Research course

Sedimentology and stratigraphy

Open University · Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

The study of sedimentary rocks and the fossils contained within them is critical to our understanding of the Earth system and the evolution of life, and consequently this research area forms an integral part of the work undertaken in the Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems. Research in this area covers a range of topics, and includes palaeontological studies into evolutionary change through Earth history, as well as the use of sedimentary records of orbital forcing to develop geological timescales. A major focus of current research is the use of sedimentary rocks as archives of past environmental change. As such, this work brings together both sedimentological and stratigraphcal investigations with geochemical analyses of sedimentary rocks and fossils and the development of novel proxies for tracing ancient climatic change.

Current/recent research projects

We encourage enquiries from prospective students on topics related to sedimentology, stratigraphy and palaeontology, as well as topics related to palaeoenvironmental change.

Lists of postgraduate research projects likely to be available for a 2016 start will become available towards the end of 2015.

Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

Assessing the nature of the stratigraphic record and its utility for understanding the Earth system Exploring the links between orbital forcing of climate and large-scale sea level change in the geological record Investigating the biotic responses to large scale environmental change in Earth history The development and refinement of geological timescales using orbital chronologies

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


full time
15 months
distance learning
variable months
part time
24 months


distance learning
variable months
full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036