Undergraduate resources

General information

Key Information Sets (KIS)

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has introduced Key Information Sets (KIS) which are designed to be directly comparable sets of information about all full and part time undergraduate courses in all English Universities. They are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students trying to compare different courses from different Ins titutions. 

Programme Specifications

Current programme specifications can be found here.


Information and advice about finance, welfare, academic progress and a range of other issues.





The Scheme for the Award of Honours (SAH) is the official document that tells you what modules are being taught this year, which are done by which students, and that outlines how degree marks are calculated. If you are not sure what modules you should be taking, this is the place to start.


Competence standards

These competence standards highlight the core skills students should be able to demonstrate by the end of their programme of study in the Earth Science & Engineering Department. In addition to these competence standards all students will be expected to meet the basic academic competence standards contained within the admissions policy for their programme of study.

formal module documentation

ESESIS provides all the practical details of each module that you will normally need.


ESE is well known around the College for its lively student and staff feedback. Feedback is ongoing; it happens during practical classes, in workshops, in lectures, on fieldwork, while meeting with your tutor and in tutorials and in almost any port of your learning. You often do not notice you are getting feedback. Click here to access our feedback system - SOLE.

We also have a staff student forum where we discuss the teaching provision for undergraduates to promote excellence in all areas. You can find out more about it here.


Help and advice (new and existing students)

Funding & Scholarships

We are fully aware that times are tough for undergraduate students.  Various funding schemes are available for prospective and current undergraduate students to assist them through their studies. The awards available may change and we advise you to check this list frequently.  Students will normally be emailed prior to relevant deadlines.

RSM entrance

Departmental administered scholarships

Departmental academic awards

The department awards a number of prizes and scholarships at the end of each academic year. Students are eligible for these prizes and scholarships once they have completed their first year and are informed of their award after the release of examination results at the end of June.


Fieldwork funding

The additional costs associated with trips are included in your tuition fees.*

That means that you do not have to pay to get to your field trips, or pay expenses such as accommodation.

*All field trips in the undergraduate degrees are included in the cost of tuition, except for a contribution to food costs on fully catered trips (currently approx. £25/week) and the Year 2 independent mapping project which Geology students and some Geology and Geophysics students undertake in a location of their choice. Costs vary by location.

Rio Tinto Spain Fieldtrip

Rio Tinto will fund the first year geosciences fieldtrip to Almeria, Southern Spain, which specifically develops observational and practical skills for all first year undergraduate students.

Douglas Shearman Fund

Students who are undertaking fieldwork, and who prove financial need in March each year, are normally supported by the Douglas Shearman fund. The amount of the award is variable. Students will be contacted about this fund in Spring.

Externally administered scholarships notified by ESE

MinSouth Student

The MinSouth Sponsorship, administered by MinSouth, is available to UK students starting their second year in October 2014, in order to assist them in entering the mining industry. Students must not be in receipt of any other major scholarship or sponsorship other than student loans and educational grants. The MinSouth Sponsorship is £1,000 per year to the end of their degree, subject to satisfactory progression. The application form should be sent to the MinSouth Secretary and be accompanied by the following:

  • A letter from the Applicant outlining their interest in a career in the mining industry.
  • A letter from the student’s Personal Tutor/Academic Tutor supporting the application and providing documentation of pass marks and suitable attendance.

Deadline for applications is usually towards the end of October each year, but you will need to seek a letter of recommendation from your Personal Tutor and the signature of the Academic Tutor well in advance of this deadline

BP Scholarships

Available to all science and maths undergraduates. Students apply in first year for an annual award of £5000 per year for three years. BP scholarships are administered through the Faculty of Engineering.

Ivor Tupper Fund (Geologists Association)

Open to all Earth Sciences students. The fund is designed to give fi nancial assistance – a single award of £2000 cash annually – to a deserving undergraduate in their second, third or fourth year at university, studying Geology or Earth Sciences.The award will be made by the Council of the Geologists’ Association to the student they feel best demonstrates both a genuine commitment to the discipline and academic excellence.Nominations are made by university departments by invitation. Applications are via the Academic Tutor, by 15th November annually.

The Geological Society

Open to all Earth Sciences students, the Geological Society provide undergraduate fieldwork and research bursary opportunities. Apply by 1st February 2015 through the Geological Society of London.

Field mapping bursaries: Novas Consulting fund up to 6 bursaries (max £1500) for field mapping projects in summer 2014, linked to studies of stratigraphy, structure or sedimentary geology/processes. Topics related to the petroleum industry will be particularly favoured. Proposals for work in other topics will not be considered. Preference will be given to Candidate Fellows of the Society.

UROP bursaries

Imperial College Earth Science and Engineering UROP Bursaries: 

What is UROP? UROP provides an opportunity for students who have yet to graduate from their  degree to participate in real research. The express purpose is for the participant to acquire experience of the research undertaken by a particular member of staff or research group by either undertaking a project or developing technical skills.

Who is eligible? Undergraduate students of all years in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering are invited to apply for a bursary. This includes students who are to graduate in the same summer as doing the UROP. 

How do you find a project? You need to approach a member of staff that you think you would be interested in working with.  You can also look on the College website where individual staff sometimes put projects that they are offering. The Imperial UROP webpages also give you ideas to think about when you start to look for a project.

Found a project supervisor? Here are the rules and guidelines for applications:

  • Applications for an individual bursary are invited from students registered as Imperial College Undergraduates at the time of application and whose proposed project placement lasts at least 4 weeks (full-time).
  • Projects are typically 6 or 8 weeks, though up to 12 weeks is possible
  • Bursary values from the Imperial College Bursary scheme were ~£300/week in 2019

How do you apply for funding?

  • Information on the application procedure for Imperial College Bursaries, and notes on other possible funding sources, are provided on the Central College UROP pages. Imperial College bursary applications normally open in January and close mid-February. Your supervisor may be able to assist you with applying for funding from other sources

Registering your placement 

In addition to any bursary applications, UROP placements must be registered before they commence. See Central College information page for details.

Using the library

The department has a dedicated Librarian who works on the South Kensington Campus and is available to help all staff and students. Please visit the dedicated webpages on the Library website for full details of

  • Search tools
  • Maps and data sources
  • Help and support services:

Your librarian 

Theo Stubbs
Theo can help with:

  • Searching and finding information
  • Evaluating the information you find
  • Using and connecting to e-journals, e-books and databases
  • Referencing and reference management software
  • Using the Library and our services
  • Open access publishing

Library opening hours

The Library website has details of the opening hours for all Imperial College Libraries.

Undergraduate prizes

Undergraduate Prizes 2016-2017
Please visit the following link for details of all winners of undergraduate prizes for the 2016-17 academic year. 

Careers/Professional Development

Further information

Your future in your hands

As an Imperial College Earth Sciences graduate you will have a wide range of career paths open to you. Our graduates are renowned for being highly numerate and articulate, self-motivated and hard-working – highly desirable characteristics in a competitive job market. We encourage all students to consider their personal and professional development from when they first enter the College through to graduation - the very best students will be proactive about their own professional development.

The Prospector magazine, edited by undergraduates in ESE, showcases the amazing and varied things our students get up to during their degree. Find out more about UROPs, internships, alumni destinations and your lecturers’ research in the first edition of the Prospector, March 2018: The Prospector - Edition 1

For your professional development:
  • Sign up to jobslive through the CareersService to search for jobs, book events and more
  • Maintain an up-to-date CV
  • Keep a record of your developing transferable skills (ppt 91kb)
  • Complete your PRDP form on ESESIS
  • Check the ESESIS 'Info' tab, your emails and the careers webpages above for news about internships, jobs and careers events
  • Attend seminars and talks from visiting recruiters
  • Broaden your education and your employment prospects with Imperial Horizons
  • Become a student member of professional bodies that interest you

CVs, applications and interviews

Quick Guides to CVs, cover letters, interviews and networking.

Your CV

Your CV (Curriculum Vitae) will develop as you progress through your degree. You should start keeping one in your first year and update it often. 

  • Consider keeping a ‘master’ version where you put all your achievements. Don’t worry about how long it is and think of it as a resource for all future applications
  • From this ‘master’ create a two-page succinct CV of your most significant achievements
  • If you are applying for academic studies (MSc, PhD), industry positions and/or internships, consider making different versions of your CV that cater to each sector
  • Avoid over-padding (primary school achievements are not usually relevant)
  • Avoid under-playing. For example, work experience such as bar work shows that you are reliable (can work shifts), trustworthy and numerate (can handle money) and are a good people person
  • Check like a hawk for spelling and grammatical errors - employers hate them

Departmental CV Surgery

CV nearly there but need a few pointers? Book a 15 minute one-on-one CV Surgery with one of the Teaching Fellows (Emma PassmoreLizzie Day or Philippa Mason) or send them an electronic copy.


Cover letter

If you are only asked for a CV then it is usual to also send a cover letter. The cover letter gives you a chance to say the kinds of things that would normally go into a personal statement if you completed an application form.

  • Keep it concise – one to two pages maximum
  • Make sure you’ve addressed the person correctly, including their title
  • Use a template to achieve a professional layout

Personal statement

Your personal statement is your chance to add extra detail to your application, which enhances your CV.

  • Make sure you stick to the word limit
  • Avoid unnecessary repetition of information in your CV
  • Organise it into paragraphs, perhaps even with sub-headings


  • Remember to alert your referees when you make an application. They might be asked to supply a reference for you at short notice, so it’s courteous to give them as much warning as possible.
  • Make sure that your referee is someone who knows you academically. For example, there is no point asking your Head of Dept for a reference if you’ve never spoken to them.


Mock interviews

Can be booked through the Careers Service

Technical interviews

  • Will require specific knowledge of the role you are applying for
  • Will require specific knowledge of the company/institution - do as much research as you can beforehand
  • May incorporate a test, or a synthesis task (e.g. look at these graphs and write an explanatory paragraph about them)
  • May be conducted with several other candidates

Competency-based interviews

  • Designed to test your 'soft' skills, e.g. time management, problem-solving ability, teamworking, etc.
  • Questions may start, 'give me an example of when...', or 'tell me about a time when...'
  • Use SAR: Situation (describe); Action (what did you do?); Result (how did it end?)
  • May ask about strengths, weaknesses and problem-soving skills
  • These are often one-on-one interviews