The Department of Earth Sciences participates in a range of outreach activities, primarily working with College Access and Outreach Officers, in order to make our subject accessible to school pupils, teachers and the wider public.

Our students and academics visit primary schools to support aspects of the KS1 and KS curriculum, for example rock formation; adaptation and evolution; and earth hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes. Working with the Oxford for Oxford project, we facilitate aspiration-raising visits from local schools.

We welcome school visits, particularly from Year 12s wishing to explore university options for those with A-Level Maths and Sciences, though we do recommend where possible that students visit on Open Days.

Students from backgrounds with little or no experience of Oxford or Cambridge are encouraged to apply to the UNIQ programme. The flagship event is a week-long residential in the summer, offering an opportunity to experience different aspects of undegraduate life, from college accommodation, meals and events, to academic lectures, practicals and tutorials. Due to the huge numbers applying for limited spaces, those unable to join the summer course are offered a short residential over Easter (UNIQ Spring), a 1-day taster course in the department, or access to the exclusive online platform. UNIQ offers a great way to experience Oxford, and the programme is entirely free.

Our academics present at the Oxford and Cambridge Regional Conferences, staged at venues around the UK, in order to bring a flavour of our two universities to those who might not be able to visit us. We also collaborate with other science departments at the annual Maths & Science Teachers Conference, Further Maths What’s Next, and Pathways events in Oxford.

We work with Oxford Sparks to help deliver content for teachers to use in their own planning, such as this animation explaining subduction zones:



A growing bank of short videos on YouTube help explain our research and teaching, alongside longer lectures on the University’s Podcasts and iTunesU channel.

If you are interested in “reading around the subject” but don’t know where to start, try our ‘Recommended Reading‘ list.