BSc Geophysics


Attendance
Full Time
Award
Degree of Bachelor of Science



UCAS Course Code
F663
Call us now
0300 300 7994
UEA Clearing 0300 300 7994
What happens inside a volcano? How can we forecast earthquakes? Why do we experience extreme weather and can we control it?

Explore geophysics in the context of the entire Earth system. You’ll study the Earth’s many processes, from the seas and skies to the deep interior, and learn about the way they control our environment. You’ll have the choice of a significant range of modules thanks to our diverse expertise, with a particularly strongemphasis on geophysical hazards.

This is a highly desirable degree due to the varied skills you’ll develop. The subject can be applied in many different industrial, governmental and academic settings. And UEA is one of the best places to study it – in the most recent Research Excellence Framework we were ranked first in the UK for the impact of our world-leading research in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Times Higher REF2014 Analysis) and we have a global reputation for excellence in Environmental Sciences.

Overview

This three-year course will inspire a lifelong interest in, and understanding of, the way the Earth works. You’ll explore how the whole Earth system and its interactions control our environment. You’ll also develop an understanding of the issues that threaten our future.

Approximately one third of your time at UEA will be spent studying mathematical techniques and gaining the skills necessary to analyse the physical environment. You’ll develop a critical awareness of issues at the frontier of research, along with a comprehensive understanding of research methods and their limitations. You will learn self-direction and originality in applying knowledge, solving problems and conducting research.

You’ll get involved in a significant amount of fieldwork in many different geological environments. During your field course you’ll learn to use a variety of technological equipment and techniques – including seismic and gravity investigations, magnetic and electrical measurements, and ground-penetrating radar surveys.

Our geophysics degrees are run jointly by the School of Environmental Sciences and the School of Mathematics, and in collaboration with the School of Computing Sciences. So you’ll benefit from a broad choice of subject material, and have the chance to specialise in your field of interest to an advanced level. You can tailor your degree towards geological geophysics, geohazards, meteorology and climatology, or oceanography – or study a combination of them all.

When you graduate, you will be highly employable, with a wide range of skills that are highly prized by employers. Many of our graduates have gone on to work for local and multinational companies within sectors such as geophysical exploration and services, geotechnical engineering, risk analysis and environmental consultancy.

Course Structure

You’ll start with a year of compulsory modules to establish your knowledge on essential topics. You will then select from optional modules in your second and final years, allowing you to direct your own studies and take as broad or focused a path as you wish. In your final year you will also undertake an independent research project on a subject of your choice.

Year 1

In your core compulsory module you’ll discover the general scientific principles governing geophysics. In multi-disciplinary modules from the wider Faculty of Science you’ll explore the essential analytical skills you will need during further years – including areas such as probability, mechanics and modelling.

Year 2

As the course progresses you’ll study applied geophysics and continue to develop your mathematical knowledge. You’ll also enjoy more freedom to tailor your course around your own interests, choosing from a wide variety of modules.

Year 3

In your final year you’ll undertake a research project investigating a specialist area in professional depth with one-to-one support from an academic supervisor. You’ll also study a range of advanced modules from geophysical science as well as covering the wider aspects of the subject, in areas such as Geophysical Hazards, Meteorology and Modelling Environmental Processes.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching

You will be taught by leading geophysicists and environmental scientists through a combination of lectures, laboratories, workshops, seminars and fieldwork. Our modules are informed by their specialisms, which means you benefit from access to the latest thinking and research.

Most modules will have a practical element where you will experiment and gain valuable hands-on experience. Practical work ranges from measuring flow rates of analogue fluids in our high-tech labs to using seismic equipment to investigate the subsurface on our beautiful campus. In addition, you will have the option of going on residential field courses where you will carry out investigations to solve real-world problems. Past students have gone on field trips to places such as Greece, Spain, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and The Lake District.

In your first two years, about one third of your study time will be spent in lectures, seminars, practicals and fieldwork, amounting to around 15-18 contact hours per week. This will  reduce to around 12 hours per week in your third year to allow time to work on your independent research project.

Independent study

You will spend time carrying out independent study throughout your course. This may be researching in UEA’s state-of-the-art library, carrying out practical work in our high-tech labs, conducting independent fieldwork, or performing analyses in our modern computer suites.

This course will give you an excellent balance of independent thinking and study skills, helping you grow into a self-motivated learner, an expert researcher and analytical thinker. Along with the specialised knowledge you will gain, you will also develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, technical and numerical expertise, and confidence in leadership and management.

Academic support

To make sure you get the most from your studies and help you reach your full potential, our Learning Enhancement team (based in the Student Support Service) are on hand to help with skills in writing, research, exams and more.

Assessment

At the end of each year you will be assessed on a combination of coursework, project and examination results. The balance of assessment by coursework and exam depends on the modules you choose.

Your final year will include a research project, which will be assessed through your dissertation.

We also use formative assessment throughout each module so that you can gain feedback on your skills and understanding before completing summative work.

Optional Study abroad or Placement Year

You could also choose the MSci Geophysics with a Year Abroad to spend your third studying geophysics overseas in Europe, Australasia or North America. Your time abroad is a great way to build contacts and show future employers your resilience and adaptability.

Or go for BSc Geophysics with a Year in Industry and spend a year in the workplace. It will not only give you first-hand knowledge of the way in which your chosen field operates, it will also greatly improve your chances of progressing within that sector thanks to the relevant work experience, valuable contacts and real-world insight you’ll gain

After the course

After graduating you could follow in the footsteps of past graduates and go into sectors such as water management, resource exploration, geotechnical engineering, risk analysis, environmental consultancy, hazard management or teaching.

