The University of Edinburgh

Degree level: Undergraduate

Geophysics and Geology

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

How old is the Earth, and how has it evolved? Can we understand its innermost core through to its crust, oceans and atmosphere? How do these components interact within the Earth system? Can understanding the past help us interpret the current Earth and make future projections? If you seek answers to these questions, love getting your hands dirty and want to apply your aptitude for science to the great outdoors, then the BSc in Geophysics and Geology may be for you. Our world is facing unprecedented challenges including:

  • global climate change
  • extreme weather events and hazards
  • a growing population
  • and depleting natural resources
The need for Earth scientists has never been greater. Through this programme, you will gain an understanding of the inner workings of our planet, to safeguard its future. This degree offers you the best of both Geology and Geophysics. It integrates these subjects into an understanding of the Earth from its origin, composition and structure with an emphasis on physical processes such as gravity, seismology and magnetism. Many people confuse geology and geophysics. Both geologists and geophysicists are geoscientists who study the Earth and how it works, and the study of geology and geophysics intersects. For example, they both explore the mechanisms behind plate tectonics.
  • Geologists focus on the materialistic surface of the Earth and its evolution.
  • Geophysicists are mainly concerned about the physical processes of the Earth, such as its internal composition to the atmosphere, as well as magnetic, gravitational and electrical forces.
By studying both approaches, you will gain deeper insights into both subjects. As a student in Geology and Geophysics, you will have the opportunity to study all aspects of the Earth, from formation, planetary accretion and evolution of life through to the present-day surface and environmental processes and the impact of global climate change. Through this degree, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for employment in a diverse range of areas such as sustainable exploration, environmental protection and the management of our natural resources. You will have access to an extensive range of specialist facilities including:
  • geophysics field equipment
  • airborne drone imaging
  • geochemistry laboratories
  • high-performance computing
Edinburgh is the birthplace of Earth sciences as a scientific subject, a legacy which continues to this day through world-leading research, teaching and the communication of science. If you choose to study Geophysics and Geology at the University of Edinburgh, you will become part of an academic community in one of the leading geoscience departments in the UK and one of the top-ranked universities in the world. As a result, you will experience teaching and learning at the forefront of this knowledge and learn from one of the largest groupings of geoscientists in Europe who are undertaking world-leading research in a wide range of areas. We hope that by studying this degree, you can play an important role in our transition into a more sustainable society. Flexible options Our degree programs are flexible, allowing you to switch between Geophysics programmes at the start of your second year. Depending on your future plans, you can choose from Geophysics, Geophysics and Geology, or Geophysics and Meteorology. The course structure also makes it possible to transfer to Physics at the end of your first year. You have the option to stay an extra year and do an MEarthPhys integrated Masters. You can also choose the 'Professional Placement' option, and spend a year at an external organisation between years three and four, to graduate with an integrated masters degree.

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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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Standard Qualification Requirements

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

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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
Geophysics and Geology at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS