University of Brighton

Earth and Ocean Science

  • Course summary and entry requirements

    Course duration Help

    Full-time: 3 years

    Part-time: 6 years

    With placement year: 4 years

    UCAS code FF67

    About the course

    An understanding of ocean processes is essential for work in coastal or hazard management, coastal and offshore engineering, marine conservation, pollution control, and in managing climate change and sea-level rise. From an earth science perspective, the oceans are part of a linked Earth-ocean system that has evolved over four billion years and a geological perspective is critical in understanding the oceans and in predicting future change in the ocean system.

    This degree focuses on the interface between oceanography and geology/earth science, and includes a range of module options to suit your learning interests. Brighton students benefit from close proximity to both local issues such as dredging, pollutants, cliff collapse and other environmental impacts which help form a real-world basis for learning. The university also has excellent links with local coastal consultants and environmental agencies.

    Typical entry requirements Help

    The entry requirements listed here are for students starting their course in 2014.

    Applicants whose predicted grades fall below these requirements, but who can demonstrate a high commitment to the subject discipline or have relevant work experience, are still encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis.

    BBB. Must include a relevant science-related subject.


    International Baccalaureate:
    32 points, specified subjects.

    Access to HE Diploma
    pass (at least 45 credits at level 3), with 18 credits at merit or above. Level 3 units in science required.

    GCSE (minimum grade C) or Access Equivalent
    at least three subjects including English language and mathematics or a science.

    Foundation degree/HND
    /HNC may enable you to start the course in year 2.

    For non-native speakers of English:
    IELTS 6.0 overall, with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in the other elements.

    Visit the school that delivers this course

    Other courses like this:



    Environmental Sciences

    Earth and Ocean Science

  • Course content

    Course structure

    Study involves lectures, practical classes, fieldwork, tutorials and seminars. In addition to subject-specific modules, you will undertake training in study skills, research methods and career development. You may also take an optional placement year with a relevant employer, to enhance your practical and industrial experience. Fieldwork is a key part of the course, and day and weekend excursions plus residential field courses are held in areas such as Wales, Spain and Cyprus.

    Areas of study

    Following the introduction to the Earth-ocean system, you will be able to either maintain a broad-based course or to specialise in particular aspects such as marine geology, marine biology, coastal engineering, geochemistry and pollution control, or global change. Common to all pathways is the emphasis placed on the role of earth and ocean science in society, and in managing and mitigating contemporary environmental issues and problems.


    Year 1
    - Fundamentals of Geology
    - The Global Earth System
    - The Ocean Planet: an Introduction
    - Introduction to Field Geology
    - Mineralogy and Petrology
    - Water in the Environment
    - Ecological Processes
    - Geology of Your Home Area
    - Mathematics skills for Geoscientists
    - Data Collection and Analysis
    - An Introduction to Environmental Hazards
    - Evolutionary Biology
    - Fundamentals of Physical Geography
    - Geology field course, Yorkshire
    - Global Environmental Issues and Management
    - Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks
    - Interpreting Geological Maps
    - Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
    - Physiological Ecology
    - Modern languages

    Year 2
    - Research and Career Skills
    - Structure of the Earth and Global Processes
    - Introduction to Marine Biology
    - Sedimentology
    - Introduction to Environmental Geochemistry
    - Boat-based field course
    - Geology field work in Spain
    Options (within Earth and Ocean Science themes):
    - Applied Palaeontology
    - Climate Change
    - Environmental Conservation and Management
    - Ice Age Earth
    - Geographic Information Systems
    - Earth Resources
    - Hydraulics
    - Coastal and Aeolian Landscapes
    - Ecological Techniques
    - Soil and Water Analysis
    - Structural Geology
    - Fundamentals of Environmental Microbiology
    Other options:
    - Environmental and Spatial Planning
    - Environmental Hazards
    - Environmental Pollution and Control
    - Advanced Statistics
    - Igneous and Metamorphic Processes
    - Introduction to Remote Sensing
    - Sustainable Development
    - Water in the Landscape
    - Behavioural end evolutionary ecology
    - Alternative and renewable energy
    - Modern languages

