Applied & Pure Sciences

Postgraduate courses in Earth Sciences

The world of earth science can be very interesting. For example, did you know that 70% of earth’s surface is covered in water?

Or, global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius in the last century?

These are just some fun facts that scratch the surface of what there is to learn about the earth but if this is an area of interest for you, there are many way to extend your knowledge and add to your degree and turn it into a career!

What is earth sciences?

Earth science looks at the solid earth, it’s water and the air that develops in it. Earth sciences include geology, hydrologic and atmospheric sciences. The main aim of earth sciences is to gain an understanding of earth’s features, both past and present and applying this information to benefit humankind. 


There are many postgraduate courses in earth sciences to choose from. Some offer the opportunity to study either full time or part time. Examples of courses available are:

Applied Earth System Sciences

A course in Applied Earth System Sciences will equip students with the knowledge needed to tackle complex global issues associated with climate change and societal challenges. You will learn how to identify, characterise and communicate such challenges as well as understand how the planet works to aid the socio-economic interactions between business and the environment among other topics. 


Palaeobiology courses are mainly for students who are interested in early life, mass extinctions, macroevolution and fossil preservation. Core focuses are phylogenetics, biomechanics macroevolution. 

Engineering Geology

Courses in engineering geology will allow students to gain a knowledge of geological principles that are appropriate to civil and mining engineering. Students will look at a range of geotechnical subjects to prepare them for geotechnical engineering and engineering geology. 

Climate and Atmospheric Science

Those interested in a course in climate and atmospheric science will have the opportunity to study physical sciences and mathematics. You will gain a broad overview of physical problems in climate and atmospheric science and gain an understanding of natural processes. 

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements can differ from course to course and university to university. In most cases you must have an undergraduate degree in a related field or . In some courses, a 2.1 degree is required while others may require a 2.2 degree. 

The requirements for each course will differ so it is important to research in detail. More information can be found online on university websites and course overviews. 

Job options

Some job option include:

  • Geologist

A geologist is a scientist that studies the solid, liquid and gaseous matter that constitutes the earth and other terrestrial planets.

  • Geochemist

Geochemists study the composition, structure, processes and other physical aspects of the earth.

  • Hydrogeologist

A hydrogeologist studies the ways in which groundwater moves through the soil and rock of the earth. 

  • Academic researcher
  • Teacher/Professor

Salary expectation 

Your salary depends completely on what route you take with your degree. There are quite a number of job options you can take in the field of earth science so there is no general job title or salary. However, for example, the average salary of a geologist in the UK is £33,905. If you wanted to take a different direction as an academic researcher you could earn up to £58,000 in a senior role. 

Skills and requirements

  • Research skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solver
  • Strong communication skills
  • Project development skills
  • Focused
  • Good time management

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