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BSc Environmental and Engineering Geoscience

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
£9,250 (Home - 2024-25)
£27,180 Fee Band 3a (International Students - 2024-25)
More detail

The programme prepares environmentally aware students for graduate employment within the rapidly expanding field of applied geoscience, in areas including engineering geology, resource geology and environmental assessment. Graduates will have a broad-based geoscience knowledge and will be in strong positions to contribute to addressing the global and societal challenges that we face in the coming decades.

The programme has close links with the current Earth Sciences programme portfolio, providing a foundation in the understanding of Earth's composition, history and processes.  It incorporates its own engineering and environmentally-based modules, and content from the School of Engineering, as well as opportunities for placements with external partners. 

No previous knowledge of geology is assumed.  Fieldwork forms an integral part of the programme.  Students can tailor their degree to their particular interests and aptitudes; optional modules will provide opportunities to follow more engineering- or environmentally-focused programmes.  Independent project work comprises a major part of the programme.

Why study this course?

  • Study a broad geoscience programme with a forward-looking, applied focus The geosciences are as relevant as ever to addressing future challenges, ranging from energy to water resources, pollutants to critical materials. The specific applied focus of this programme will give students direct and relevant experience, underpinned by a strong theoretical background, making them ideally placed to enter these fields.
  • Tailor your programme to suit your interests Through optional modules, choose to focus on Environmental or Engineering routes to help support your future career ambitions.   
  • School of Engineering The programme is delivered with contributions from the the School of Engineering with it’s new £46.5M purpose built building to enhance the student experience, including in Civil Engineering.
  • Lapworth Museum of Geology We are home to the Lapworth Museum of Geology, brimming with more than 250,000 specimens some over 500 million years old. As one of the oldest specialist designated and accredited geological museums in the UK, this is an invaluable study resource.
  • The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) BIFoR aims to provide fundamental science, social science and cultural research of direct relevance to global forested landscapes. Opportunities for undergraduates to get involved with BIFoR come for example from the Year 3 dissertation (research module).
  • Research - The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) results rank research at the University of Birmingham as 3rd* in the UK for ‘Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences’.
  • The University of Birmingham is proud to be a member of the Met Office Academic Partnership. Find out more.


We are committed to continual improvement of our programmes and to ensuring we respond to the changing needs of the world and our student body. As such we are in the process of updating our year one curriculum for this course (to be launched in 2025-26). These changes have developed with student and staff consultation and have research-based teaching at their core. Our core programme outcomes will not change, but module structures in year one will. More information will be available before the Summer 2024 open days.  

 Below you can find the current year one structure to give you a sense of what you will learn.

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event, we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • The Earth System
  • Introductory Field and Research Skills
  • SW Wales Field Course
  • Geoscience Project
  • Earth Structures and Tectonics
  • Earth History and Life
  • Atoms to Volcanoes
  • From Molecules to Materials: Deconstructing the Environment


Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Structural Geology and Geophysics
  • Introduction to Hydrogeology
  • Field Skills and Project Planning
  • Resource Geology
  • Applied Mathematics

Optional modules

  • Sedimentology
  • Geological Natural Hazards
  • Environmental Pollution and Management
  • Hydrology and Geomorphology
  • Ecology: Past and Present


Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Earth Science Research Project
  • Geotechnical Engineering 1
  • Professional Placement

Optional modules

  • Engineering Geology and Pollution Hydrogeology
  • Exploring the Energy Transition
  • Climate Change in the Earth System
  • Environmental Research in High Latitudes
  • Pollution Impact and Environmental Management

Additional Course Costs

Basic field equipment is provided by the school, and costs of travel and accommodation are covered on all field courses. The school provides some bursary support for travel required in independent projects or placements.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at
Learn more about applying

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
At least one science° A level subject

°Subjects considered to be sciences: Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Electronics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Psychology and Statistics.

Specified subjects excluded for entry: General Studies and Critical Thinking

BTEC Extended Diploma in science related subject will be considered.

BTEC Diploma accepted in combination with an A level.

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma accepted in combination with two A levels.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6, 5, 5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Higher level subjects need to include the required subjects as defined for the A-level qualification, where applicable.

Standard English language requirements apply 
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How you learn is as important as what you learn. The learning experience at Birmingham combines a wide variety of study methods extending way beyond the lecture theatre, to include extensive fieldwork, practical work and tutorials.

From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner shaping your own intellectual development with us. The research-led teaching on our flexible degree courses ensures an inspirational and enquiry-based learning environment in the classroom, lab and field.

The world-leading research we do feeds directly into our undergraduate programmes, which means you will be learning from academics who are experts in their fields. For example, Dr James Bendle, has uncovered direct evidence that palm trees grew in Antarctica about 50 million years ago, and leads a module in palaeoclimates. Dr Steve Jones draws on his research expertise in his newly developed module “Exploring the Energy Transition”. Dr Seb Watt is shedding new light on the mechanisms of large scale volcanic landslides and their hazards, such as the devastating tsunami that occurred during the 2018 eruption of Anak Krakatau, Indonesia – topics covered in the Geological Natural Hazards module. Prof. Tim Reston is rewriting our understanding of how seafloor spreading works, and draws on this in his Tectonic and Volcanic Processes module. Our research is truly global taking us to all corners of the Earth from remote Antarctica to sprawling metropolises.


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support

Contact Hours

Contact hours on this programme are similar to those on other Earth Sciences programmes. These vary from week to week, depending on modules that you are studying. An average of 12 hours per week from lectures, tutorials and practical classes would be typical in early stages of your degree, with more intensive work during field courses. At later stages, independent project work and placements will involve more varied timetables. Outside of these times, staff are available for individual meetings; and further resources are provided to help students with independent study in support of all their modules.

Assessment Methods

In addition to lectures, our degrees involve extensive fieldwork, practical work and tutorials. You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You can expect to take examinations, make oral presentations, as well as carry out regular project work, practical and field-based exercises. Some modules only have an exam, others only project work. We place strong emphasis on individual project work/the research dissertation in Years 2 and 3.

At the beginning of each module, you'll be given information on how and when you'll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You'll receive feedback on assessments within 15 working days, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done as well as gain from opportunities for formative assessment.

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching at school or college. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with your subject and find things out for yourself. We will support you in making this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

The overall emphasis of this programme is to provide a directly vocational development of expertise in the applied geosciences, through a broad range of industry experience and transferable skills. These are directly relevant to industries in fields including geotechnical engineering, environmental assessment and remediation, and natural resources. The programme is only offered at BSc level for this reason, and it is envisaged to either provide a direct route into industry, or to further specialisation at MSc level in subjects such as Geotechnical Engineering or Hydrogeology (both available at Birmingham).

Our graduates can expect to be found in roles as diverse as:

  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Contaminated Land Surveyor
  • Environmental Analyst/Consultant
  • Landslide Specialist
  • Resource Geologist


These and other roles could be within:

  • Environmental planning
  • Land remediation
  • Hydrogeology and pollution control
  • National surveys and government agencies
  • Local authorities
  • Engineering and construction companies


Increasingly, a successful career in geology is helped by having a higher qualification. Nearly half of our graduates go on to further study before taking a job, either by completing a one-year MSc course or researching for a PhD.

Careers Network

Careers Network, our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you.  Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.