Alternatively you could continue your studies with a taught masters degree such as the MSc in Environmental Science or a research degree such as a PhD.

To get your career off to the best start, our Careers Service run annual Environmental Science events. These include alumni-led presentations and workshops across a range of sectors, including industrial, governmental and academia.

Career destinations

Examples of careers that you could enter include:

  • Water Management
  • Resource Exploration
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Risk Analysis
  • Environmental Consultancy
  • Hazard Management

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Accreditation

This course has been accredited by The Geological Society of London. This accreditation status provides added assurance to prospective students that the course content and structure has been approved by an independent body of academics and industrialists and that the teaching is of the highest quality. An accredited degree will reduce the amount of post-graduation experience required for applications for Chartered Geologist and Chartered Scientist. A professional geoscientist holding an accredited degree is eligible to apply for Chartered status one year earlier than those with unaccredited degrees. Those holding two accredited degrees (e.g. BSc and MSc) can apply two years earlier.

In order to receive the award of an accredited degree, students are required to follow an accredited pathway – this is something that your advisor and course director will be able to advise you on. The accredited pathway requires students to take some particular modules and also requires the student to undertake a certain amount of field work (partly achieved by taking the required modules and partly by undertaking some fieldwork for the final year project).

The current period of accreditation is for a six-year period, from April 2018. We would expect to apply for renewal of accreditation at the end of this period. For more information about the Geological Society, accreditation and Chartered status see the Geological Society Web pages http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 100 credits:

Name Code Credits

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES

What are the most pressing environmental challenges facing the world today? How do we understand these problems through cutting-edge environmental science research? What are the possibilities for building sustainable solutions to address them in policy and society? In this module you will tackle these questions by taking an interdisciplinary approach to consider challenges relating to climate change, biodiversity, water resources, natural hazards, and technological risks. In doing so you will gain an insight into environmental science research 'in action' and develop essential academic study skills needed to explore these issues.

ENV-4001A

20

MATHEMATICS FOR SCIENTISTS A

You will cover differentiation, integration, vectors, partial differentiation, ordinary differential equations, further integrals, power series expansions, complex numbers and statistical methods as part of this module. In addition to the theoretical background there is an emphasis on applied examples. Previous knowledge of calculus is assumed. This module is the first in a series of three maths modules for those across the Faculty of Science that provide a solid undergraduate mathematical training. The follow-on modules are Mathematics for Scientists B and C.

ENV-4015Y

20

PROBABILITY AND MECHANICS

This module comprises two parts: "Probability" and "Mechanics" Probability is the study of the chance of events occurring. It has important applications to understanding the likelihood of multiple events happening together and therefore to rational decision-making. In the first part of this module, you will start by studying probability as a measurement of uncertainty, and looking at statistical experiments and Bayes' theorem. You will then consider both discrete and continuous probability distributions and the concept of expectation. Finally you will consider applications of probability, including Markov chains and reliability theory. Newtonian mechanics provides a basic description of how particles and rigid bodies move in response to applied forces. In the second part of the module you will study Newton's laws of motion and how they can be applied to particle dynamics, vibrations, motion in polar coordinates, and conservation laws.

MTHB4007B

20

RESEARCH AND FIELD SKILLS

You will develop a range of transferable skills, tools and resources that are widely used in research across the Environmental Sciences and Geography. It aims to provide a broad understanding of the research process through activities that involve formulating research questions, collecting data using appropriate sources and techniques, collating and evaluating information and presenting results. A week-long residential field course, held at Easter and based at Slapton Ley, Devon, applies field, lab and other skills to a variety of environmental science and geography topics. Depending on the size of the cohort, students on selected degree programmes may be offered the option of an alternative field course arrangement.

ENV-4004Y

20

UNDERSTANDING THE DYNAMIC PLANET

Understanding of natural systems is underpinned by physical laws and processes. You will explore the energy, mechanics, and physical properties of Earth materials and their relevance to environmental science using examples from across the Earth's differing systems. The formation, subsequent evolution and current state of our planet are considered through its structure and behaviour - from the planetary interior to the dynamic surface and into the atmosphere. You will study Plate Tectonics to explain Earth's physiographic features - such as mountain belts and volcanoes - and how the processes of erosion and deposition modify them. The distribution of land masses is tied to global patterns of rock, ice and soil distribution and to atmospheric and ocean circulation. You will also explore geological time - the 4.6 billion year record of changing conditions on the planet - and how geological maps can be used to understand Earth history. This course provides you with an introduction to geological materials - rocks, minerals and sediments - and to geological resources and natural hazards.

ENV-4005A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students will be assigned to 20 credits from the following modules. Assignments will be made according to previous Chemistry qualifications.

Name Code Credits

ATMOSPHERE and OCEANS I

The habitability of planet Earth depends on physical and chemical systems that control everything from the weather and climate to the growth of all living organisms. This module introduces you to some of these key cycles and the ways in which physical and chemical scientists investigate and interpret them. It leads naturally to second and third year study of these systems in more detail, but even if you choose to study other aspects of environmental sciences, a basic knowledge of these systems is central to understanding our planet and how it responds to human pressures. The module is made up of two distinct components. One focuses on the physical study of the environment (Physical Processes: e.g. weather, climate, ocean circulation, etc.) The other focuses on the chemical study (Chemical Processes: weathering, atmospheric pollution, ocean productivity, etc.). Interrelationships between these components are explored throughout. Teaching of this module is through a mix of lectures, laboratory practical classes, workshops and a half-day field trip. This module provides a Basic Chemistry introduction for those students who have little or no background in chemistry prior to joining UEA.

ENV-4007B

20

ATMOSPHERE and OCEANS II

The habitability of planet Earth depends on physical and chemical systems that control everything from the weather and climate to the growth of all living organisms. This module introduces you to some of these key cycles and the ways in which physical and chemical scientists investigate and interpret them. It leads naturally to second and third year study of these systems in more detail, but even if you choose to study other aspects of environmental sciences, a basic knowledge of these systems is central to understanding our planet and how it responds to human pressures. The module is made up of two distinct components. One focuses on the physical study of the environment (Physical Processes: e.g. weather, climate, ocean circulation, etc.) The other focuses on the chemical study (Chemical Processes: weathering, atmospheric pollution, ocean productivity, etc.). Interrelationships between these components are explored throughout. Teaching of this module is through a mix of lectures, laboratory practical classes, workshops and a half-day field trip. This module is for students with previous experience of chemistry.

ENV-4008B

20

Students must study the following modules for 60 credits:

Name Code Credits

APPLIED GEOPHYSICS

What lies beneath our feet? This module addresses this question by exploring how wavefields and potential fields are used in geophysics to image the subsurface on scales of metres to kilometres. You'll study the basic theory, data acquisition and interpretation methods of seismic, electrical, gravity and magnetic surveys. A wide range of applications are covered, including archaeological geophysics, energy resources and geohazards. Highly valued by employers, this module features guest lecturers from industry who explain the latest 'state-of-the-art' applications and give you unique insight into real world situations. Students doing this module are normally expected to have a good mathematical ability, notably in calculus and algebra.

ENV-5004B

20

APPLIED GEOPHYSICS WITH FIELDCOURSE

What lies beneath our feet? This module addresses this question by exploring how wavefields and potential fields are used in geophysics to image the subsurface on scales of metres to kilometres. You'll study the basic theory, data acquisition and interpretation methods of seismic, electrical, gravity and magnetic surveys. A wide range of applications are covered, including archaeological geophysics, energy resources and geohazards. Highly valued by employers, this module features guest lecturers from industry who explain the latest 'state-of-the-art' applications and give you unique insight into real world situations. Students doing this module are normally expected to have a good mathematical ability, notably in calculus and algebra. This module also includes a one-week field course, currently held in the Lake District during Easter break. The cost of attending the field course is heavily subsidised by the School but students enrolling must commit to paying a sum to cover their attendance.

ENV-5005K

20

MATHEMATICS FOR SCIENTISTS B

This module is the second in a series of three mathematical modules for students across the Faculty of Science. You will cover vector calculus (used in the study of vector fields in subjects such as fluid dynamics and electromagnetism), time series and spectral analysis (a highly adaptable and useful mathematical technique in many science fields, including data analysis), and fluid dynamics (which has applications to the circulation of the atmosphere, ocean, interior of the Earth, chemical engineering, and biology). There is a continuing emphasis on applied examples.

MTHB5006A

20

MATHEMATICS FOR SCIENTISTS C

This module is the third in a series of three mathematical units for students across the Faculty of Science. It covers matrix algebra and numerical methods, partial differential equations and solid mechanics. There is a continuing emphasis on applied examples, and the use of numerical computing software (Matlab) is extended with a dedicated programming component. The module is taught by mathematicians with considerable expertise in the use of mathematics in the natural/environmental sciences and is largely designed to equip students with the tools necessary for advanced second and third level modules, particularly those in the physical sciences.

MTHB5007B

20

Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Students will select 60 credits from the following modules. (40 credits in SEM1 and 20 credits in SEM2). Note that no more than one module with the same timetable slot e.g.EE can be taken in one semester and that timetabling slots may change from year to year. Please contact the module organiser to find out which slots are being used.

Name Code Credits

DYNAMICS AND VIBRATION

You will build on the introductory material from first year engineering mechanics. An appreciation of why dynamics and vibration are important for engineering designers leads to consideration of Single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) systems, Equation of motion, free vibration analysis, energy methods, natural frequency, undamped and damped systems and loading. Fourier series expansion and modal analysis are applied to vibration concepts: eigenfrequency, resonance, beats, critical, under-critical and overcritical damping, and transfer function. Introduction to multi-degree of freedom (MDOF) systems. Applications to beams and cantilevers. MathCAD will be used to support learning.

ENG-5004B

20

ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS AND POLICY MAKING

The most significant obstacles to problem solving are often political, not scientific or technological. This module examines the emergence and processes of environmental politics. It analyses these from different theoretical perspectives, particularly theories of power and public policy making. The module is focused on contemporary examples of politics and policy making at UK, EU and international levels. The module supports student-led learning by enabling you to select (and develop your own theoretical interpretations of) 'real world' examples of politics. Assessment will be via seminar presentations and a case study essay. The module assumes no prior knowledge of politics.

ENV-5002B

20

GEOLOGY LAB SKILLS

Good observational and descriptive skills lie at the heart of many areas of Environmental Science. This module is designed to develop those and is particularly suitable for students with interests in Earth and Geophysical Sciences. It will cover generic Earth science skills of use for projects in this area. The module will include: observing, describing and recording the characteristics of geological materials (hand specimen and under microscope); measuring and representing 3d data, and reading geological maps. You'll need to have taken co-requisite or pre-requisite modules of 40 or more credits from the list: ENV-5004B Applied Geophysics, ENV-5034A Geomorphology, ENV-5035B Sedimentology, ENV-5012A Soil Processes and Environmental issues, ENV-5018A Global Tectonics, ENV-5021A Hydrology and Hydrogeology, ENV-5005K Applied Geophysics with field course.

