Earth and environmental sciences

Understand and explore the natural processes that shape the planet and its environment. Learn about topics ranging from current climate change to the formation of mountain belts, or modern ocean acidification to the management of natural resources.

At the University of St Andrews you will benefit from a world-class education and be taught by leading scientists in the field.


Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate research

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers PhD research programmes. Research within the School is grouped into three main themes:

  • planets and life
  • climate, society and environmental change
  • Earth resources and sustainability.

To apply, you should first identify and contact a potential supervisor you would like to work with in your intended research area. Find out how to contact a research supervisor.

“I chose St Andrews because of the multitude of fieldwork opportunities within and outside of Scotland. The staff are incredibly dedicated to their students and the result is a lively and positive atmosphere. I had absolutely no need to worry about making friends – there are so many University events, societies and sporting activities to get involved in, which means you are always going to find like-minded people.”

- Franschhoek, South Africa


First in Scotland and sixth in the UK for Earth Sciences

Guardian University Guide 2023

First in Scotland and fourth in the UK for Geology

The Complete University Guide 2023

96% of research activity is world-leading and internationally excellent

Most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)