Earth Science
students in Death Valley, California.

Earth Science students in Death Valley, California.

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
Professor Jon Shaw

Our teaching areas

Read about our student and staff success in our latest newsletter.

Recent edition: Spring 2024

Jon ShawJon Shaw
Head of School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

SoGEES newsletter cover Spring 2024


Fieldwork is a fundamental part of our school. Environmental science, geography and earth science are field-based disciplines and you will gain training in field techniques in spectacular environments locally and further afield. Our field trips are designed to be inclusive and accessible (we are a signatory to the ). All core field trip modules have a cost-free option, and subsidies are available for our longer-haul trips on which students experience landscapes and cultures not available locally.
Group photo, environmental science fieldwork in Greece
Environmental science students in Greece


QS World University Rankings 2023
In top 15 UK universities for Earth and Marine Sciences, Geology and Geophysics - QS World University Rankings by subject 2023
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
The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2022
We are incredibly proud of our postgraduate courses across the school. In the latest Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2022 wereceived 100% overall satisfaction with the course quality for our postgraduate courses. 94% of our postgraduate students surveyed were satisfied with the teaching and learning and 93% with the skills development received. These results are well above the average for the sector.


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.
Girls into Geoscience

Research and impact

Research highlights

Journey to the Bottom of the Celtic Sea

Research by our Earth Scientists on the Celtic Sea bed is helping develop renewable energy futures in the south west.

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.

Professor Ian Bailey is an expert on national climate change acts and their contribution to accelerating action on climate change. He combines his research and teaching on climate and environmental politics in modules on sustainable futures and environmental politics and governance.

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The school aims to embed EDI across all functions and strategies to support our staff and students. We are committed to promoting EDI principles, ensuing an inclusive learning environment, and preventing discrimination and harassment. The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences currently holds a bronze Athena Swan departmental award recognising our gender equality efforts.

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