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About us - Earth Sciences

The Department of Earth Sciences comprises 27 academic staff, working together with 12 research staff and 12 administrative and technical support staff. It is a highly regarded and friendly department that provides a stimulating and supportive environment for students and staff alike to study and research a wide range of earth sciences.


The Research Excellence Framework (REF) reported that in its assessment 94% of research has been classified as 4* world leading and 3* internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour. By this criterion, the Department is 2nd place among UK universities. Staff pursue a wide range of research interests including environmental geoscience, geochemistry and geophysics, magmatic processes, palaeobotany, and structural and sedimentary geology. Strong collaborative links with the petroleum geosciences industries, environmental consultancies and engineers, and local authorities provide valuable support for postgraduate research projects, employment for graduates, and work experience for undergraduates. 

Undergraduate Teaching

Royal Holloway was ranked 6th in the UK in the 2014 National Student Survey. All of our single honour programmes and many of the joint degrees have been accredited by the Geological Society as a fast track route to Fellowship with professional recognition as a Chartered Geologist. Annually we accept a total of about 65 undergraduate students who study a wide range of 3-year (BSc) and 4-year (MSci) single honours within the earth sciences and joint degree programmes with geography and biological sciences. Programmes are supported by an extensive fieldwork training programme with several field studies in the UK, EU and US. They also benefit significantly from the wide range of research activities and expertise within the department, and from industrial and commercial partnerships

Postgraduate Teaching

Several internationally acclaimed MSc programmes are offered with prestigious studentships from NERC. They also have significant industrial involvement and support, and provide excellent employment prospects. The MSc in Environmental Diagnosis & Management has strong links with environmental consultancies and engineers, local authorities and regulatory agencies. The MSc in Petroleum Geosciences has options to study at RHUL with special emphasis on tectonics or basin evolution, and by distance learning. In addition, the MSc in Earth Sciences by Research offers a 1-year research project, with training in relevant skills and scientific knowledge.

Postgraduate Research

We have around 60 PhD research students whose projects cover the wide range of staff research interests, and are supported by Research councils, industry and a variety of College studentships

Special Education Needs & Student Support

We are committed to the principle of education for all, and seek to make all of our degree programmes equally accessible to those who may have special education needs because of physical or mental impairment. RHUL provides a high level of student support, which includes a comprehensive Health Centre, a highly regarded Counselling Service, dedicated educational and disability support within the Educational Support Office, together with a wealth of financial, career and other advice. 




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