ENV-5029B

20

GEOLOGY SKILLS

This module is designed to develop good observational and descriptive skills and is particularly suitable for students with interests in Geology, Earth and Geophysical Sciences. It will cover generic Geological skills of use for projects. The module will include: observing, describing and recording the characteristics of geological materials (in the field, in hand specimen and under microscope); measuring and representing 3d data, reading geological maps and basic geological mapping. The module includes a week-long residential field work in the Easter vacation which has an added cost implication in the region of GBP300. You'll need to take co-requisite or pre-requisite modules of 40 or more credits from the list: ENV-5004B Applied Geophysics, ENV-5034A Geomorphology, ENV-5035B Sedimentology, ENV-5012A Soil Processes and Environmental issues, ENV-5018A Global Tectonics, ENV-5021A Hydrology and Hydrogeology, ENV-5005K Applied Geophysics with field course.

ENV-5030B

20

GEOMORPHOLOGY

Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them, it underpins numerous subjects including: sedimentology, palaeoclimatology, biodiversity, ecosystem services, natural hazards and natural resources. In this module you will be introduced to different landforms and gain an understanding of the earth surface processes that create these landforms. Our approach will be both descriptive and quantitative, based on understanding erosional and depositional concepts, weathering and sediment transport and the evolution of landscapes. Drawing from our own research, the emphasis will be on local East Anglian field sites as case studies (with half and full day field trips) with key international examples, to illustrate and improve your understanding of glacial geomorphology, coastal geomorphology, ecogeomorphology and mountain/river/slope geomorphology with some arid geomorphology. You will learn about and apply the methods and different types of data and evidence used by geomorphologists (e.g., maps, imagery and field observations/measurements) to understand landform creation and evolution, gaining numerous transferrable skills.

ENV-5034A

20

GIS SKILLS FOR PROJECT WORK

This module builds upon the introduction to GIS provided in the first year Research and Field Skills module, focusing on how you obtain your own data, integrate it together and then undertake analysis and presentation tasks. ESRI ArcGIS will be the main software used, but there will also be an introduction to scripting tools (Python), and open source software (QGIS) and online GIS (ArcGIS Online).

ENV-5028B

20

GLOBAL TECTONICS

Processes in the Earth's interior exert a profound influence on all aspects of the Earth's system, and have done so throughout geological time. This module is designed for you to explore all aspects of those processes from the creation and destruction of tectonic plates to the structure of the Earth's interior and the distribution and dissipation of energy within it. This will include: the theory and mechanisms of plate tectonics, the generation of magma and volcanism; the mechanisms behind earthquakes. You will also cover the geological record of this activity, its evolution and impacts on the Earth.

ENV-5018A

20

HYDROLOGY AND HYDROGEOLOGY

Hydrology and hydrogeology are Earth Science subjects concerned with the assessment of the natural distribution of water in time and space and the evaluation of human impacts on the water. This module provides an introduction to geological controls on groundwater occurrence, aquifer characteristics, basic principles of groundwater flow, basic hydrochemistry, an introduction to catchment hydrology, hydrological data collection and analysis, runoff generation processes and the principles of rainfall-runoff modelling. Practical classes develop analytical skills in solving problems as well as field skills in pumping test analysis and stream gauging. A field excursion in Norfolk is also offered in this module.

ENV-5021A

20

LOW CARBON ENERGY: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

This module examines the principles of energy science and technologies including energy generation and conversion, such as renewables, bioenergy and batteries. It provides a systematic and integrated account of the issues in energy resources and conversion. This knowledge is used to make a rational analysis of energy availability, applications and selections from physical, technical and environmental considerations. It also provides students with the opportunity to explore the future of energy provision in greater depth.

ENV-5022B

20

METEOROLOGY I

The weather affects everyone and influences decisions that are made on a daily basis around the world. From whether to hang your washing out on a sunny afternoon, to which route a commercial aircraft takes as it travels across the ocean, weather plays a vital role. With that in mind, what actually causes the weather we experience? In this module you'll learn the fundamentals of the science of meteorology. You'll concentrate on the physical process that allow moisture and radiation to transfer through the atmosphere and how they ultimately influence our weather. The module contains both descriptive and mathematical treatments of radiation balance, thermodynamics, dynamics, boundary layers, weather systems and the water cycle. The module is assessed through a combination of one piece of coursework and an exam, and is designed in a way that allows those with either mathematical or descriptive abilities to do well, although a reasonable mathematical competence is essential, including basic understanding of differentiation and integration.

ENV-5008A

20

OCEAN CIRCULATION

This module gives you an understanding of the physical processes occurring in the basin-scale ocean environment. We will introduce and discuss large scale global ocean circulation, including gyres, boundary currents and the overturning circulation. Major themes include the interaction between ocean and atmosphere, and the forces which drive ocean circulation. You should be familiar with partial differentiation, integration, handling equations and using calculators. Shelf Sea Dynamics is a natural follow-on module and builds on some of the concepts introduced here. We strongly recommend that you also gain oceanographic fieldwork experience by taking the 20-credit biennial Marine Sciences field course.

ENV-5016A

20

SEDIMENTOLOGY

Sediments and sedimentary rocks cover much of the Earth's surface, but how do they get there and what can they tell us? If you are a geologist or environmental scientist with particular interest in physical geography then this is a key issue that you need to think about. Sediments record the Earth's history of environmental change, a record that started 3.8 billion years ago. Sediments contain the fossil record and host many of the world's natural resources including water, hydrocarbons, and minerals. In this module you will discover how sedimentologists decode the wealth of information sediments contain, taught by two practicing sedimentologists who have international research reputations in their respective fields. This module includes the study of modern sediments in a range of environments including rivers, the continental shelf and deep ocean basins. We put particular emphasis on the physical and chemical processes that result in the deposition of different sediment types. We then use this basis to interpret the origin and processes that formed ancient sedimentary rocks. The module emphasises development of practical skills in the laboratory, and also in the field.

