Undergraduate Course

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

72 (September 2024 entry)

Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Earth Sciences are critical to the sustainable future of our planet and society by developing our understanding of natural hazards, sustainable development, climate change, energy, and natural resources. By nature, this exciting geoscience course covers multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary subject areas. It combines science with humanity-based disciplines such as biology, chemistry, geography, geology, informatics, natural and environmental sciences, geological sciences and physics. 

You'll take part in practical investigations and develop an appreciation of a range of scales whilst looking at the wider societal context and understanding complex relationships. You’ll also develop an understanding of natural and environmental hazards, their management, mitigation, and adaption to these hazards, such as climate change, volcanic eruptions, flooding, and earthquakes. You’ll study ore geology and mineralogy and learn how to observe, describe, and interpret minerals, rocks (including sedimentary and igneous), fossils, and structures, in the field, as hand samples, and using optical microscopy. In addition, you’ll also assess the methods being used to work toward a sustainable net zero carbon future, such as carbon sequestration, green technologies and renewable energy. 

Once you complete this degree, you’ll understand how the Earth works and have the knowledge of how it and other bodies and planets in the solar system formed and evolved over time by studying planetary science. This will instil an understanding of the Earth’s structure, interactions between the Earth, atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere, as well as the chemical, physical, and biological processes involved in these interactions. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills to address some of the biggest challenges facing society today and in the future such as sustainable energy supply, minerals to manufacture green technologies, sustainable urban areas, clean and viable water supply, and natural hazard management and mitigation. 

Destruction left behind after a flood in a fishing village.

Global reach

This course is aligned to global commitments to enhance sustainable development and decarbonise and restore the natural environment which will place new expectations on industrial sectors, infrastructure projects and government policies. You’ll develop the expertise and skills required to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other international agreements and policies like the Paris Agreement.  

Graduate with confidence

You will participate in day and residential fieldtrips to be trained in industry-specific skills such as mapping, surveying, observations and interpretations in the field, allowing you to gain experience applying theory to real world situations. Authentic exercises and opportunities to engage with industry will allow you to achieve a greater understanding of sectors within the Earth Sciences including the role they have in society and the environment. It also gives you the chance to discover potential careers you could pursue and develop the knowledge and skills required for these roles. 

This programme is designed for you to develop transferable skills ensuring you’ll be a highly skilled graduate who is trained in scientific methods that are applicable to a wide range of employment opportunities both within and outside the Earth Science sector. 

A person looking at the northern lights.

Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more

Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.

Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.

What you will study


You'll study modules such as:

  • Foundations of Geoscience
  • Organisms and their Environments
  • Academic and Practical Skills in Environmental Sciences
  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Sociology
  • Fundamental of Human Behaviour
  • Principles of Chemistry
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Resources
  • Earth Materials
  • Climate Oceans and Atmosphere
  • Evolving Earth
  • Earth Scientist's Toolkit
  • Structural Analysis
  • Volcanic and Metamorphic Systems
  • Applied Sedimentology
  • Introducing to Remote Sensing and GIS
  • Sustainable Water Resources
  • Sustainable Geological Resources
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Independent studies or Industrial Placement
  • Imaging the Earth
  • Modelling Earth Energy Systems
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Management and Risk Reduction
  • Geohazards
  • Engineering Geology

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

You'll be taught by a range of staff who are experts within their fields and research-active, incorporating their passion and enthusiasm for their specialism into their teaching and research-led learning. 

Teaching for this programme is designed to be on campus through lectures and practical laboratories. Where appropriate, teaching will also be delivered through tutorials and computer laboratories to encourage discussions and industry-specific software training.  

Each module will have associated directed study such as further reading, preparatory work, group activities and finishing exercises. Fieldwork will be embedded throughout the degree programme for you to develop imperative observation, interpretation and field skills required for future careers. This will be in the form of day trips utilising the fantastic locations here in the Midlands, such as the Peak District, the variety of industry in the area and residential field camps. 

You’ll also learn to analyse and interpret big data including climate sciences, critical mineral exploration and the green energy sector using global geophysical, geochemical and climatic datasets. 

How you are assessed 

There will be a wide range of assessments including coursework, presentations, assessed practicals and exams. 

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72
A LevelDDD (At least one of the following subjects Geology, Geography, Environmental Science, but will consider other sciences and mathematics (or equivalent qualification)
T LevelPass in Science
GCSEGCSE Maths and English are preferred, however, if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study
Access to HE Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 0, Merit: 24, Pass: 21

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year



£14,900 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


Due to the transferable nature of the skills you’ll learn, such as verbal and written communication, critical analysis, independent thought and problem solving, you'll be suitably positioned for a range of roles upon graduating. 

Careers in the Earth Sciences cover a wide range of industry sectors including: 

You can also go onto further study and enrol onto our MSc GeoEnergy course, where you'll learn transferable skills to actively contribute to the global energy transition, address climate change and gain expertise to integrate emerging and conventional technologies. 

Careers and Employment Service  

Our Careers and Employment Service can help you boost your employment skills by connecting you with employers for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. They can also offer guidance on career options, CV writing, or starting your own business. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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