Fieldwork is an essential element of our degree programmes, and here at Birmingham we have an outstanding reputation for providing students with high quality field training. The costs of travel and accommodation on all compulsory field courses will be covered by the University.

Depending on what you choose to study, you could be doing fieldwork in Pembrokeshire, the Scottish Highlands, southern Spain, Berlin, Malta, Portugal or Tenerife.

Field trip destinationsField trip destinations - click on map to enlarge

Geography and Environmental Sciences

Video transcript here

Fieldwork is an integral part of our degree programmes and many modules will have a local fieldwork component. Additionally, there is a four day UK residential field course for all Geography and Environmental Science programmes in November of Year 1.

Don’t worry, the weather is usually fine and sunny (but you will be advised to bring your wellies just in case!). Locations include Snowdonia, the Peak District, Shropshire, and the Forest of Dean.

By Year 2 you are ready for the rest of the world – certainly Europe and maybe beyond! All Single Honours students will undertake a second residential field course of six or seven days. There is a choice of locations depending on your chosen path of study and specialisms, with current destinations including Berlin, Malta, Portugal and Tenerife. Further opportunities for overseas fieldwork continue into Years 3 and 4.

See Geography programme pages and Environmental Sciences programme pages for more information about fieldwork.

Planning programmes

Fieldwork is included as part of the BSc Geography and Urban and Regional Planning programme, and there are opportunities for European field trips to locations such as Malta and Rotterdam.

Please note that the other joint honours Planning programmes do not offer a fieldwork component.

Costs and funding

  • The costs of travel and accommodation on all compulsory field courses will be covered by the University including all residential trips for all 3 years of study.
  • On certain field courses breakfast and evening meals are included as part of the accommodation at no additional cost.
  • An additional contribution of up to £100 will be made by the University towards the costs of the independent research project carried out at the end of Year 2.
  • For some optional field courses in Year 3 and the MSci, it is expected that students will fund their own field expenses.


Video transcript here 

As a single honours student, you will spend approximately 80 days in the field during your degree. If studying Palaeobiology and Palaeoenvironments or Geology and Geography you will be involved in geological fieldwork for about half this time. 

Fieldwork is arranged with a significant portion undertaken during term time. In each of the first two terms, one week is dedicated to field studies and associated work. Many fieldtrips are residential, visiting locations such as Pembrokeshire, the Scottish Highlands and southern Spain. During these courses you will be given a rigorous training in field techniques. Both group and individual work is included in your training and your confidence in your geological competence and ability will grow with each successive course.

See Geology programme pages for more information about fieldwork.

Costs and funding 

  • The costs of travel and accommodation on all compulsory field courses will be covered by the University (whilst based at the University) including all residential trips for all years of study. Currently this amounts to around 30 days of support over a three year BSc degree and 40 days over a four year MSci degree.
  • An additional contribution of £150 will be made by the University towards accommodation for your independent mapping project carried out at the end of Year 2. Six Geology students (including Geology BSc, Geology MSci, Geology with an International Year MSci) will receive a further £250 contribution towards their mapping project from Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group (WGCG).
  • For Geology & Geography and Palaeobiology & Palaeoenvironments students, who carry out a shorter project at the end of Year 2, there will be a contribution of up to £100 towards these costs.