Information for new Earth and Environmental Sciences undergraduate students

Congratulations on securing your place at The University of Manchester! We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to the Department. Here you will find all the information you need to get started at the University, including all of the available events happening over Welcome.

All these sessions are mandatory and will take place online.

Week 1 - week commencing 21 September

Your induction session was on Monday 21 September, but don't worry if you missed it - all sessions are being recorded so you can watch it back at your convenience in your programme's Blackboard area.

The rest of the University sessions this week are available to book on the What's on page.

Week 2 - week commencing 28 September

During this week there will be several events that you will need to attend as a new undergraduate student.

"Meet" your lecturers in our latest blog

Find out who'll be teaching you in your first year, and what to expect from your team project.

Read our blog >>

  • First Year Student Talk where you will get the opportunity to learn more about your studies and meet key academic colleagues in the Department.
  • Meet your Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) leaders providing an opportunity to interact with other students.
  • Introduction to the Professional Support Team who will provide useful information on the support available to you.
  • Overview of importance guidance and resources
  • Meet your Academic Tutor

Personal timetable of events

Once you have activated your account and confirmed your attendance you will be able to gain access to the University Student Portal ‘My Manchester’ where you will be able to access a personal timetable that will include all the events that you will need to attend for your programme during the welcome and induction period. There will also be further information available to you in your Departmental Blackboard Area.

Getting started with your studies

You can also get ahead with some of your recommended reading, a variety of online resources and find out more about our Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) below.

Free online courses

Welcome to our Earth: Its climate, history, and processes

Develop a greater appreciation for how the air, water, land, and life formed and have interacted over the last 4.5 billion years. Professor David Schultz facilitates this free online course.

General learning

Earth and Solar System Blog and Cosmic Cast Podcast

The Earth and Solar System blog, and their podcast (The Cosmic Cast) reflect the research interests of the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry Group at The University of Manchester.

TEDx Talk, Brighter Than A Billion Suns: Imaging Life On Earth

Palaeontology is often viewed as a 'blue sky' science, one with little relevance, beyond Indiana Jones movie scripts, in the 21st Century. Phil Manning buries this prehistoric notion in a compelling talk that first and foremost reminds you just how totally cool scientific research can be. To wit: we can now harness synchrotron light, brighter than 10 billion suns, to view dilute concentrations of elements that played crucial roles in life, both present and past.

Geology at The University of Manchester: A Brief History (1851-2004)

  • Authors: David Vaughan, Jack Zussman

Find out more about the origins of Geology at The University of Manchester. This book outlines the fascinating story of the growth in teaching and research in geology at one of the world's foremost centres throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and early years of the present century.

Recommended reading

Below you can find indicative reading of general interest for tutorial discussions, and for modules that comprise the ‘common first year’ in our Earth and Environmental Sciences degrees: Understanding the Earth; The Natural Scientist’s Toolkit and Practical and Professional Skills Development.

We would like to stress that the Department provides new students with a copy of the core text for Understanding the Earth each year (either as an e-book or a hard copy) and other publications are available through the University Library. We do not ask that you purchase titles before your degree programme commences.

This list is intended to provide insight into the kind of material you may encounter.

General reading

  • Cox P.A. (1989) The Elements. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Diamond J. (2005) Collapse. Allen-Lane, London.
  • Goldacre B. (2009) Bad Science. Fourth Estate, London.
  • Gould S.J. (1977) Ever Since Darwin. Norton, N.Y.
  • Lunine J.I. (1999) Earth, evolution of a habitable world. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Strunk W. Jr., White E.B. (1972) The elements of style. Macmillan, New York.
  • Bryson B. (2004) A Short History of Nearly Everything. Black Swan.
  • Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood. Picador

Understanding the Earth

  • *Marshak, S., 2019, Earth: Portrait of a Planet, 6th edition
  • *Grotzinger, JP & Jordan, TH, 2020, Understanding Earth, Bedford
  • Sadava, D, Hillis, D & Heller, H, 2020, Life: The Science of Biology, 12th edition, Macmillan International Higher Education
  • Begon, M, Townsend, CR, & Harper, JL, Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems, 4th edition, Blackwell Publishing
  • Craig, J, Vaughan, DJ, & Skinner, B, Earth Resources and the Environment: Pearson New International Edition
  • Hewitt, C.N. and Jackson A.V., 2009, Atmospheric Sciences for Environmental Scientists, Wiley
  • Houghton, J., 2002, The Physics of Atmospheres, 3rd edition Cambridge University Press
  • *One of these two texts will be provided in paper form to all students as the first year core text

The Natural Scientist's Toolkit

  • Foundation Maths, Anthony Croft and Robert Davison, Pearson / Prentice Hall, Fourth Edition.
  • Engineering Mathematics K.A. Stroud and Dexter J. Booth
  • Conceptual Integrated Science, Hewitt, Lyons, Suchocki and Yeh, Pearson / Prentice Hall.
  • Consider a spherical cow: A course in environmental problem solving, John Harte. University science books, 1988.
  • Engineering Mathematics Paperback by K. a Stroud, Palgrave Macmillan; 4th ed edition (1995)
  • Geochemistry. White, W. W. (2013) Wiley-Blackwell, p. 668
  • Introduction to geochemistry: principles and application. Misra K. C. (2012) Wiley-Blackwell, p 452
  • Geochemistry: Pathways and Processes, McSween H. Y. and Richardson S. M. (2003) Columbia University Press, 2nd Edition, p 432.
  • Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming. No Starch Press