ENV-5035B

20

SHELF SEA DYNAMICS AND COASTAL PROCESSES

The shallow shelf seas that surround the continents are the oceans that we most interact with. They contribute a disproportionate amount to global marine primary production and CO2 drawdown into the ocean, and are important economically through commercial fisheries, offshore oil and gas exploration, and renewable energy developments (e.g. offshore wind farms). You will explore the physical processes that occur in shelf seas and coastal waters, their effect on biological, chemical and sedimentary processes, and how they can be harnessed to generate renewable energy. You will develop new skills during this module that will support careers in the offshore oil and gas industry, renewable energy industry, environmental consultancy, government laboratories (e.g. Cefas) and academia. The level of mathematical ability required to take this module is similar to Ocean Circulation and Meteorology I. You should be familiar with radians, rearranging equations and plotting functions.

ENV-5017B

20

Students must study the following modules for 60 credits:

Name Code Credits

INDEPENDENT PROJECT

With guidance from a supervisor, you will choose a topic, design the research and collect, analyse and interpret data. You will report on progress at various stages: in the selection of a topic, the detailed plan, an interim report and an oral presentation. A final report in the form of a dissertation not exceeding 10,000 words is required. When planning the project and again after completing the report, you will reflect on the range of subject-specific and generic skills acquired through your degree and how these are reinforced and complemented by skills acquired through your project. A final item of summative work assesses the clarity by which you communicate and evidences your range of skills in the form of a covering letter and cv for a potential job application. To further support the transition to employment you can present a formative research poster that summarises the main aspects of the work to prospective employers. This module is compulsory for all degree courses in the School of Environmental Sciences and is an independent piece of research.

ENV-6021A

40

MODELLING ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES

The aim of the module is to show how environmental problems may be solved from the initial problem, to mathematical formulation and numerical solution. Problems will be described conceptually, then defined mathematically, then solved numerically via computer programming. The module consists of lectures on numerical methods and computing practicals; the practicals being designed to illustrate the solution of problems using the methods covered in lectures. The module will guide students through the solution of a model of an environmental process of their own choosing. The skills developed in this module are highly valued by prospective employers.

ENV-6004A

20

Students will select 40 - 60 credits from the following modules:

Please note that some modules run in alternate years. Note that no more than one module with the same timetable slot e.g.EE can be taken in one semester and that timetabling slots may change from year to year. Please contact the module organiser to find out which slots are being used.

Name Code Credits

CATCHMENT WATER RESOURCES

In this module, you will adopt an integrated approach to studying surface water and groundwater resources in river basins. You will address the fundamental requirement for an interdisciplinary catchment-based approach to managing and protecting water resources that includes an understanding of land use and its management. The module content includes the design of catchment monitoring programmes, nutrient mass balance calculations, river restoration techniques, an overview of UK and European agri-environmental policy and approaches to assessing and mitigating catchment flooding.

ENV-6018B

20

CLIMATE SYSTEMS

What sets the mean global temperature of the world? Why are some parts of the world arid whilst others at the same latitudes are humid? This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the processes that determine why the Earth's climate (defined, for example, by temperature and moisture distribution) looks like it does, what the major circulation patterns and climate zones are and how they arise. You will study why the climate changes in time over different timescales, and how we use this knowledge to understand the climate systems of other planets. This module is aimed at you if you wish to further your knowledge of climate, or want a base for any future study of climate change, such as the Meteorology/Oceanography or Climate Change degrees.

ENV-6025B

20

DYNAMICAL OCEANOGRAPHY

The ocean is an important component of the Earth's climate system. You will cover mathematical modelling of the large-scale ocean circulation and oceanic wave motion. You will build upon the techniques in fluid dynamics and differential equations that you developed in year two. You will then use these techniques to explain some interesting phenomena in the ocean that are relevant to the real world. We begin by examining the effects of rotation on fluid flows. This naturally leads to the important concept of geostrophy, which enables ocean currents to be inferred from measurements of the sea surface height or from vertical profiles of seawater density. Geostrophy also plays a key role in the development of a model for the global scale circulation of abyssal ocean. The role of the wind in driving the ocean will be examined. This enables us to model the large-scale circulation of the ocean including the development of oceanic gyres and strong western boundary currents, such as the Gulf Stream. You will conclude by examining the role of waves, both at the sea surface and internal to the ocean. The differences between wave motion at mid-latitudes and the Equator are examined, as is the roll of the Equator as a wave-guide. The equatorial waves that you will study are intimately linked with the El Nino phenomenon that affects the climate throughout the globe.

MTHE6007B

20

ENERGY AND PEOPLE

Modern everyday life rests fundamentally on the availability of energy. Since the 1970s, however, serious concerns have been raised about the sustainability of current energy systems. Traditionally, these problems have been analysed (and solutions proposed) from within the engineering and physical sciences. Understanding, managing and attempting to solve energy problems, however, demands a thorough appreciation of how people, at a range of scales, engage with energy in the course of their daily lives. This is a critical challenge for the social sciences, and will be a core focus of this module. Through this module, you will discover and explore a range of social science perspectives on the inter-relationships between energy and people. You will learn how to apply these ideas to contemporary energy problems and use them to generate your own visions for a sustainable energy future. You'll also be given the chance to work as part of a team and to communicate your ideas through both written and oral presentation. You'll begin by tracing the history and development of energy intensive societies and everyday lives as a means of understanding how energy has emerged as a key sustainability problem. You'll then go into more depth around different theories of social and technical change before exploring how these can be used to critically analyse a range of people-based solutions to energy problems that are currently being tried and tested around the world. You'll learn through a combination of lectures and seminars involving interactive group projects, class debates, practical exercises and student-led learning. At the end of the module, you will have developed the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to allow you to apply theories of social and technical change to a range of real-world energy problems. You'll be able to develop and critically analyse your own (and already existing) visions of a sustainable energy future, and you'll be able to creatively communicate these ideas to a range of different audiences. Please note, this is a strongly social science based module and is not recommended for students without a strong grounding in social science thinking and principle.

ENV-6026B

20

FOSSIL FUELS

You will be introduced to geological, economic and political aspects of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal). These are used to discuss environmental concerns arising from the use of fossil fuels, and the potentially profound implications of future fuel scarcity on society. Some knowledge of Earth science and basic Chemistry will be expected.

ENV-6009A

20

GEOPHYSICAL HAZARDS

Geophysical hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and landslides have significant environmental and societal impacts. This module focuses on the physical basis and analysis of each hazard, their global range of occurrence, probability of occurrence and their local and global impact. You will address matters such as hazard monitoring, modelling and assessment, and consider approaches towards risk mitigation and the reduction of vulnerability (individual and societal), with an emphasis on their practical implementation. Scenarios and probabilities of mega-disasters are also investigated. All the teaching faculty involved have practical experience of supplying professional advice on these hazards (and related risks) in addition to their own research involvement. A basic knowledge of physical science and of mathematics is assumed e.g. use of logs, exponentials, powers, cosines, rearrangement of equations.

ENV-6001B

20

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

Environmental economics provides a set of tools and principles which can be useful in understanding natural resource management issues. This module introduces you to key principles and tools of environmental economics for students who have not studied the subject previously. It then explores how these principles can be applied to address a number of complex economy-environment problems including climate change, over-fishing and water resources management. In this module you will have the opportunity to practically apply cost-benefit analysis as a framework for decision-making and will gain knowledge on the key non-market valuation techniques that are used to monetarily value environmental goods and services. At the end of the module you will have gained insights into how environmental economics is used in developing natural resource management policy as well as some of the challenges in using environmental economics in policy-making.

ENV-6012B

20

NUCLEAR AND SOLAR ENERGY

This module addresses the technical aspects of nuclear power and solar energy, whilst letting students apply their knowledge from the Engineering Practice module to make ethical decisions incorporating health and safety risk assessments. Successful design of nuclear installations requires a detailed quantitative risk analysis within a regulatory framework that imposes high tolerances. In contrast, the rapid installation of solar panels at domestic scale requires education to ensure smaller companies remain in line with legislation. Although these energies are considered cleaner, it is essential to consider the environmental impact and planning law, as well as changing the societal perception of both.

ENG-6002Y

20

PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY

This module examines the geological evidence for climatic change through the Quaternary Period (the last 2.6 million years) and the longer-term evolution of climate through the Cenozoic Era (the last 65 million years). You will explore the interpretation and causal mechanisms behind these major global environmental changes using a diverse range of approaches - isotope geochemistry, sedimentology, palaeoecology and organic geochemistry. We will focus on the geochemical, biological and sedimentological information that can be obtained from marine sediments, ice cores, and terrestrial environments and use these records to reconstruct the timing extent and magnitude of selected climatic events in the geological record.

ENV-6017B

20

WAVES

You will gain an introduction to the theory of waves. You will study aspects of linear and nonlinear waves using analytical techniques and Hyperbolic Waves and Water Waves will also be covered. It requires some knowledge of hydrodynamics and multi-variable calculus. The unit is suitable for those with an interest in Applied Mathematics.

MTHE6031A

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Students must submit a request to the School for a place on a field course. Please note: ENV-7028K and ENV-7039K will run in alternate years.

Name Code Credits

GEOSCIENCES FIELD COURSE TO SPAIN

During this field course you will develop a deeper understanding and integration of geoscience subjects through the development of field observation, recording and interpretation skills in areas of classic field geology. This fieldcourse is in the Almeria province of southern Spain where you will study a range of rock types sedimentary rocks to folded and metamorphic solid geology which form alpine belts. Your interpretive skills will include reading the rock record to unravel evidence for deep to shallow to marginal basin environments, with climatic and tectonic controls on the sedimentary fill of a basin. Also the evidence for strike-slip systems and associated sub-marine Miocene volcanism.

ENV-6029K

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

NOTE: No more than 20 credits of level 5 modules can be taken at Stage 3.

Name Code Credits

GEOLOGY LAB SKILLS

Good observational and descriptive skills lie at the heart of many areas of Environmental Science. This module is designed to develop those and is particularly suitable for students with interests in Earth and Geophysical Sciences. It will cover generic Earth science skills of use for projects in this area. The module will include: observing, describing and recording the characteristics of geological materials (hand specimen and under microscope); measuring and representing 3d data, and reading geological maps. You'll need to have taken co-requisite or pre-requisite modules of 40 or more credits from the list: ENV-5004B Applied Geophysics, ENV-5034A Geomorphology, ENV-5035B Sedimentology, ENV-5012A Soil Processes and Environmental issues, ENV-5018A Global Tectonics, ENV-5021A Hydrology and Hydrogeology, ENV-5005K Applied Geophysics with field course.

