Imperial College London

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (also known as Imperial College London)

Earth and Planetary Science with a Year Abroad

Course options

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Course summary

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Experience an earth and planetary science degree with an international dimension through this integrated Master’s with a year abroad. Earth and planetary scientists seek to understand the Earth and other planets through observation. Recent planetary missions and the development of new techniques are giving us radical new insights into Solar System evolution. Future exploration offers new opportunities to learn about planetary origins and evolution. This degree focuses on geological and geophysical processes in the Solar System. There is a particular emphasis on planets, moons and smaller bodies, such as asteroids and comets. As an interdisciplinary degree, you'll gain skills in geoscience, physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering and computing. First you will gain a strong theoretical and practical foundation in earth science. Then you're taught how to apply your knowledge to planetary science. By the end, you will understand how dust and gas evolved into planets such as Earth which are capable of supporting life. The foundation in earth science will emphasise the fundamentals of geology and geophysics. From this you will learn how Earth’s atmosphere, life, surface, interior and external influences operate, interact and evolve. All our courses combine a strong emphasis on observational and field skills, developed through field trips. These include modern numerical and analytical techniques required for a deep, quantitative understanding of Earth and planetary processes and systems. Our department is in involved with current and future planetary missions, providing a unique insight into mission science and the opportunity to study recently acquired data. We also emphasise the development of transferable professional skills such as group working, problem-solving, drawing inferences from incomplete data, computational methods and IT, and oral and written communication. You follow a pathway of core modules in years one and two, before studying specialised modules in the third and fourth years. Modules in the first two years are taken alongside students from other Earth Science degrees and focus on the fundamentals of the subject. You take your third year abroad. This will be at one of our partner institutions in Europe, Singapore or the USA. The details and the experience of this are bespoke to the individual student and partner university. You will always experience diverse and wide-ranging course delivered in a research-intensive environment by leaders in their subjects. You can expect an independent project during this year. Your fourth and final year involves advanced taught modules and a major research project. Many of these projects are of publishable quality, and some are published in peer-reviewed academic journals. They involve any combination of fieldwork, laboratory experiment, computer simulation, theory and practical work. During this project, you will develop your high-level transferable skills in scientific research, synthesis, analysis, collaboration and project management. This will help you to master some advanced techniques, technologies and ideas, and expose you to rigours of solving real difficult scientific and technical problems in a finite time. We place emphasis on field work across all our courses. It is a great way to apply your knowledge to the real world and learn essential skills. Our field trips are designed to help you gain experience of identifying rocks and interpreting the physical processes that may have been involved in their formation. Depending on which course you choose, you could spend over 100 days in the field. This can range from geological day trips in the UK to 10 days in the Pyrenees. Students on Geology courses spend six weeks mapping the geology of areas such as the: Greek Cyclades, French Massif Central, Pyrenees, French Alps, North West Scotland, and others.

Course details

Assessment method

Assessment methods for this course include: Written examinations Coursework Reports Poster presentation Seminars Vivas

How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeF520
Institution code I50
Campus nameMain Site
Campus code-

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

An ATAS certificate is not required for students who require a visa to study this course.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
A level AAA A in Mathematics A in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology or Physics A Other (General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted) *If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer. The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Not accepted
Access to HE Diploma Not accepted
Scottish Higher Not accepted
Scottish Advanced Higher AAA A in Mathematics A in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology or Physics A Other
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 38 points 6 in Mathematics at higher level (either syllabus) 6 in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology or Physics at higher level

Additional entry requirements


If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements and you live within reasonable travelling distance of the College you will be invited for an interview. You will be introduced to the Department, the staff, our courses, teaching facilities and methods and life at College through meeting our current students. You will have a one-to-one interview with a member of the academic staff. For overseas applicants, or those unable to visit, we may arrange a telephone interview. We place great emphasis on interview and take other qualities as well as academic ability into account when deciding whether to make you an offer. We will also take the comments of the staff member who has met you or spoken to you by telephone into account, particularly when we decide after A-levels whether to confirm our offer should you marginally fail to meet the terms of your offer.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
Cambridge English AdvancedCFor pre-2015 test, the College requires grade C overall. If your test result is 2016 onwards, the College requires 176 overall with 169 in all elements/bands
IELTS (Academic)6.5Score above refers to overall score. Additionally, a score of 6.0 is required in all bands. Results must be within 2 years of course start date in order to be valid.
PTE Academic62Score above refers to overall score. Additionally, a score of 56 is required in all bands. Results must be within 2 years of course start date in order to be valid.
TOEFL (iBT)92Score above refers to overall score. Additionally, a score of 20 is required in all bands. Results must be within 2 years of course start date in order to be valid.

For further information on the College English entry requirements and a full list of accepted tests and grade requirements, please visit the College website URL detailed below.

College English Language Entry Requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
EU £33750 Year 1
International £33750 Year 1
Channel Islands £33750 Year 1

Additional fee information

The level of tuition fees you are liable for is based on your fee status, which the College will assess based on government regulations and which may be subject to change. Information on the fee regulation frameworks can be found at: For information on tuition fees and funding, please see: For information on bursaries and scholarships, please see:
Earth and Planetary Science with a Year Abroad at Imperial College London - UCAS