Earth Science BSc (Hons)

Fact File

Course Code: Refer to CK404

Course Title: Earth Science

College: Science, Engineering and Food Science

Earth Science

Duration: 4 years

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: BSc (Hons)

NFQ Level: Level 8

Costs: Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees. The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria.In 2017/18 the Student Contribution Charge will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee is expected to be €165. Some modules incorporate practical laboratories and for these you may be required to purchase basic safely items such as a laboratory coat or goggles. Other modules may require a kit of components to be purchased. There will be a cost of €1,000 over the course of the four years for field trips.

Entry Requirements: Refer to CK404


Earth Science investigates the functioning, development and use of Earth’s physical environment and involves the study of its atmosphere and oceans, its surface processes, and its crust and interior. It also involves the study of Earth's natural and physical resources, and incorporates interdisciplinary subjects across the traditional disciplines of geography, geology, geophysics, oceanography and biological sciences.

The course focuses on applying knowledge of these disciplines to understanding and solving problems. The subject’s growth has been in response to changing demands in industry and the practical needs of interdisciplinary scientific research, together with the needs arising from an increased community awareness of the Earth, its environment stresses and patterns of change.

Course Details

Year 1 Modules:

BL1002 Cells, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution (5 credits);

BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals (5 credits);

BL1005 Habitats and Ecosystems (5 credits);

CM1003 Introductory Chemistry for Environmental Scientists (10 credits);

ER1006 Applied Earth Systems (5 credits);

EV1002 The Environment (5 credits);

GG1010 Introduction to Physical Geography (5 credits);

GL1001 Introduction to Geology (5 credits);

GL1004 Geological Evolution of Ireland (5 credits);

MA1001 Calculus for Science I (5 credits);

PY1009 Physics for the Environment Sciences I (5 credits)

Year 2 Modules:


Field Training;  Quaternary Environments and Geomorphology;  The Atmospheric Environment; Biogeography;  Geographical Research Methods;  Crystallography, Optics and Mineralogy; Sedimentological Processes and Sedimentary Petrology;  Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology;  Structural Geology;  Fossils as Living Organisms;  Geohazards and Research Skills


The Environment and Human Health;  Environmental Archaeology;  Calculus for Science (part 2);  Ecological Plant Physiology;  Fluids;  Physics for the Environmental Sciences; Introduction to Biostatistics;  Introductory Programming in Python

Year 3 Modules:


Field Training;  Earth Science Literature Review;  Geoinformatics;  Geographies of Environment and Sustainability;  Coastal and Marine Geomorphology;  Climate Variability and Change; Environmental Economic Geography;  Applied Structural Geology;  Sedimentary Environments;   Micropalaeontology and Palynology;  Geological Map Interpretation


Introduction to Biostatistics;  Introduction to Environmental Archaeology;  Heritage Management and Archaeology; Introduction to Energy Engineering;  Human Remains for Archaeologists;  Archaeo-palynology; Conservation Biology;  Valuing the Environment

Year 4 Modules:


Research Project;  Advanced Geographical Information Systems;  Environmental Remote Sensing;  Applied Geophysics;  Climate Variability and Change


Practical Offshore Marine Science;  Earth Science Work Placement;  Petroleum Geology and Basin Analysis;  Regional and Local Planning Issues and Policies;  Food Geography; Geohazards and Research Skills;  Advanced Field Geoscience Techniques;   Exceptional Glimpses of Ancient Life;  Stratigraphy;  Geological Map Interpretation;  Geography as Human Ecology

See the College Calendar for additional information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further details on modules. 


Course Practicalities

Lecture/lab/practical hours: Daily lectures, laboratory and computer classes and small group teaching take place throughout your four years of study.

Field trips: Field trips take place during term time and on occasion during the holidays — such field trips are compulsory and you are expected to attend. Fieldwork for the research project takes place during the summer holiday and into Year 4 as necessary, and can be in Ireland or overseas, depending on the subject area. 




Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment.  Some modules are assessed entirely though projects and class assignments. One module per year is field-based. 

Later years of the course are also assessed by exams that require more detailed written essays, drawing together learning across a range of modules.

The dissertation is worth 25% of the final year.

Students are assessed on valuable transferable skills that include written, mathematical, problem solving and oral assignments, many of which are completed individually but some done in small groups.

Who Teaches This Course

The core teaching staff for the course is drawn from the disciplines of Geography and Geology, with contributions from staff in Biology and other disciplines.

Further Contact Information

School of Geography and Archaeology

T: +353 (0)21 490 2804


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