PhD students at daily morning coffee

PhD students in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London take on a wide variety of interesting, exciting and impactful work.

Projects span topics as diverse as planetary science, environmental science, solid earth science, climate science, subsurface geoscience and engineering, alternative energy systems, mineral extraction and computational science and engineering. Read more about one PhD student's research

Most applicants apply to do a specific research project, although (depending on the source of funding) students are welcome to suggest their own in consultation with potential supervisors.

Read more about the PhD career journey and the experience of our students, including doing a PhD while raising a family.



Some projects are funded through research grants held by faculty members, and these will be advertised on the departmental website as and when they become available. PhD positions funded through research grants may be available to overseas students in exceptional cases.

Other projects are eligible for funding through scholarships offered through the College or through Centres for Doctoral Training that the department participates in. The Centres offer topic-specific education and training. See further information about the availability, deadlines and eligibility criteria of all scholarships as well as lists of projects that qualify for the main scholarships.

Not all potential PhD projects listed on the website have funding associated with them, and we also welcome applications from students who have secured their own scholarship funding.

Regardless of the source of funding, interested students should begin the application process by contacting a faculty member to discuss the potential research topic. 

How to apply

Online applications should only be submitted after the potential academic supervisor has expressed sufficient interest in your application.

As we are a multidisciplinary department, we do not require applicants to necessarily hold an undergraduate degree in the Earth sciences. Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree in a field appropriate to the intended area of PhD research, with a classification of at least upper-second-class, or the equivalent.

The department admits about 40 PhD students each year. A full-time PhD at Imperial will normally take 3-4 years. 

Find out about Departmental projects by topic.

External Scholarship Opportunities


AKER SCHOLARSHIP is a grant awarded to students who want to apply for a PhD, to be eligible you must be Norwegian or have a strong link to Norway: you must have lived in Norway for several years and speak Norwegian. For further information please visit the Aker website: