The impact of the School’s research and teaching excellence is wide ranging beyond academia to include public, business and industry, government and primary through “third-age” education.  It is delivered by our staff who work closely with our alumni.  We strive to transform our research into answers for real world problems that will have a positive influence on society today and in the future.

Final GeobusGeoBus

A flagship of our outreach and public engagement is GeoBus, an educational outreach project developed by the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences. It visits secondary schools every week of term time from Tuesday to Friday (roughly 35 weeks per year). The project:

  • supports the teaching of Earth science in secondary schools
  • provides teaching resources that are not readily available to educators
  • introduces Earth science research outcomes and young researchers to pupils and teachers
  • provides a bridge between industry, HEIs, Research Councils, and schools
  • highlights career opportunities in geology specifically, and Earth sciences and STEM areas more broadly

GeoBus teaching packages are developed by the GeoBus team, academics in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the School of Physics and Astronomy. Many workshops are based on the research outcomes of our academics or are developed with our industry sponsors.

geoHeritage Fife

geoHeritage Fife is a registered charity (SC032509) and a fully-constituted society which was set up in 2000. It currently has 38 members who participate in field excursions, suggest new itineraries and “test-walk” new trail leaflets. Its Chairman is Richard Batchelor, currently Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews.

geoHeritage Fife aims to publicise Fife’s geological heritage, to provide educational resources in geology and to promote geotourism in Fife. It also has a duty to inform the local planning authority on new geologically-important sites. Contentious planning applications are referred to the group for assessment.

To date, geoHeritage Fife has produced twelve leaflets which explain aspects of Fife’s geology, has built a geological wall in St. Andrews (comprising rocks representative of Fife’s geology), a stone cairn in Ladybank, recreated a Jurassic Garden in St. Andrews and has erected plaques to two famous geologists (Matthew Heddle and Charles Lapworth) in St. Andrews. It also organises excursions to explore Fife’s geodiversity. In 2009, it commissioned grants worth £7700 to produce a plaster cast of a giant fossil arthropod trackway discovered in Fife that was considered at risk from erosion and vandalism. Part of the cast is now on display in MUSA. In 2010, it organised a photographic competition that encouraged the public to observe Fife’s geological heritage artistically through the camera lens, which elicited 150 responses. A leaflet on the “Building Stones of St Andrews” is in draft form.

In late-2012, geoHeritage Fife joined a consortium of local groups and charities in Fife, called the “Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership” (LLLP) which bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a 3-year multidisciplinary project to explore the natural, cultural and built environment of the Lomond Hills area of Fife. The bid was successful and £1.7M was awarded to the consortium in August 2013, led by Fife Coast & Countryside Trust. geoHeritage Fife’s share of this grant was £11.5k and match funding was raised. Four trail leaflets describing the geological features of East Lomond, West Lomond, Bishop Hill and the Building Stones of Falkland village were produced.

The group has been financially supported over the years by Fife Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Curry Fund, The Royal Society, Scottish Enterprise Fife, The Skene Group, Kinburn (St Andrews) Charitable Trust, Edinburgh Geological Society and by membership subscriptions and donations.

Research Impact

Our fundamental research aims at answering some of the most important questions in the Earth Sciences. However our researchers are also concerned with transforming this research into real solutions that will make an impact in the world today. In particular, we continue to transform our science into solutions for society, government and industry. On-going stories of recent success are described in our research blog, and we are always keen to hear from anyone with an interesting idea that could be linked to our research.


Alumni make an important contribution to the success of our department through their continued interest in both research and teaching. Graduate success means that our alumni are located at all corners of the world in all aspects of Earth Sciences from industry to government, from academia to business.  See how they contribute, stay in touch and benefit from long term involvement with the School.

Our Alumni represent an important part of the School.  For the past 20 years they have directly supported our field programme and in particular our undergraduate field excursions.  Over the past few years they have also taken an increasing role as advisors to help in our continuing search for new sources of funding for research and in the placement of students into internships as part of the student’s research dissertations.

Our position as a leading geology teaching programme with the best graduate prospects is partly due to the direct involvement of alumni. The provision of internships or job opportunities and helping with graduate networking has helped make our graduates some of the most sought after in the industry.

With an ever-increasing cohort of students, we are always on the lookout for possible work and/or research placements, so if you need an extra pair of helping hands for a particular task or can offer training to an under- (BSc) or post- (MGeol) graduate student please do get in touch.

Our research also benefits by alumni involvement, in particular from alumni in industry.  Many of the applied research questions we have addressed were initiated through the alumni.  If you or your company has a problem to solve then we might be able to help. Impact/Outreach

We now publish and distribute a bi-annual Alumni Newsletter. If you wish to be included on mailings, please update your contact details via the online form. Contributions are welcomed, and may be submited to the editor at any time. Expected publication dates are February and July each year.

Alumni are warmly invited to sign up to Saint Connect, the Career Alumni Network for the University of St Andrews. Its purpose is to bring together alumni and current students to facilitate networking, enable informal mentoring, provide industry discussion groups, and enable graduates and students to stay up to date with their student societies and sports teams.

With non-Scottish students now facing annual tuition fees of up to £14,450, finding extra money to pay for field trip and equipment costs is proving ever-more difficult. Some institutions are able to cover these costs. We simply are not able to cover all costs related to field work. However, thanks to the Irvine bequest we have been able to partially subsidise field trips, but the current financial situation means the pot is dwindling much more quickly than anticipated and we will not be in a position to do this for much longer. Just £5 a month (£6.50 with Gift Aid) will cover the cost of the Highland Fling field trip for one first year student; £55 per month would cover a full year’s field trip bursary for a student. For more details on giving, please see the Fundraising section below


The University of St Andrews runs annual fund-raising campaigns. Your support ensures that St Andrews and its students thrive in an atmosphere renowned for inspirational academic staff, a beautiful setting and opportunities to make life-long friendships. Whether you’re a graduate, a proud parent or a current student interested in giving something back, go the Alumni Relations page to learn how your gift will safeguard the St Andrews experience for the next generation.