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Congratulations and Welcome to the Department of Earth Sciences

Welcome to the Department of Earth Sciences. We are delighted that you have chosen to study here in Durham and look forward to meeting you when you start in October. The next few years will be exciting, challenging, rewarding, and – I hope – fun. You will join a community of staff and students who are passionate about our teaching and research and produce outstanding outcomes. We are also friendly, approachable, and collegiate, and take pride in ensuring that all our work is done in a fair and transparent way. You will be supported and encouraged at all stages of the degree programme, and every person in the department is valued for the unique contributions they bring. Be prepared to work hard, but also take the time to relax, to follow other interests in life, and to immerse yourself into life in your colleges, clubs, and communities. For those of you who are unfamiliar with North East England, it is a region with a lot to offer in life beyond the University; please take the time to explore it well.

There has never been a more important time to study the Earth Sciences. The way we live on Earth is changing rapidly and needs to change to deal with the global challenges we face through climate change and environmental pressure. More and more of our research and teaching is tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and we are committed to producing graduates who have the skills, knowledge, and ambition to achieve these goals. All our degree programmes reflect these changing priorities, and we are excited by the start of the new Climate Science degree. You enter the department as undergraduate students; you will leave as our colleagues. We are always inspired by the success of our graduates and look forward to the start of a connection that we hope lasts for years, far beyond your time in Durham itself.

On a personal note, I was an undergraduate student in this Department (a long time ago). I now have the privilege of being Head of Department, which is the latest step in a career in Earth Sciences both inside and outside of the University. You are starting a crucial step in your own journeys; we will support you wherever that journey takes you. Again, I give you the Department’s warmest welcome on joining us, and look forward with real pleasure to getting to know you all throughout your time at Durham Earth Sciences.

Professor Mark Allen

University student
Congratulations, I was elected as a course representative last year, encouraged by the value that the staff placed on the student voice. Students and staff representatives meet regularly to discuss queries and concerns raised by their year group and collaborate to improve the student experience. It might be something you consider getting involved with too. I will continue acting as an approachable figure for students, working collaboratively with staff and look forward to meeting you all.

Lorna Baker
Course Rep - F600 Geology



Department Information

Programme and Module Registration

Our departmental Sharepoint Site provides further information. You should select your optional modules before you arrive in Durham.

Next steps

Enrol online

Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme.
Two students studying in Teaching and Learning Centre with hot drink

Registering for your programme and specific modules

This link is for the Banner Self Service online registration system
Science Site and Bill Bryson Library

Information, including advice on module choices, is available via our SharePoint Site. You will need to submit your optional module choices in advance of your arrival in Durham and by Tuesday 20 September, via the online registration system.


Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme. After your acceptance has been processed you will receive two email messages from which provide:

  • Your Computing and Information Services (CIS) username
  • How to derive your CIS password and guidance on how to access the system

Once you have been able to complete your online enrolment you will be given access to your personal email address.  This will allow you to access important information from the Earth Sciences Department through both our virtual learning environment (Blackboard Learn Ultra) and a dedicated SharePoint site.

You are encouraged to check your e-mails for important updates from Durham University, your allocated college and the Earth Sciences Department as you prepare to join us.




Your first week in Durham – University Induction Week Events Timetable

The Timetable has been designed so College events don’t clash with any of your academic departmental events, but offer you lots of opportunities to meet your fellow Freshers, find your way around and settle into student life.

To help you keep track of where you need to be, and what you need to do during your first busy days at university, in your College and your Department, we have created a day-by-day University Induction Planner. This should help you to plan your schedule, so you don't miss anything - from being issued with your Campus Card or meeting the staff in your Department, to trying out for a sports team or joining a student society.
Your Personal Induction Planner
Students on laptop with cups of tea in Josephine Butler College café

Get in touch

If you have any queries about any of this information or any aspect of coming to Durham please contact us.

Department of Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences,
Arthur Holmes Building,
Science Site,
South Road,
Durham. DH1 3LE

Tel: +44 (0)191 334 2300
Fax: +44 (0)191 334 2301