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Why study with us?

You can study with us as a student based in the UK or based overseas. Our department has an outstanding research record with current planetary sciences projects working on Moon and Mars expeditions, while our earth sciences research ranges from the Sahara to the South Pole.

We pride ourselves on our practical and inspirational student support with many of our students staying with us from first degree to postgraduate studies and beyond.

The Department is a member of University Geoscience UK, the subject association of geoscience departments, with links to the Geological Society.


We're recognised for excellence in teaching and learning

  • Our teaching staff are active researchers working on projects from Moon and Mars exploration to the chemistry of Earth and these investigations inform their teaching directly. Our long experience of delivering distance learning brings benefits to all students with flexible online access to course content, while our lecturers are recognised for their innovative approaches to teaching. In 2017 our geology courses were rated in the top ten nationally by the Complete University Guide.

We offer a great choice of courses and have flexible entrance requirements

  • Students of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities benefit from studying Birkbeck. We offer certificates to start your new career or provide a starting point for further study. Our undergraduate and postgraduate courses are available either face-to-face or through online/distance learning. Those who want to take their studies further may have the opportunity to join our MPhil and PhD research programmes.
    Find out which course is best for you.

    Some of our best students have come to us through unconventional study routes. Even if you don’t have ‘A’ or ‘O’ levels we'll consider your application if you’re over 21, providing you have a genuine interest in science and a commitment to study at university level. Find out more about course entrance requirements on the prospectus pages for the courses you're interested in.

Our expert online learning puts professional training within your reach

  • Our distance learning courses are an excellent way to improve your qualifications, without the weekly requirement to attend lectures in London. Many students have used them to develop or change direction in their careers.

We provide varied fieldwork opportunities

  • We know how important fieldwork is in earth and planetary sciences and our students tell us they find these experiences invaluable. You'll have the opportunity to cement your theoretical understanding of geology topics with practical experience. No amount of classroom discussion on ancient sea-beds, for example, can compare to discovering for yourself the evidence of wave ripples and fossils recorded in the rocks of a landscape.

We give you the support you need

  • We want to help our students achieve the best they can while studying with us, and we take into consideration issues relating to disability, personal or family issues. Our ‘open door’ staff access policy enables students to seek help and advice at times convenient to them.

    In addition, the  My Birkbeck site is your gateway to: learning support and academic skills training, fees and funding advice, counselling services, careers advice, disability and dyslexia support and computing services.

Our academics conduct world class research

  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) the department made a joint submission with UCL Earth Sciences and was rated 6th in the UK. This research informs much of the department’s teaching on advanced courses.

    We’re part of the UCL-Birkbeck Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences and each term joint seminars give students the chance to hear speakers from each department, as well as other institutions.

We offer evening study in a vibrant central London location

  • We are London’s leading university for part-time evening study. Whatever your daytime responsibilities and commitments – work, caring responsibilities, other projects or a mix of all three  - most of our taught programmes take place in the evenings.
    You can study for a part-time BSc degree over 4 years, or full-time over 3 years (via UCAS) or study for a part-time master's degree over 2 years, with a universally recognised University of London qualification.

    We’re based in central London in Bloomsbury (WC1) with major cultural and academic locations within a short walk, bus or tube ride. We’re also easy to get to after work – How to find us.

Our students go on to a wide range of careers