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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.

Study geology with us - benefit from our facilities and research expertise

Find the best course for you.

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.

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.

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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 12 active research grants among our 15 academic staff. (5 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.

Pioneering study uncovers significant molten rock beneath North Korean volcano

Collaborative research study may hold the key to one of the largest historical eruptions on record

Science Week 2016 to celebrate vibrancy of Birkbeck’s research community

Annual showcase to include free public talks, lab tours, panel discussions and film screening

Professor Andy Carter appointed Chief Editor of the Journal of the Geological Society of London

Birkbeck Professor takes the editorial helm of the journal from the world's oldest geological society.

Professor Hudson-Edwards awarded NERC Pathfinder grant to develop antimony remediation technology

NERC Pathfinder grant will fund evaluation of Tripuhyite Technology as a means of relieving antimony-contaminated waters.

30 May 2016 - 09:00: Spring Bank Holiday Monday

09 June 2016 - 18:00: What Employers Want: Science

14 June 2016 - 15:00: Work and Learn Fair

20 June 2016 - 18:00: An Evening with the Planets 2016

Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL and Birkbeck hosts another fascinating evening of 5 talks showcasing planetary research.

Online taster course
Structural Geology: Lecture 1, part 1

Online support materials
Using eastings and northings on a compass