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Course summary

This degree is for you if you want to help tackle the greatest challenges facing society and the natural world. Why Earth science and geography? The world needs geographers and Earth scientists now more than ever before to help us address the climate crisis, adapt to environmental changes, and live more safely and sustainably on our dynamic Earth. Our degree will help you play a valuable role in addressing the global challenges facing our planet and society. What will I learn? This degree allows you to combine your understanding of both physical geography and Earth processes to address global challenges. It carefully balances data science, programming, and computing skills with traditional field and laboratory skills, along with a knowledge of geography and Earth science. You will learn about the structure and composition of the Earth, the deep-Earth processes that shape the Earth's surface and impact the landscape, and the associated hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides. We will build on this knowledge to explore how oceans, rivers, glaciers, and human impact define the modern and ancient landscape. We will also examine how these processes, in turn, impact society. This integrated understanding underpins leading research on global change and many of the world's most critical physical environmental challenges. We embrace a hands-on approach to learning, so you can develop in-demand practical skills. Many of your activities simulate those that professionals perform in the real world. We will also teach you sought-after computational analysis and quantitative skills that are in demand across a range of employment sectors, for example:

  • advanced data science skills
  • computing skills including programming, simulations and use of specialist software
  • computer modelling and mapping
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • laboratory experience in a range of analytical techniques
  • fieldwork in various settings
You will learn from leading national and international geographers and Earth scientists across a diverse range of fields. We help ensure your degree has real-world relevance and make you highly sought after by employers. Our links provide you with valuable networking and potential employment opportunities. You will be able to meet and interact with professionals from various sectors throughout your studies. This will provide you with opportunities to gain insights into real working environments, where Earth scientists make real contributions to our everyday lives. You will also have the opportunity to work alongside practitioners and industry experts to gain valuable experience. This degree offers you flexibility in your studies by catering to a wide range of interests across geography and the Earth sciences. You'll be able to build your degree around topics you are curious or passionate about. A unique aspect of our program is the number of optional courses we offer, particularly in your honours years. We can help you design an interdisciplinary curriculum tailored to your interests. Open to a world of possibilities We are one of the largest and most successful groups of Earth and environmental scientists and geographers in the UK. Many are world experts in their field. Our staff incorporate the latest research in your teaching, and share our discoveries.
  • We have pioneered research proving human-caused greenhouse gasses are warming our planet, helping to underpin the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • We work with major space agencies to monitor the environment using satellite data.
  • We are 16th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022.
  • We are in the world's top 50 and the UK's top 10 universities for geophysics, natural sciences, environmental sciences, geology, earth and marine sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).
  • Get advice and guidance with our dedicated Careers Service.

How to apply

This course has limited vacancies, and is no longer accepting applications from some students. See the list below for where you normally live, to check if you’re eligible to apply.






Northern Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Application codes

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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. 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.
TOEFL (iBT)92Total 92 with at least 20 in each component (including Home Edition). 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 Academic62Total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence. 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; GCSE at C or 4; Level 2 Certificate at C or IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry). We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests. English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE, or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

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

Unistats information

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

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. 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

Channel Islands £9250* Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250* Year 1
Scotland £1820* Year 1
England £9250* Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250* Year 1
Wales £9250* Year 1
EU £32200* Year 1
International £32200* Year 1

*This is a provisional fee and subject to change.

Additional fee information

Scotland (to be confirmed) In 2022-23 the fee level set by the Scottish Government was £1,820. The 2023-24 fee rate is expected to be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2023. Students must apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for payment of their tuition fees. England/Wales/Nothern Ireland - The Rest of UK (RUK) rate is yet to be confirmed and was £9,250 for 2022 entry. For 2023 entry this may increase in line with inflation and will be subject to government limits. Full time international and EU students will pay a fixed annual fee rate for the duration of their programme. The amount for 2023 entry will be confirmed in Summer 2022.
Earth Sciences and Physical Geography at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS