Earth Sciences and Physical Geography at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS

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Course summary

Why Earth science and geography? The world needs geographers and Earth scientists now more than ever before. For example, we need them to:

  • help us address the climate crisis
  • adapt to environmental changes
  • 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. Making a difference starts here. Are you ready? What will I learn? Our Earth Science and Physical Geography programme 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
  • 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. 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
Demand is growing for these data skills across a range of employment sectors. 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 also 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. For example, you may enjoy:
  • studying the Earth sciences but want greater flexibility in your honours years
  • studying physical geography, but also want a deeper understanding of how the Earth works
A unique aspect of our programme 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 groupings of geographers, Earth and environmental scientists in the UK.
  • 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 15th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2023.
Join us as our planet and humanity face some of the biggest challenges we have ever known.

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
  • 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.
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 Academic62Total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

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). 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, or Trinity ISE, 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:

Student Outcomes

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

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 £34800 Year 1
International £34800 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.
Earth Sciences and Physical Geography at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS