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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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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.

REF2014 research excellence

REF 2014 results ranked the department (in a joint submission with UCL) 6th in the UK. Research impact was considered outstanding and 90% of the department's research output was described as of high international standing.

Planetary geology is a key part of our research

Our researchers are investigating the potential for mining the Moon, landing sites for the ExoMars 2018 mission and astrobiology, the search for life in the universe.

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.

Department ranked in top ten in Complete University Guide

The Department was awarded sixth place for the study of Geology in the 2014 university and subject league tables from the Complete University Guide.

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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, MSc Geochemistry) 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 11 active research grants among our 16 academic staff. (4 NERC grants, 2 Leverhulme grants, 3 STFC grants, 1 UK Space Agency grant, 1 DEFRA grant) Find out more.

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Funding and awards

London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Projects We are one of the research centres for this PhD funding programme.

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.

Moon, Mars and Mercury research awarded grant by Science and Technology Facilities Council

A consolidated grant from STFC will support major projects led by the department's planetary science academics.

Dr Philip Pogge von Strandmann awarded 2016 Max Hey Medal

Senior Lecturer recognised for the excellence of his early career research by the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Dr Andy Beard's recent research into ureilites published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science

Research into an Antarctic ureilite (stony meteor) has implications for understanding the geological processes of our early solar system.

Birkbeck academics present recent planetary sciences research at CPS annual meeting

Seismic activity on Mars, Lunar Mission One and granitic meterorites are just some of the topics covered at this year's summer meeting.

03 December 2015 - 18:00: Get Started Postgraduate - December 2015

05 December 2015 - 11:00: Get Started Saturday - December 2015

11 December 2015 - 12:00: Earth Sciences research seminars: Carla Washborne

Part of the autumn research seminar series, hosted by UCL.

11 December 2015 - 18:00: Last day of autumn term

Online taster course
Structural Geology: Lecture 1, part 1

Online support materials
How to use a compass