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Environmental Geoscience

BSc (Hons)

Application options include:

Full-time Part-time
On campus

Course Overview

Birkbeck’s BSc Environmental Geoscience combines research-led teaching, hands-on fieldwork and industry-inspired experiential learning to equip you with the knowledge and skills to address today's pressing environmental challenges.

Why choose this course?

  • There is a growing need for geoscientists to help develop sustainable energy systems, reduce environmental degradation and build resilience to climate change and natural hazards. Geoscientists are crucial to selecting the right sites for underground storage of carbon, for example, or minimising the environmental impact of obtaining the rare earth metals used in wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles and storage batteries.
  • On this course you will learn the valuable technical, field, analytical and critical-thinking skills required for a career as a geoscientist, and gain a deep appreciation of the environmental challenges and linked impacts on society that your skills can contribute to solving.
  • You will also gain the knowledge, skills and experience essential in opening up a range of different career paths including in the fields of environmental management and sustainability as well as in pure geoscience, education and public understanding of science. 

What you will learn

Taught by experts in the field of geology, physical geography and planetary science, you will:

  • examine the connections between Earth's geology, geomorphology and ecology
  • develop an understanding of the Earth and its structure and development through time and place in the solar system
  • uncover the past, present and future impact of human activities on our planet
  • learn about innovative applications of geosciences in solving environmental challenges and managing the need for Earth's resources in a way that does not damage the environment.

How you will learn

The BSc Environmental Geoscience is available to study full- or part-time. It combines lectures, practical classes, problem-solving, fieldwork and group work with many modules able to be studied on campus as well as online. Teaching methods and assessments are tailored to the needs of particular modules, and we are continuously developing new and innovative teaching methods and aids.

Discover the career opportunities available by taking Environmental Geoscience (BSc (Hons)).

Key information and modules

Find another course:


  • We offer you flexible teaching methods, balancing face-to-face and online learning.
  • We share some laboratories with UCL Earth Sciences and collaborate with them on research. Find out more about our research facilities.
  • Birkbeck was rated in the top 25 universities in the UK for its Earth Systems and Environmental Science research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • We have been offering evening study courses in geology for over 130 years and distance learning for more than 20 years.
  • You may be eligible for a Legal & General Sustainable Leaders bursary

Birkbeck makes all reasonable efforts to deliver educational services, modules and programmes of study as described on our website. In the event that there are material changes to our offering (for example, due to matters beyond our control), we will update applicant and student facing information as quickly as possible and offer alternatives to applicants, offer-holders and current students.

  • Entry Requirements Entry Requirements

    Entry Requirements

    We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

    For part-time courses, standard requirements are a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent.

    UCAS tariff points

    3-years full-time: 96-120 points (e.g. A-levels CCC-BBB)

    The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence. UCAS provides a tariff calculator for you to work out what your qualification is worth within the UCAS tariff.

    English language requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests. We also accept other English language tests.

    If you don’t meet the minimum English language requirements,  or see our international study skills page for more details of how we can help.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Visa and funding requirements

    If you are not from the UK and you do not already have residency here, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration: Student visa
    • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

    International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant visa and funding requirements by country.

    Please note students receiving US Federal Aid are only able to apply for in-person, on-campus programmes which will have no elements of online study.

    Credits and accredited prior learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university (or have an HND or Foundation Degree), you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution.

  • Fees Fees


    Environmental Geoscience BSc (Hons): 3 years full-time, on campus, starting in academic year 2025-26

    Academic year 2025–26, starting September 2025

    To be confirmed

    Environmental Geoscience BSc (Hons): 4 years part-time, on campus, starting in academic year 2025-26

    Academic year 2025–26, starting September 2025

    To be confirmed

    Tuition fee and maintenance loans

    Eligible full-time and part-time students from the UK don’t have to pay any tuition fees upfront, as government loans are available to cover them.

    Maintenance loans are also available for eligible full-time and part-time UK students, to assist with covering living costs, such as accommodation, food, travel, books and study materials. The amount you receive is means-tested and depends on where you live and study and your household income.

    Find out more about tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time and part-time students at Birkbeck.

    Discover the financial support available to you to help with your studies at Birkbeck.

    International scholarships

    We provide a range of scholarships for eligible international students, including our Global Future Scholarship. Discover if you are eligible for a scholarship.

