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Fieldwork opportunities

Field classes for undergraduates

In light of the restrictions arising from the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are constantly monitoring our field class programme in line with changing limitations. We are committed to allowing our students to engage in a full fieldwork series despite this challenging situation. As a result, the 2020 Easter field classes have been postponed and will run either later in 2020 or Easter 2021.

Read more about Birkbeck's response to COVID-19.

We satisfy the Geological Society's requirement of a minimum of 60 days' fieldwork for our BSc programme.

Our annual field classes are designed to complement lectures and lab-based practical classes. You'll develop the skills you need to pursue independent research and they're also important social occasions, where students have a chance to get to know each other and their tutors. (Many a topical geological debate has been discussed into the small hours in some very remote locations around the globe!)

First-year field classes

Second-year field classes

  • When: 10-day field course around Easter.
  • Venue: Scotland or Greece.
  • Objectives: to teach essential field skills with the emphasis on training in geological mapping, so students can start independent field mapping at the end of the second year.
  • Assessed field techniques two - more details.

Third-year field classes

Field classes for planetary science students

  • These optional classes can be studied during the second and third year of your course and take place in Lanzarote.

Additional undergraduate fieldwork opportunities

BSc projects, maps and thesis

  • BSc Geology requires students to carry out a field-based map and thesis or project which comprises five-six weeks of independent fieldwork either within the UK or further afield - a supervisory tutor will be available when required. In some instances, field-based projects are acceptable. (If you're studying BSc Earth Sciences you have the option to carry out this project but it's not a requirement of this course.)
    BSc Environmental Geology includes a project which can be entirely fieldwork or can include field data collection. The subjects for this project are drawn from a wide range of human or environmental geology topics.

Weekend and day field classes and independent research

  • Weekend or day field classes are associated with some modules. Attendance at these is not compulsory. Information about these field classes will be distributed as soon as it is available by the class tutor.

At postgraduate and MPhil/PhD level you'll be able to conduct independent fieldwork with our support.