ENV-5029B

20

GEOLOGY SKILLS

This module is designed to develop good observational and descriptive skills and is particularly suitable for students with interests in Geology, Earth and Geophysical Sciences. It will cover generic Geological skills of use for projects. The module will include: observing, describing and recording the characteristics of geological materials (in the field, in hand specimen and under microscope); measuring and representing 3d data, reading geological maps and basic geological mapping. The module includes a week-long residential field work in the Easter vacation which has an added cost implication in the region of GBP300. You'll need to take co-requisite or pre-requisite modules of 40 or more credits from the list: ENV-5004B Applied Geophysics, ENV-5034A Geomorphology, ENV-5035B Sedimentology, ENV-5012A Soil Processes and Environmental issues, ENV-5018A Global Tectonics, ENV-5021A Hydrology and Hydrogeology, ENV-5005K Applied Geophysics with field course.

ENV-5030B

20

GEOMORPHOLOGY

Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them, it underpins numerous subjects including: sedimentology, palaeoclimatology, biodiversity, ecosystem services, natural hazards and natural resources. In this module you will be introduced to different landforms and gain an understanding of the earth surface processes that create these landforms. Our approach will be both descriptive and quantitative, based on understanding erosional and depositional concepts, weathering and sediment transport and the evolution of landscapes. Drawing from our own research, the emphasis will be on local East Anglian field sites as case studies (with half and full day field trips) with key international examples, to illustrate and improve your understanding of glacial geomorphology, coastal geomorphology, ecogeomorphology and mountain/river/slope geomorphology with some arid geomorphology. You will learn about and apply the methods and different types of data and evidence used by geomorphologists (e.g., maps, imagery and field observations/measurements) to understand landform creation and evolution, gaining numerous transferrable skills.

ENV-5034A

20

GIS SKILLS FOR PROJECT WORK

This module builds upon the introduction to GIS provided in the first year Research and Field Skills module, focusing on how you obtain your own data, integrate it together and then undertake analysis and presentation tasks. ESRI ArcGIS will be the main software used, but there will also be an introduction to scripting tools (Python), and open source software (QGIS) and online GIS (ArcGIS Online).

ENV-5028B

20

GLOBAL TECTONICS

Processes in the Earth's interior exert a profound influence on all aspects of the Earth's system, and have done so throughout geological time. This module is designed for you to explore all aspects of those processes from the creation and destruction of tectonic plates to the structure of the Earth's interior and the distribution and dissipation of energy within it. This will include: the theory and mechanisms of plate tectonics, the generation of magma and volcanism; the mechanisms behind earthquakes. You will also cover the geological record of this activity, its evolution and impacts on the Earth.

ENV-5018A

20

HYDROLOGY AND HYDROGEOLOGY

Hydrology and hydrogeology are Earth Science subjects concerned with the assessment of the natural distribution of water in time and space and the evaluation of human impacts on the water. This module provides an introduction to geological controls on groundwater occurrence, aquifer characteristics, basic principles of groundwater flow, basic hydrochemistry, an introduction to catchment hydrology, hydrological data collection and analysis, runoff generation processes and the principles of rainfall-runoff modelling. Practical classes develop analytical skills in solving problems as well as field skills in pumping test analysis and stream gauging. A field excursion in Norfolk is also offered in this module.

ENV-5021A

20

LOW CARBON ENERGY: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

This module examines the principles of energy science and technologies including energy generation and conversion, such as renewables, bioenergy and batteries. It provides a systematic and integrated account of the issues in energy resources and conversion. This knowledge is used to make a rational analysis of energy availability, applications and selections from physical, technical and environmental considerations. It also provides students with the opportunity to explore the future of energy provision in greater depth.

ENV-5022B

20

METEOROLOGY I

The weather affects everyone and influences decisions that are made on a daily basis around the world. From whether to hang your washing out on a sunny afternoon, to which route a commercial aircraft takes as it travels across the ocean, weather plays a vital role. With that in mind, what actually causes the weather we experience? In this module you'll learn the fundamentals of the science of meteorology. You'll concentrate on the physical process that allow moisture and radiation to transfer through the atmosphere and how they ultimately influence our weather. The module contains both descriptive and mathematical treatments of radiation balance, thermodynamics, dynamics, boundary layers, weather systems and the water cycle. The module is assessed through a combination of one piece of coursework and an exam, and is designed in a way that allows those with either mathematical or descriptive abilities to do well, although a reasonable mathematical competence is essential, including basic understanding of differentiation and integration.

ENV-5008A

20

OCEAN CIRCULATION

This module gives you an understanding of the physical processes occurring in the basin-scale ocean environment. We will introduce and discuss large scale global ocean circulation, including gyres, boundary currents and the overturning circulation. Major themes include the interaction between ocean and atmosphere, and the forces which drive ocean circulation. You should be familiar with partial differentiation, integration, handling equations and using calculators. Shelf Sea Dynamics is a natural follow-on module and builds on some of the concepts introduced here. We strongly recommend that you also gain oceanographic fieldwork experience by taking the 20-credit biennial Marine Sciences field course.

ENV-5016A

20

PROGRAMMING FOR NON-SPECIALISTS

The purpose of this module is to give you a solid grounding in the essential features of programming using the Java programming language. The module is designed to meet the needs of the student who has not previously studied programming.

CMP-5020B

20

RENEWABLE ENERGY

This module builds on understanding in wind, tidal and hydroelectric power and introduces theories and principles relating to a variety of renewable energy technologies including solar energy, heat pumps and geothermal sources, fuel cells and the hydrogen economy, biomass energy and anaerobic digestion. You will consider how these various technologies can realistically contribute to the energy mix. You will study the various targets and legislative instruments that are used to control and encourage developments. Another key aspect of the module is the study and application of project management and financial project appraisal techniques in a renewable energy context.

