Earth and Planetary Science BSc
  • Undergraduate
  • BSc

Earth and Planetary Science

Gain the geological and geophysical skills that underpin modern investigation of solid planetary bodies in the Solar System.

Gain the geological and geophysical skills that underpin modern investigation of planetary bodies

Draw on different fields – from physics and chemistry, to mathematics and engineering

Discover the science behind new planetary missions and review freshly acquired data

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • BSc

  • Duration

    3 years

  • Start date

    October 2023

  • UCAS course code

    F64B

  • Study mode

    Full-time

  • Fees

    • £9,250 Home

    • £37,900 Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • South Kensington

  • Applications: places

    4 : 1 (2021)

Minimum entry standard 2023

  • AAA (A-level)

  • 38 points (International Baccalaureate)

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Find out how solid planetary bodies are explored using geological and geophysical principles.

This degree focuses on planets, moons, asteroids, and comets, along with geological and geophysical processes in the Solar System. You will also learn about geosciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, and computing as part of an interdisciplinary degree.

During the first two years, you'll take core subjects alongside students from other Earth Science degrees.

In your third year, you can choose from optional geology or physics modules, such as astrobiology, earth systems, planetary physics, ore deposits and collisions.

As part of our courses, you'll engage in fieldwork, which allows you to put knowledge into practice and develop valuable skills.

Some students have the option to work in the field mapping the geology of areas such as the Greek Cyclades, French Massif Central, Pyrenees, French Alps, and North West Scotland.

The planetary sciences are extremely popular due to the abundance of active and upcoming missions, requiring students to know the fundamentals of geosciences but also to be familiar with current knowledge and research problems.

Structure

This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

You’ll take the following core modules.

You’ll also choose  three optional modules.

Core modules

  • Dynamic Earth and Planets
  • Stratigraphy and Geomaterials
  • Deforming the Earth
  • Physical and Surface Processes
  • Volcanism and Internal Processes
  • Programming for Geoscientists
  • Maths Methods 1
  • Geology in the Field

Optional Modules

  • Maths Methods 2 or Life over Deep Time
  • Chemistry for Geoscientists or Low Temperature Geochemistry

You’ll take the following core modules.

You’ll also take four optional modules in total. You will choose three from Group A and one from Group B.

Core modules

  • Pure and Applied Geophysics
  • Solar System Science
  • High-temperature Geochemistry
  • Maps and Structures
  • Remote Sensing Earth and Planets

Optional modules

Group A
  • Palaeontology and Optical Petrology
  • Maths for Scientists and Engineers
  • Igneous and Metamorphic Geology
  • Seismology and Numerical Methods
  • Mechanics and Waves
  • Sediments and Stratigraphy
Group B
  • Environmental Geochemistry and Climate Report
  • Rocks and Structures in the Field
  • Field Geophysics

You’ll take the following core modules.

You will choose two modules from Group A, one from Group B and four from Group C. A maximum of three of these can be level 7 modules from Group C during this year.

Core modules

  • Independent Project
  • Advanced Remote Sensing
  • I-Explore

Optional modules

Group A
  • Continental Tectonics
  • Climate
  • Near-surface Seismic Imaging
Group B
  • Integrated Advanced Field Geology
  • Seismic Processing
  • Comparative Planetary Science
Group C – Level 6

  • Mining Environmental Management
  • Ore Deposits
  • Environmental Seminars
  • Hydrogeology and Fluid Flow
  • Tectonics of the Oceans
  • Planetary Surfaces
  • Advanced Programming
  • Gravity, Magnetism and Orbital Dynamics
  • Geological and Coastal Engineering
  • Astrobiology
  • Earth Systems
  • I-Explore
Group C – Level 7
  • Planetary Chemistry
  • Planetary Physics
  • Palaeobiology
  • Palaeoceanography
  • Geohazards
  • Geodynamics
  • Applied Geomorphology
  • Collisions and Craters
  • Meteorites
  • Geophysical Inversion
  • Advanced Exploration Geophysics
  • Geological Reactive Transport
  • Minerals Processing
  • Magmatic Processes and Products

Please note, you cannot take the same module twice in different years.

Professional accreditation

Accreditation is sought from the Geological Society of London and the Royal Astronomical Society.

Our Earth and Planetary Science degrees were launched for 2019 entry. Usually, a degree can be newly accredited once the first intake of students graduate. This will be in 2022 for our first BSc students and 2023 for our first MSci students. We will seek retrospective professional accreditation for students beginning from September 2019.

Associateship

In addition to your degree, you’ll receive the Associateship of the Royal School of Mines (ARSM) upon completion of this course. This associateship is awarded by one of our historic constituent Colleges.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person at lectern giving speech
    Lectures
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial
    Tutorials
  • Field work
  • A group of people interacting
    Group exercises
  • Laboratory work

Balance of assessment

Key

  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Oral assessment

Year 1

  • 10% Coursework
  • 20% Exams
  • 70% Oral assessment

Year 2

  • 10% Coursework
  • 30% Exams
  • 60% Oral assessment

Year 3

  • 5% Coursework
  • 40% Exams
  • 55% Oral assessment

Assessment methods

  • A person completing a written exam
    Written examinations
  • Person completing coursework
    Coursework
  • Reports
  • Poster project
    Poster presentations
  • Person giving seminar
    Seminars
  • Oral assessments

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Apply via UCAS

You can start your application via UCAS Hub. There you can add this course as one of your choices and track your application.

Applications for 2023 entry are closed

Application deadlines — 25 January 2023 at 18.00 (UK time)

Tuition fees

Home fee

2023 entry

£9,250 per year

Overseas fee

2023 entry

£37,900 per year

Your future career

Globe

Develop the essential core knowledge and skills for an earth sciences career.

Man with a rocket in his mind

Become a geologist, geochemist, or geophysicist with highly sought-after skills in space-related jobs.

Cap and degree

Our graduates often pursue further study in master's programs or doctoral research.

Man standing under a sign pointing different directions

Other potential career paths include geologists, risk consultants, geophysicists, consultants and research assistants.

Course data

Compare this course

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Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications