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

Find the best course for you.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Birkbeck and the European Union

Birkbeck will continue to welcome students, staff and visitors from across the EU and further afield

Birkbeck opens new Earth and Planetary Sciences teaching lab

Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has officially opened a new petrology teaching laboratory.

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

29 August 2016 - 09:00: Summer Bank Holiday

08 September 2016 - 18:00: Get Started - September 2016

08 October 2016 - 11:00: Get Started - October 2016

03 November 2016 - 18:00: Get Started - November 2016

03 December 2016 - 11:00: Get Started - December 2016

Online taster course
Structural Geology: Lecture 1, part 1

Online support materials
Using eastings and northings on a compass