The University of Edinburgh

Degree level: Undergraduate


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Course summary

The Earth is billions of years old. What is in store for its future? Through geology, you can study our planet's fascinating history in order to predict and protect its future. This degree will enable you to learn about how the Earth was formed, how it has changed over time, and how the processes that shape our planet affect our life on it. We can ask important questions in the earth sciences such as:

  • Why is our planet able to sustain life?
  • How does the Earth's interior work, and how do these processes affect the surface?
  • Can we sustainably manage the Earth's resources?
  • Can we predict and protect against the effects of global climate change?
  • Can natural hazards such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions be understood, saving lives?
Geologists seek to understand the planet from its core through to the surface, using subjects such as chemistry, physics, biology, and physical geography. They study how to find and use the Earth's resources, as well as exploring the challenges and impacts humans have on our planet. The past, preserved in rocks, teaches us how life on Earth responded to major climate changes. By studying these changes, geologists hope to understand and prepare for future climate change scenarios. At the same time, our growing population and increasing demand for energy are affecting the planet today. Geologists can seek to develop new ways to utilise green energy resources, such as geothermal heat, to reduce our reliance on hydrocarbons. It is also geologists who can identify where to best store the energy produced through wind and solar farms, as well as other techniques. They can also advise on where to dispose of problematic wastes from chemical and nuclear industries safely. Geologists also find the raw materials in the Earth that we rely on in construction, telecommunications and many other industries. Through this degree, you will gain in-depth knowledge and vital scientific skills for a wide range of careers as a geologist, so that you can make a real difference. While studying, you will have access to the School's range of cutting-edge facilities. You will undertake the analysis and investigation of rock samples as part of your laboratory-based courses and during your dissertation. If you choose to study geology at the University of Edinburgh, you will become part of an academic community in one of the leading geosciences departments in the UK, and one of the top-ranked universities in the world. You will learn from geologists and earth scientists who are the forefront and drivers of change and are undertaking world-leading research in a wide range of areas. We hope that by studying this degree, you can play an essential role in our transition into a more sustainable society. This five-year programme follows the BSc Geology programme until the end of Year 4. In Year 5 you will develop your analytical skills and a higher level of understanding of the Earth system.

Course details

How to apply

You can no longer submit a new application for courses starting in 2021.

If you already have a 2021 application and are in Clearing, you can add this course as a Clearing choice in Track – contact the university or college first to check they have places.

Application codes

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Central area campus
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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. Full, detailed entry requirements including subject requirements, English language requirements, an explanation of typical offers, and other accepted qualifications, including international qualifications, are available on the University of Edinburgh’s website along with 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

Unistats information

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 £9250* Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250* Year 1
Wales £9250* Year 1
Channel Islands £9250* Year 1
Scotland £1820* Year 1
EU £28950 Year 1
International £28950 Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Additional fee information

Scotland In 2020 -21 the fee level set by the Scottish Government was £1,820. The 2021-22 fee rate is expected to be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2021. Students must apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for payment of their tuition fees. England/Wales/N Ireland The Rest of UK (RUK) rate is yet to be confirmed and was £9,250 for 2020 entry. For 2021 entry this may increase in line with inflation and will be subject to government limits. 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 2021-22 or later will be in line with international fees – we will provide further information as soon as we can Information for Irish national students Please note, Irish national applicants starting studies in 2021-22 will classed as ‘home’ student status as a result of the Common Travel Area agreement and therefore will be exempt from international fees. More detailed information is expected from Scottish Government. In particular, the exact fee status of Irish nationals remains subject to agreement between the devolved nations of the UK. International - Full time international students will pay a fixed annual fee rate for the duration of their programme
Geology at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS