About this course
Explore the different processes that drive the global Earth system, on land, in the ocean, in the crust and in the atmosphere. You’ll combine geology, geography and oceanography, and develop a wide range of practical and transferable skills.
Our interdisciplinary degree will open up exciting career options in a range of fields. As an environmental geoscientist you’ll be able to assess the impact of human activity on the planet and society and work to mitigate this impact and find solutions for our future.
With this degree you'll discover the fundamental science that underpins the global Earth system. You'll study different disciplines and gain an extensive knowledge of Earth, marine and environmental sciences. You can choose to study a Geoscience or Marine pathway through this programme.
The human impact on the environment and its natural resources is an important focus for the course. In your third year you can specialise in either marine or terrestrial aspects of the Earth system.
You'll develop a variety of practical and professional skills relating to:
data collection in the field and laboratory
data interpretation and digital skills
environmental assessment and management
In Year 3 your research project will give you the chance to combine knowledge and practice working in a world-class research environment.
You’ll study at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS). It is one of the world’s largest centres devoted to research, teaching and technology development in ocean and Earth science. Here you'll have the unique opportunity to work on research projects with NOCS scientists and have access to specialist facilities.
You can download the course details, including modules, in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window.
Location and awarding body
Transfer between courses
You can transfer to the MSci Environmental Geoscience programme up to the end of year 2.
International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) offer
Please see the University of Southampton International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) StatementPDF opens in a new window (PDF, 62.17 KB) for further information.
Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Scottish Qualification offers
Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement (PDF, 111.01 KB) for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Find a list of accepted international qualifications listed by country.
This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.
Other ways to qualify
You might meet our criteria in other ways if you do not have the qualifications we need. Find out more about:
skills you might have gained through work or other life experiences (otherwise known as recognition of prior learning)
Find out more about our Admissions Policy.
The course has a 3 part structure.
Part 1 provides the foundation for your 3 years of study through several compulsory modules.
Part 2 includes further compulsory modules, along with a selection of optional modules. This will let you specialise on either the geoscience or marine pathways, and provides practical training.
In part 3 you can specialise further. You'll also apply the skills you have gained with a research project.
For full information on the geoscience and marine pathways, view the programme specification in the 'About this course' tab.
You'll take several compulsory modules. This will give you a broad grounding in key theories and techniques of:
Compulsory modules will introduce a range of topics on the interaction between the Earth system and human activity, including:
environmental impact assessment
introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
You'll develop key practical field and laboratory skills that will provide an excellent basis for further research and your career development.
You can choose from a range of optional modules, including:
coastal and estuarine oceanography
global water resources
geophysics and remote sensing
You'll complete an Environmental Geoscience project across both semesters. This will build on a range of skills and require original research under the supervision of our talented researchers and scientists.
You may choose to specialise your studies with terrestrial/Geoscience modules or marine science modules. Both include field methods courses tailored to your chosen path.
You can also choose to keep a broad course structure and take modules from both pathways.
On the Geoscience pathway you can study subjects such as:
volcanic mantle processes
geology and mineral resources
On the Marine pathway you can study topics such as:
seafloor exploration and and surveying
coastal sediment dynamics
Compulsory modules on both pathways include topics like:
environmental and engineering geology
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
Modules year 1
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 1:
Modules year 2
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 2:
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Global Climate Change: Science, Impacts and Policy
- Key Skills and Fieldwork for Geologists
- Geohazards and Earth Resources
- Introductory Geographic Information Systems
You can choose from the following optional modules in year 2:
- Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
- Methods in Oceanography
- Environmental Pollution
- Exploration Geophysics and Remote Sensing
- Sedimentary Systems and Processes
- Global Climate Change: Science, Impacts and Policy
- Environment and Sustainability
- Global Water Resources
- Monitoring Coastal and Estuarine Environments
- Coastal Ocean Processes
- Remote Sensing for Earth Observation
Modules year 3
You must take the following compulsory modules in year 3:
- Independent Research Project (Oceanography, Marine Biology)
- Environmental Field Studies
- Applied Oceanography and Fieldwork
- Environmental and Engineering Geology
- Geophysical Field Methods
- Environmental Law and Management
You can choose from the following optional modules in year 3:
- Sustainable Resource Management
- Petroleum Geology and Mineral Resources
- Air Quality and Environmental Pollution
- Communicating and Teaching in the Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme
- Volcanic and Mantle Processes
- Coastal Sediment Dynamics
- Adapting to Climate Change and Weather Hazards
- Palaeoclimate Change
- Seafloor Exploration and Surveying
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- classes and tutorials
- individual and group projects
- independent learning (studying on your own)
Support for your studies
You'll be supported by a personal academic tutor and have access to a senior tutor.
Stephen Roberts is the course leader.
How we’ll assess you
We’ll assess you using:
- coursework, laboratory reports and essays
- individual and group projects
- oral presentations
- written and practical exams
- written exams
Graduates of our Environmental Geoscience degree can expect to find work in the following areas:
environmental surveying, research and consultancy
engineering geology, construction industry and geotechnical surveying
petroleum and minerals resource industries
This degree provides a good foundation for further study and research at postgraduate level.
We host an annual careers fair at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton. Over 25 key employers attend, all looking for Southampton graduates.
Careers services at Southampton
We are a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
work experience schemes
CV and interview skills and workshops
careers fairs attended by top employers
a wealth of volunteering opportunities
study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture and our dedicated start-up supporter, Futureworlds, is open to every student.
Fees, costs and funding
You'll pay £9,250 in tuition fees for the academic year 2020 to 2021. This fee might change for further years of your course.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fees pay for the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
Find out how to:
Extra costs you might have to pay
- Approved Calculators
- Laboratory Equipment and Materials
- Software Licenses
- Computer discs or USB drives
- Printing and Photocopying Costs
See the full list of extra items and costs in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window 2020 to 2021.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees.
Bursaries, scholarships and other funding
If you're a UK or EU student and your household income is under £25,000 a year, you may be able to get a University of Southampton bursary to help with your living costs. Find out about bursaries and other funding we offer at Southampton.
If you're a care leaver or estranged from your parents, you may be able to get a specific bursary.
Get in touch for advice about student money matters.
Scholarships and grants
You may be able to get a scholarship or grant that's linked to your chosen subject area.
We award scholarships and grants for travel, academic excellence, or to students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Support during your course
The Student Services Centre offers support and advice on money to students. You may be able to access our Student Support fund and other sources of financial support during your course.
Funding for international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
Life at Southampton
The University offers a friendly, diverse and welcoming home for you while you study. You’ll work, live and socialise with students from more than 130 countries.
Clubs, societies and facilities
Our campuses have:
cafes and restaurants
a post office
Our sports facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, a gym with 140 fitness stations, squash courts, a bouldering wall, outdoor pitches and much more. There are over 80 sports clubs you could join, and activity classes including yoga and spin.
We have an internationally known theatre, concert hall, art gallery and cinema showing everything from mainstream blockbusters to international arthouse classics. You could perform at a gig, concert or show, take part in an exhibition or join a writers’ workshop. Find out more about arts and culture at Southampton.
Whatever your passion or community, you can find like-minded people at one of the Students’ Union clubs and societies. There are more than 200 to join, and social activities in every hall of residence.
Support while you study
We aim to help you deal with any problems you might come across, so you can make the most of your time at university. We offer support with:
mental health, learning difficulties and disability
money and accommodation
computers and IT
How to apply
When you apply use:
UCAS Course Code: F650
UCAS Institution Code: S27
What happens after you apply
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- predicted grades
- academic achievements
- personal statement
- academic reference
We aim to respond to you within 2 to 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.