SEES - Sponsor a Scope

A project by: University of St Andrews


WE RAISED £17,871

from 38 donors

Help us to replace our petrographic teaching microscopes to enhance our educational excellence

Who are we?

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences is consistently ranked as having one of the top UK undergraduate programmes with high student satisfaction and an outstanding employability record.

We achieved 1st in Scotland for teaching and research and 5th in the UK in the 2021 Complete University guide for Geology, which covers aspects such as student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. We have also achieved 2nd in the UK in the University Guide 2020 for Earth and Marine Sciences.

what are we doing?

The school has fifty petrological microscopes which are used across the entire curriculum for both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. This equipment underpins a significant element of fundamental skills training which employers highly value.

After over 30 years of use our current microscopes need replacing.  

why are we doing this 

For two very important reasons:

1.The microscopes form a cornerstone of teaching in Geology - they are used in practical classes for more than 40% of BSc Geology. They are also used extensively by dissertation students to identify minerals in their own rocks. Overall, each microscope receives over 300 hours of use per year.

2. This equipment is essential to the learning experience within our degree programmes and it is important that the school can invest in modernising our current stock. We aim to have the best quality and most up-to-date models available to retain longevity and reliability but also ensure competitive teaching and research. The microscopes will also facilitate delivery of our dual-teaching and learning in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling students to engage and interact with teaching staff remotely. 

where will your donations go?

There is only one high-quality replacement option that is specifically designed as a teaching microscope and is easy to use and maintain. This is the most popular, best value and widely praised education-specific polarising microscope on the market.

Our goal (with your help) is to purchase: 

  • 40 standard microscopes for undergraduate teaching (£2,700 each)
  • 5 reflected light microscopes for postgraduate teaching (£7,400 each).

We have already raised over £19,000 which has supplied our first batch of WIFI camera models. Thank you to those who have already donated!


We are really grateful for any contributions and want our students to know who is backing them, so we are offering a number of naming options and virtual shout outs.






Help us succeed!

Please donate and share this project on social media with anyone and everyone and help spread the word by signing up as a helper or follower. Thank you!

(Please note the video was shot prior to and during the Covid-19 pandemic)