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UoA 7 Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences

Achieving an overall score of 3.57, our unit is helping to shape the research landscape, addressing some of the most significant global challenges in Earth and Environmental Sciences. A distinctive feature of the unit is that 100% of our research submission is deemed world-leading or internationally excellent, and 70% of our outputs are regarded as world-leading, placing us 2nd in the UK.

We foster an inclusive, diverse and collaborative research community. Reflective of this, we submitted 100% of our eligible staff to this Unit of Assessment.

Our results

Quality level 4 star % 3 star % 2 star % 1 star %Unclassified %
Outputs 69.830.
Impact 37.562.

Our research environment

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences asks both fundamental and applied research questions across the breadth of Earth and Environmental Sciences keeping us at the forefront of the global research community.

Since REF 2014 our goal has been to strengthen our research excellence and the breadth of our impact while allowing staff to expand their own horizons. Some of our developments include:

  • new research structure with development of 3 new Research Centres, 10 affiliated research groups, integrating 14 new faculty
  • enhanced wellbeing initiatives and attainment of the Athena SWAN bronze award
  • increased Postgraduate Research (PGR) student support with more than 75 graduating PhDs
  • major upgrading of analytical facilities including new Multicollector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) laboratory and 3D visualisation suite
  • new strategic partnerships with external institutions such as British Geological Survey (BGS) Wales, University of Bremen and University of Campinas
  • enhanced engagement and interdisciplinary collaboration, including leadership within two University-wide research institutions

We have increased the total amount of funding awarded to £17 million since REF 2014 and benefitted from laboratory refurbishment and equipment purchases.

These include establishment of the ‘Cardiff University Earth Laboratory for Trace Element and Isotope Chemistry (CELTIC)’ laboratory which houses specialist equipment for the analysis of isotopes, which are currently being used for a wide variety of research projects from climate change to the formation of planets. We have also refurbished our state-of-the-art electron microbeam facility and ‘ELEMENT’ trace element laboratory which have underpinned novel approaches to petrology and mineral resource studies.

Discover our research

Our research centres and groups investigate natural processes that shape the world around us as we work to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy, and the environment.

Protecting communities and preserving environments

Working alongside mining companies all over the world, Professor Wolfgang Maier has helped to prevent the relocation of local communities and protect culturally sensitive land, all whilst providing enormous cost savings.



Learn how our research addresses some of the most significant areas in the Earth and Environmental Sciences.

A disused quarry

Impact at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Our research is working to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy, and the environment.