    Optional placement year

    Final year
    - Earth and ocean science project
    - Field course in Cyprus
    Options (within Earth and Ocean Science themes):
    - Oceanography
    - Coastal Environments
    - Geohazards
    - Applied Ecology
    - Planetary Geology
    - Environmental Hydraulics
    - Wetland Environments
    - Hydrogeology
    - Exploration Geology
    - Water and Health
    - Evolution and the Fossil Record
    - Applied Remote Sensing
    - Environmental Assessment
    - Environmental Change in Low Latitudes
    - Environmental Geology / Professional Practice
    - Geology of Major Civil Engineering Projects
    - Geographical Information Systems 2
    Other options:
    - Air Quality Management
    - Biogeography
    - Case Studies in Environmental Pollution
    - Freshwater Processes and Ecosystems
    - Global Petrogenesis
    - Independent study module
    - Introduction to Remote Sensing
    - Medical Geography
    - Political Ecology
    - Biology field skills
    - Modern languages

    You can view the programme specification for this course as a PDF file by clicking on the link below:

    Programme Specification

  • Fees and costs

    The fees listed here are for full-time courses beginning in the academic year 2014-15. Further tuition fees are payable for each subsequent year of study and may be subject to small increases, in line with inflation.

    The tuition fee you have to pay depends on a number of factors including the kind of course you take, and whether you study full- or part-time. If you are studying part-time you will normally be charged on a pro rata basis depending on the number of modules you take.

    What's included in the fee?

    When costs such as health or criminal record checks, field trips or use of specialist materials are incurred as a mandatory requirement of the course they are included in your tuition fee.

    You may incur additional costs depending on the optional modules or activities you choose. The cost of optional activities is not included in your tuition fee and you will need to meet this cost in addition to your fees. Before you apply please check with the school that provides your course using the contact details on the left of this page for advice about what is included and what optional costs you could face so you can budget accordingly.

    Our website provides advice about funding and scholarships as well as further information about fees and advice on international and island fee paying status.

    BSc Hons Earth and Ocean Science  [P2EG013]
    UK/EU 9,000 GBP
    Island Students 9,000 GBP
    International 13,220 GBP

    If you choose to take the professional placement (sandwich) year offered on this course you will pay a reduced fee during this year. Our fee for the professional placement year is currently £750 for Home and Island Students and £1,760 for International students. This fee may be subject to small increases, in line with inflation.

  • Location

    Location Help Moulsecoomb

    Located to the north of Brighton city centre, the Moulsecoomb campus offers students an excellent learning environment and a wide range of facilities. It is the largest of our five campuses with over 8,000 students.

    View campus maps and directions

    Living in Brighton

    Brighton’s rich mix of historic architecture, lively arts scene, varied shopping and cosmopolitan community make it a vibrant, enjoyable place to live. It is no wonder that many Brighton graduates choose to stay here.

    Social scene

    Alongside the traditional seaside attractions, Brighton is famed for its exciting social scene with a wide choice of pubs, clubs and restaurants.

    Music event on the beach


    The highlight of the city’s cultural year is the Brighton Festival. The event is held each May and is England’s biggest arts festival, which showcases arts and performance from around the world. Brighton is also home to the UK’s oldest working cinema, the Duke of York’s, which shows alternative and mainstream films. The city is also well known for its exciting music scene and hosts The Great Escape music festival.

    Burning the Clocks winter solstice festival


    Whether you take your sport seriously or just want to keep fit, Brighton offers all kinds of sports opportunities and facilities, on and off campus. You can also make the most of the location, and play volleyball, basketball and windsurfing down by the beach. The seafront is also the finishing point for the famous London – Brighton bicycle ride and the quirky veteran car run.

    Playing volleyball on the seafront
  • Staff profiles

    Dr Stewart Ullyott

    Stewart's research interests centre upon the development of silicified Cenozoic sediments, with particular interest in the origins of sarsens and puddingstones in southern Britain.   

  • Career opportunities

    The broad range of skills developed in this degree provides an effective foundation for careers in the coastal and offshore industries; in environmental management; in the water, extraction, and construction industries; and in business and financial fields. The degree is also an excellent basis for postgraduate study.

    Our employment record in earth science areas is excellent and recent graduates have quickly found employment, or have been offered places on taught masters-level courses or PhD programmes.

    Visit the careers service website.

Find out more

You can apply for 2014 entry now

Call our enquiries team
01273 644644

Or email

International students

Contact us here