School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Earth Science students in Death Valley, California.

  • 6 World class research from internationally renowned researchers
  • 6 State-of-the-art teaching and research facilities
  • 6 Taught by leading academics in the field

Our inter-disciplinary team of world-class academics teaches a suite of degree programmes focused on challenges including climate change, natural hazards, social justice, pollution, energy transitions, land- and seascape conservation and the sensitive development of natural resources. All of our degree programmes are professionally accredited and designed with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in mind.

Professor Jon Shaw
Head of School
<p>Professor Jon Shaw</p>


Our teaching areas


Fieldwork is a very important part of our courses.

In addition to local field visits associated with specialist modules, residential fieldwork is an integral part of our degree programmes.*

Making fieldwork accessible and inclusive for all students.

Find out more about the fieldwork opportunities:

*Fieldwork viability is subject to government guidelines in response to COVID-19.

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Western Australia 

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022

The University of Plymouth has been named among the top 5% of universities globally in 2022 for its contribution to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals*, in particular, work on marine issues and on climate change. In the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, sustainability is at the heart of our research and teaching. From sustainable cities, affordable and clean energy, to climate policy, biodiversity, and natural hazards, our academic staff work with partners locally and overseas to help understand, communicate and solve fundamental and pressing sustainability challenges.

*Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022

Find out more in our press release

Scholarships for outstanding applicants

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences’ scholarship scheme recognises and rewards students joining our degree courses who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement.

Scholarships of £1,000 will be awarded to the two applicants in each of our subjects (earth sciences, chemistry, geography and environmental science) who achieve the highest grades in their A level or equivalent exams. The scholarship will be awarded during their first year of study at the University of Plymouth.


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Dr Paul Lunt and students: a field class on Dartmoor

<p>Girls into Geoscience</p>


We have a programme of outreach activities working with schools and teachers through visits to local schools, in house events, or wider promotion of the subject via national societies.
Find out more about our outreach activities

Research and impact

Research highlights

The South West is a Natural Powerhouse

Our current energy system is heavily reliant on fossil fuels and is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. Renewable energy provides alternative sources for the future energy system that will reduce our current greenhouse gas emissions and aid in the essential transition away from fossil fuel use. The South West is to be at the heart of this transition.

At the University of Plymouth, we offer two MSc programmes to support graduates' ambitions to work within the offshore renewable energy sector.

ARIES Doctoral Training Partnership opportunities October 2022

The ARIES (Advanced Research and Innovation in the Environmental Sciences) DTP is a NERC funded Doctoral Training Partnership between the Universities of Plymouth, East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Royal Holloway University of London.

Find out more about ARIES PhD project opportunities starting October 2022
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Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN is a national Charter designed to advance the careers of women in STEMM.

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences holds a bronze Athena SWAN departmental award.

Find out more about Athena SWAN

Girls into geoscience

 This exciting one day workshop, with additional optional field trip to Dartmoor, will introduce female A level students to the Earth sciences and demonstrate the world of careers open to Earth science graduates today. 
With seminars from women working in geology, and hands on workshops looking at GIS, microfossils and planetary geology, this year’s girls into geoscience event isn’t one to miss.

Girls into Geoscience