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Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London

Welcome to Birkbeck

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

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Science Week 2017: How Antarctica became a frozen continent

April 6 - Join us to learn how and when Antarctica became a frozen continent - book your free place now!

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Make a difference to the Birkbeck student experience and take part in the National Student Survey or other BBK student surveys - #bbkyoursay

Study earth and planetary sciences with us

Benefit from our facilities, research expertise and distance learning options

Extensive fieldwork opportunities

We provide opportunities for students to participate in fieldwork at locations around the globe.

At postgraduate and MPhil/PhD level we support your independent fieldwork projects.

Study with us through distance learning

The option to study through distance learning for our undergraduate and selected postgraduate courses, helps students to combine study with their work and family commitments.

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Distance learning degrees

We offer the only distance learning degrees (BSc Geology, BSc Earth Sciences, BSc Environmental Geology, BSc Planetary Sciences with Astronomy) and certificates supported by full lecture videos (streamed over the web) and digital lecture notes.
Sample our free online taster course: Structural Geology (module 1)


We have 13 active research grants among our 16 academic staff. (5 NERC grants, 2 Leverhulme grants, 3 STFC grants, 2 UK Space Agency grants, 1 DEFRA grant) Find out more.

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Funding and awards

We are one of the research centres for the PhD London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Applications for 2017 have now closed but further opportunities will be listed later in the year.

Emily Paige Short Pioneer Fund Financial assistance for students in their academic activities beyond normal study in the area of petrology and related fields.

Tim Newling Fund Funding for field classes for both undergraduates and postgraduates.

New metal-free Earth and Planetary Sciences laboratory will support research projects

New facility is designed to enable isotopic analysis which is used to investigate past environments and the origins of the Earth.

Study provides new evidence about gas emissions from ancient North Korean volcanic eruption

Despite 946 AD Mount Paektu eruption not causing climatic disruption it may have been responsible for largest ever Sulphur release

Fossilised rivers suggest warm, wet ancient Mars

Findings of new study mean planet may once have had an environment able to support life

Jenna Lee: why studying at Birkbeck was a good career move and a great experience