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Part IB: Choosing Your Courses

For those considering Part II and Part III in Earth Sciences
For people intending to read the third and fourth year courses, taking both Earth Sciences A and Earth Sciences B is highly recommended. It is possible to proceed to Part II Earth Sciences from only one of the IB courses, but choices in Part II will be limited, and this route needs careful thought.

Note for Physicists
The timetable allows students to combine Earth Sciences A with Physics A and Physics B. This may be particularly attractive to those interested in geophysics, or who want to keep their options open at the expense of having a reduced choice in Part II. 


For those intending to take both Earth Sciences A and B there is a wide range of complementary subjects from which you can choose your third subject:

    • for intending palaeontologists, Animal Biology will be most useful, and does not require biological options in Part IA.
    • for those interested mainly in petrology, Materials Sciences is a possibility.
    • for geochemists and climate scientists, Chemistry A is useful.
    • Mathematics is a fairly good choice for any area, particularly for those intending to do further work in geophysics.
    • History and Philosophy of Science is an interesting choice for those wanting a wider perspective on science.
    • Experimental Psychology is not an appropriate choice as it does not usefully complement courses leading to Part II Geological Sciences.


For those intending to take only one Earth Sciences option:

    • for biologists Earth Sciences A is recommended.
    • for those interested in earthquakes, plate tectonics, structures and sediments, again Earth Sciences A is recommended.
    • for those interested in physical and chemical properties of minerals and rocks, their role in volcanism and in forming the core of mountain belts, Earth Sciences B is recommended.
    • either subject would be appropriate for historians of science, although the great 19th century controversies revolved more around the topics in Earth Sciences A.


Combinations not allowed
Because of timetabling clashes, the following combinations are not allowed by University regulations:


Last updated on 26-Jan-12 10:09

"The best advice when you are choosing your IB courses is to choose what you enjoy learning about most. You will be spending an awful lot of time doing it over the coming years and if you don't enjoy doing something now, you certainly won't later." - Part III Student