develop in-demand practical skills. Many of your activities are similar to what professionals do in the real world. An extraordinary reputation We are one of the largest and most successful groupings of geographers, Earth and environmental scientists in the UK, many of whom are world experts in their field.
  • We have pioneered research proving human-caused greenhouse gases are warming our planet, which helped underpin the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • We are working with major space agencies to monitor the environment using satellite data.
  • We are 22nd in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2024.
  • We are also in the world's top 50 and the UK's top 10 universities for natural sciences, environmental sciences, geology, geophysics, Earth and marine sciences, (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).
Our staff will incorporate the latest research in your teaching, and share our discoveries with you.

How to apply

Application codes

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Entry requirements

Standard Qualification Requirements

Direct entry to second year is available; see our website for entry requirements. 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)6.5Total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
TOEFL (iBT)92Total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
Cambridge English AdvancedTotal 176 with at least 162 in each component.
Cambridge English ProficiencyTotal 176 with at least 162 in each component.
Trinity ISEISE II with distinctions in all four components.
PTE Academic65Total 65 with at least 54 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies. 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). Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

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

Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Scotland £1820 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £36800 Year 1
International £36800 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 at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS