Earth Sciences at Oxford

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Should I Apply?

What are the Earth Sciences?

Earth Sciences is the study of the planet we live upon. Physics, chemistry and biology are combined with geology, geography and palaeontology to answer fundamental questions about the origin, development, and future of the Earth. Students of Earth Sciences will address some of the major issues of our times:

  • The origin of the Solar System, the Earth, and Life
  • Physics and chemistry of the Earth’s interior
  • Plates, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes
  • Interactions between the atmosphere, oceans and the solid earth.
  • The climate system
  • The fate of glaciers and ice sheets
  • Chemical and biological evolution of the oceans
  • Natural hazards
  • Natural resources

Why Earth Sciences at Oxford?

The Oxford Earth Sciences department has received the top grading in all teaching and research assessments since national assessments began, and was rated top for Geology in the 2009 Good University Guide. A major reason for the success of our undergraduate course is its close link between research and teaching; you will be taught, at the forefront of knowledge, by some of the best Earth Scientists in the world.

The focus of teaching and research is on understanding the fundamental principles of geological processes. Theory, measurements, experiments, and observation of natural processes are all essential elements in the Earth Sciences, and students with a strong background in all aspects of the physical sciences are encouraged to join the Department.

We also believe that varied fieldwork is essential so you will find yourself in Pembrokeshire, Oxfordshire, the Mendips, Assynt (in NW Scotland), Dorset, Greece and Bermuda.

If using your scientific background to understand your home planet appeals to you, then you should choose Earth Sciences at Oxford.

Entry Requirements

Required to A2 / Advanced Higher / IB Higher Level

  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry or Physics

Highly recommended additional subjects

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geology/Geography

Standard Offer:

  • A Levels: A*AA/AAAA (AAAA appears to be less common)
  • Advanced Highers: AA/AAB
  • IB: 39 (including core points) with 766 at HL