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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Department of Earth Sciences

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We are a leading Earth Science Department with researchers and teachers of the highest international calibre housed in a new, state-of-the-art building with bespoke facilities. We teach a cohort of very well-qualified students in 5 undergraduate Honours degree programmes: Geology BSc; Geoscience MSci; Earth Sciences BSc; Environmental Geosciences BSc; Geophysics with Geology BSc. Admissions to Durham are highly sought after, and we typically register 80 students each year, while also participating in the University’s prestigious Natural Sciences Programme. Major research units in the Department include: the Centre for Research in Earth Energy Systems and the Terrestrial Laser Scanning facility . The Department co-hosts the UK Ocean-Bottom Instrumentation Consortium and is a key collaborator in the University-wide the Institute for Hazard, Risk & Resilience and Durham Energy Institute.


World Rankings

Record success in QS World Subject Rankings

Durham is one of the world’s leading universities as shown by our world top 100 position in the QS World University Rankings 2019, where we are ranked 74th

A record 18 Durham subjects are also in the world top 100 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019, including ten in the world top 50 and three in the world top ten.


First for England as science course taught in prison

Education in prisons has a long history but science, other than distance learning, has been absent - in part because much science teaching traditionally relies on experimentation using technical equipment which is not available in prisons.

But now one of our academics has developed a science course that requires only a presentation, writing and reading materials.

(16 May 2019) » More about First for England as science course taught in prison


Stephen Thomas Receives Freedom of City of London

Dr Stephen Thomas, an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences, was recently honoured as an Engineer by receiving the Freedom of the City of London in a ceremony at the London Guild Hall in February.

(5 Mar 2019) » More about Stephen Thomas Receives Freedom of City of London


New PhD Opportunities Created by Funding Boost

Smart surfaces, offshore wind energy and unmanned electric transportation are some of the subjects students will be able to study and research, thanks to new funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Applications are now open for students to start PhDs in September this year within four Centres for Doctoral Training involving Durham University.

(8 Feb 2019) » More about New PhD Opportunities Created by Funding Boost


2018 AAPG ACE Top 10 Oral Presentations

Congratulations to Dr. Jonny Imber, Stuart Clarke (who presented) and the team on their presentation “The Influence of “Cimmerian” Exhumation on the Hydrocarbon Potential of the Southwest Approaches, Offshore NW Europe which was judged as a “Top 10 Oral Presentations” during the 2018 Annual Convention and Exhibition in Salt Lake City, Utah.

(28 Jan 2019) » More about 2018 AAPG ACE Top 10 Oral Presentations


Outstanding Student Presentation Award

Congratulations to Giacomo Pozzi who has been awarded an outstanding presentation award at AGU2018.

This is a very prestigious award, which is only granted to the top 5% of student participants, and AGU is one the largest conference in our field, with more than 20000 attendees, from all parts of the world.

(25 Jan 2019)


Angela Bentley is awarded the Patrick Moore Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for Education.

(14 Jan 2019) » More about Angela Bentley is awarded the Patrick Moore Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for Education.



Contact Details

Department of Earth Sciences,
Durham University,
Science Labs,
Durham DH1 3LE

Tel: +44 0191 3342300
Fax: +44 0191 3342301
E-mail: earth.sciences @durham.ac.uk
Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Gold rated for teaching excellence and student outcomes