The school is recognised as one of the UK's most prominent centres for international research excellence and provides a dynamic, intellectually-stimulating environment. We are committed to the essential role of the Earth Sciences in understanding our planet, its history, and our place on it, and our School is ideally placed to address the major resource, hazard and environmental challenges of the next century. The School's Research is organised into six research groups with international reputation and our structures, and our intellectual strengths and ambitions are encapsulated in four cross-cutting, interdisciplinary research themes.
- Marine and Terrestrial Environments (MATES)
- Crustal Processes and Hazards
- Global change, Natural Resources and Sustainability
- Evolution of Earth and Life
- Planetary Formation, Structure and Dynamics
Interdisciplinary research groups
Staff in the School of Earth Sciences are also involved in some of the University's interdisciplinary research groups including:
- Bristol Isotope Group
- Organic Geochemistry Unit
- Cabot Institute
- Bristol Oceans Past and Present (BOPP)
- Interface Analysis Centre
How our research rates
100% of our research activity is considered to be in the top two categories: "world-leading" (4*) and "internationally excellent" (3*).
These results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
The School of Earth Sciences has been ranked second in the country in the REF2021 results. Overall, 100% of our research was rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
We are home to state-of-the-art laboratories capable of simulating temperature and pressure conditions at hundreds of kilometres deep within our planet; recreating conditions in ancient oceans and atmospheres; enabling us to understand the cycling of carbon in the environment and to investigate the evolution of life on Earth.
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Future of science
Scientists discuss what it means to be a scientist in the 21st century in our new films.
World and UK rankings
- 2023/4 Complete University Guide - Geology : 11th in the UK
- 2023 QS World ranking by subject - Earth & Marine Sciences: 25th in the world and 7th in the UK
- 2023 US News Best Global Universities - Geosciences: 23rd in the world and 3rd in the UK
- 2022 Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects - Earth Sciences: 20th in the world and 3rd in the UK
- 2017 CWUK World University Rankings – Paleontology: 1st in the world