ENG-5002B

20

SEDIMENTOLOGY

Sediments and sedimentary rocks cover much of the Earth's surface, but how do they get there and what can they tell us? If you are a geologist or environmental scientist with particular interest in physical geography then this is a key issue that you need to think about. Sediments record the Earth's history of environmental change, a record that started 3.8 billion years ago. Sediments contain the fossil record and host many of the world's natural resources including water, hydrocarbons, and minerals. In this module you will discover how sedimentologists decode the wealth of information sediments contain, taught by two practicing sedimentologists who have international research reputations in their respective fields. This module includes the study of modern sediments in a range of environments including rivers, the continental shelf and deep ocean basins. We put particular emphasis on the physical and chemical processes that result in the deposition of different sediment types. We then use this basis to interpret the origin and processes that formed ancient sedimentary rocks. The module emphasises development of practical skills in the laboratory, and also in the field.

ENV-5035B

20

SHELF SEA DYNAMICS AND COASTAL PROCESSES

The shallow shelf seas that surround the continents are the oceans that we most interact with. They contribute a disproportionate amount to global marine primary production and CO2 drawdown into the ocean, and are important economically through commercial fisheries, offshore oil and gas exploration, and renewable energy developments (e.g. offshore wind farms). You will explore the physical processes that occur in shelf seas and coastal waters, their effect on biological, chemical and sedimentary processes, and how they can be harnessed to generate renewable energy. You will develop new skills during this module that will support careers in the offshore oil and gas industry, renewable energy industry, environmental consultancy, government laboratories (e.g. Cefas) and academia. The level of mathematical ability required to take this module is similar to Ocean Circulation and Meteorology I. You should be familiar with radians, rearranging equations and plotting functions.

ENV-5017B

20

WEATHER APPLICATIONS

This module will build upon material covered in Meteorology I, by covering topics such as synoptic meteorology, weather hazards, micro-meteorology, further thermodynamics and weather forecasting. The module includes a major summative coursework assignment based on data collected on a UEA meteorology fieldcourse in a previous year.

ENV-5009B

20

WEATHER APPLICATIONS WITH FIELDCOURSE

Weather is one of the most popular topics of conversation. But how, specifically, does it present risks and opportunities, to people, organisations and to the wider environment? In this module you will develop a clear understanding of these linkages and an evidence base to draw on in future roles in which weather is a factor. You'll learn how to confidently source a diverse range of real-time weather information and you'll practice analysing such data, leading subsequently to successful interpretation and effective communication, both written and in front of the camera. You'll see, first hand, how meteorology depends upon computer systems for the efficient sharing, processing and visualisation of weather information. Being taught by weather practitioners with long experience of providing weather services to users, you will get the inside track on what it's like to work in weather. Weather Forecasting is one central theme and application which will provide a focus for learning. How are forecasts made and delivered, who uses forecasts and what are their distinctive needs? Success in forecasting depends in part on a good physical understanding of atmospheric processes - through practical work, we'll study those processes and use real examples of weather systems and events to reinforce the learning. At the end of the module, through an embedded week-long Easter residential fieldcourse, you'll apply your enhanced process understanding and forecasting knowledge in a hands-on way to design and implement meteorological field experiments, testing hypotheses through the collection and interpretation of field data collected using weather sensors. You'll write up your choice of fieldcourse experiment for assessment, after first receiving informal feedback on a related poster presentation.

ENV-5010K

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

  • TOP 12 FACTS ABOUT THE SCHOOL

    Twelve things you need to know about the School of Environmental Sciences.

    Read it TOP 12 FACTS ABOUT THE SCHOOL
  • Ask a Student

    This is your chance to ask UEA's students about UEA, university life, Norwich and anything else you would like an answer to.

    Read it Ask a Student
  • CELEBRATE 50 YEARS

    Find out about the impact UEA has made over the past 50 years

    Read it CELEBRATE 50 YEARS
  • University Taster Events

    Come to one of our taster events and experience university life for yourself. Book now.

    Read it University Taster Events
  • UEA Award

    Develop your skills, build a strong CV and focus your extra-curricular activities while studying with our employer-valued UEA award.

    Read it UEA Award
  • HEAR FROM OUR STUDENTS

    Find out what it’s like to be a part of the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA.

    Read it HEAR FROM OUR STUDENTS

Entry Requirements

  • A Level BBB including Mathematics. Science A Levels must include a pass in the practical element.
  • International Baccalaureate 31 points including HL 5 in Mathematics.
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCC including Mathematics
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 2 subjects at H2 and 4 subjects at H3 including Mathematics
  • Access Course Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3 including 12 Level 3 credits in Mathematics.
  • BTEC DDM - Applied Science or Applied Science (Medical Science) preferred plus A Level Mathematics grade B
  • European Baccalaureate 70% overall including 70% in Mathematics.

Entry Requirement

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C/4 or above at GCSE.

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including speaking, listening, reading and writing) at the following level:

IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in any component)

We will also accept a number of other English language qualifications. Review our English Language Equivalences here.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not meet the academic and/or English language requirements for this course, our partner INTO UEA offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a foundation programme:

International Foundation in Physical Sciences and Engineering

INTO UEA also offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

Pre-sessional English at INTO UEA
English for University Study at INTO UEA

Interviews

The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact admissions@uea.ac.uk directly to discuss this further.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Service prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Service
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

Please click here to register your details via our Online Enquiry Form.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515