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School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Undergraduate courses for entry in 2019

We offer exciting, flexible degrees that allow you to specialise and tailor your studies to your interests.

Our courses share a common first year, giving you a solid introduction to biosciences, geosciences, and environmental physics.

You can then can choose a particular combination of course units that will let you follow your own particular interest in Earth, planetary and environmental sciences.

There are nine of these pathways that you can choose from, relevant to each of our undergraduate degrees as follows:

Earth and Planetary Science (BSc and MEarthSci)

Our Earth and Planetary Science courses cover all major aspects of the earth system. The course has a common first year, allowing you to choose your degree pathway based on your experience during year 1.

In years 2 and 3 you'll follow your choice of pathway. Each pathway is defined to ensure you develop core knowledge alongside a choice of optional units.

If you're studying a four-year course, you'll carry out an extended individual research project in year 4, working alongside world-leading scientists using excellent research facilities, study subject-related units, and attend specialist lectures.

  • Mountain ridge with unusual rock formation


    The physical evolution of the Earth over geological time, as reconstructed from the rock and fossil record.

  • Woman in hard hat examining equipment

    Energy and resources

    The formation of natural resources and their sustainable and efficient exploration and extraction.

  • Close up of chemicals in beakers


    A multidisciplinary science that integrates the principles of chemistry, physics and biology to study Earth and other planets' processes and dynamics.

  • Overhanging rock overlooking a desert

    Geology and physical geography

    Processes that occur on the Earth's surface and how humans and societies have learned to exploit and protect themselves from these phenomena.

  • Dinosaur skeleton


    The study of Earth's life systems, their interplay over geological time, and the construction of the modern biosphere.

  • Representation of the inner solar system

    Planetary science

    'Comparative planetology' - understanding the Earth in terms of the other planetary systems.

Environmental Science (BSc)

Environmental Science at The University of Manchester links three fundamental science strands; biosciences, geosciences, and environmental physics.

In the first year you'll focus on understanding the evolution of the Earth's environment in terms of its atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere. During this year you'll gain a thorough grounding in the physical, chemical and biological processes that have shaped the Earth and other planets in the present day and through geological time. You'll also be introduced to the key observational, laboratory and field skills that you'll need as an Environmental scientist.

In years 2 and 3, you will tailor your studies to your own academic interests by choosing a set of units that allow you to focus on a particular aspect of the Earth's environmental system. During the final year of your degree you'll undertake a research project that is tailored to your degree pathway. You will collect data in the field and laboratory to answer a scientific question of your choice. You will also study advanced units on your chosen pathway.

  • A mountain and forest reflected in a lake

    Environmental science

    Focuses on present and future environmental challenges.

  • Clouds in a blue sky

    Atmospheric science

    The atmosphere and its relationship to the earth system, over a range of temporal and spatial scales, from weather forecasting and urban air quality to climate change.

  • Kneeling man examining rock closely

    Sustainability and conservation biology

    Study the diversity of life on Earth, how species interact and how human activities impact on natural systems.

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