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

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Course summary

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.

Assessment method

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

How to apply

You can no longer submit a new application for courses starting in 2023.

If you already have a 2023 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

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements


If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements you will be invited to participate in an interview, which may be online. You will be introduced to the Department, the staff, our courses, teaching facilities and methods and life at College by staff and our current students. You will have an interview online with a member of the academic staff.

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

Unistats information

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £37900 Year 1

Additional fee information

For further information on fees, funding, loans and grants, see: For further information on fee status eligibility see:
Earth and Planetary Science with a Year Abroad at Imperial College London - UCAS