  • Teaching and Assessment Teaching and Assessment


    At Birkbeck, most of our courses are taught in the evening and all of our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    A combination of lectures, practical classes, problem-solving, fieldwork and group work.

    Teaching hours

    Our evening hours are normally between 6pm and 9pm (6-7.30pm and 7.30-9pm). Some programmes also offer teaching during the day and this will be clearly signposted to you where it is available.

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Scheduled teaching sessions may include lectures, seminars, workshops or laboratory work. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and field trips. On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project (if applicable).

    Alongside your contact hours, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. The amount of time you need to allocate to study both for taught sessions (this might include online sessions and/or in-person sessions) and personal study will depend on how much you are studying during the year and whether you are studying full time or part time.

    Birkbeck’s courses are made up of modules and allocated ‘credit’. One credit is equivalent to ten hours of learning time. Modules are usually in 15, 30 or 60 credit units. A 15-credit module will mean around 150 hours of learning, including taught sessions and independent study or group work. This is spread out over the whole period of that module and includes the time you spend on any assessments, including in examinations, preparing and writing assessments or engaged in practical work as well as any study support sessions to help you in your learning.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students is encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies.


    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.


    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Short written exercises, essays, quizzes and multiple-choice questionnaires, practical assessments, case studies and problem-solving.


  • Careers and employability Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    On successful completion of this course you will have developed the following important transferable skills:

    • technical
    • IT
    • computing
    • communication
    • organisational
    • research.

    You will be prepared to take on geoscience roles in a wide range of fields. Graduates can pursue career paths in:

    • environmental consultancy
    • environmental risk management
    • environmental planning and regulation
    • geological resource exploration, management and use
    • geological hazard assessment
    • research, museum work, teaching and public engagement.

    You may also decide to progress your studies further with our MSc Environment and Sustainability or MSc Climate Change

    We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

  • How to apply How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply via UCAS for our full-time undergraduate courses or directly to Birkbeck for our part-time undergraduate courses.

    Full-time (UCAS entry)

    If you are applying for a full-time undergraduate course at Birkbeck, you have to apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). To apply, go to the UCAS website and click on ‘Sign in’. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you can start working on your application.

    The first UCAS deadline is in January, and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. Find the exact deadline date on the UCAS website. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after the January deadline, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.


    If you are applying for a part-time undergraduate course (4 or 6 year), you apply directly to Birkbeck by using the Apply now button. You will need to prove your identity when you apply - read more about suitable forms of identification.

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in September.

    When to apply

    You are strongly advised to apply now, to ensure there are still places on your chosen course and to give you enough time to complete the admissions process, to arrange funding and to enrol.

    You don't need to complete your current programme of study before you apply - Birkbeck can offer you a place that is conditional on your results.

    You will also receive information about subject-specific induction sessions over the summer.

    Help and advice with your application

    Get all the information you need about the application, admission and enrolment process at Birkbeck.

    Our online personal statement tool will guide you through every step of writing the personal statement part of your application.

    Apply for your course

    Apply for your course using the apply now button in the key information section.

Course structure

Course structure listing

Course structure and modules for Environmental Geoscience BSc (Hons): 3 years full-time, on campus, starting September 2025

You must complete modules worth a total of 360 credits.

  • Year 1: four compulsory modules, including one introduction to field geology module
  • Year 2: two compulsory modules and four or five Level 5 option modules
  • Year 3: one compulsory module, two or three Level 6 option modules, and a project or map and thesis
Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules (choose two)
Year 2 option modules - Level 5
Year 3 compulsory module
Year 3 option modules - Level 6
BSc Environmental Geoscience project/map and thesis

Course structure and modules for Environmental Geoscience BSc (Hons): 4 years part-time, on campus, starting September 2025

You must complete modules worth a total of 360 credits.

  • Year 1: three compulsory modules
  • Year 2: one compulsory module and two to four Level 5 option modules
  • Year 3: two compulsory modules, one or two Level 5 option modules and one or two Level 6 option modules
  • Year 4: one compulsory module, one or two Level 6 option modules, and a project or map and thesis
Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules (choose one)
Year 2/3 option modules - Level 5
Year 3 compulsory modules (choose two)
Year 3/4 option modules - Level 6
Year 4 compulsory module
BSc Environmental Geoscience project/map and thesis