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About the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences is a scientific community that studies the Earth and its neighbours in space. The School aims to provide a diverse, inclusive environment which fosters open-minded critical thinking and debate, and is committed to creating a scientifically literate and informed society. The School welcomes everyone who shares these aspirations.


Research within the School is both curiosity driven, addressing profound questions about the co-evolution of Earth and life, and applied, delivering societal and economic impact. It spans recent environmental change to planetary formation, underpinned by state-of-the-art analytical and field capabilities. 


The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences is ranked consistently as one of the top UK undergraduate programmes, with leading student satisfaction and an outstanding employability record (The Complete University Guide 2020). Earth Sciences at St Andrews spans topics from the current climate change to the formation of the planets, integrating chemistry, physics, and biology to understand the world around us. Over 25 members of staff teach undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses as well as provide research supervision.  


Underpinning the School’s research are outstanding analytical facilities supported by full-time technicians. The School has many laboratories specialising in:

  • isotope and trace element geochemistry
  • geobiology
  • biogeomagnetism
  • experimental petrology
  • microscopy
  • spectroscopy and imaging
  • equipment for geophysics and field deployment.


Earth Sciences at St Andrews dates to the 17th century, a rich tradition that shapes the School's vision for the future: to define the cutting edge of Earth, environmental, and planetary science, and deliver unparalleled student education. The School has undergone an exciting phase of expansion, with new staff, laboratory development, and enhanced student numbers, degree options, and research funding.