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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Undergraduate Study


We place research led teaching at the centre of our undergraduate programme because we want our undergraduates to be at the forefront of knowledge generation in the 21st century. Our undergraduates will lead the fight against the major geoscience problems we face as a society, and experience the excitement and satisfaction that comes from working at the edge of human knowledge.


Additional Course and module information

For more info on our courses and some of our modules, download this pdf. (note it's 22Mb)

Research flyer

Are you interested in the research we do at Durham? If so we have put together a series of story maps that take you through what some of our scientists are researching at the moment. You can find them by clicking here

Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University

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Students discuss their experiences of Earth Sciences at Durham University.


Throughout their degrees, our undergraduates hone their research skills through practical work and assessments. This culminates in BSc dissertations and MSci research projects. Our students have a great track record of getting their undergraduate research published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and at winning prizes for their efforts. Come and join us and see your name in print!


Below are some of the recent discoveries that our undergraduates have contributed to:

Baldini, James UL, Rachel Bertram (3rd year undergraduate), and Harriet E. Ridley. 2018 Ground air: A first approximation of the Earth's second largest reservoir of carbon dioxide gas. Science of the Total Environment 616 1007-1013.

Boothroyd, I. M., Almond, S., Worrall, F., Rosemary Davies (4th year undergraduate), & Davies, R. J. 2018. Assessing fugitive emissions of CH4 from high-pressure gas pipelines in the UK. Science of the Total Environment, 631, 1638-1648.

Baldini, James UL, Richard J. Brown, and Natasha Mawdsley (3rd year undergraduate) 2018 "Evaluating the link between the sulfur-rich Laacher See volcanic eruption and the Younger Dryas climate anomaly." Climate of the Past 14.7: 969-990.

Santha, Nipada, Pablo Cubillas, Adrian Saw (3rd year undergraduate), Harry Brooksbank (3rd year undergraduate), and Hugh Greenwell. 2017 Chemical Force Microscopy Study on the Interactions of COOH Functional Groups with Kaolinite Surfaces: Implications for Enhanced Oil Recovery." Minerals 7, no. 12: 250.

Marianne Brett (4th year undergraduate), James UL Baldini, and Darren R. Gröcke. 2014 Environmental controls on stable isotope ratios in New Zealand Podocarpaceae: Implications for palaeoclimate reconstruction." Global and Planetary Change 120 38-45.

Matthew Funnell (4th year undergraduate), Peirce, C., Stratford, W. R., Paulatto, M., Watts, A. B., & Grevemeyer, I. 2014. Structure and deformation of the Kermadec forearc in response to subduction of the Pacific oceanic plate. Geophysical journal international, 199(2), 1286-1302.

Imber, J., Armstrong, H., Sarah Clancy (2nd year undergraduate), Daniels, S., Herringshaw, L., McCaffrey, K., Rodrigues, J. (4th year undergraduate), Trabucho-Alexandre, J., Clare Warren (2nd year undergraduate) 2014. Natural Fractures in a UK Shale Reservoir Analogue, Cleveland Basin, NE England. AAPG Bulletin.

Adam Pacey (4th year undergraduate), Macpherson C.G., McCaffrey K.J.W., 2013. Linear volcanic segments in the central Sunda Arc, Indonesia, identified using Hough Transform analysis: Implications for arc lithosphere control upon volcano distribution Earth and Planetary Science Letters 369-370, 24-33.